By Rob Albright
Many in the world reason this way: "Since God is love (1 John 4:8) and He does not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9), then it naturally follows that all will be saved eternally and no one will be lost."
That thinking has been around for a long, long time and it sure sounds good, but there is one major problem with that thinking. The idea that all will be saved eternally is not true! God's Word is true (John 17:17) and the Bible does not teach all will be saved.
While it is true that God is love and that He does not want anyone to be lost eternally, it is equally true what is stated in the last part of 2 Peter 3:9. God wants all to come to repentance. Not everyone is willing to repent (change).
The gospel is available and is to be preached to the entire world, but not everyone will accept the gospel. Not everyone will come to believe in Jesus, repent of sins, and be baptized into Christ (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 238; Romans 6:3-5) therefor, not all will be saved. When one comes to the point of baptism, their sins are washed away (Acts 22:16) and they begin a new life in the right relationship with Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17-21). The result of being "in Christ" is not to have sin laid to our charge and a host of other spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3)
God certainly wants all to be saved, but the Bible does not teach all will comply with God's will and be saved.
- Rob Albright serves as one of the ministers at the Northwest Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.nwchurchofchrist.com/