Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ (THE MESSAGE)
It is a mistake to think God decided to merely choose one group of people and offer salvation through them to others. This indeed did happen, but it is not the whole story. In his Athens speech, Paul declares that God had in mind showing himself to the whole world and giving all in the world a chance to seek him and find him.
As this paraphrase says, he doesn’t play hiding games with us. He doesn’t shrug his shoulders and say ‘bad luck’ to those born in places away from the chosen people and in times before the chosen means of salvation: Jesus. He has somehow created us so that we may be able to seek him and find him. Which makes sense if we truly believe God loves the world and wants all to be saved.
Of course not all will be saved because people don’t always seek him but rather reject him or turn to substitutes for him. Their failure to be saved is not some accidental product of their time and place of birth. God has not left himself without witness in the wider world.
Salvation is offered to the whole world not just a select few. Maybe only a select few know about the means of salvation, which is Jesus. But all are offered it by the God who made them and loves them.