Thursday, June 29, 2017

... Yea But, Christ Died For Everyone.
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

[I'm doing an ongoing blog-series on "...yea but" where I'll answer common objections biblically. This first part answers the common statement that Jesus died for the whole world.]

Many hold to the belief that Jesus died for everyone and that when He shed His blood at Calvary, His blood covers all the sins of all people everywhere. Thus, Christ died for every single person.

If this were true, that Christ died for every person without exception, then Christ’s death did not actually save anyone but it merely made salvation possible for everyone. It also would require that the Father’s plan would be at odds with the Son’s cross-work and the Spirit’s regenerating work. It would also mean that sinners who are wholly dead, defiled, and unable to come to God spiritually would have to initiate the first step of coming to Christ. Still more, if Christ’s death actually saved people, and if Christ died for all, then it would only mean that Christ’s death procures the salvation for all humanity and thus no one would go to hell. There are problems with all of these statements and none of which finds biblical support.

A few assertions of what the Bible does teach regarding Christ’s death on the cross:
  1. Jesus died for ALL men without distinction, that is, all kinds of people. In other words, Jesus died for both Jew and Gentile. He died for those from different races, cultures, nations and languages. He died for all kinds of people; He didn’t die for every person without exception.
  2. Jesus died and His cross-work was limited -- not in scope but in extent. His work was not limited in the effect that it accomplished but it was limited in the extent to which it reaches. It perfectly saves those for whom God elected. It does not make salvation possible for every single person in the world.
  3. Jesus died and actually “finished” the work of atonement by bearing the Father’s wrath in full, for His people.
  4. Jesus died for those whom the Father had given Him from eternity past.
  5. Jesus intercedes and pleads His righteousness and work on behalf of His people before the Father’s throne. He does not pray for the whole world, but only for His people. He did not die for, nor does He intercede for everyone; rather, He died for His elect and intercedes only for them.
  6. Jesus’ death perfectly accomplished the glorious, God-magnifying plan of the Trinity — the Father predestines, the Son purchases, and the Spirit regenerates. Any other kind of atonement makes the Persons of the Godhead at odds with each other.
  7. Jesus died and fully received and satisfied everlasting wrath as the divine Substitute, the Passover Lamb, the propitiatory sacrifice, for His people. This is the good news of the cross.

Yea but, doesn’t the Bible say that Jesus died for “the whole world” (1 John 2.2)? Yes, it does, and in context of John’s writings, the world may refer to both Jewish and non-Jewish -- all kinds of people in the world. Yea but, doesn’t 2 Peter 2.1 imply that Jesus bought the “false prophets”? This text, rightly interpreted, means that the heresy of these false teachers is the denying that Christ bought the believers (“them”). Yea but, doesn’t 2 Cor 5.14 say that one died for “all”? The next verse (5:15) clarifies that He died for those whom He will change, conform to His image, that is, those who surrender to Christ. The intent defines the extent. Christ did not come to die for humanity but He came to die for those whom the Father had given Him. All whom the Father predestined, the Son purchased. And all whom the Son purchased, the Spirit Himself regenerates.

Part 2 is forthcoming: "...yea but the bible doesn't address my mental disorder."


MinorSingingAirhead said...

Did you read "The Death Christ Died" from Robert Lightner or better "A Multi-Intentioned View of the Extent of the Atonement" Gary L. Shultz?
I've yet to find reformed bloggers or preachers who tackle those peoples arguments in a detailed fashion. Most refutations of unlimited atonement are designed to refute arminians. What about moderate calvinists? Common refutations of unlimited atonement, like yours, are loaded with a lot of unproven presuppositions. If you haven't read Shultz's book I highly recommend doing so. Thanks.

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