I recently finished Piper’s “Does God Desire All To Be Saved” which just from the title I think you can predict what you’re getting into there.
It was good, though. It took me about five hours to read 50+ pages and I think I have more questions than answers now but I recommend it.
This from Jonathan Edwards on God’s supreme desires and how he uses sin to carry out His ultimate plan stood out:
“God, though he hates a thing as it is simply, may incline to it with reference to the universality of things. Though he hates sin in itself, yet he may will to permit it for the greater promotion of holiness in this universality including all things at all times.
“So, though he has no inclination to a creature’s misery, considered absolutely, yet he may will it, for the greater promotion of happiness in this universality.”
That is a lot to swallow but I think I believe it. Also, Piper gives the reasoning almost all people fall into for why not all humans are saved.
“The difference between the Reformed and the Arminians lies not in whether there are two wills in God, but in what they say this higher commitment is. What does God will more than saving all?
“The answer the Arminians give is that human self-determination and the possible resulting love relationship with God are more valuable than saving all people by sovereign, efficacious grace.
“The answer the Reformed give is that the greater value is the manifestation of the full range of God’s glory in wrath and mercy (Rom. 9:22–23) and the humbling of man so that he enjoys giving all credit to God for his salvation (1 Cor. 1:29).”
So now I’m off to read about the elect. You can read the book for free here.