The idea of Salvation must be one of the most talked about concepts in the Bible and has sparked debates and questions amongst believers. Many Christians uphold the belief that God desires all men to be saved applies to every person, both the virtuous and the wicked. However, this idea might not sit well with those who harbor hate and bitterness toward those who have wronged them and might find it unfair.
As the loving Father and sovereign Preserver of all things, it is not far-fetched for this world’s one God to truly want all His children to be restored and saved. 1 Timothy 2:3–4 declares, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Nevertheless, the question of God’s desire for all people to be saved remains.
Does God Desire All Men To Be Saved?
Absolutely! God’s desire to save all men is evident through various passages in the Scriptures and is not limited to God’s elect. The Lord never lies and does not contradict His words. Our God’s character, virtues, purposes, promises, and gifts are immutable. Thus, His desire to save humankind from sin persists to this very day.
In one passage of the Pastoral epistles in 2 Timothy, Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the young pastor in Ephesus with instructions on how to lead the Church in prayer. Paul instructed Timothy to pray on behalf of all men. Such prayer pleases God as He wants all people to be saved.
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1–4, NKJV).
Paul also instructed Timothy to gently approach those who oppose the Gospel: “Correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth” ( 2 Timothy 2:25). Even those who misbehave are given a chance to repent and to know God’s truth so that they may be saved.
What Does The Bible Say About God Desiring All Men To Be Saved?
The Scripture is clear about the desire of our living God to preserve human life. He sincerely desires that all mankind be saved and come to know the truth. God sent His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus, to fulfill all that the Old Testament foretold so that we can be redeemed from our sins because He doesn’t want us to perish.
- Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 33:11).
- For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live (Ezekiel 18:32).
- The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
God’s Holy Servant and our Savior, Christ Jesus, serves as a mediator between God and humankind after He died on the cross. Paul also wrote in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” While the Holy Spirit that He bestowed upon us gives us comfort and guidance so that we may live by God’s will and attain salvation.
- “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9–10).
- “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8–10).
- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3).
- “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
If God Desires All Men To Be Saved, Why Aren’t They?
God gave us free will. He allowed us to choose how we spend our lives here on earth. God desires us to be saved, but we have to accept the Gospel and live by it. He is constantly knocking and offering us the opportunity, but it is up to us to receive His gift. Hence, not all of us will be spared.
Sins deserve punishments, and we sinners will be judged according to our hearts and deeds and will be condemned if not justified by faith in Jesus. God doesn’t wish anyone to perish, but those who reject Him will be thrown into eternal fire.
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36)
The biblical truths of predestination and election do not absolve man of moral duty. You must have heard the statement in Matthew 22:14, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” This implies that even though God chooses and calls on people to repent, humans are still responsible for responding and being prepared to accept His offer of forgiveness.
- “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
- “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling” (Matthew 23:37).
What Does “God Desires All Men To Be Saved” Teach About God’s Character?
It teaches us that the Almighty has a steadfast and unconditional love for humanity. John 3:16 is a well-known demonstration of God’s love: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” He not only said that He loves
God does not discriminate and also uses the undeserving to carry out His ministry. Apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy 1:15–16, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”
It is true that the Heavenly Father desires us to be saved. He has everlasting kindness, compassion, and love for us. However, we shouldn’t take this for granted, as we are still His moral creatures. We must observe His law and remain faithful to our Father through Christ.
Romans 8:28 gives us hope that we can trust He is working for our good: “For those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Though He may allow some unfortunate things to happen, remember that it is all for His purpose. We shall be saved if we continue to walk with Christ, and to God be the glory forever.