Tag Archive | perish

”For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law”, Rom 2:12

works of the lawPeople can perform righteousness without having heard about the Bible content

The common question about the inhabitants in the jungle ”What about those who live in the jungle and who have never heard about the gospel?”

People are certainly not doomed due to the unfortunate circumstances of having been born in the jungle with no chance to hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Romans 2 tells us:

Rom. 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;

1 Tim. 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a PURE HEART, and of a GOOD CONSCIENCE, and of faith unfeigned: 

Apparently people are able to naturally do the things contained in the law even though they do not have it written down for them. In this case it does not mean all the 613 Jewish laws containing many ceremonial aspects, but it does mean the law of love, or the law of God that has existed ever since the days of Adam and Eve. It has always been against nature to murder, steal, lie and commit adultery. On the question (from a young man) what one must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus did not say ”Just believe in me”, but he said:

Mark. 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

Other versions of the same story:

Matt. 19:17 — if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 

Luke 10:26 — What is written in the law? how readest thou?27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

If you love God with all your heart, soul and strength and your neighbor as yourself, then you automatically also follow the other detailed commandments, to not murder, steal, lie, commit adultery and dishonor your parents. Adam and Eve were not only expected to not eat of the tree of knowledge, but both prior to their sin and afterwards they were expected to stand with their Creator and by doing so obey the basic commandments. The promise for us today is ”Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). If we truly walk with God, we automatically obey his commandments. If we truly love God, we naturally obey him.

Also the people in the jungle know that there is a Creator (his divine attributes can clearly be seen in nature) and that it is wrong to treat others in a way that we would not like to be treated ourselves. To take another person’s life, or to steal, lie and cause someone to be jealous and sad, are things that our conscience will tell us are wrong. It is true that we can learn to make our conscience more flexible with time, but this does not change the fact that we are deviating from the law of love. Our upbringing, traditions and culture can affect our understanding and reasoning, but in the end we have all been given a conscience and God will judge us based on our thoughts and actions.

Rom. 1:18-32 makes it very clear that we have no excuse if we do not seek our Creator and do good:

Rom. 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  —28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Romans 2 and sinning without the lawfree will 2

It says in Rom. 2:1-3 that God will pay attention to how we judge others, and he will judge us accordingly – and most of all righteously. God can see the whole truth about our hearts. v. 5-8 continues to explain how God will judge us. If we want to escape his wrath on the day judgment (or the day of wrath), we must obey the truth and patiently do good. If we harden our hearts and do not obey the truth, we will be in big trouble unless we repent. This is about a spiritual life or death:

Rom. 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. Who will render to every man according to his deeds:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, ETERNAL LIFE:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and WRATH

Paul continues to explain that it is actually the doers of the law who will be justified. Also gentiles can ”do” the law (without having the law) and this includes also people in the jungle:

Rom. 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

The NKJV renders v. 15: ”who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)”. 

Paul made a clear distinction between the Jewish law and the law of love (which has always been in force):

1 Cor. 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, BUT KEEPING OF THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD.

Rom. 2 ends with Paul explaining to the Jews (who are the ones in focus in his letter since they are confused about the law) that gentiles can indeed fulfill the law – people who might not be circumcised but who do what the law says. It is the heart that counts (the inside) and not an outwardly circumcision.

Rom. 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Jesus said (of course without suggesting that circumcision is a sin):

Matt. 23:25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

So do we not need Jesus since we could be saved without him? Yes of course we do. There is no forgiveness without the blood, and Jesus shed his blood for us as a final sacrifice once and for all (more in Hebrews). We have no authority to forgive ourselves for our own sins. The gospel about Jesus Christ urges people to repent from their sin and live in the light. People need to hear about Jesus and what he did for humanity. They need to understand the love that God has for us. Jesus is the living bread!

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Naturally we cannot believe in Jesus Christ if we have not heard about him:

Rom. 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

The law was the Jews’ schoolmaster to bring them to Christ, and when Christ came this detailed schoolmaster was no longer needed. Now our guide is rather the holy Spirit.

Gal. 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.—23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Rom. 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Ja. 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well

1 mos. 3Being saved prior to Jesus, in the Old Testament

People who lived prior to Jesus Christ made an entrance to earth as God in flesh could of course be saved without having heard about him. Naturally the people of Israel had heard about God their Creator, but Paul’s explanation in Romans 1-2 applies both for them and for the gentiles. Moreover, people who lived prior to Moses could of course be saved as well without having heard about the son of God. They too had laws to obey, despite the absence of commandments written on stone tablets. God said early about sin:

Gen. 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, SIN lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and THOU SHALT RULE OVER HIM.

In Ezekiel we can find a good explanation how we can be saved. By believing in God and do good (just like in the New Testament):

Ez. 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: THE SOUL THAT SINNETH, IT SHALL DIE.5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, 8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man,9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, HE SHALL SURELY LIVE, saith the Lord God.13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.17 That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

You can see the same story in Ez. 33.

Jesus sheep: I give them eternal life and they shall never perish? – John 10:28

sheepJohn 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Much have been made of John 10:28-29, but verse 27 is not as popular and not always included when people try to make a point out of these verses. That is probably because the CONDITIONS for being a sheep are listed in. v. 27, and if you’re out to prove unconditional eternal security, then you’re out of luck. Verse 27 is the verse that identifies Jesus’ sheep, and we can read that they are the ones who listen to him and follow him. Furthermore, no MAN is able to ”pluck you out from his  hands”, and ”pluck out” would be something that someone other than yourself might do to you. You don’t ”pluck yourself” out from someone’s hands, but you can certainly leave Jesus if you really want to since he doesn’t force anyone to either come to him or remain with him.

God could force every single one of us to follow him, but he has chosen to give us free will and being responsible for our own actions. So if we are not his sheep, it’s our own fault and nothing that can be blamed on God. We can further read below in the same chapter that Jesus EXPECTS people to believe in him due to the works that he has done, but the fact is that people still refuse to. If we refuse to come to Jesus and obey him, we are not his sheep but we are actually the devil’s goats. People who are goats wouldn’t want to have anything to do with Jesus, and it’s a bad idea to seek to be a goat. So the context is:

John 10:25Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27My sheep HEAR my voice, and I know them, and they FOLLOW me: 28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any MAN pluck them out of my hand. 29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no MAN is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

A few verses later Jesus says ”believe the works: that ye may know, and believe”, and yet some choose to disobey him. Most people in this world refuse to seek Jesus and believe in him, and that means they don’t qualify to be Jesus sheep. Jesus sheep are, again, those who listen to him and follow him.

John 10:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38But if I do, though ye believe not me, BELIEVE THE WORKS: THAT YE MAY KNOW, AND BELIEVE, that the Father is in me, and I in him. 

We can’t sneak into the Kingdom of God but we must go through the door which is Jesus, and Jesus has shown that he is the true shepherd. The gate is narrow, but we can pass through if we let the Holy Spirit guide us, and Jesus says ”if any man enter in, he shall be saved”. We must come to Jesus and remain with him, and if we do and endure to the end, we are saved for eternity! In this life our task is to follow and obey the true shepherd, because the wonderful promises are tied to those who do. We should make absolutely sure to belong to the body of Christ, because the body of Christ IS going to heaven and that is certain. Here is the start of the chapter:

John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and THE SHEEP FOLLOW HIM: for they know his voice. 5And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. — 7Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9I am the door: by me IF ANY MAN ENTER IN, HE SHALL BE SAVED, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

It does say that Jesus gave his life for the sheep, and that is true because his sheep are part of the world for whom Jesus died. We can also read that Jesus gave his life for PAUL, and also Paul is part of the world for whom Jesus died.

Gal. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved ME, and GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.

But doesn’t it say that Jesus gives his sheep eternal life? Doesn’t eternal mean eternal? Yes, of course it does, but ”an eternal present” is still eternal even if it’s neglected or thrown away. God’s eternal kingdom is eternal whether we enter it or not, and it would be very strange if the wonderful promise to Jesus followers would only be ”temporary life”. We are not offered salvation because we have earned it, but there are still conditions for salvation. A gift is free and it’s nothing that you pay for or earn, BUT it’s still 100% free even if you have a few conditions involved. If you give someone a present that he doesn’t even accept, it’s still a free gift. It’s also a free gift if he must first go to the post office to receive it, and it’s still free even if he throws it away. If you tell your son that he is going to get a new car when he graduates from school, including free gas for as long as he live and all insurance paid, it’s also considered a free gift. But isn’t the requirement that he first graduates from school? Yes, but he doesn’t pay a dime for the car and he doesn’t earn it. Nothing says that a person who graduates from school can expect a car, and no student has the right to ask ”I’ve just graduated, so where is my car which I earned and which I expect to get?” No, someone offered this car as a gift, despite that he didn’t have to make such an offer in the first place. It’s also possible that the son takes the car and doesn’t take care of it or even neglects it. Note the conditions for getting eternal life:

John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

Hebr. 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY HIM 

What happens if a christian does not obey all this? Still saved? Read more about Jesus sheep in this article.

The pharisees REJECTED the counsel of God, and God’s will can be thwarted (Luke 7:30)

eggGod doesn’t want anyone to perish, but people DO perish

God certainly doesn’t want anyone to perish, but things don’t always turn out the way God wants. God COULD of course force every single person to repent and get life in abundance but he preferred to create us as human beings in his own image (he actually said ”our” image referring to the trinity) and with a free will which means that we have a personal responsibility for our own actions.

Ez. 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

Ez. 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

2 Peter 3:The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Deuteronomy 8:20 As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; BECAUSE ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.

We can REJECT the will of God

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

The pharisees and the layers REJECTED the counsel of God according to Luke.

Luke 7:29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the COUNSEL of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. (KJV)

Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. (NKJV)

As you can see NKJV translate the same word with THE WILL of God, and also the KJV translators chose to translate the Greek original word with ”the will” in the below verse:

Acts. 13:36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: (KJV)

”Counsel” and ”will” are here translated from the Greek word boulén as in boulé  (Strongs 1012) from boulomai, and it means counsel, decree, plan, motives, decision and/or purpose.

Below are the cases where this word is used in the KJV, starting with Acts. 20:27–31. Paul warns his disciples, the elders of the church in Ephesus who were naturally christians, that they must TAKE HEED unto themselves and to all the church which God had purchased with his blood. Acts 20:27–31 gives us the following information:

  1. Individuals (the church or the body of Christ consists of individuals) can be lost despite being purchased with the blood of Jesus.
  2. Despite that certain christians have been made overseers of a church by the Holy Ghost (who always leads us on the right path) there is still a risk that the individuals in the church will be lost, indicating that people don’t always adhere to the Holy Spirit.
  3. Grievous wolves shall enter the body of Christ also from among themselves, with the aim to draw away disciples from the true church of God to themselves. This shows that some christians will at one point leave the sound teachings in the church and instead start to speak perverted things and deceive others who might also leave the true church. This is a lot more than a mere risk since Paul says that he KNOWS that this will happen, likely because he knows how man’s heart works.
  4. False preachers who speak perverted things can apparently make christian believe in these twisted claims and some of them will become disciples of these false preachers and hence lose their salvation. The flock shall not be spared even though it was a true flock of God.
  5. By taking heed and be careful we can affect the future and reduce the harm.
  6. If people were chosen for salvation and damnation before the beginning of the world, Paul would be wasting his time by  warning every one for night and day with tears – for three years! Paul should have known that no warnings or tears in the world can change God’s decrees which he made before he even created us, if such decrees were made. If God predestined certain people to be saved and others to be lost, then Paul has no business crying over those who God has chosen to damn, and those who are predestined to be saved will be saved regardless of Paul’s intense efforts. So Paul would actually be guilty of trying to thwart God’s plans by his constant warnings, pleadings and crying for people who already have their future written in stone. This speaks heavily against the reformed type of thinking.
  7. We can affect the future with our prayers.

Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Jesus showed himself to Paul and selected him to be doing his work by spreading the gospel (which Paul accepted), so would Jesus want people to listen to Paul? Yes, of course.  Yes, here is one example among many that a certain centurion did not listen to Paul’s advice, even if what Paul said didn’t concern the gospel but their own physical safety.

Acts 27:11 Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.12 And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.—42 And the soldiers’ counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.43 But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land:

Here is the famous Ephesian 1:11. (See more here.) Paul is writing to the saints in Ephesus, and as saints they of course were IN JESUS and wonderful promises were tied to them since they had obtained an inheritance by choosing to be God’s children. The counsel of God’s own will might here concern his will that those who are in Jesus (naturally by their own choice) and endure to the end shall be adopted as children and inherit his kingdom. The conditions are that we believe, trust in Jesus and remain as saints. If 100% of all things under the sun always happen according to God’s will, then of course every murder, abortion, rape and divorce must also be according to God’s will, and every time people rebel against him. Clearly that is nothing but absurd, and Satan would simply be acting as God’s right arm.

Eph. 1:1 1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:—11 In 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:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.—18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power

Only God is good, but here is an example of another ”good” man (the same word) and that is Joseph. He can’t compare himself with the Creator, but he was still good and just:

Luke 23:50 And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:51 (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.

Jesus was delivered by the counsel and foreknowledge of God. God the Father did not force anyone to betray or kill Jesus, but he knew someone would, and his death was also predestined to happen. There are numerous ways in which Jesus could die for us so Judas betrayal was not necessary at all, but he was first in line. Those hands who crucified Jesus were WICKED, which means that God certainly didn’t approve of what they did, and let’s not forget that it was Satan who entered Judas when Judas rose up to betray Jesus. God allowed it to happen of course, but he didn’t predestine Juda’s betrayal.

Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

What God determined before to be done was to offer up his son to die for us, and we can also read that Jesus actually gave up his own life and that no one took it from him. He did not determine that Judas must betray him. Read more about Judas severe sin here.

Acts 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

If Jesus is the son of God and the many miracles he performed too, then it would be unwise to try to fight it back, which was the advice of  Gamaliel. A Messiah is a Messiah no matter what we do.

Acts. 5:37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:

And a couple of more examples with boulé

1 Corinthians 4:Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

Hebr. 6:17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us

We are being wise if we do the things the Lord says we should do.

Luke: 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Repentance is a condition for salvation

EXCEPT YE REPENT ye shall all likewise PERISH (Luke 13:3)

”Repent” is a translation from the Greek word metanoeó (Strong’s 3340) and means to repent, to change one’s mind or to change the inner man. From metá and noiéo.

Repenting doesn’t mean just saying ”I’m sorry” or ”I’m sorry that I got caught”, or something that we do on a daily basis. Repenting means to raise a white flag and making a decision to make the utmost to not repeat the sins again. It doesn’t mean we need to sign a legal document where we take an oath to never sin ever again as long as we live, but the aim should be to avoid sinning. If we sin, repent, sin, repent, sin, repent, it shows that we have not truly repented in the first place.

Repentance is a CONDITION for being cleansed from our sins and thus saved, so it’s important that the churches preach repentance and not only ”God loves you as you are”, or else they have missed to inform the hearers about something that is essential for our salvation . We really deserve to be punished for transgressing the law, but God is willing to pardon us, albeit not unconditionally. In order to be cleansed from our sins we must first confess our sins and repent. Not until then can we be cleansed in the blood of Jesus, and that is through the grace of God and through his mercy towards us. God would never lie and suggest that we are cleansed and forgiven if we still live in sin. Sins make us filthy and always separate us from God who is holy. Repentance always comes before cleansing and forgiveness, and not the other way around. John says that IF we sin (not WHEN we sin) we have an advocate with the Father:

John 2:1My little children, these things write I unto you, THAT YE SIN NOT. And IF any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous 

Both John the Baptist and Jesus Christ started out preaching about REPENTANCE

Matthew 31In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.— 6And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say ”Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”

Repentance means that our PAST sins are forgiven, and obviously not our present and/or future sins

2 Pet 1:9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been CLEANSED FROM HIS PAST SINS. 

Romans 3:24, 25 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.

2 Cor 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance LEADING TO salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

1 John 1:9 IF we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy

Mat 6:14,15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. 

2 Chron. 15:2 The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.

Luke 9:23-26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels

Mat 10:33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.–Mat 26:69-75Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

Mat 18:32-35 Then the master called the servant in. You wicked servant, he said, I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. —This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart. 

Other verses about repentance

Matthew 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done because they repented not. 21 Woe unto thee Chorazin woe unto thee Bethsaida for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes (+ Luke 10:13)

Matthew 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgement with this generation and shall condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonas and behold a greater than Jonas is here (+ Luke 11:32)

Mark 1:15 And saying The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand repent ye and believe the gospel

Mark 6:12 And they went out and preached that men should repent

Luke 13:3 + 5 I tell you Nay but EXCEPT YE REPENT ye shall all likewise PERISH

Luke 15:7 I say unto you that ”likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance”—10 Likewise I say unto you there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth

Luke 16:30 And he said Nay father Abraham but if one went unto them from the dead they will repent

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves If thy brother trespass against thee rebuke him and if he repent forgive him 4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day and seven times in a day turn again to thee saying I repent thou shalt forgive him

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore and be converted THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord

Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness and pray God if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at but now COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERY WHERE to repent

Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus and at Jerusalem and throughout all the coasts of Judaea and then to the Gentiles that they should REPENT AND TURN TO GOD AND DO WORKS meet for repentance

2 Cor. 12:21 And lest when I come again my God will humble me among you and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed

Rev. 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen and repent and do the first WORKS or else I will come unto thee quickly and will REMOVE thy candlestick out of his place except thou repent

Rev. 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication and she repented not. 22 Behold I will cast her into a bed and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation except they repent of their DEEDS

Rev. 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard and hold fast and REPENT. If therefore thou shalt not watch I will come on thee as a thief and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee

Rev 3:19 As many as __ I love I rebuke and chasten be zealous therefore and repent

Rev. 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet REPENTED NOT of the works of their hands that they should not worship devils and idols of gold and silverand brass and stone and of wood which neither can see nor hear nor walk. 21 Neither REPENTED THEY of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their fornication nor of their thefts

Rev. 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. 10And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, 11And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their DEEDS.

Rev. 2:16 REPENT or else I will come unto thee quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth

Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Here are verses from one of the early church fathers:

1 Clement 7:4 Let us fix our eyes on the blood of Christ and understand how precious it is unto His Father, because being shed for our salvation it won for the whole world the grace of repentance.

1 Clement 7:5 Let us review all the generations in turn, and learn how from generation to generation the Master hath given a place for repentance unto them that desire to turn to Him.

Chapter 28 ”For He fore-knows that some are to be saved by repentance, some even that are perhaps not yet born. In the beginning He made the human race with the power of thought and of choosing the truth and doing right, so that all men are without excuse before God; for they have been born rational and contemplative.” Justin Martyr

If God no longer draws/calls people due to their choice to harden their hearts and turn their backs on him, then they will not be granted repentance.

Repentance is granted and commanded by God to ALL men everywhere. Telling God that we feel bad about what we have done is not good enough if we make no plans to stop. Also many atheists might feel extremely bad about  sins they have committed. Repentance is to cast out all filth IN ORDER to make our temples clean for the reception of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:43-45; Lk. 11:24-26; Acts 5:32). Repentance is a change of mind, inclinations and desires, which translates into a total change in conduct. It’s initiated by God through a crisis of conviction leading to a godly sorrow for sin and it means to  forsake our wickedness, purge our hearts of evil and to seek the mercy of God.  The passions and desires of the flesh are crucified (Ro. 6:6; Gal. 5:24) and this happens in repentance and not successively afterwards.  Old things pass away and all things become new. If a husband is cheating on his wife, the wife would expect the husband to stop sleeping with another woman. What would she think if he said, ”I really love you, honey, and I am *willing* to stop sleeping with the other woman, but it may take some time.” We would not accept such excuse from our partner. Why do people expect that of God?

As many as were ordained to eternal life believed, but they were not FORCED Acts 13:48


ArkenAnd when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed (Acts 13:48)

This verse alone  doesn’t mention the criteria for God’s choice to ordain individuals, unlike many other verses which clarify that it’s our FAITH that is the criteria – which is something that is requested from us. Neither does this verse suggest that God’s appointing is the CAUSE for people’s faith. IF God is the one who chooses who will believe, then he is also the one we should blame each time a person does NOT believe – because lack of faith wouldn’t be anyone’s fault but God’s. If people are not able to believe unless God makes them believe, then God is guilty of preventing people from believing, and also for being in the same team as the devil – who is overjoyed when people don’t believe in God.

The word ”ordain” is a translation from the Greek verb tasso (Strong’s 5021) – and the middle voice of this word is tetagmenoi (it’s not necessary to view this word as a perfect passive participle) – and ”includes no idea of preordination or predestination of any kind” according to Adam Clark (Commentary on Acts 13:48). The word simply means “disposed” (to set in position), and therefore the verse could be translated “as many as were disposed (or who set themselves in such a disposition)to eternal life believed”.  Their disposition to receive the gospel is contrasted with the disposition of the Jews just two verse before, and the Jews had chosen another path.

Acts 13:46Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

So those who judge themselves unworthy of everlasting life did not believe, but those who disposed themselves to eternal life believed, and whether they believed or not depended on whether their heart rejected or accepted the Gospel which was preached to them. Those who hardened their hearts did not believe, but those who softened their hearts did believe, and what made the difference was the disposition which they choose to have to the good tidings. If we won’t accept the offer of salvation, we are sending ourselves to hell and that is of course a very bad choice. God himself doesn’t want anyone to perish and he would like that we ALL should repent. This is the same story that we can read in Romans 1 and in the rest of the Bible.

Below we can read about a sorcerer who WITHSTOOD Paul and Barnabas and who apparently perverted the right ways of the Lord. With other words; God’s will doesn’t always happen.  

Acts 13:8But Elyma the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. 9Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him. 10And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?— 12Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

What would have happened if Paul and Barnabas would not be present to prevent the sorcerer from perverting God’s ways? Paul’s statements make is sound like this wasn’t the first time this sorcerer had perverted the right ways of the Lord. We can also read that the deputy started to believe due to what he saw. If men are elected to believe before the creation of the world, why did the deputy’s faith coincide with what he heard and saw? The Bible says faith comes from hearing the Word of God and we are expected to believe – particularly if we can see God’s works in actions.

Joh. 14:11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

We can read that the Word is sent to men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham., and we can read that the Word is sent to ”WHOSOEVER among you feareth God”. To fear is something we do and if God would have chosen a lucky few to believe in him, wouldn’t we rather be reading something like ”And God will make sure he places godly fear in you so that you can believe”?

Acts 13:26Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.

GLAD TIDINGS are declared ”unto you” and why would not ”you” be those mentioned in the verse above and in the rest of verses in the same chapter?

Acts 13:32And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers33God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

Paul continues to address ”men and brethren” and that the forgiveness of sins is preached unto them. We can also read that ”ALL THAT BELIEVE are justified from all things”. This is an offer to all who believe. We are also warned ”BEWARE THEREFORE, lest that come UPON YOU, which is spoken of in the prophets”. So even if Paul is making a wonderful promise to his listeners, there is also a condition for this promise because the risk is always that we can fall away if we don’t walk in the light:

Acts 13:38Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;

Paul is telling us about despisers, who are those that perish. Does God want people to despise Him and to NOT believe in Him? No of course God wouldn’t want anyone to reject him or rebel against Him.  Moreover, we can read about further warnings from Paul and Barnabas who persuaded people to CONTINUE in the grace of God, which is not so certain they will:

Acts 13:41Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.—43Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

Here again we can read that salvation is offered also to the gentiles and unto the ends of the earth. Not just a limited amount of people:

Acts 13:47For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

Comments from various Bible scholars/teachers

The phrase ”as many as were ordained to eternal life believed ”can be compared with a statement such as ”As many as were set for the test passed it”.  Friberg’s lexicon suggests it could mean “as many as had become disposed toward eternal life” , and Max Zerwick  “who had been set (in the way)” in Zerwick and Grosvenor’s  A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament. The NT lexicon BDAG suggests it means “to put in place”, and Henry Alford suggests it means “as many as were disposed” in  The Greek Testament. Thayer’s and Strong’s defines “τάσσω” as determined or disposed and not predetermined or predisposed.  Also John Wesley agrees with this idea.

Adam Clarke:calvinism2

“Acts 13:48: As many as were ordained to eternal life believed – This text has been most pitifully misunderstood. Many suppose that it simply means that those in that assembly who were fore-ordained; or predestinated by God’s decree, to eternal life, believed under the influence of that decree. Now, we should be careful to examine what a word means, before we attempt to fix its meaning. Whatever τεταγμενοι may mean, which is the word we translate ordained, it is neither προτεταγμενοι nor προορισμενοι which the apostle uses, but simply τεταγμενοι, which includes no idea of pre-ordination or pre-destination of any kind. And if it even did, it would be rather hazardous to say that all those who believed at this time were such as actually persevered unto the end, and were saved unto eternal life. But, leaving all these precarious matters, what does the word τεταγμενος mean? The verb ταττω or τασσω signifies to place, set, order, appoint, dispose; hence it has been considered here as implying the disposition or readiness of mind of several persons in the congregation, such as the religious proselytes mentioned Acts 13:43, who possessed the reverse of the disposition of those Jews who spake against those things, contradicting and blaspheming, Acts 13:45. Though the word in this place has been variously translated, yet, of all the meanings ever put on it, none agrees worse with its nature and known signification than that which represents it as intending those who were predestinated to eternal life: this is no meaning of the term, and should never be applied to it. Let us, without prejudice, consider the scope of the place: the Jews contradicted and blasphemed; the religious proselytes heard attentively, and received the word of life: the one party were utterly indisposed, through their own stubbornness, to receive the Gospel; the others, destitute of prejudice and prepossession, were glad to hear that, in the order of God, the Gentiles were included in the covenant of salvation through Christ Jesus; they, therefore, in this good state and order of mind, believed. Those who seek for the plain meaning of the word will find it here: those who wish to make out a sense, not from the Greek word, its use among the best Greek writers, and the obvious sense of the evangelist, but from their own creed, may continue to puzzle themselves and others; kindle their own fire, compass themselves with sparks, and walk in the light of their own fire, and of the sparks which they have kindled; and, in consequence, lie down in sorrow, having bidden adieu to the true meaning of a passage so very simple, taken in its connection, that one must wonder how it ever came to be misunderstood and misapplied. Those who wish to see more on this verse may consult Hammond, Whitby, Schoettgen, Rosenmuller, Pearce, Sir Norton Knatchbull, and Dodd.”

God is not willing that any should perish 1 Peter 3:9

2 pet. 3The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9)

In order to get around the notion that God would want all to be saved, Calvinists suggest that the pronoun us in the phrase ”to us-ward” refers to the elect only, since Peter’s greeting at the beginning of his epistle is addressed to the saints. However, most letters in the New Testament are addressed to saints and it does not follow that we can therefore interpret pronouns in such a restrictive way. Moreover, if Peter would be speaking only of those already saved, why all the warnings and why does Peter express his hope for that they should come to the knowledge of the truth? If Calvinism is right, the elect are by definition those who have already come to the knowledge of true salvation. It is clear that Peter believes that they have already come to the knowledge of the truth and that they must still be aware in order to not be led away on wicked ways and fall from their steadfastness.

2 Cor. 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

When it comes to verses such as Rom 3:23 where it says that ”all have sinned”, then Calvinists believe it literally means every single human being (apart from Jesus), but when it comes to verses such as 2 Cor. 5:14-15, where we can read ”–that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again”, then Calvinists choose to interpret ”all” as the elect only, just like they do with 2 Pet. 3:9 and whichever other verse that suggests that God really does not want anyone to perish.

Ez. 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

Ez. 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Peter tells us that some people are willfully ignorant of God’s coming judgment, and they are scoffers who walk after their own lusts – something that definitely would be against God’s will.

2 Pet. 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

In v. 7 we can read that such people will perish when it is time for the judgment – due to their ungodliness (something against God’s will). Peter urges his readers to not be ignorant of such serious warnings, and he comments that some people twist the scriptures to their own destruction. (It does not seem they were chosen to be non-elect before the creation of the world, but they actually cause their own destruction just like the Bible says.)

2 Pet 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Note Paul’s statement about longsuffering in Romans 9:

Rom. 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

God is longsuffering with those who disbelieve, but some vessels are fitting themselves to destruction. Clay has a will of its own, but there is a proper place for clay that is eventually rendered totally useless and that is on the scrap heap. Clay can be marred in the potter’s hands (Jer. 18), and what potter wants his clay to be marred? If the potter would be the one causing his own clay to be destroyed, the word ”longsuffering” would be very much out-of-place. ”Longsuffering” rather indicates that the potter is very patient with the clay, and strongly desire for it to be useful in one way or the other. However, there are limits for how many attempts the potter can handle, and one day the clay will finally end up where it belongs – due to its own actions. It has caused its own destruction despite many chances to become something useful that could please his maker.

2 Tim. 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.21 If a man therefore PURGE HIMSELF FROM THESE, he shall be a vessel unto HONOUR, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Preachers might express themselves with the pronoun ”us” in their sermons before a group of Christians in a church, and still include a larger part of people other than those present in the church.

Romans 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, IF we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. 

Jesus Christ died for the whole WORLD and God doesn’t want anyone to perish

In 1, 2 and 3 John the word ”world” is used liberally and it’s not used only for believers but for the whole created world and/or all people who live in the world.

John 6:45 says:

They shall be ALL taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father cometh unto me. 

It is just like in a classroom where everyone is taught the same thing, but not everyone pays attention and learns. It’s our responsibility to listen and learn. If Jesus didn’t enable all to get life through his death and blood on the cross (which the Bible  says he did) then the only alternative is that God doesn’t want all people to be saved. Those people would then be doomed from the start, and it wouldn’t help them if they repented since Jesus didn’t die for their sins in the first place. The good news is that God is totally fair and his son died for everyone, and we have all been given a key to his kingdom, and we must take care of it. Not that babies would need anyone to die for them since they aren’t aware of the Law and consequently wouldn’t risk hell, but all who have sinned need the blood of Jesus to cover their sins. In a way, the atonement is still limited, because only those who repent for their sins and walk in the light with Jesus will get saved, and those who choose to do this are  the ”many” that Jesus died for. He knew that a large group of people would indeed be saved through his offer on the cross.

Below you can see some verses (but far from all that are available) where we can clearly see that Jesus died for all people in the whole world and also that God doesn’t want anyone to perish. Either we can believe this clear picture (which also results in a fair and loving God) or we can believe the opposite which makes our Lord and Creator to be a God of confusion, and certainly not fair and considerate.

Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all 

Acts 17:30And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:31Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

1 Tim. 2:For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;Who 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;6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

1 Tim 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

John 1:9 That was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost

Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.47And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world48He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

1 John 2:2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

John 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 35And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.—   40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day— 51I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

John 10:49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation

Isaiah 53:6 All of us like sheep have wandered, Each to his own way we have turned, And Jehovah hath caused to meet on him, The punishment of us all. (Young’s literal – compare also with NASB)

2 Cor. 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Heb. 2:But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

He died for ALL (1 Tim. 2:6).
He died for ALL MEN (Rom. 5:18; 1 Tim. 4:10).
He died for US ALL, for ALL OF US (Isa. 53:6).
He died for the UNGODLY (Rom. 5:6).
He died for CHRIST-DENIERS (2 Peter 2:1).
He died for SINNERS (Rom. 5:8).
He died for EVERY MAN (Heb. 2:9).
He died for MANY (Matthew 20:28).
He died for the WORLD (John 6:33,51; John 1:29 and John 3:16).
He died for the WHOLE WORLD (1 John 2:2).
He died for the WHOLE NATION of Israel (John 11:50-51).
He died for the CHURCH (Eph. 5:25).
He died for His SHEEP (John 10:11).
He died for ME (Gal. 2:20)