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Daily Devotional | No God Like You - A Study of 1 Kings | Dark blue night sky with fire swirl coming down. Daily Devotional | No God Like You - A Study of 1 Kings | Dark blue night sky with fire swirl coming down.

Questions and Answers | Will Everyone Be Saved?

According to 1 Timothy 2:4, "[God] wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." Does this mean that eventually everyone will be saved?

Your question raises important issues about salvation. The short answer is “no”—not all people will be saved. But Scripture gives us helpful context to that answer. First Timothy 2:4 gives us a window into God’s heart and desire. We know that He loves all people and wants to be in a saving relationship with all. The salvation of all people is His infinite desire—it really is. God gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross to make the salvation of every individual possible (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2; 1 Tim. 2:5–6).

The Bible clearly tells us how we can be saved. We must admit that we are sinners and that not one of us can meet God’s perfect standards. Because God is holy and perfect, God must judge sin, and the penalty for sin is eternal separation from God. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). As sinners, we deserve death (Rom. 6:23).

While that sounds dismal, there is great hope. Because He loved us, God provided a substitute for the penalty we deserve. Jesus took the penalty for our sin when He died on the cross (Rom. 5:8). When He rose again, He conquered the grave forever and guaranteed eternal life for those who believe in Him (Eph. 2:8–9).

Despite God’s provision, all people will not be saved because some people reject Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. As a consequence, they will be lost for all eternity (John. 3:18–21, Rom. 1:18; 2 Cor. 4:3–4; 2 Thess. 2:7–12; Rev. 20:11–15). God’s holy and infinite desire for all people to come to Him does not mean that all people will do this in faith and trust.

Human beings are responsible to trust Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior (Rom. 10:5–21). Even though people are fallen, they have dignity as human agents who can respond to the work of the Spirit and trust Christ as their personal Lord and Savior (Acts 2:36–41; 3:11–26; 11:19–21). While a person may choose to reject Christ, what they cannot choose is the punishment for that rejection. God has determined what that consequence will be: eternal separation from God. When we, as finite human beings, say no to God in this life, we will be granted what we chose for all eternity—eternal separation from God. God does not send people to hell. Hell was not prepared for people, but for fallen angels (Matt. 25:41). But if a person rejects the Lord Jesus, that individual will reap the decreed consequences of the choice in the awful experience of eternal separation from God (Rev. 20:11–15). No person will be able to blame God for experience of hell. This is not only a sobering reality but gives us great motivation to share the good news of salvation with our unsaved friends and family.

BY Dr. Winfred O. Neely

Dr. Winfred Neely is Vice President and Dean of Moody Theological Seminary and Graduate School. An ordained minister, Winfred has served churches across the city of Chicago, the near west suburbs, and Senegal, West Africa. He is the author of How to Overcome Worry (Moody Publishers) and a contributor to the Moody Bible Commentary and Moody Handbook of Preaching. Winfred and his wife Stephne have been married for forty years and have four adult children and nine grandchildren.

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