Did Christ Die for the Whole World, or only part of it? Limited Atonement
[calv02] By David Cox v1 ©2011 www.coxtracts.com You may freely reproduce this tract for non-profit purposes
Calvinism teaches that Christ died for only the redeemed. For them, the decision of each person’s eternal destiny happened before the creation of the world. They promote this concept because it goes hand in hand with their concepts of man’s inability to repent, to believe in Jesus, and to act in any way in order to be saved. Practically, these concepts disturb and discourage the unsaved to come to Christ in place of motivating them to accept Christ. Clearly the Calvinist declares “no man can accept Christ as his Savior because God has not given him the ability to do so. He is actually uncapable.”
The Bible exhorts us constantly to repent of our sins and to follow the way of justice in order to be saved. Moreover, God exhorts us to believe in and receive (an action presented as completely within our ability and power) Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. According to the Calvinist, Christ died only for the sins of the redeemed, not for the sins of the whole world. Because this is not very popular (nor can one defend this position from Scripture) many Calvinists try to smooth this position by saying Christ died for the whole world, but the death of Christ was “effecacious” (effective grace) only for the elect. Calvinists propose “another gospel” and “another doctrine” which was not given by the Apostles.
Offers of Salvation to anybody
Matt 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Isa 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
If God saves only the elect (beforehand selected by Him) then this type of offer would make God a liar. Somebody who is not elect cannot come to God desiring salvation, and be saved. God would not respond (impossibility if God offers to all). But the Bible clearly presents us with the offer of God which is made to “whomever” without any qualification whatsoever, without referring to election at all. The offer is to EVERYBODY under the power and condemnation of sin, that if they seek salvation, they will find it. The process is clearly one that hinges on THEIR WILL, not God’s will. God’s will is that ALL MEN BE SAVED! Additionally there are passages that speak of Christ dying “for us” or “for our sins” because that is the hope of a believer (the work of Christ was “particularly for them”). The believer considers himself part of the world for which Christ died, and he participates actively in that work of Christ because he wants to be saved. 1Pet 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: Salvation is you making Christ precious because he saves you. Jesus is the Saviour of the world John 4:42… know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world., as he is also the Saviour of Israel Acts 13:23. So it is biblical and correct to say Christ is the Savior particularly of a person or a group, but it is also biblical and correct to say Christ is the Savior of the entire world even though not everybody in that world accepts Christ as their Savior (same true for Israel). Compare with 1Tim 4:10 the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. Acts 20:28… the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. So it is right to speak of Christ’s death particularly for some, and generally for all without parting from truth.
Matt 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. If Jesus spoke with siners in his day of a free offer of salvation to whomever would respond, this is how we must understand things, and speak of things. If God does not generally separate the elect out for these promises, we should not either. Salvation is not dependent upon a divine lottery, but rather upon the individual’s response to the Gospel of God (the Gospel), (1) repenting of his sins and (2) placing his faith in Jesus Christ. These are what “makes” a person saved. They are not our works, but faith in God’s work, turning from our sins and works to God. John 1:12 clearly says “But as many as received him”, and there is no reference to election or predestination here before God gives “the ability” (power) to believe. There is a mental action of the will which triggers faith, which God empowers. This power is given to anybody who wants it.
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Jesus declares that the world is saved by Jesus. Provision is made for everybody, but only those that believe will actually be saved. Even though everybody “is saved” (your ticket to heaven is paid for), only those who “believe” (go to the airport and claim it) are actually or efficaciously saved (to used Calvinist terminology). Nobody is saved because they are elect, but the trigger of salvation is given as “believing” and “repenting.” To repent is to turn from whatever you believed, to believe in Christ. The important point here is that the Bible declares our action is the key element of being saved. This action is repentance and faith in Christ.
The Work of Christ is for the whole World
First, we need to assert what Scripture says, Christ’s death was FOR THE WHOLE WORLD. God made the purpose of Christ’s death was to die for the whole world, everybody. At the same time, the condition for a person actually being saved is NOT election by God but faith in Jesus Acts 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things… This point is extremely important. Justification comes by belief not by election. That is why this is stated over and over, that Jesus died for the entire world, because hearing that statement, one believes and is saved. That is the biblical “process”, not election causing faith. To hear Jesus died for only the elect, and you are incapable of believing, is the opposite of what God wants. John 1:29… Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Faith is caused by hearing the gospel, not hearing election and predestination. 1Tim 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all. 1John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1Tim 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. 1John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Heb 2:9… that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. This verse ascerts that Christ’s death is FOR EVERY MAN, and this is the “grace of God”. God gives his grace to every man, although not every man receives it. This declares Calvinism’s main premise to be unbiblical.
2Cor 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: Paul’s argument (Christ died for all men) is the basis for the fact of our salvation. 2Cor 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. God empowered Christ so that his work would reconcile the world unto God. World here is definitely different from the elect. 2Pet 2:1 But there were false prophets… even denying the Lord that bought them. While Calvinist’s cannot reconcile speaking of unsaved people being under God’s grace of salvation yet not being saved, the Bible speaks of false prophets that had God’s provision of salvation for them, but they refused it. According to Mat. 10:32-33, to deny Christ is to be unsaved, and in 2Pet 2:1, they denied Christ, but Peter even so says that the Lord bought them (saved them) but they refused the salvation that was paid for for them.
Jesus Died for Sinners
Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Within Calvinism, they consider people “saved” from before the beginning of creation, and as being always elect (saved) in God’s sight. But this verse speaks of Christ dying for the ungodly, not the elect. Because Calvinists brag about their abilities to deduce what God has not revealed, they get in trouble. They confuse the omniscience and foreknowledge of God with election. God knows things before they happen, but deals with us in “real time.” Nobody is saved in God’s eyes until they have faith in Jesus Christ. Everything in Scripture focuses on that moment of surrender, of repentance, of faith, and the critical factor is never election but always obedience to God in believing. Calvinism presents a fatalistic view of salvation where you have nothing to do with it except it working on your to dam you to hell or take you to heaven. It creates and breeds apathy and non-action. One of the pillars of Calvinism “Total Depravity” which is explained as really being “Total Inability”. Calvinism blames God for every soul in hell with their doctrine of perdition. They impute to God the ill will towards the unsaved in hell as being because that was God’s will for them particularly. 1Tim 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. How can a person follow Calvinism when it is unbiblical like this? They misrepresent God’s will and impute ill will from God towards men (causing distrust and anger in men towards God). John 12:32 And I, if Ibe lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. John 1:9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. While Calvinism waxes long on redefining and turning and twisting these clear verses, they say that God will only draw those he elects, and not every man. Calvinism teaches another Gospel which is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the apostles. It is based in logic, philosophy, and the Calvinist’s own theories, not solidly on Scripture. Calvinists see the only Gospel as being for the elect, but God commands us to preach to everyone. Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth… shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. God is clear, that we are to preach the Gospel as if any and every person CAN BE SAVED if THEY ONLY BELIEVE. Calvinism teaches this is a lie, only the elect can be saved. Romans 10:9 puts the condition for being saved as confession and belief, not elect. According to Calvinism, the deciding factor of being saved or not is election, and according to God it is if you believe in Christ or not. Your eternal destiny is decided not by a divine lottery without your control, but rather whether you repent and believe in Christ or not. Anything else is another Gospel to be condemn and rejected.
This tract examines the issue of whether Christ died only for the elect or for the entire world. The Bible teaches for the entire world.
|Date:||October 21, 2015|