The apostle Peter highlighted the concept of the will of God for us in 2 Peter 3:9. Throughout his second epistle, Peter warned about false prophets, whom he called “springs without water” and “dogs returning to their vomit.” Peter said that it is characteristic of these “springs” (which would seem to be sources of life-giving water but are not) or these “dogs” (who go back and lick up the vomit of their own once-forsaken sins) to deny two things. First, an apostate or false teacher denies the deity of Jesus Christ, denies “the Master who bought them” (2 Peter 2:1). The second thing that an apostate denies is the second coming of Christ (3:1–10). In mockery he says, “Where is the promise of His coming? All of you fanatics are running around saying that Jesus is coming. Where is He? I don’t see Him.” He reasons on this basis: “Since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” He says, “Nothing will ever change, for it never has. I will never die. I never have. I couldn’t possibly get cancer. I never had it before.”
Peter would respond, “You forgot about the flood. All things haven’t continued as they were.” And they are not going to continue as they were! God is going to intervene in a great fiery judgment (2 Peter 3:10). “The Lord is not slow about His promise” (v. 9). In other words, just because we don’t see God invading the world in judgment, it doesn’t mean that He can’t. It doesn’t mean that He made a promise and won’t keep it. His delay doesn’t mean that He is either impotent or unfaithful but that He is long-suffering, “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (v. 9).
This is the first thing about God’s will: He wants people to be saved. So much so that He stays His judgment. Paul said, “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3–4).
It is God’s will that people be saved. If you are stumbling around in life and tossing up some periodic prayers to God but have never come on your knees to the foot of the cross and met Jesus Christ, then you are not even in the beginning of God’s will. God has no reason to reveal to you anything particular about your life because you have not met qualification number one: salvation.
John MacArthur, Found: God’s Will (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2012).
We have just released a new Bible study on topic of God’s Will.
These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
Lesson #1: God’s Will and My Will
Roman 11.33 – 12.2; Ephesians 1.4 – 9
Lesson #2: God’s Will and God’s Refreshing Word
Psalms 19.7 – 14
Lesson #3: God’s Will and the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 2
Lesson #4: God’s Will and the Church
1 Corinthians 12
Lesson #5: God’s Will and Circumstances
Romans 8.26 – 32
Lesson #6: God’s Will and the Glory of God
John 11.1 – 4, 38 – 45