What is God’s will regarding the salvation of mankind? Does He intend to save all people, or just a few?
According to the Christian church, God is only going to save a few and the rest will burn in a literal fiery hell for eternity. But this is clearly not in line with God’s stated will.
In 1 Timothy 2:4, Paul writes that God…
wills that all mankind be saved and come into a realization of the truth.
Peter agrees when he writes in 2 Peter 3:9 that God
does not intend for any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
These verses reveal God’s will for the salvation of mankind. And God’s stated will is to save all mankind.
This point bears repeating. God’s stated will is to save all people. Not Christians only. Not 5% of humanity. But all. Every last person who has ever walked the earth.
The only questions are these:
- Is God powerful enough to accomplish His will? (Can He do it?)
- And if He is indeed powerful enough, will He in fact do it? (Will He do it?)
Most students of the Bible agree that God wants to save all mankind, but they don’t believe He will actually do it. Either they believe He is not able to save everyone (denying his omnipotence), or that he cannot do it because it would violate his character.
And so this is where many Bible students get stuck. They cling to the doctrine of free will and the idea that humans have the ability to accept or reject God’s salvation.
Let’s explore this idea for a moment…
If my free will determines my eternal fate, then that means my will is stronger than God’s will. I can reject Him or accept Him — and there is nothing He can do about it.
Furthermore, if my salvation is based on my free will — and my ability to accept or reject Jesus — then Jesus really hasn’t saved me. At best, he has almost saved me. But not quite. Because I’m not saved until I come to Him based on the strength of my own free will!
If this sounds a bit crazy to you, that’s because it is.
Clearly, we do not save ourselves — God saves us! Paul affirms this in Ephesians 2:8, 9 when he writes:
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Our faith in Jesus is merely our response to God. It may appear that we are exercising free will, but in actuality we are merely responding to the Holy Spirit and God’s call on our lives.
This means our salvation is not of us in the least; it’s entirely of God. Therefore, none of us can boast that we were smarter or wiser than anybody else. We can only boast in the Lord.
God says his will is to save all mankind. I believe He can do it and He will do it — regardless of whether I or anybody else “rejects” Him in this lifetime. The truth is, there’s not a person on earth who can resist the overwhelming love of God.