More objections answered to: Is it God's will that all people be saved?

The objections are listed in primary numbers and my responses are under them. I will add more as more are stated.

  1. We agree that God says that He will do *all* that He desires. We also agree that in scripture men do things that God does not desire them to do - sin. So are there two desires of God - one decretive and one permissive? And which type is 1 Tim. 2:4?
    1. I would say that it is neither. Rather, God is stating a desire that people be saved, but not decreeing that they are. If He did decree that all would be saved, then all would be saved. But since God elects people (Matt. 24:24,31; Mark 13:20; Rom. 8:33), predestines them (Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 1:1-11), appoints them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), and grants that they believe (Phil. 1:29), if 1 Tim. 2:4 were decretive, then He would have to predestine all, elect all, choose all, and grant that all believe which is something not stated in scripture. On the contrary, we have statements in scripture like:
      1. "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day," (John 6:39). Are all given to Jesus by the Father? No. "I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine," (John 17:9).
      2. "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. 14"For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it," (Matt. 7:13-14).
      3. "For many are called, but few are chosen," (Matt. 22:14).
      4. "And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem. 23And someone said to Him, "Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?" And He said to them, 24"Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25"Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ 26"Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; 27and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers,'" (Luke 13:22-27).
      5. "And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved; 28for the Lord will execute His word upon the earth, thoroughly and quickly," (Rom. 9:27).
    2. We see no scriptures where God predestines all, elects all, grants that all believe.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.