I am fascinated by the way that the Bible speaks about both God's desire to save all people and yet also speaks about his sovereignty in salvation. God offers the gospel to all, and yearns that people would respond, and yet there is talk of salvation being the result of election and predestination. Iain Murray writes about some of these issues in a chapter in his book The Old Evangelicalism. I thought I would write down some excerpts.
'Truths that look contradictory to us are not so in light of heaven' (Iain Murray).'... it is not because men cannot enter, but because they will not, that they do not enter' (John Owen).'The reality is that we are faced with truths that far outreach our understanding' (Iain Murray).'Men evangelized cannot go to hell but over the bowels of God's great mercies. They must wade to it through the blood of Christ' (Scots Calvinist, John Duncan).
'I was standing on the 10th December 1846, at the end of my father's house, and meditating on that precious word that has brought peace to countless weary ones: "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16). I saw that God loves me, for I was one of the world. I saw proof of his love in the giving of his Son Jesus. I saw that "whosoever" meant anybody and everybody, and therefore me, even me. I saw the result of believing - that I would not perish, but have everlasting life. I was enabled to take God at his word. I saw no one, but Jesus only, all in all in redemption. My burden fell from my back, and I was saved. Yes, saved!' (John MacPherson).