Jesus’ desire is that people repent. “Repent” means to turn. We turn from our old life to a new life in Christ. A life headed in Christ’s direction, not the direction our flesh was planning on going.
God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
If this is God’s desire, and God has all authority and power, why doesn’t He just make it happen then?
This is where the Calvinist will tell you that God has many different kinds of will. They redefine words to fit their theory even though the Bible never speaks of differing wills of God.
If God desires (the same Greek word as “wills”) all men to repent, and yet also has a will that prevents people from repenting, then God is a house divided.
Instead, we should just go with what the Bible says. Sola Scriptura, don’t ya know.
God wills all people to repent. Not all repent. Therefore, we must conclude that God’s will is not always being done on earth.
In fact, we can see that clearly in the Lord’s Prayer where we request the Father’s will to “be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
God’s will is not being done here.
God leaves it up to us. Notice His words: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
“If any man will” is an important part of the verse. Jesus does not force people to follow Him.
What He says is: if you desire to follow Him, if you are willing to follow Him, then deny yourself, take up the cross, and follow.
Jesus Christ does not drag people behind Him kicking and screaming. If you want to come, then come. He tells you how. It’s up to you whether you come or not. He’s done everything necessary by His grace to provide the way.
You just need to decide to follow Him in The Way.