If God is not willing that any should perish, if God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, if God calls all men to repent and believe the gospel, and if God desires all men to be saved, then how come only a few are saved?


Aslan in the movie is ransomed to Satan rather than God but the question remains if God is not willing that any should perish, if God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, if God calls all men to repent and believe the gospel, and if God desires all men to be saved, then how come only a few are saved?

Ever read or watched The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Did you pick up the key difference between Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and Aslan’s execution? Click to enlarge.

A while back, on a Friday, at the end of a working week, a colleague turned to me and asked, “Why wouldn’t God, if He could, out of love, save everyone?” In my head I was thinking, “Guess this means I won’t be joining the rest of the bunch for a beer then.”

I mean why not though? He loves everyone doesn’t He (John 3:16)? He doesn’t desire anyone to perish does He (2 Peter 3:9)? So what’s with the eternal punishment deal (Revelation 20:10)?

Well if I believed in universalism I’d believe that all would ultimately be saved. Happy days. If I was a Hyper-Calvinist it would bother me because I’d not think that God cared in first the place. But I’m something else, so I guess this is a question that I need to answer for myself.

This is the deductive answer: God made man. He made man perfect. All men chose to sin. Sin is punishable. Sin is punishable by death. Therefore all men are justly punishable. Because of sin man cannot reconcile to God. Man doesn’t want to anyway. God has a plan. The plan is Jesus. Jesus died to appease God’s wrath for man’s sin. Jesus died while the sinners were still sinning. The sinners didn’t deserve it. Jesus died to show God’s love. Because the sinners, of themselves, wouldn’t choose God, God chooses them. Therefore salvation is a work of God. Salvation is a demonstration of His glory. Therefore God reconciles some men to Himself to His glory.

God is not willing that any should perish. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. God calls all men to repent and believe the gospel. God desires all men to be saved. Those that are saved are saved to His glory. Romans 5:8 – 10 says:

8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath {of God} through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Um, there were about 12 15 18 more questions in that last paragraph. Ha. We carried on talking for about 4 hours. Eventually I had to call my wife and tell her I’d be late.

Colors to the mast and all that. Tear it apart.

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9 thoughts on “If God is not willing that any should perish, if God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, if God calls all men to repent and believe the gospel, and if God desires all men to be saved, then how come only a few are saved?

    • Hi Merry Helper,

      Ta on the gg. I was online from 21:30 – 23:33 last night playing. I was really excited when I breached the 1300 mark.

      Was the “Love it” for the chess or the posting?

      In Christ,

      Mark

  1. Dept. of Nitpicking phoning in, Mark.

    If man was made “perfect,” where did his capacity to sin come in through some “imperfection,” or did his being “perfect” include that capacity?

    “God is not willing that any should perish.” Yeah, that’s the third of four phrases in 2 Peter 3:9, but what do the first two phrases say? The “God is not willing…” phrase is referring to the people in the first two phrases and they are the “you” that peter has been writing to throughout the letter and continues to address in v. 11 and onward. Or am I wrong?

    Mr. Bama beat me to the punch with the Baucham video. Funny how nobody ever asks the Baucham question – they always ask the question you received. It’s as if God owes us something – a spiritual mulligan, as it were. Sproul has a great video on this issue of God perhaps not being gracious enough in providing one way of salvation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxX3kEJT88g

    • Hi there,

      Go ahead and nitpick. That’s why I wrote it. You remain my favorite 5 pointer and anything above 3 is known to take doctrine very seriously ;).

      Man was created in untested perfection. When God made us we were good.

      I’ve reread it 3 times. You might be right. I’ve studied the language of verse 6 in the past. I’ll go back and spend some time on the rest.

      I’m from Africa. I really struggle not having broadband. I have a 1 Gig cap per month. I’m currently forking out more than I can afford on internet access. My wife is one step away of banning me from blogging. Do you have any clue if I can get transcripts for these video’s?

    • Hi there,

      Wow. That’s generous of you. I’d really appreciate it.

      In addition to these two files I’d like to know your answer to these two questions: “Who do you consider to be the three best expository preachers of our day?” (I presume John MacArthur is one of them) and “Who do you consider to be the best topical preacher/s of our day?” (I presume Paul Washer and Spurgeon (yes I apply a loose definition of “of our day”) might be in this category). Would you have any of this backed up?

      Thing is I’ve listened to one MacArthur sermon “Why Every Self-Respecting Calvinist Is a Premillennialist” which was amongst the best sermons I’ve ever heard and I’ve read a few more other than that I’ve never listened to anyone else. I’m sure that there’s something wrong with this picture and I’d like to correct it. I know we share a lot of doctrinal positions so I’d trust what you sent across (besides I enjoy practicing discernment).

      In Christ,

      Mark

      If anyone gets this far through the comments go and check out The Lighthearted Calvinist.

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