In 1 Tim 2:4, we read that our savior, “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
And this is not a solitary verse. In 2 Peter 3:9, the Lord reiterates that He “…is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
But if God “desires” all to be saved, are they all saved? If He is not “willing” for any to perish, do they still perish?
Surely, we know the answer to that. Matthew 7:13-14, “…the gate is wide …that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is narrow…that leads to life and there are few who find it,” shows that unfortunately many will reject Christ while a few will accept Him. Unless we want to subscribe to universalism, whereby all go to Heaven, we are left with the outcome that “all will not be saved” and that “many will perish and not come to repentance.”
As a loving Savior, Christ is not happy about this. Read how He weeps in Matt 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!”
The point is that God certainly doesn’t desire our destruction and vehemently laments over man’s rejection and its consequences. Clearly, however, man is responsible for their own refusal as Matthew states “and you would not have it!”
Do we not have the same feeling for those we love; our children, friends, and our family? Do we not want them to make the right decisions in life, to marry a loving Christian, to grow strong as believers? Do they all do that? Unfortunately not always! And we, like Christ, mourn that. We wish it didn’t happen that way, but, it does.
Do these verses destroy the Doctrine of Election? Not at all!
Outside of Christ’s anguish that all are not saved, exists God’s choice of some who will be saved. Christ acknowledges this in John 6:37 and 44 “All that the Father gives Me will come to me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out,” and “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day” God the Father not only “gives” some to His Son, but also “draws” them unto salvation.
Election is the pathway to our greatest gift, for surely we do nothing to deserve it.