In defending the free offer of the gospel, David H.J. Gay argues this passage plausibly teaches God’s desire to save all people. This would be consistent with the distinction between God’s preceptive and decretive wills. Gay argues:
“God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:3-4)
The NASB is the same as the NKJV: ‘God... who desires all men to be saved’; the NIV is virtually the same: ‘God... who wants all men to be saved’; the AV: ‘God... who will have all men to be saved’. Should it be ‘will’ in the sense of ‘decree’ or ‘desire’? θελω can mean either. 22 And what about ‘all’? Did Paul mean ‘all sorts of men’? If so, Paul was saying either, ‘God decrees all sorts of men to be saved, which has no bearing on the issue – all sorts of men will be saved; or, ‘God desires all sorts of men to be saved’, which leaves the issue as it was – if all sorts of men are not in fact saved, then God desires something he has not decreed, and if all sorts of men are saved, then the ‘desire’ in effect amounts to ‘decree’. But if ‘all’ means either ‘all the elect’ or ‘all without exception’, Paul was saying:
‘God decrees to save all the elect’, which is a truism; or ‘God decrees to save all men without exception’, which is false; or ‘God desires to save all the elect’, which is a truism; or ‘God desires to save all men without exception’. Of these, the last is the only possibility: God desires to save all men, even though he has not decreed it. This is the paradox in question.”
 David H.J. Gay. The Gospel Offer is Free. (Brachus Pub, Sec. ed. 2012)p.p.92-93.
 John Frame. The Doctrine of God. (Philipsburg: P and R Press, 2002)p.p.535-537.