God never had any other purpose than salvation for the members of the human family. For God “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). “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” (Eze. 33:11).
Christ Himself said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17). “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” (John 3:16).
While salvation is offered freely to all, not all accept the gospel invitation. “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14; cf. ch. 20:16). Salvation is not forced upon us against our will. If we choose to oppose and resist God’s purpose, we shall be lost. God created man with the freedom of choice. Humans can choose to do good or evil.
Divine foreknowledge and divine predestination in no way exclude human liberty. Nowhere does Paul, or any other Bible writer, suggest that God has predestined certain men to be saved and certain others to be lost, regardless of their own choice in the matter.
Some misunderstand Paul in Romans 8:29. The purpose of this verse seems to be a practical one. Paul is trying to comfort and assure the afflicted people of God that their salvation rests in His hands and that it is in the process of being accomplished in accordance with His eternal and changeless purpose for them. Salvation is, of course, dependent also upon their perseverance (Heb. 3:14; 1 Cor. 9:27).
In His service,