The Biggest Loser

God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4)

Ha! So much for the irresistible will of God theory. There he is, all omnipotent and everything, and he can’t get what he wants. His own Bible says that there’s going to be a bunch of disobedient sinners thrown into hell. It may be that he doesn’t really want to throw anybody in hell, but the record shows that it’s going to happen anyway. Which is a big problem for him. God’s will is supposed to be a done deal. He’s supposed to make happen whatever he wants, right? If he wills something, it has to happen. Nothing, we are told, can thwart God’s will. He wants; he gets. End of story.

Supposedly. But here’s the Apostle Paul saying that God wants everybody to be saved. Wants. As in desires. As in wants something. Jesus says the same thing as Paul, except in a more Jesussy way. Jesus tells the nice parable about the lost sheep and concludes, “In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” Not willing that any should be lost. Flip that into a positive statement and you’ve got a God who wills that all should be found. We’re not talking “wish” here (though with God I wonder if that makes any difference); we’re talking will. God’s will.

Thwarted. Unless you’re going to spin it so that everybody from Hitler to Stalin gets a free ticket to paradise—that whole universal salvation schtick invented by skittish people whose job is to protect God from his own meanness. But setting aside that Barney “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family” theology (mostly because if God doesn’t kick some ass somebody else is going to have to) the real problem is that God apparently isn’t going to get what he wants out of this deal. If we can believe the Bible—yeah, yeah, it’s a stretch—but if we can, then God is definitely going to lose some of us.

Hey, all we need is one definite example to falsify the claim that all will be saved just because God wants it that way. Exhibit A: Judas Iscariot. Here’s what Jesus himself says about that dude: “None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” “Except.” That’s one honking except. Hello: Judas is freaking lost, ladies and gentlemen. (The fact that it fulfills Scriptural prophesy shows just how schizoid God is about this thing.) But the hard core fact of the matter is that Judas wins over God’s will that he be saved. Judas 1: God zero. Game over.

Of course, overthrowing God’s will is kind of short on decent prizes. I mean, unless you happen to like eternal torment, gnashing teeth, undying worms, and everlasting destruction. Still, going to hell is a great way to tell God to take his will and shove it. And for the diehard rebels among us, it may be worth it to sizzle in hell if only to prove that God is a big loser.



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