There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to deny or to confuse the message of faith alone in Christ alone for everlasting life that cannot be lost.
I recently heard a new one.
Someone who identifies as Free Grace recently told me this (I am paraphrasing):
You can believe that John 3:16 is true but have no desire to be a Christian, and so not be saved. No one becomes a Christian accidentally. You must desire to be saved, to be saved.
So for this person, simply believing in Jesus for eternal life is not enough. You must also desire to have everlasting life. Faith is ineffective without desire.
That position confuses belief and desire.
They are not the same thing.
For example, Joseph Biden is currently the President of the United States. Do you believe that to be true? I’m sure you do. Now, do you desire that to be true? That’s an entirely different issue. He might not have been your preferred candidate, so even though you believe he is President, that does not mean you desire him to be President.
Belief and desire are two different things. And the only condition to have everlasting life is to believe in Jesus for it. Jesus did not teach “whoever believes and desires has everlasting life, and whoever does not desire is condemned already.”
Does desire come into play in bringing someone to faith? Yes, it can. But think about two very different people: Paul and Cornelius.
Did Paul desire to believe in Jesus for salvation? No. On the contrary, he tried to destroy the Jesus movement. And yet, when the risen Christ appeared to Paul, he believed. The evidence persuaded him against his desires. Thank God Jesus was seeking Paul, even though Paul was not seeking Jesus!
Now consider Cornelius. Did he desire to come to faith in Jesus for salvation? It seems so. He was actively seeking the truth and “prayed to God always” (Acts 10:2). And when God sent Peter to him with the saving message, Cornelius believed (cf. Acts 10:43-44).
The point is, whether you’re a Paul or a Cornelius, you are saved at the moment of faith in Christ for eternal life, irrespective of your desires.
Of course, desiring God may be part of your story of coming to faith in Jesus. You might have been a seeker for many years, strongly desiring to know the truth before believing the saving message.
But someone else’s story might be completely different. He might have been an atheist running from God who unexpectedly came to faith in Jesus when presented with the saving message for the first time.
Everyone’s story is different.
But do not change the saving message based on your story.
In other words, get your theology from Scripture, not from your experience. That is especially crucial for the saving message!
For example, just because you desired to be saved does not make salvation by faith + desire. Do not re-write John 3:16 to say, “whoever believes and desires…”
There is only one condition to have everlasting life, whether you desire that to be true or not!