Acts 13:48

Consider Acts 13:48 (WEB),

As the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of God. As many as were appointed to eternal life believed.

This verse is commonly cited by Calvinists to defend their view that Christ has only atoned for the sins of a subset of mankind.  The verse seems to say that everyone who is appointed to eternal life will believe immediately when they hear the gospel.  However, in light of our discussion we see instead that the Holy Spirit is recognizing God's election in those who believed, while at the same time offering no assurance to the unbelieving elect in their rebellion.  The elect of God often remain in stubborn unbelief even after hearing the gospel.  This verse does not mean that they are not elect and not loved by God, and never will believe.  Instead, all the unbelieving elect will believe, sooner... or later.  However, no comfort will be given to the wicked until they repent.

The Apostle John uses a similar strategy on the positive side of the equation when he refers to himself as the "disciple whom Jesus loved."  Should we be offended that he singles himself out as the one whom Jesus loved?  No.  Instead we should wake up, smile, and say "I also am the disciple whom Jesus loves!"

God's special love does not mean that his love is therefore limited.  I tell each of my children that they are my favorites.  So when I focus my special love on one child, that does not mean I no longer love the others.  Instead, I love each of my children in a special way.  God, even more so, loves each human being with his special love.