Does God Really Desire All to Be Saved? – Desiring God


Does God Really Desire All to Be Saved? – Desiring God.

My comment: If God really desires that all humans would be saved, then all humans will be saved. No, that often ripped-out-of-context passage in 2 Peter 3:9 doesn’t refer to unbelievers at all. In fact, the “all” in that passage refers back to the “you” in that passage. So, Tony Reinke, you are wrong for saying that the 2 Peter passage makes it clear God desires all people to be saved; or, for that matter, 1 Timothy 2:4, Matthew 23:37 (which only refers to Jerusalem and, by extension, Israel, and has nothing whatsoever to do with salvation) and Ezekiel 18:23 (where “die” doesn’t refer to eternal death, but to physical death). God doesn’t have two wills. He has only one will and He said in Isaiah 46:8-11 that He WILL accomplish ALL His purpose – to say that it’s God’s will, God’s desire, for everyone to be saved, and then to say that not everyone is going to be saved, is to say that God’s will can be thwarted and, therefore, that He is not God. Since it’s clear that not all will be saved, and that God will accomplish ALL His purpose, “all” in passages like 1 Timothy 2:4 or “any” in Ezekiel 18:23 can only refer to all sorts of people – as in Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, slave and free, male and female.

I agree with John Gill, who commented on 1 Timothy 2:4 in his Exposition of the Entire Bible, “by all men, whom God would have saved, cannot be meant every individual of mankind, since it is not his will that all men, in this large sense, should be saved, unless there are two contrary wills in God; for there are some who were before ordained by him unto condemnation, and are vessels of wrath fitted for destruction; and it is his will concerning some, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned; nor is it fact that all are saved, as they would be, if it was his will they should; for who hath resisted his will? but there is a world of ungodly men that will be condemned, and who will go into everlasting punishment: rather therefore all sorts of men, agreeably to the use of the phrase in 1 Timothy 2:1 are here intended, kings and peasants, rich and poor, bond and free, male and female, young and old, greater and lesser sinners; and therefore all are to be prayed for, even all sorts of men, because God will have all men, or all sorts of men, saved; and particularly the Gentiles may be designed, who are sometimes called the world, the whole world, and every creature; whom God would have saved, as well as the Jews, and therefore Heathens, and Heathen magistrates, were to be prayed for as well as Jewish ones.”