What say you, why isn’t everybody saved? At the core is it because of God or because of us?
We have met the enemy and it is us.
The shepherd calls, but not all hear, nor come, nor continue.
Romans 6:23 is pithy and to the point. It says:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Sin is what we do and sin brings death.
Eternal life is a free gift, and it is what God does for us.
God threw the entire planet a life saver when Jesus died on the cross so that sins many be forgiven. It is up to us to hold onto that life saver and not strike out on our own. God will not force somone to be saved against their will. God loves both the sinner and the saint and constantly calls the sinner to repent and the saint to progress to higher achievement. This may sound odd but God so loves us that He will not even suffer a grave sinner to spend eternity with Him against the sinner’s will if that sinner prefers to be left to himself in sin.
Bottom Line: We choose if we want to be saved or not and some are no doubt saved by their friends who beat sense into them to keep a hold onto their life saver and not abandon it and strike out alone to their own destruction.
Us. Not that it was ever really up for debate…
It is a great mystery. On one hand God can, for example, give someone a longer life which implies longer time to repent, than another. So in that sense God is in control. On the other hand the Church is adamant that nobody is sent to hell* apart from their own willful sins and that God gives everyone sufficient grace to repent/obey.Trent: CANON XVII.-If any one saith, that the grace of Justification is only attained to by those who are predestined unto life; but that all others who are called, are called indeed, but receive not grace, as being, by the divine power, predestined unto evil; let him be anathema.
*St Thomas teaches even those sent to “limbo” are only deprived of the Beatific Vision but do not suffer the pains of hellfire because they are not guilty of person sin. The level of pain is directly proportional to the level and amount of sin you personally committed.
You can view that two different ways, though. What can be seen as “longer time to repent” could also potentially be “more opportunity to fall into sin”. Only God knows all the particulars of any given individual’s case so it’s kind of pointless for us to imagine what “could have” happened.
That is a very good point, it reminds me of a passage St Augustine often quoted:
Wisdom 4: 11 He was taken away [from this life] lest wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul.