1 Timothy 2:4, “…who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
What would you say if I told you there are actually some Christians who believe God doesn’t love the whole world? They believe He only loves the elect; the ones He chooses and doesn’t really want all people to be saved. If you believed this, how would your views concerning God’s holy and merciful character change? I know I could not see God in the same light if this false belief was true.
His perfect and merciful nature would be overshadowed by a “Hitler-like” love that only shows kindness to one kind of people (i.e., Arians), but total destruction and hate to another people (i.e., Jews), based simply on His own so-called “sovereign choice.” This kind of love would be even worse, because men’s eternal souls would suffer without ever having a chance at salvation. These people would have been born just to be damned forever, in hell, by God’s eternal decree. In other words, the non-elect would be “doomed from the womb.”
Believe it or not, the theological belief system of “Calvinism,” founded by John Calvin in the 1500’s, actually teaches that God chose some people for salvation and others for eternal damnation. Both, the saved, and the damned were chosen or rejected totally by God’s own desires. John Wesley said, in regard to Calvinism, “Such blasphemy… it destroys all [God’s] attributes at once: It overturns both his justice, mercy, and truth; yea, it represents the most holy God as worse than the devil, as both more false, more cruel and more unjust.”
Praise God that Paul taught, in 1 Timothy 2:3-4, the direct opposite of this false teaching.
It should give all Christians comfort to know that God promises, to every person, a true desire for his or her salvation. When you pray for a lost soul, you don’t have to wonder if God has already predetermined their damnation, but rather you can have total confidence that no matter who they are- God desires their salvation and has made it possible for them to be saved.
Paul also went on to declare, in 1 Timothy 4:10, “We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.” The belief system of Calvinism is false and the Bible, which affirms God’s character, is true. As a result, let God be true and every man a liar! In Paul’s writings, God gives a glimpse of His heart and universal call of salvation. Jesus is the Savior who made salvation possible for the entire world; and, He promises to save everyone who believes and confesses Him as Lord.
We should fervently pray for all people to be saved through Christ-centered preaching and preach with all our might so that everyone has the chance of receiving salvation!
Do you believe God wants all people to be saved?
- Study the Word of God to learn how to refute Calvinism and affirm God’s unlimited atonement and universal call of salvation. Start with reading John Wesley’s sermon, Free Grace (free online).
- Pray for the people in your life who are not saved and ask God to use you to preach the gospel to them.
- Be a witness for Jesus, in both word and deed, wherever you go because God wants all people to be saved!