Why Doesn’t God Save Everyone?
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Why Doesn’t God Save Everyone?
Isn’t God all-loving? Doesn’t God have all power and the ability to do all things? If these are true, why doesn’t God save everyone?
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot discuss the topic of universalism. Dr. Philpot explains that universalism is a doctrine that presupposes that God will save everyone that has ever lived. He tells us it has not been a predominant doctrine in church history nor is it orthodox. Yet it seems to keep a foothold in the church throughout church history. Today this seems possible through the mass amount of information we have at our disposal, the proliferation of blogs, podcasts, debates, and even new books written on the subject. The specific question asked this week is, why doesn’t God just have mercy on everyone, why doesn’t He save everyone, whether they choose to believe in Him or not?
Dr. Caldwell tells us the reason people ask such questions, and why this doctrine has kept a foothold in the church, is because what God has actually done is at odds with fallen man’s sense of fairness. While men would not deny that there is a need for judgment and justice, they still cannot comprehend a God who loves, who has all power and ability but does not save all men. This attacks man’s sense of fairness, so doctrines and questions like this, show how it works out in our minds. The answer to this question will most likely not satisfy, but it is the answer nonetheless. God has not saved everyone because He’s chosen not to save everyone. God is merciful, and mercy is mercy, but mercy is not something that is owed.
What Man Actually Deserves
It is something that God offers when, where, and how He chooses. To properly understand these things we must be fully convinced in our minds and hearts of what man actually deserves. Since the fall, all that mankind deserves is God’s wrath. Ephesians 2:3 even tells us that by nature we are children of wrath. So if God had damned the entire human race, He would have done nothing wrong, it would have been absolutely just for every single one of us to spend eternity in hell.
We must be fully convinced of this. God is Holy, He is our Creator and King, He is perfectly right to judge sin and sinners, that’s justice. Our desire is for sin, not holiness, we desire sin which dishonors God, we are sinners by nature and by choice. Therefore, if we only deserve His wrath, why then does He save anyone? The answer is because He is merciful, because of His grace, kindness, and love. No one, not a single soul deserves any of these, for we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Dr. Caldwell tells us that this is the stuff of Romans 9. Here questions are asked and objections raised over the matter of God’s sovereignty, free grace, and mercy. Dr. Caldwell reads through verses 14-18 where it reveals God will be glorified not only in salvation but also through judgment. God’s everlasting degrees are perfectly wise and good. God has not acted arbitrarily, He has done so with perfect wisdom.
In God Alone
His actions are not explained by us, something He saw in us, or something He foreknew about us. The answers to why God has done what He has done are found in God alone. Therefore because He is perfect in all of His ways, we can trust that whatever He does is perfect. God has chosen to save some and not others, this is His prerogative and it is perfectly just. He’s the potter, we’re the clay; the clay does not have the right to say to the potter, why have you made me this way.
Dr. Philpot asks, but isn’t this cruel? Isn’t this a cruel God that would take a lump of clay and form two different kinds of vessels out of it, one for honor and one for dishonor? Dr. Caldwell reminds us it is true, God was working from one lump of clay. However, that one lump was fallen clay, no part of the clay was neutral. The clay in its entirety represents fallen man, already ruined and in dishonor. Yet in God’s marvelous mercy He chooses to form from that fallen humanity some, through salvation, that will be honorable vessels. Others, He forms in keeping with what they are, He leaves them to themselves.
For this reason, when it comes to the preaching of the gospel, the gospel is preached to all men. All men are sincerely offered the opportunity to turn and run to the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. It ought to be a priority and passion, where men are begged and pleaded to come to Christ. Some will come, others will not.
What God Does
Dr. Caldwell helps us to understand what God does in the case of those whom He saves, is that He actually changes our want. God works in our hearts in such a way that we desire what we did not desire before. The use of physical blindness as a metaphor for spiritual blindness is commonplace in the New Testament. This represents our inability to see, perceive, understand, and do what is good, right, and holy in the sight of God. But God gives us sight, He heals our spiritual blindness by shining His light into our hearts and grants us the moral ability to desire Jesus.
So if you want to come to Christ, permission is granted, but if you refuse that offer, it is explained by you, you don’t want Him. It is not as though God is damning people who want to be saved. This is not how salvation is presented in the New Testament.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
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