This is a very tough question to answer, and one that people have struggled with for along time. Let me give you a few principles & then give you a concluding answer.
Principle #1: It is never God’s will for someone to go to hell: 2 Peter 3:9 is a tough passage to interpret. Peter is here talking to a group of believers, and he couldn’t be any more clear.
God does not desire that anyone spend an eternity in hell.
Because of that desire, God has created in each of us a free will. We can either choose to accept Christ, or choose to reject him.
- Eph. 1:4 – “Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.”
- Acts 13:48 – “As many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”
Principle #2: God is sovereign over salvation: Therefore, if you have witnessed to someone & they haven’t come to know Christ, it is not your fault!
- John 6:65 – “No one can come unto me unless it has been granted by the Father.”
- Rev. 7:10 –“They cried with a loud voice saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne!’”
God owns salvation. All of those whom he draws will come, all of those whom he doesn’t draw will not come. You are not responsible to harvest, but you are responsible to sow. This doesn’t make sense! How can God give man a choice, yet already know who will accept?
Psalm 50:21 gives us the most common misconception that people have about God when it says, “You thought I was one like yourself.”
God has different conceptions of fair, justice, and love. That’s not for you to figure out! But it is for you to trust.
Posted by Caleb Phelps