Why does God not make everybody serve Him?

Last updated on September 6, 2021

Why does God not make everybody serve him?

This question starts at the right place: it acknowledges that nothing is too difficult for God. He can do anything. He could force everybody on earth to serve Him in a heartbeat. So the obvious question then becomes: why does He not do so?

Free will

The easy answer to this is: God gave us a free will. If He would force people to love Him, they would not have a free will, and their love would not be worth anything. God wants to be loved by people, not by robots. But this answer is too easy.

The gift of God for everybody?

The Bible tells us that we only come to faith in Jesus Christ if God Himself gives us that faith: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). So the question remains: why does He not give that gift to everybody?

It is not because He does not want everybody to be saved. He does, as 1 Timothy 2:4 tells us: God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Yet we know that this is not happening. So there must be something else that God desires even more, that cannot go together with all people being saved.

God is righteous

What is it that is so important to God that it is even more important than all people getting saved? I am sure we cannot give a complete answer to this with our limited human understanding. But the Bible shows us at least two partial answers.

The first answer is that God wants to fully reveal who He is. He wants to make known the riches of His glory (Romans 9:23), but He also wants to show His wrath over sin and His power to defeat His enemies (Romans 9:22).

The second answer is that God wants all people who receive salvation to be humbly grateful for God’s grace. The destruction of everything that stands against God takes away every inclination of God’s children to boast. It makes it clear that salvation comes from God, not from ourselves:
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

Important truths

There are probably more aspects that could be added to this answer, which God has chosen not to reveal to us. The important truths for us to grasp here are:

  • God is glorious in His mercy and God is glorious in His judgment over sin.
  • God’s gift of faith to us is not a reason to boast, but to bow our knees and adore Him.
  • God’s revealed will is that He wants all people to be saved. So let us go out and share the Gospel with as many people as we can. For nobody who ever turned to Jesus, was turned away by Him. That is the glory of the Gospel!

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