A Few Passages Misused By Arminians
I. John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.”
The “all” here cannot be all of mankind as in “every single person who ever has or ever will live…” since verse 40 makes this clear — John 12:40 “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with [their] eyes, nor understand with [their] heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”
Moreover, “draw” is not used in the modern sense of “oh, I felt so drawn to that person.” Drawn/draw, helko, most literally means to drag. It is to draw or drag either against dead weight (passive resistance) or active resistance. It’s like drawing a sword (John 18:10), or dragging the net of fish (John 21:6-11), or dragging Paul out of the temple (Acts 21:30), etc. It’s absurd to say that God does this to “all mankind,” or even “most of mankind;” because that dragging will absolutely result in going from point A to point B (per the biblical use). God does it only with His elect as He takes them from point A (a state of being dead in trespasses and sin) to Point B (quickening them; converting them; granting them faith, understanding, and repentance, etc.). Hence, we read in John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw [drag, G1670] him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Who will God raise up? only the ones coming to Him? Yes? But seeing that the ones coming must be dragged, and only the ones dragged are coming, we know that the one being dragged/drawn to Him by irresistible grace, and His effectual working, will be saved. God only draws/drags His elect.
II. 2 Timothy 2:4 “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
This passage cannot mean all who ever have or ever will live. If God “will have” [present active indicative, and thus a contemporaneous form] “all men” saved, meaning every single human being, then all men will be saved — that is the error of universalism.
Moreover, verses one and two SPECIFICALLY state what God means by “all men” — He means ALL types of men… How can we know this? Because verse one states “…supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men” — but he defines the all men as “For kings, and for all that are in authority….” — then, verse 7 mentions the gentiles. So now we have all types of men including not only rulers (who often opposed the Jews) but gentiles (who were seen in opposition to the Jews). Starting at verse 11, he goes into the male and female paradigm. So God is not talking about every single human being but of the various types, positions, distinctions amongst human beings.
III. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
The “ALL should come to repentance” is not talking about every single human being. The all is very specific. Verse 1 is addressed to one group of people, the believers. However, verse 3 mentions another group of people… the scoffers. Verse 7 expands the flow of verse 3 to include all (reprobate) ungodly men. however, verse 8 brings it back to the believers (notice the words “But, beloved”) — so when you get to verse 9, the ANY and ALL refer NOT to the scoffers and the ungodly but to the beloved. God is not willing that any of the beloved (ones) perish but that all of them should come to repentance.