What’s Our Problem With God Wanting All to Be Saved?

"What's our problem with God wanting all to be saved" by Tommy Tighe (CatholicMom.om)

By Pemba.mpimaji (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

You’ve heard the story: you die and make it to Heaven and the very first person you meet is your worst enemy from your time down here on earth.

As soon as you can put the words together, the two of you are saying the exact same thing: “They let you in here?!”

Yes, my friends, our God is a merciful and loving God, and while we are made in His image and likeness, we fail at measuring up to these qualities of His pretty miserably. While we know from Scripture that God “desires all men to be saved,” we don’t quite feel the same way.

We may not wish ill on those who harm us or live a lifestyle outside the bounds of our moral framework, but we’re pretty confident they aren’t going to make it to Paradise like us.

This came back to the forefront of my mind within hours of hearing the news of Hugh Hefner’s death at the end of September.

Yes, everyone knows Hugh Hefner lived and promoted a lifestyle outside the bounds of Christian morality, common decency, and (most concerning) a recognition of the dignity of women.

And yet … God desires all men to be saved.

There were quite a few Catholics who took to social media to encourage people to pray for the soul of Mr. Hefner, a very appropriate Catholic response to the situation. Unfortunately, there was an even larger group of Catholics shouting back that we shouldn’t waste our time praying for someone who corrupted so many minds through a career built around the objectification of women.

There was a similar backlash in 2011 after the death of Osama Bin Ladin. The known terrorist was responsible for planning attacks that killed so many innocent people it boggled the mind. And yet, there were Catholic Churches in our country who asked parishioners to pray for his soul, and much like we have seen in the aftermath of Mr. Hefner’s death, there were quite a few Catholics who immediately fought back against the idea that we should pray for someone so reprehensible.

And yet … God desires all men to be saved.

As much as we are made in the image and likeness of God, we still have to remember that our ways are not His way, our thoughts are not His thoughts.

I’m reminded of the private revelation to St. Faustina, the message of Divine Mercy, of God’s endless mercy for all of us, even the most rotten among us.

I’m reminded of that revelation, and I’m grateful.

As much as I may feel like I’m on the path to salvation, I’m sure there’s going to be more than one person in Heaven whose initial reaction is: “They let you in here?!”

And hopefully, like so many who have gone before us, I can answer with a great big “YES! Because even though I fell short in so many ways, event though I strayed from God’s path over and over again, people prayed for me, and God had mercy on my soul.”

Copyright 2017 Tommy Tighe


About Author

Tommy is a Catholic husband, father of four boys, and the author of The Catholic Hipster Handbook (available now!).

1 Comment

  1. I keep coming back to the idea that God doesn’t grade on a curve. Just because the pope isn’t evil like Bin Laden or Hugh Hefner doesn’t mean he needs less grace and mercy. Nobody deserves Paradise on their own merit. It’s a gift we have to accept. And until we are dead, we can always tirn to God and accept that gift.

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