Richard Coords, “Patience”

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Throughout the scriptures we see evidence of God’s patience and long suffering with mankind:

Nehemiah 9:30: For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples.

2nd Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Romans 10:21: But concerning Israel he says, ‘All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.’”

If Calvinism is true, then what is God waiting on? He need simply to effectually regenerate their hearts to get them to respond in a timely manner.

Some Calvinists argue that God is waiting on His timing and will, but that is not what the text says. It says, “he is patient with you,” not His own plans or timing (2nd Peter 3:9). Peter goes on to write:

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him” (2 Pet. 3:14-15).

How does God’s patience with you mean salvation if Calvinism is true? Peter references Paul’s teaching on patience as well, which can be seen in Romans 2:

Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:4-5).

Notice in this passage that Paul credits God’s kindness in patiently waiting on these rebellious individuals as potentially leading them to repentance. Conversely, He blames their own stubbornness for the wrath being stored up against them at Judgment. God’s patient enduring of their stubborn rebellion in hopes to lead them to repentance becomes nonsensical if Calvinism’s claims are true.

[This post has been excerpted with permission from Richard Coords, Calvinism Answered Verse by Verse and Subject by Subject, © 2024.]