The Forbearance of God, Ending in the Salvation of Men
Essex Remembrancer
2 Peter 3:15-16
And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation…


1. It may be defined as the suffering of opposition, injuries, and insults, for a long time without punishing them.

2. The instances and displays of the longsuffering of God are amply recorded in the Bible.

3. And the world, through all the ages of its being, has presented the same picture. What has been the history of every nation? of every city? of every village? of every family? of every person? A record of Divine patience.

4. Let us suggest a few considerations calculated to put the longsuffering of God in a clear, strong light.

(1) The pointedness of our offences. It is this which gives to sin its evil. It is pointed against God. It is a thrust at His throne.

(2) That entireness which belongs to the sin of man. No counterbalancing conduct. There is no mixture in the conduct of unconverted men towards God. There may be some things well towards man. But towards God all is wrong.

(3) The inexcusableness also of offences against God tends to enhance our views of His longsuffering. Has God ever given you any reason to treat Him as you have treated Him?

(4) The ingratitude of our offences must also be remembered.

(5) The implacableness of offenders against God renders His longsuffering the more remarkable.


1. It is only by a reference to the great purpose of salvation that we can satisfactorily account for the longsuffering of the Lord,

2. Consequently the longsuffering of the Lord is to afford adequate occasion and room for carrying the plan of salvation into execution.

3. It is therefore a standing indication to men of the willingness of God to save.

4. It is then a motive to induce men to be saved. It is part of that goodness which leadeth men to repentance.

5. But salvation is often the blessed result of Divine forbearance. This is its grand issue. The longsuffering of the Lord is salvation in actual effect and eternal consequences. It ends in this.

III. ENFORCE THE INJUNCTION TO ESTIMATE RIGHTLY THE LONGSUFFERING OF THE LORD. "Account that the longsuffering of the Lord is salvation." See that you put this interpretation upon Divine forbearance, esteem it as salvation.

1. Do not then make it the food of scepticism. This was the wretched mistake of those ungodly persons of whom the apostle had spoken. "Be not deceived, God is not mocked; what a man soweth that shall he also reap," whether it be early or late.

2. Neither regard the longsuffering of the Lord as connivance. Do not think that because He does not smite, He therefore smiles.

3. Nor must you account that the longsuffering of the Lord is security. Whilst you are saying peace and safety, sudden destruction may come upon you. Account that the longsuffering of the Lord is salvation. Regard this as the end. Believe that you are allowed and encouraged to seek that end. Let the longsuffering of God be your introduction to His mercy. You may turn this stream of life into poison and death.

(Essex Remembrancer.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

WEB: Regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you;

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