Silly question, right? Do any of us know any genuine Christians who would affirm that there might be contradictions in God? I don’t. With that in mind, consider the following:
First, here are two passages of scripture that seem to say the God wants every human being to come to repentance and belief in Christ. At least that’s the prevalent belief across most of the Christian church.
“This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires ALL people (men) to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” – 1 Tim 2:3
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that ALL should reach repentance.” – 2 Pet 3:9
Now consider the following passages that say very clearly that God personally causes ‘some’ to believe lies, and/or consciously blinds the eyes and hearts of ‘some’ so that they would NOT believe.
“Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” – 2 Thess 2:11-12
“He (God) has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.” – John 12:40 quotes Isaiah 6:10
If it is true that God desires that ‘all’ men, without exception, be saved, and at the same time the same God causes ‘some’ to believe a lie and blinds ‘some’ to the truth, so that they will NOT believe, we could logically conclude that
A. God can and will act contrary to his nature / desires.
B. God doesn’t always get what he wants.
C. We have, in some way, misunderstood the text of 1 Tim 2:3 and/or 2 Pet 3:9.
If A or B is true, then C might be false, an outcome we would prefer. We don’t like to be told we haven’t correctly interpreted the Bible.
If A or B is false, then C just might be true, and we have indeed misinterpreted 1 Tim 2:3 and/or 2 Pet 3:9.
That brings up the final question for now, “IF we have misinterpreted either passage, how have we erred?
I suggest that we very well might have erred in interpreting “ALL” in these texts to mean every human being without exception. It could be that “ALL” means, in both cases, all kinds of people, i.e. rich men, poor men, leaders/rulers, ordinary folk, Jews and Gentiles.
I further suggest that if we define “ALL” to mean all kinds of people, our high and loft view of God’s power and immutability remains intact, and there is NO contradiction in God. After all, he IS GOD.
Food for thought. . . yours? The lines are open.