It is entirely likely, that for any number of people you ask about salvation, there will be as many opinions as to exactly what that subject teaches. That fact is simultaneously amazing and frightening. It would seem that a subject so important to mankind would be both common knowledge and have a common standard.
Interestingly, some have taught that salvation is not available to all men, because they assume God never intended for all men to be saved. The doctrine of “limited atonement” has been advanced, which states simply that Jesus only came to save the elect, thus His salvation was offered to a limited number. The real question is, “What does the Bible say about this subject?” Who can be saved according to God’s Word?
The Bible tells us that GOD WANTS all people to be saved. Paul would explain in 1 Timothy 2:4 that God wants all men to come to the knowledge of the truth. Peter says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. . (2 Peter 3:9) God wants everyone to be saved. (That does preclude any standing conditions that He might have.)
The Word exclaims that ALL NEED to be saved. Romans 3:23 tells us that all men have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Since God has given us all these scriptures, He is well aware of our need for His forgiveness and grace. There is no place in Scripture that gives any indication of a select few who God has chosen while leaving everyone else in exclusion. Would a loving God only offer salvation to a select few to simply condemn all others with no opportunity of salvation?
The Gospel teaches that JESUS DIED for all to be saved. “He died for all…” (2 Corinthians 5:15; 1 Timothy 2:6), “He would taste death for all” and the whole world (Hebrews 2:9; 1 John 2:2), and draw all peoples to Himself (John 12:32). Through Jesus this great gift comes to all men. (Romans 5:18) Jesus died for all people!
Scripture affirms that JESUS CAME FOR ALL TO BE SAVED. His invitation is a very simple one. (Matthew 11:28) The invitation of the Lord is for whoever decides to accept it. (Revelation 22:17)
When we consider the most important subject to mankind – salvation – we need to rely on the truth of scripture and not the manmade formulas so often put forth. Trust God and trust in His word – The Bible.