God’s Desire for All: STTA!
Below is Calvin’s commentary on 2 Peter 3:9. Though I would disagree with his exegesis here, I do agree with the theology and find it supported by the rest of Scripture, namely that, though God will not save all men, He does have a genuine desire for the salvation of the world. We must be careful to distinguish between His desires and His decrees while not conflating them.
Sam Waldron writes: “The Bible does teach God sincerely desires the repentance and in that way the salvation of all who hear the gospel (John 5:34; Acts 3:26, Ezekiel 18:23; 33:11)” (Free Offer of the Gospel,
God has a genuine desire to save any soul that comes to Him for salvation in Christ. And yet, so many refuse His kindness and well-meant offer of the gospel. He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, though He most certainly delights in His glory as He magnifies His justice in their eternal punishment.
Read what Calvin has to say and think about it:
“So wonderful is [God’s] love towards mankind, that He would have them all to be saved, and is of His own self prepared to bestow salvation on the lost. But the order is to be noticed that God is ready to receive all to repentance, so that none may perish; for in these words the way and manner of obtaining salvation is pointed out. Every one of us, therefore, who is desirous of salvation, must learn to enter by this way.
But it may be asked, ‘If God wishes none to perish, why is it that so many do perish?’ To this, my answer is, that no mention is here made of the hidden purpose of God, according to which the reprobate are doomed to their own ruin, but only of His will as made known to us in the gospel. For God there stretches forth His hand without a difference to all, but lays hold only of those, to lead them to Himself, whom He has chosen before the foundation of the world.”