“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time” (I Tim. 2:1-6).
What is God’s great desire? He desires that all men would be saved and come to the knowledge of His truth found only in the Gospel of Christ. This sentiment is not only found in the Apostle Paul’s letter to Timothy, but also in the Apostle Peter’s second epistle. “The Lord is not slow about His promise (His second coming), as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish but for all to come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).
Peter’s letter is addressed to the church, the entity towards which God the Father is exhibiting his patience. Why? Because He is longing for His church to gain His heart for the lost, “He is not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance” and again “Who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”
God’s great desire is rooted in His great love which moved Him to send forth His only begotten Son, to die on behalf of fallen mankind, to suffer the shame, humiliation, torture, and death that was rightfully theirs. It could almost be said that God would not let rebellious mankind go without a fight, a fight with the powers of darkness that held sinful mankind captive.
God takes no pleasure when the wicked die and are plunged into a Christ-less eternity. From the Old Testament we read, “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live’” (Ezekiel 33:11).
God’s great desire is that the lost are saved and that His church would come to truly share His burden for the lost. The church’s attitude must never be, “Well, we got ours, let others find it for themselves.” My friends, Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We, His children, His redeemed ones are now the vessels that He chooses to use to make Christ real to those still trapped in darkness, or as Peter stated it, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”