“Seems to me,” Stan commented one morning while we waited for breakfast, “that the word ‘all’ is pretty inclusive in that it includes everyone.”
“Seems about right,” I replied, “but isn’t that obvious?”
“It is to me,” Stan said, “but I don’t think it is to everyone.”
“Let me give you an example,” he replied. “The other day I was talking with a neighbor about the importance of telling other people about what Jesus accomplished on the cross in providing the way for life eternally with God when our time here is completed.”
“What about it?”
“My neighbor said he believes that people have the free will to either accept or reject what God has for them. It’s up to them.”
“Well,” I replied, “that’s also pretty obvious, isn’t it?”
“Sure is,” Stan said, “but looking at the person I know best, it was essential for me to know what I was rejecting before I could know what was available to accept.”
“And how did that happen?” I asked.
“Someone told me. A dear neighbor went out of her way to bring me to the truth, as well as to bring the truth to me, so I could decide.”
Continuing, he added, “I don’t know if God would have brought someone else into my life to do the same thing, but I do know that my neighbor was obedient and saw that I was part of the ‘all’ that the apostle Peter wrote about.”
“Part of the ‘all’? What’s that mean?”
“Peter wrote that God wants all to come to repentance. He wants none to perish. I was on my way to perishing, but I came to repentance. Doesn’t everyone deserve the opportunity to make that same decision?”
“Seems like it,” I replied.
“And who’s going to tell them if we don’t consider each person to be part of the ‘all’?”
Bible verses to consider:
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9.
How shall we escape if we reject so great a salvation? Hebrews 2:3.
It is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep . . . . Romans 13:11.
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for not wanting any to perish, but for all to come to you in repentance. Thank you for those people who helped me see that truth so I could accept it. I confess that too often I do not consider everyone to be a part of the “all” you want to come to repentance. Please forgive me for that, and please help me to follow every step of your lead so I do seek to help all come to repentance and accept what you have for them on both sides of eternity. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you become a part of the “all” that God wants to come to repentance so you know you will spend eternity in His presence when your time here is completed? If no, why? Why would you want to perish rather than come to repentance? If you are a Christian, how are you doing in considering everyone to be a part of the “all” that God wants to come to repentance? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense the need for change in how you view and relate to the “all,” how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?