Is God “Trying” to Save All?

by Phillip on June 2, 2012

The following post was put forth by a Calvinist who was pondering the free-will position/claim.  I think he has some valid points!  His name is Mark of Here I Blog:


I was thinking about how some people view God as trying to save people rather than actually saving them. This thought process lead me to think of God being a failure since He tried to save all, but all aren’t saved. Below I put forth some common Evangelical beliefs of people who think God is just trying to save everyone with [only] the potentiality of Christ’s sacrifice actually redeeming.


1. God unequivocally wants all people to be saved. (referring to God’s decretive will not just His revealed will although most may not even think in these terms)

2. God gives each person equal measures of grace that they can cooperate with and be saved or resist and be damned.

3. Every single person has the ability to believe by cooperating with God’s measure of grace He’s given them.

4. God is working within His creation to save all people trying to persuade/convince them to believe.

5. God in His omniscience and omnipotence knows what it would take for each person to believe and can maneuver elements in each persons life to so affect them.

Given the above which seems to me to be a general overview of what most evangelicals believe why doesn’t everyone believe and be saved?

Mark, that is a very, very good question.   It is the question that most Calvinists will ask of Arminians:  If God has provided the sacrifice, the opportunity, the means of salvation for all and in addition He DESIRES for all to be saved then why are not all saved? This is a continual accusation against Arminians by Calvinists.  They astutely see, as J. I. Packer has pointed out in his Introduction to John Owen’s Death of Death in the Death of Christ, that the logical trajectory of Arminianism is universalism!  Packer also notes that to believe that God desires, even wills, something that does not transpire is a maligning of God’s very character.  Quite a serious indictment.

Check out how J. I. Packer not only led an Arminian into Calvinism but later into Evangelical Universalism: 

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