Colossians 1:28-29 (see also Acts 17:30)
We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
Question: If Paul didn’t believe that “every man” could be saved, but only very few men, such as only Calvinism’s elect, then why would he speak in such unbounded terms?
Answer: For a Calvinist, this merely means that Paul preaches to all men, not knowing who the secret elect are.
One Calvinist explains: “It is not illogical to work for all men’s completeness in Christ even when you know all men will not be made complete in Christ, because in reality, Paul (and every other Calvinist) understands that they cannot know who is truly elect and who is not.”
Calvinists are in a precarious position of often having to import theology into texts. The very fact of this, provides a reasonable basis to dispatch Calvinism altogether. There is simply no indication in Paul’s words that supposes, on his part, that not every man can be saved, but only Calvinism’s elect. It is just as easy to conclude that Paul does these things because he believes that “every man” can be presented as complete in Christ, that is, that every man is savable. The important point to remember is that the same person, the apostle Paul, states: “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent.” (Acts 17:30) Ordering people to repent carries the implication that there is some benefit to it. However, with a doctrine of a Limited Atonement, Paul would be “admonishing every man,” knowing that very few men have a Savior who died for them, in order to receive the benefit of such instruction. Ultimately, Calvinism is a very unnatural way to read Scripture.