1 Timothy 2:4-6 tells us that, “(God) will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”  The word ‘will’ cannot be taken here in the absolute sense, signifying a decree like that which he ‘willed’ the creation of the world, for then it would certainly be done.   But the wording of this verse implies the possibility of every person accepting God’s free gift of salvation or rejecting it.  The thought is that the Lord’s desire is to save everyone, but He has not decreed it. 

Let’s consider the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 23:37, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and YE WOULD NOT!”  It was certainly the Lord’s will (desire) that Jerusalem would be saved, but they refused His offer of salvation.

We just read that the Lord Jesus “gave Himself a ransom for all…”  This shows us that provision has been made for all men.  There is no one who can declare that salvation has not been made available to him.  We read of the Lord Jesus in 1 John 2:2, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”  Propitiation literally means ‘atoning sacrifice.’  This means that the work of the Lord Jesus on the cross is sufficient enough to save everyone ever born.  Does that mean that all will be saved?  Not at all.  Romans 3:23-26 makes it very clear.  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation THROUGH FAITH IN HIS BLOOD, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him WHICH BELIEVETH IN JESUS.”  One has to put his faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  If we do that, then all our sins are paid for and we have eternal life. 

Let us consider one verse that shows the will of God as His perfect and unchangeable decree.  We read in Isaiah 53:10, “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.” (NIV).  The Lord absolutely decreed to punish His own dear Son, making His life an offering for sin.  Romans 8:32 tells us that God, “spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all…”  God punished His Son harshly as He hung on the cross of Calvary.  Titus 2:14 says that, “(Jesus) gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

The Lord’s desire is that you repent of your sins and put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  As Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”  Yet, the Lord will not force salvation upon anyone.  There are those who “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10).  There are those who have said of the Lord Jesus, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” (Luke 19:14).  Consider carefully the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”  If you come to the Lord Jesus for salvation, HE WILL SAVE YOU.  (471.4)