So many times people want to know the will of God. Some people think that the will of God is that everyone be saved. They use this verse to make their point:
1 Timothy 2:3-4
Realize that the KJV of the bible uses the word ‘will’ in place of ‘desires’. But let us look at this word in its original. The word in Greek is Thelo ( http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/thelo.html ) and means:
- to will, have in mind, intend
- to be resolved or determined, to purpose
- to desire, to wish
- to love
- to like to do a thing, be fond of doing
- to take delight in, have pleasure
So the thought is that God will do what He wants. This verse is used to show that:
11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will
10Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure
The word translated as “purpose” is `etsah ( http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/nas/etsah-2.html ) in Hebrew. This means:
- counsel, advice, purpose
The word translated as “pleasure” is Chephets( http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/nas/chephets.html ) in Hebrew. This means:
- delight, pleasure
- desire, longing
- the good pleasure
- that in which one takes delight
At first glance, these verses seem to mean that God will work to ensure everyone will be saved. If that was all we had to go on, then we might be correct.
However, one of the most important things that needs to be done when reviewing what the Bible states about any given topic/subject is to take all verses that have to do with the subject and compare them one to another. We start with the idea that the whole Bible is truthful and accurate in what it reports. So then we have to try to understand what the Bible has to say in such as way as to reconcile all the truthful statements made in scripture so they are not contradicting each other but are shown to be true and make one coherent statement. Our understanding has to take all these verses into account, without ignoring any, for our undetstanding to be accurate.
In this case, we have other verses which contrdict the idea that God will work to ensure everyone will be saved.
10 “The gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 “When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever *is given you in that hour ; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit. 12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child ; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved ?” 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith ; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God ; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Some might want to believe that it is the faith OF Christ that saves us. But notice its is the faith of the individuals which saves.
But, we need to look at the meaning of at least some of the words used in the verses in question to ensure we are understanding the message. Lets look again at Ephesians 1:11,
So, what word is translated “purpose?” It is the Greek word, Prothesis ( http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/prothesis.html ). This word means,
- a setting forth of a thing, placing of it in view, the shewbread
- twelve loaves of wheaten bread, corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel, which loaves were offered to God every Sabbath, and separated into two rows, lay for seven days upon a table placed in the sanctuary or front portion of the tabernacle, and afterwards of the temple
- a purpose
So purpose means something which is set forth in anticipation of something.
And what word is translated “counsel?” It is the Greek word, Boule ( http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/boule.html ). This word means,
- counsel, purpose
Elsewhere, this word is translated as “plan.” So then, According to THIS verse, God works all thinks according to his plan to show what is to come.
But what IS God’s will? Take a look at John 6:40,
The Greek word translated as ‘will’ in John 6:40 is Thelema ( http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/thelema.html ), and it means,
- what one wishes or has determined shall be done
- of the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ
- of what God wishes to be done by us
- commands, precepts
- will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure
The ‘will’ spoken of in John 6:40 is a different word for ‘will’ than what was used in 1 Tiomothy 2:4 - this is the one God has predetermined will occur and its what God will work to ensure happens. This word is translated as desire 1 time, desires 1 time, will 57 times. Take a look at the link for Thelema and then look at all the various verses where this word is used. This is the word which indicates something that GOD has predetermined will occur and works to ensure it.
In John 6:40, we see the WILL OF GOD “is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and [He] will raise him up at the last day.” In the same way the Israelites had to look to the snake on the staff that Moses raises up in the desert or they would die by the fiery serpents, mankind must look to Christ who God has raised up on the cross. The people who do THAT will be raised up by Christ at the last day.
But what ELSE is the will of God?
In 1 Thessalonians 4:3a, we see the WILL OF GOD is “your sanctification.”
The word for ‘will’ here is Thelema, and once again, this ‘will’ means “what one wishes or has determined shall be done.” THIS is the ‘WILL’ God has determined HE will WORK to ensure occurs. God’s purpose is that people turn from sin, turn to Him through faith in Christ, and LIVE. He WANTS people to REPENT and LIVE! He WANTS people to be holy.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, we see “in everything give thanks ; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” It is the will of God that you be thankful.
In Hebrews 13:20-21, we see that God’s will is that we be equipped to every good thing in His will.
20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
In 1 Peter 2:15, we see the will of God is that we silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing the right thing.
For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
Realize that is it was for God that we were created. He can do what He wants with us.
Some will say its not fair if God were not to save everyone.
3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something on the wheel. 4 But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter ; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. 5 Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, 6 “Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. 7 “At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; 8 if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. 9 “Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; 10 if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will hink better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.
But it is perhaps most clear in Romans 9:15-33 that some people were created soley so God could show His power through them. Others were prepared for destruction. “He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.” “Does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?” “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?” Righteoussness is by FAITH, not by action.
15 For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault ? For who resists His will ?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God ? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use ? 22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction ? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 25 As He says also in Hosea, “I WILL CALL THOSE WHO WERE NOT MY PEOPLE, ‘MY PEOPLE,’ AND HER WHO WAS NOT BELOVED, ‘BELOVED.’ “ 26 “AND IT SHALL BE THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID TO THEM, ‘YOU ARE NOT MY PEOPLE,’ THERE THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF THE LIVING GOD.” 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED ; 28 FOR THE LORD WILL EXECUTE HIS WORD ON THE EARTH, THOROUGHLY AND QUICKLY.” 29 And just as Isaiah foretold, “UNLESS THE LORD OF SABAOTH HAD LEFT TO US A POSTERITY, WE WOULD HAVE BECOME LIKE SODOM, AND WOULD HAVE RESEMBLED GOMORRAH.” 30 What shall we say then ? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith ; 31 but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32 Why ? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 just as it is written, “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”
God’s DESIRE for people who trust and love Him is stronger than His desire for all men to be saved. If God merely wanted automatons, He would have never had to allow man to sin nor to send His Son to suffer and die to pay the price of our sins. But God works to ensure, “that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and [He] will raise him up at the last day.” God works to ensure that believers in Christ are holy. God works to ensure that believers in Christ are thankful – recognizing the place GOD has in our lives.
While some might still want to say that since God wants all men to be saved, then He must work to ensure that happens, we have to realize that God does not love sin nor the one who does certain sins. It is NOT His pleasure that people who do certain things go to be with Him. Let us look at this.
9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God.
15To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
To see more of the things and people God hates, see http://wbmoore.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/does-god-hate-people/ .
God does not want to be with people who are not righteous, we see what Christ will say at the day of Judgment. in Matthew 7:20-23
20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles ?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
So no. It is neither God’s pleasure, nor God’s will to see all men saved. He WANTS people to choose to trust Him by putting their faith in the saving work of God. From our perspective, He allows us our choice. From the human perspective, people are not forced. Yet at the same time, scripture is clear that while there is a general call for eveyone to believe, Christ, who is the author of our salvation, only authors faith in some people.
Romans 9:18-24 tells us that GOD gets to make some people to be destroyed so that those God prepared beforehand for glory will recognize His glory.
“Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
22 What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory“
No, The WILL of God is, “that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and [He] will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40), and “your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3a).