One of Peter's comments in chapter 3 is that God is waiting until the very last minute possible to fulfill His promise of Christ's return so that the most number of people can come into a relationship with Him before the opportunity for redemption is past. That statement tells us something about the character of God and His desire for His people.
First, He offers forgiveness (if you're a follower of Him already you know this personally). It doesn't matter what you've done or what your history is, God's forgiveness is great enough to cover whatever you've done.
Secondly, He wants to forgive people – it's not a reluctant forgiveness. In fact, He wants people to have the opportunity for forgiveness so much that He is withholding His judgment and Christ's return until there aren't any people left who still need to hear of His message.
Thirdly, God created us to be with Him, not to spend eternity away from Him.