Is it God’s Will To Save Everyone?

Opening Thoughts: Clearly you read the title before clicking into this post. Just to clarify, none of us are the judge of who God has called and elected to be His children, nor can we comprehend on what grounds He does it, that’s God’s job and I’m glad for that.
We on the other hand have been given one task, and that task is to preach the Gospel to every creature and the ones who believe will be saved, and those who don’t are already condemned according to Jesus. In regard to election, I find it odd that many church folks have no issues believing the Old Testament in regard to election, when God clearly had a people called after His Name. Of course it was easy to know who His elect were, because they all had the same father ‘Abraham’. We also have no issues with the fact that God destroyed the earth with a flood, destroying everyone but His chosen.

About the Ark: I think many times when we envision the story of Noah we see and old man and his family building a ship with all the people of the entire world standing around laughing at them. We also envision Noah standing on the edge of the boat calling all people to repentance, giving them one last chance before the door closed shut! If that were true the population of the world would have been pretty small. There were millions of people on the earth, many of which had never even heard of Noah or the Ark. So how were these millions of people to repent and get in the ark if they had no clue one existed? and how would they flee the wrath to come if many of them did not even know a flood was coming? Why would God destroy them for being wicked without giving them opportunity to repent? God didn’t destroy people because they failed to believe in the Ark or Noah’s warning, they perished because they were wretched children of wrath just like you and me. Truth being told, people don’t go to Hell because they fail to accept Jesus into their hearts, they go to Hell because they have rejected and disobeyed a holy God, violated His law and therefore deserve His eternal punishment.

Scripture: Ephesians 2:3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Like in the days of Noah we too live with this reality, if God was not author of salvation and Savior of those He ultimately chooses to save, then the same injustice would be said of the millions of people who die every year who have possibly never even heard of the name of Jesus. God is sovereign over all things and He is the true author of Salvation, He opens the hearts of those He wishes to save and closes the hearts of those He does not.

Then Why Should We Preach: Many people will take this view point, if it’s already decided than why should we preach? There are many reasons why we should preach to people and persuade them to be saved. First off I would ask the question, Why wouldn’t you preach? If you and I have even a basic understanding of Hell, and if we know that this is all we deserve at the end of our rebellious lives, but for some amazing turn of events Christ has saved us and then commanded us to preach and we don’t, then we are not only ungrateful for our own salvation but we are also disobedient.

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

I wonder if it’s boastful to say, “Because I went out and preached people were saved!” Yes, it is. If there is no room for boasting in the Gospel then it has nothing to do with you at all, except that you are commanded to. God used you as His voice to draw His sheep and WOE to you if you don’t. Many people can’t figure that out, that God doesn’t need them. He will simply use someone else to preach His gospel and rescue His little lambs if you won’t. But again I say in the words of Paul, “Woe to you if you don’t preach”. It’s not about you, and preaching is all about obedience to His command coming from a servant that isn’t even worthy to be called His son, but is.

Free Will: The argument so often is that everyone has a choice to either receive or reject the Gospel. The answer is everyone had a choice to obey God and embrace His commands, and like Adam and Eve every one of us has taken the road of rebellion against God. Once a person has walked through the door of willful sin the Bible says that they are slaves to it. Being a slave to something means that you must obey it. The Scriptures also make it very clear that no one seeks God. Okay, so if ‘All Have Sinned’ and ‘No One Seeks God’ how does anyone attain salvation? The answer is “God Seeks Us”.

Scripture: John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

So according to to John 15 who is the one choosing? Us or God? Clearly the answer is God, He’s the one who chooses and the one who appoints.

Main Scripture Text: Luke 10:21-22 ESV .. Jesus Rejoices in the Father’s Will
[21] In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. [22] All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Divine Hiding, Divine Revealing: Have you ever hidden something from someone, like a Christmas gift or something? When you hide something it’s purposeful, you’re doing it for reason. Or maybe you’ve played the game ‘hide-and-seek’ when you were a kid. I remember hiding so well sometimes that I would be there for 40 minutes or longer. Maybe some of you reading this blog right now are hiding sin in your life from someone? You think you’re so good at it because you have never been caught. If that’s you, rest assured your day will come, and it will come soon. No one can hide anything from God, in the end all will be laid open and bare.

Man, if people are able to do such a good job at hiding things from others how do you think God is at it? There are many people in the church who believe that they are just fine in their sin, they believe that it is permissible for them to do whatever they want to, but maybe not beneficial. Perhaps that kind of talk is just a way to remain comfortable in their sin and feel okay about it.

Scripture: Hebrews 10:26-27, 29 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. …….. vs 29. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

Sloppy Grace: The very thing that many people are depending on to save them, ‘Just as They Are’ and ‘Just as They Want to Stay’, is the very thing that will condemn them in the end. Grace was never intended to be some form of ‘Free to be You and Me’ potion, just believe in Jesus and you’re free brother and sister. True grace is our teacher who sanctifies us and empowers us, not something leaves us comfortable in our sin. Be careful that you do not have a counterfeit grace, a cheap knock off that deceives you until the end.

Scripture: Titus 2:12 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age

God is the One who Reveals: Main Text: [22] All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Whether we like it or not, God is totally in control over saving His sheep and we are His vessels simply being used for delivering His message to those whom He chooses. No one can know the Father except if the Son reveals Him to them. I could have just posted the passage below and saved my 2 cents because it really says it all. Yes, God does love the world, but it is totally up to him as to which criminals He saves.

Scripture: John 17 ESV [17:1] When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, [2] since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. [3] And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. [4] I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. [5] And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. [6] “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. [7] Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. [8] For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. [9] I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. [10] All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. [11] And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. [12] While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. [13] But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. [14] I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. [15] I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. [16] They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. [17] Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. [18] As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. [19] And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.  [20] “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, [21] that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. [22] The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, [23] I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. [24] Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. [25] O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. [26] I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Closing Thoughts: I am not claiming to know everything. I really debated even posting this as I wrestled over the wording, but I am reading through LUKE and when you’re reading the Bible you shouldn’t skip stuff just because it’s controversial. I suspect there’s already enough of that going on.

I pray that if you have been deceived by your own ideas of the Gospel that God would open your eyes by His amazing Sovereignty and you would cling tightly to Christ as your only hope. If the Fruit of your life does not exemplify someone who has been saved for ‘Good Works’ and you can’t really see the fruit of the Spirit at work in you, then I urge you to examine yourself to see if you are really in the faith, test yourself. I say this as a person that does not deserve the grace that I’ve been given, nor as one who arrogantly claims sinless perfection. I know full well what I deserve for my sins, and I have been humbled by a POWERFUL and GRACIOUS King, who will relentlessly leave the 99 to go after His one stranded Sheep. If you are that sheep over the edge of a cliff and you now realize what you have gotten yourself into, cry out as loud as you can and as long as you are able, Salvation is on the WAY!

Preparing The Way
~ Shane Martin