Will Everyone Accept Jesus?
Jesus plainly said in Matthew 7 that most people don’t find the way to eternal life.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14
Some Will Be Saved
When we think about praying for, and sharing with, friends and family members who reject Jesus, we love passages like 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is . . . patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” But this doesn’t mean that everyone will eventually repent and accept Jesus Christ. Jesus plainly said in Matthew 7 that most people don’t find the way to eternal life.
Is God contradicting Himself? Not at all. In 2 Peter 3:9, we learn that God wishes, or desires, that everyone would accept Christ. It doesn’t mean that it will happen. Sometimes God desires things and other times He decides they will happen no matter what. God decided that Jesus would die on the cross so we’d have an opportunity to accept Jesus and live in Heaven. Now, God is being patient with us because he hopes, desires and wishes that we all accept the free gift He gave us. But some may refuse the gift.
God Is the One Who Chooses
In Romans, Paul makes a bold statement about God’s sovereignty: “What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion’” (Romans 9:14-15). Paul goes on quoting God, a few verses later: “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?” (Romans 9:20-21).
God’s ways are far higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9), and in the end, we have to simply acknowledge that He is in charge, and believe that everything that happens is part of His great plan.
Don’t Stop Praying
You might say,“If God’s going to do whatever He wants, why pray?” Because God has instructed us to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and promises great blessings when we do. And even if only a few will be saved, don’t you want your loved ones to be among the few? Remember, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
Pray this week:
That you trust God for the salvation of your loved ones while you pray for them.
Do you personally "pray without ceasing" (for your family) as we are instructed in I Thessalonians 5:7? Talk to a Christian to find ideas about how to incorporate more prayer into your life.