Non universalists...those who do not believe that God is going to save/reconcile/restore everyone.... often dispute the clear logic set out in 1 Timothy 4:9-10
9 This saying is reliable and worthy of complete acceptance by everybody. 10 With a view to this we toil and strive, [yes and] suffer reproach, because we have [fixed our] hope on the living God, Who is the Savior (Preserver, Maintainer, Deliverer) of all men, especially of those who believe (trust in, rely on, and adhere to Him). Amplified
9 You can count on this. Take it to heart. 10 This is why we've thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We're banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers. 11 Get the word out. Teach all these things The Message
The naysayers, think…and often vehemently argue… the verse somehow excludes all of those who don't believe NOW. Only “real time, right now” believers qualify. But that’s not what is says at all. It says especially those who believe....as in...I love cookies...ESPECIALLY white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Or I like to drink coffee....ESPECIALLY Columbian. The other varieties of cookies…sugar, oatmeal raisin, Oreos....chocolate chip (can’t forget chocolate chip!!!) and the other types of coffee...espresso, mocha java, hazelnut…are not excluded. They just don't qualify for the "especially" category.
I have a song on my MP3 player that explains this “especially believers” concept pretty well...
One day every tongue will confess You are God
One day every knee will bow
Still the greatest treasure remains for those,
Who gladly choose You now
Did you catch that? The greatest treasure remains for those who gladly choose you now. The “especially” folks. They get the greatest treasure.
And what might that "greatest" treasure be?? Why, a relationship with the living God, the Savior of all people, of course. A relationship....Now. Not off in the future...but now, right now. Today, as we go about our daily lives as believers, he will be our refuge and strength. Our ever present help in times of trouble. Our wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. And there is no greater treasure....