Unleashing God's Truth, One Verse at a Time

Why didn't God choose everyone to be saved?

John 3; Romans 5

Code: QA182

Question:
[A very young Child]: I listened to your sermon last Sunday, and I was wondering, why didn't God choose everybody to be saved?

John MacArthur:
Kids always ask those questions. Adults don't ask them because they've learned there's no answer.

Why didn't God choose everyone to be saved? You know something, honey? I don't know. I don't know. But, I'll give you a basic answer, Ok? And the basic answer--and I hope you can understand this--the basic answer is: because He got more glory for his own name by doing it the way He did it. God does what He does for His glory. And somehow, in some way, God is glorified in what He did, and that's why He did it.

Let me tell you something else: does God ever make a mistake? Is God ever wrong? Is God loving? He is. So, whatever He does fits into his character somehow. And if it's hard for us to understand, that's not God's problem; whose problem is that? That's our problem, isn't it? Because we just don't have the ability to understand that.

So there are some questions you just can't answer--that's one of them. Ok? Thank you, honey.

You know what the Scripture says: "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked"--God says that. See, that provides for me the tension. I don't understand that question. I don't know the answer to that, because I don't know the mind of God. And so, it's at this point that I trust God--I trust his character. I don't know how God can have no pleasure in the death of the wicked and will let the wicked die. I don't know how on the one hand God can say in Isaiah 46:10, "I do all my good pleasure" and then say, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked." I don't know that. And that's the tension.

Let me put it to you very simply: all men born in Adam are born with the sin nature, and because they bear a sin nature, they are all damned to hell. It is our sin in Adam and the nature we bear because of that, that condemns all men to hell. As all men go to hell, God, in his marvelous grace, saves some. The rest are damned, but not simply because of the sin in Adam--primarily because of the sin of unbelief. John 3 says, "You are condemned already because you"--what?--"believe not." Now, this is where the tension comes.

Salvation is by the elect, predestined, purpose of God. Damnation is by the unbelief of men. Now you say, "How do you resolve that?" I don't resolve that! I can't resolve that. But, I know God is perfect and He resolves it perfectly and that's the best we can do with it.

So, what do we do? When we're saved, who do we thank? God. And when men go to hell, who do we blame? Them. You say, "I don't understand that." That's right. And neither do I. The implications are this: if I've been saved, I praise God, I rejoice, I thank him; and when I go to an unbeliever, I don't say, "Are you elect?"--like Spurgeon said, pull up their shirt-tail and see if they have an "E" stamped on their back. I go to them and I say, "You'll be damned by your unbelief" and I plead with them to "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved." And I leave the resolution to God.





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