UNLIMITED ATONEMENT

SCRIPTURE TEACHES UNLIMITED ATONEMENT

I) INTRODUCTION

A) THE PURPOSE OF CHRIST'S DEATH & FIVE POINT CALVINSIM

[Dr Lewis Sperry Chafer states in "Systematic Theology" vol 2, John F. Walvoord, Editor, Victor Books, Wheaton, Ill., 1988, pp.107-112]:

"The question of the purpose of Christ's death is often related to the so-called five points of Calvinism: (1) total depravity, (2) unconditional election, (3) limited atonement, (4) irresistible grace, (5) perseverance or eternal security of the saved.

These five points often are referred to as TULIP, which is an acronym based of the initial letter of each of the five points. Strict Calvinists hold that Christ died only for the elect (limited atonement), whereas moderate Calvinists hold that Christ died for the whole world (unlimited atonement). Since capable orthodox theologians hold each view, it is not a question of orthodoxy versus nonorthodoxy. Ultimately the question is what the Bible teaches.

The so-called TULIP was an outgrowth of the Synod of Dort (1618-19) which affirmed limited atonement in opposition to the teachings of Jacob Arminius (1560-1609). The Synod of Dort took the position that when an unsaved man, who was elect, comes to faith in Christ, he experiences irresistible grace which causes him to be regenerated. Then, because he is regenerated, he comes to faith in Christ. Moderate Calvinists feel that this position is in error because it confuses what is called prevenient [anticipatory] grace with regeneration. The proper order should be that an unsaved person is graciously enabled by God to believe, and then, as a result of believing, he is regenerated. The Synod of Dort changed that order and viewed regeneration as preceding faith. This reduced the human response to the Gospel to a minimum and affirmed that salvation even to the point of a person's willingness to believe is all the work of God. The Scriptures, however, do not use the adjectives irresistible or efficacious, in relation to grace, nor do they use the word 'sufficient,' which is often used by Arminians. Though it is true as Christ stated, "No one can come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me draws him' (John 6:44), the Scriptures constantly refer to salvation as involving man's faith..."

B) THE PURPOSE OF CHRIST'S DEATH IN SCRIPTURE IS SELF-EVIDENT

1) [Jn 3:16]:

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

2) [Compare Acts 10:43]:

"All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name."

II) CRITICAL PASSAGES

A) ALL = ALL MANKIND, ELECT AND NONELECT IN THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES:

1) IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WE HAVE GOD'S PROMISE OF ATONEMENT FOR THE INIQUITY OF ALL MEN:

a) [Isa 53:4-6]:

(v. 4) "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

(v. 5) But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

(v. 6) All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all [all men, elect and non elect] to fall on Him."

Chafer states, op. cit., p. 114:

"The use of the word 'all' can in some instances in Scripture be limited, but the fact that it is repeatedly used in connection with the death of Christ makes unlimited redemption plausible.."

2) PASSAGES USING "ALL", "THE WORLD", "WHOEVER", ETC., RELATIVE TO FOR WHOM CHRIST DIED CANNOT BE INTERPRETED TO REFER ONLY TO THE ELECT OF ALL RACES INSTEAD OF SIMPLY ALL = ALL MANKIND

Objectors to unlimited often use the argument that such key terms as 'all', 'the world', 'whoever', etc., nevertheless refer to a limited atonement of only the elect of all races of people throughout the world rather than to take these key terms to signify what they normatively mean within the context of each passage; i.e., it is a universal population of all mankind for whom Christ died, all races throughout history, elect and non-elect alike in the absence of any restrictive terms within the context.

For example, the context of Isa 53 does not exclude any group of people from Christ's atonement. Rather, it stipulates that God's Servant (Christ), (v. 53:13), had "laid on Him the iniquity of us all", (v. 53:6c). "Us" and "all" referring to all mankind:

a) [Compare Isa 52:15; 53:1-6]:

(v. 52:15) "So will He ["My Servant, (Christ) (v. 13)] sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of Him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand."

[Notice that "many nations" are in view - all peoples, no particular segment of mankind being excluded here, either any whole or part of any ethnic group]

(v. 53:1) "Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

(v. 53:2) He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.

(v. 3) He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not."

[Notice: no exclusions or restrictions are present here in this passage relative to the words "who has believed", to whom", "us", "we", "men". So all mankind is in view relative to these words which then is carried forth into the next and critical verses relative to the subject of for whom Christ died]:

(v. 4) Surely He [Christ] took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted.

(v. 5) But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him and by His wounds we are healed.

(v. 6) We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."

[Notice that all mankind is addressed in the absence of any restriction or exclusions in the context. So "we all" and "us all" = all mankind have gone astray not just a select few elect of the ethnic groups of the world as if to say that the rest of humanity has not strayed and is right with God.]

b) [Compare Jn 1:7-12]:

(v. 7) "He [John the Baptist, (v. 6)] came as a witness to testify concerning that light, [Christ, (v. 14)], so that through Him all men might believe.

[Notice that there is again no exclusion in view which restricts "all men" to a population less than the entire population of mankind throughout history, elect and non elect alike, all men of all nations. Thus "all men" have the opportunity such that they "might believe" and be saved, i.e., Christ's atonement was for "all men", elect and non-elect alike]

(v. 8) He himself was not the light; he [John the Baptist] came only as a witness to the light.

(v. 9) The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

(v. 10) He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him."

[Notice that the word "world" in the phrases, "[Christ] was in the world" and "though the world was made through Him" and "the world did not recognize Him" cannot be limited to only the elect in any sense, but must be taken as the whole world - all mankind, elect and non-elect alike]

3) AND IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, THE SAME DOCTRINE OF UNLIMITED ATONEMENT IS TAUGHT IN PASSAGES USING THE KEY WORD "ALL"

a) [2 Cor 5:14-15]:

(v. 14) "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.

(v. 15) and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him Who died and rose again on their behalf."

Verse 14 is a first class "if' statement in the Greek ("if and it is so", i.e., "since"):

"For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that [since] one [Christ] died for all [not just the elect] and therefore all [men, not just the elect] died."

All men died vicariously, i.e., positionally as a result of Christ's death for them on the cross - for all the sins of mankind (cp 1 Jn 2:2).

"And He died for all, that they who live" = And Jesus Christ died, paying the penalty for sins for all mankind so that they who live, i.e., those few out of the vast numbers of mankind who trust in Christ as Savior and who are now alive spiritually "should no longer live for themselves" [as unbelievers do], "but for Him Who died and rose again on their behalf" [as well as on the behalf of all other men, (v. 14)].

Notice that the ethnic/all races of elect mankind argument of limited atonement advocates does not work in this passage either. For particular ethnic groups such as Jews vs Gentile nations are simply not in view in the context. So the word "all" in the context simply means all men. This point applies to all of the passages examined heretofore.

[Chafer, op. cit., p.115]:

"...in 2 Corinthians 5:14, 'For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, and therefore all died.' In the verse that follows Paul contrasted the fact that Christ died for all to the more limited scope of those who live, 'And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again' (v. 15)

b) [1 Tim 2:5-6]:

(v. 5) "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

(v. 6) Who gave Himself as a ransom for all men - the testimony given in its proper time."

["gave Himself as a ransom for all men" = All men - elect and non-elect, believer and unbeliever, past, present and future have been ransomed from the sins by Jesus Christ]

c) [1 Tim 4:10]:

"For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, Who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers."

"Who is the Savior of all men" = Context and the word "all" demand here that "all men" not be limited to 'all men who are elect,' but literally all men, women and children of all ages, elect and non-elect.

Although Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men, this verse does not signify that all will be saved. Just as the God of the Bible is the one and only God of all mankind, yet most reject Him and worship idols and false gods - this rejection not diminishing His absolute and universal sovereignty in the least: He is still the God of all mankind. In the same way, Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men, yet most reject Him as Savior. This rejection not diminishing His work on the cross for all mankind in the least. He is still the Savior of all men.

The phrase "especially of believers" affirms the universality of "all men" otherwise the verse would then deteriorate into non-sensical double talk: 'We have fixed our hope on the living God, Who is the Savior of all elect men who will all become believers especially of believers who are all elect.'

d) [Compare Titus 2:11]:

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, "

[Chafer, op. cit., p. 115-6]:

"In 1 Timothy 2:6 [examined on the previous page] the statement is made that Christ 'gave Himself as a ransom for all men.' First Timothy 4:10 has a similar statement: 'We have put our hope in the living God, Who is the Saviour of all men, and especially of those who believe.' Here the distinction is made between the entire world of people for which Christ died and those who believe and receive salvation. In Titus 2:11 the statement is made..." "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,"

e) [Compare 2 Pet 3:3-9]:

(v. 3) "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,

(v. 4) and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.'

(v. 5) for when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,

(v. 6) through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.

(v. 7) But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

(v. 8) But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day..

(v. 9) The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."

"Not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance." =

"repentance" = "metanoian" = change of mind, in this context: change of mind from not believing to faith alone in Christ alone as Savior. The context of the words "any" and "all" is all men, elect and non-elect. This is established especially in verses 3-7 when all men including ungodly men are referred to some of whom will go to "destruction", (v. 7). So "any" and "all" in verse 9 cannot mean 'any of the elect' and 'all of the elect' because none of the elect will perish. It would also be strange for God to wish for everyone to come to repentance if He decreed some of them to go to their eternal destruction without a chance. God would not violate His own will that He desires that none should perish by disallowing the non-elect from any opportunity to be saved!

f) [Ro 3:21-24, 26b]:

(v. 21) "But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets;

(v. 22) even [i.e., that is to say] the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; [amongst men]

(v. 23) for all have sinned [have done nothing but sin all the time] and fall short of the glory of God,

(v. 24) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

(v. 26b) "Who [God] justifies those who have faith in Jesus."

"All [the whole world, not just the elect] have sinned and are falling short of the glory of God and [all and not just the elect] are justified [in one way only] freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. [if they believe - but of course only the elect believe]

This is a conditional statement which does not say that all men elect or non-elect will be justified, rather it says if one is justified - i.e., has eternal life. He is justified solely by the grace of God through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ and not by any other means.

f cont.) [Ro 3:21-24, 26b cont.]:

(v. 23) "for all have sinned [have done nothing but sin all the time] and fall short of the glory of God,

(v. 24) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

(v. 26b) Who [God] justifies those who have faith in Jesus."

Verse 23, which summarizes Ro 1:18-2:20, states that all men have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, not just the elect.

[Kenneth S. Wuest states, op. cit., p. 59]:

" 'have sinned' is constative aorist, presenting a panoramic view of the human race as doing nothing except committing sin..."

[Even the good that all men do is contaminated with whatever motivations come out of every man's sin nature, and is therefore unacceptable to God, (cp Isa 64:6)]

[Wuest, cont.]:

...The [root] word [which is translated as 'sinned'] is "hamartano", 'to miss the mark,' thus, 'to fail in obeying the law.'

'Come short' is present tense, [indicating constant condition in the present of sinful behavior]: 'right now come short.' The verb is 'hustero' 'to be left behind in the race and so fail to reach the goal, to fall short of the end, to lack...."

Verse 24 as constructed in the Greek then says that all men who are "justified" are justified in only one way - by the grace gift of God, which is a free gift in which man does nothing to receive it or keep it. All men, elect and non-elect, this verse says, are justified in no other way but by the FREE grace gift of God. To be justified is to be saved unto eternal life, (Ro 5:9). This does not say that all men are automatically justified as some will maintain. The context and the grammar do not support this conclusion nor do other Scriptural passages. Not all men will be saved. (Mt 7:13-14). Rather the phrase in Ro 3:24, "and [all men] are justified freely by His grace.." follows Ro 3:22 which states that "There is no difference" among men as to how one is justified. Jews and Gentiles, religious and non-religious, moral and immoral are all justified only in the one way: by faith alone in Christ alone. So this phrase says "and [all men] are justified [in one way only:] by His [God's] grace." If a man is justified at all he can only be justified by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone as Savior-no other way: by the grace gift of God through faith in Christ as Savior.

g) [Compare Jn 14:6]:

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me [through faith alone in Christ alone, cp Jn 6:26-29]

Since the 'all' in Ro 3:24 is universal, and since salvation is taught in Romans chapter 3 as available to that universal population of 'all' men, then provision of atonement has been made for all men, otherwise it could not be available to all men.

h) [Ro 5:6-18]:

(v. 6) "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

["when we [believers, v. 1] were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly"[i.e., all men] =

"ungodly" = all mankind elect and non-elect. Even those who become believers are ungodly before they trust in Christ as Savior.

i) [Compare 1 Pet 3:18a]:

"For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust..."

"unjust" = all men, elect and non elect

h cont.) [Ro 5:6-18 cont.]:

(v. 7) "For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die

(v. 8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, [believers] in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

["while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.' = This phrase is not saying that Christ died only for the elect, (i.e., believers), for verse 6 and passages previously examined say that Christ died for the ungodly - all men. The grammatical construction of verse 8 does not limit the effectiveness of Christ's death on the cross to just those who will become saved. It only states that Christ died for a group of people who will become saved; but there is absent in this phrase any exclusionary construction which rules out the group of people who will not become saved. Since author Paul's focus is on believers, the phrase "Christ died for us" is narrowed to the "us" = those who become believers. But the context and construction of this phrase does not exclude all others for whom Christ died]

(v. 9) Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

["much more than"[this] = This phrase indicates that even greater than the fact that Christ died for the ungodly, i.e., all men, is the fact that believers are in addition to this justified by the blood of Christ and will be saved from the wrath of God in hell, a truth of even greater import relative to the eternal destiny of believers.

Verse 10 then repeats this comparison]:

h cont.) [Ro 5:6-18 cont.]:

(v. 10) For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

(v. 11) And not only this, but we also exalt in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received the reconciliation."

[Chafer, op. cit., pp.116-117]:

"The argument of Romans 5:8-10 is that if Christ died for sinners, [which includes all men - elect and non-elect] how much more would those who have been justified by faith be saved from God's wrath. Romans 5:10 concludes, 'For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!' Here again it is expressly declared that God's enemies were reconciled by the death of Christ. If this is true for the unsaved, how much more is the hope of those who are saved and have been justified and promised glorification."

Kenneth S. Wuest states, (Wuest's Word Studies, Vol 1, Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. Grand Rapids, Mi, 1992, p. 82):

"Since God the Son died for us when we were sinners, unlovely and unlovable, rebellious against Him, hating Him, how much more will He save from the future wrath, those who are now in Christ as righteous in their standing as He Himself is in His Person, and as lovely as He is in the sight of God the Father. The article appears before "wrath," pointing out a particular wrath, that of the Lake of Fire which is a manifestation of God's wrath against sin."]

h cont.) [Ro 5:6-18 cont.]:

(v. 12) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man [Adam, v.14] , and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned -

[Because of what Adam did in the garden, death came to all men not just to the elect, (cp v. 15; Gen 2:17; 3:19; Eph 2:5). The context is herein confirmed that "all men" elect and non-elect are being referred to in this passage when this term is used and it establishes the meaning of all men = elect and non-elect for the word many in the next verse]:

(v. 15) But the gift [of eternal life, Eph 2:8-9] is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man [Adam], how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

So "the many" who "died by the trespass of the one man" [Adam] refers to all men, elect and non-elect. And the same "many" had the "gift that came by the grace of the one Man Jesus Christ, overflow" to them. The meaning of the phrase 'overflowing to them' does not dictate that the gift was received by all of them; but it was made available to them. The atonement was universally made to all men, but not forgiveness of sins until it is received by faith, (Acts 10:43).

h cont.) [Ro 5:6-18 cont.]:

(v. 18) "Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men."

[Again "all men" must mean all elect and non-elect of all ages as previously established in verse 12. And justification is not stated here as being guaranteed to all men. It is stated as only being made available to all men through the "one act of righteousness."

Objectors to unlimited atonement conclude incorrectly that the "all" in verse 18b above, ("through one righteous deed, into all men into justification of life," (translated literally), refers to an "all" which will actually be saved. But just as one can say, 'through one action of shopping to all, [enough] food to eat' (but not all will actually choose to eat); so the language of the N.T. in this passage can legitmately say "through one righteous deed, unto all men, justification of life" (but not all will choose to accept life). In other words, our Lord's righteous deed made justification available to all mankind. Whether or not all men will be justified is not determined solely by verse 18b since there are two conflicting interpretations of 18b possible until the context and other passages are taken into consideration. So either interpretation is grammatically correct, but the context of the passage and the examination of clearer passages on the matter, (especially 1 Jn 2:2; Jn 3:16-20; 1 Tim 4:10; Titus 2:11; 2 Pet 2:1-2; 3:3-9), demand that the all = all men and that 18b be interpreted as potential: that Christ brought justification to all men to accept by faith according to their volition.]

B) WORLD = ALL MANKIND, ELECT AND NON ELECT IN THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES

1) [2 Cor 5:18-19]:

(v. 18) All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

(v. 19) that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation."

Verses 18 and 19 confirm that God's ministry of reconciliation encompasses the whole world such that as a result of what Jesus Christ did on the cross the sins of men would not be counted against them - all men, elect, non-elect, believer and unbeliever. The words "world" and "men's" can only be interpreted as universal - the whole world and all mankind in the context of this passage, otherwise the passage deteriorates into double talk.

[Chafer states, op. cit., p. 115]:

"In 2 Corinthians 5:19 Paul stated that 'God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.' Those who would hold to limited atonement must understand the word 'kosmos' [= "world"] here to include only the elect. But this is not supported by the passage itself. The believer is to declare to everyone that Christ has reconciled the world. To limit this declaration to the elect is to make the passage say what it does not say."

And how could the message of reconciliation to the world be given out if the word "world" was limited to the elect? No one knows who the elect and non elect are before and often after one is saved.

2) [1 Jn 2:2]:

"He [Jesus Christ] is the atoning sacrifice - the propitiation [= the satisfaction] for our [all believers', (v. 2:1)] sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."

This verse states that Christ paid the penalty for all the sins of the whole world:

"alla kai peri holou tou kosmou" =

"but also for whole the world"

The Greek word "kosmou" = world is never limited in Scripture to refer to just the elect. The test of this is to add in the phrase 'of the elect' in order to exclude non-elect from the possibility of salvation. This then produces false doctrines which conflict with proven teachings from Scripture. This action frequently results in contradictory statements. For example, 1 John 2:2 cannot be limited to the elect and still make any sense: 'For He, (Christ), is the propitiation for the sins of the elect and not only for the elect but also for those of the world of the elect.'

1 Jn 2:2 therefore states that Christ's sacrifice has covered the penalty for everybody's sins who has ever lived or whoever will live. A person is in Hades/Lake of Fire because of unbelief in Jesus Christ resulting in an unchanged, unrighteous condition - and not because of any act of sin.

[Chafer, op. cit., p.115]:

"In 1 John 2:2 the point is made that Christ is not only the sacrifice for the sins of those who are saved but also for the sins of the world. 'He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.' It would be impossible to make it any clearer that the death of Christ provided for the entire world. Interpreting the word 'world' as referring only to the elect must ignore many passages in the Bible where the word 'world' is used in a universal sense..."

Notice that the ethnic/all races of elect mankind argument of limited atonement advocates does not work in this passage either. For particular ethnic groups such as Jews vs Gentile nations are simply not in view in the context. So the word "world" in the context simply means all men. This point applies to all of the passages examined heretofore.

a) [Compare John 15:18-19]:

(v. 18) "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.

(v. 19) If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."

b) [Compare John 17:16]:

"They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."

c) [Compare 1 John 5:19]:

"We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one."

In one of his taped sermons, (#78 RO-44, side 2, 'The Effects of Justification Summarized'), Dr. John E Danish of Berean Memorial Church, Irving, Texas; quotes what John Calvin stated in his later more mature days relative to 1 John 2:2 and salvation, ('Systematic Theology' Vol. 2, by Dr. Augustus Strong on the subject: 'The Doctrine of Salvation, p.788):

2 cont.) [1 Jn 2:2 cont.]:

" 'He is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world."...

[Then Calvin comments of this verse by saying]:

"...Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world and in the goodness of God is offered unto all men without distinction; His blood being shed not for a part of the world only but for the whole human race. For although in the world nothing is found worthy of the favor of God yet He holds out the propitiation to the whole world, since without exception He summons all to the faith of Christ which is nothing else than the door unto hope."

For example: "Behold the Lamb of God..takes sin..world" (Jn 1:29)

"This is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world" (Jn 4:42)

"The Father sent the Son...Savior...world." (1 Jn 4:14)

3) [Jn 3:14-20]:

(v. 14) "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,

(v. 15) that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

(v. 16) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

(v. 17) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

(v. 18) Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

(v. 19) This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

(v. 20) Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed."

a) THE WORLD HERE IN THIS PASSAGE MUST MEAN THE WHOLE WORLD - ELECT AND NONELECT

(v. 14) "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,

(v. 15) that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life." =

Our Lord continues to provide Nicodemus with a picture of Himself as the Son of Man using an Old Testament, earthly reference about Moses lifting up the bronze snake on a pole in the desert so that everyone who was bitten by a deadly poisonous snake could simply look upon it and be healed of the deadly venom. The picture of believing that a look upon Moses' bronze snake lifted up in the desert to provide physical life is thus compared to believing in Jesus Christ, the Son of Man Himself, being lifted up in some manner to provide eternal life. Verse 14 portrays all of those who were bitten by poisonous snakes, not just a chosen few. So provision was made for all of them to be saved from physical death through the bronze snake on the pole. All any of them had to do was to look at it. In the same way, verse 15 is paralleled to the bronze snake miracles, ("Just as.... so"). It portrays everyone in the world and not just a chosen few to have provision made for them through the Son of Man to be saved unto eternal life. All any individual in the whole world had to do was to believe in Him making this provision and he would be saved forever unto eternal life. The manner of being lifted up will be corroborated later as our Lord going to the cross at Calvary to die for the sins of the whole world. This picture is continued in the next verse:

(v. 16) "For God so love the world that He gave [to that world] His one and only Son...[i.e., His Son died to pay the penalty for sins for that world]" =

"For" at the beginning of v. 16 continues the thought from vv. 14 & 15 which has everyone of the whole world in view not just a chosen few.

After "For" comes "[For] God so loved the world" which provides the motivation for God's provision of eternal life for everyone in the world, not just a chosen few: His love.

Then we have the phrase, "That He gave His one and only Son", ("monogEne" = "one and only"), which parallels verse 15's "The Son of Man must be lifted up" both picturing the Son of Man/Son of God being lifted up/given to pay the penalty for the sins of every individual in the whole world.

The phrase "[God] gave His one and only Son" is in the historical past tense, meaning that our Lord was speaking to Nicodemus before He was crucified as if Calvary had already taken place. Note that v. 15 corroborates this by portraying this same event as future.

The term 'the Son of God' is a technical term as established in other passages in Scripture for One Who has the attributes of God, hence God the Son was given once for all time, (completed action verb), for the sins of the whole world by God the Father.

Following this is the phrase, "That whoever believes in Him", literally 'whoever is the believing one', i.e., whoever is a believer in the Son of God being given for one's sins which takes only a moment in time of faith.

"God so loved the world...whoever..." = The word "whoever" cannot be limited to a few chosen individuals for it would be tantamount to saying that God so loved the world of only a chosen few who will believe, not the rest; and that whoever of this chosen group would believe should have eternal life. This is nonsensical since all of God's chosen would believe anyway; so why make this statement at all? In truth, "whoever" refers to the whole world's population wherein everyone has a chance and a free choice to not believe in the Son and stay condemned or believe and receive eternal life.

Finally, the phrase, "Should not perish but [should] have everlasting life" has in view the immediate sure result of never perishing in hell, (completed action verb); and immediate, (present tense), possession, of everlasting life forever, (because it is everlasting by definition).
From the first moment of becoming the believing one in the Son of God being given for one, one is eternally secure in everlasting life.

The word "should" has in view the capacity and willingness of God to provide eternal life which considering His sovereignty and power is emphatically a sure thing the moment one believes in the Son of God. (v. 17) "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." =

"For" continues the context of vv. 14-15 which has in view everyone in the whole world who will ever live. It is not limited to a chosen few. Verse 16 has God's love for the whole world in view that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Verse 17 then continues to say that God's purpose for sending His Son into the world was not to condemn the world but to save it through His Son.

The word "world" therefore cannot be limited to the world of a few chosen individuals since all individuals occupy the same world that God's Son was sent into to save and not condemn according to v. 17.

Furthermore, if God sent His Son into the world to provide for the salvation of only a chosen few, then He also would have been sent to condemn the rest of the world without such provision who are not so chosen. But this contradicts the clear message of verse 17, for there is no condemnation in view here at all.

Whether everyone will choose to be saved is not determined here, but the universal availability of eternal life through Jesus Christ for all mankind of the whole world that God's Son was sent into is.

b) WORLD AND WHOEVER IN JOHN 3:14-20 CANNOT BE LIMITED TO JUST THE ELECT

"God so loved the world...whoever..." = The word "whoever" cannot be limited to the elect for it would be tantamount to saying that God so loved the world of the elect that whoever of the elect would believe will have eternal life. This would not make sense because God has infallibly determined that all of those who are elect will believe.

...since all of the elect will believe then to say "whoever of the elect will believe is misleading and erroneous.

(v. 17) "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

The first "world" here cannot be limited to the world of the elect since non-elect occupy the same world that God's Son was sent into. The context then is established for the rest of the verse as referring to a world of all men - elect and non-elect - to which God sent His Son to save. Whether the non-elect will choose to be saved is not determined here, but the universal availability of eternal life through Jesus Christ is. Other verses including the next one quoted make it evident that the availability to the non-elect of eternal life is rejected and therefore not received:

(v. 18) "Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."

Continuing the context established in verse 17 and earlier in 16, the word "whoever" must be a universal whoever - elect and non-elect. If it were limited to the elect, the verse would sound redundant and contradictory:

"Whoever of the elect believes in Him is not condemned, (all of the elect will believe so why say this?), but whoever of the elect who does not believe stands condemned already..." [this is contradictory to say since none of the elect will choose not to believe].

Chafer states, op. cit., pp. 114-115:

"In the familiar passage of John 3:16-20 limited exegesis is illustrated when some try to refer this only to the elect..."

In order to demonstrate this inconsistency add the words 'of the elect' after every "whoever" and "world":

3 cont.) [Jn 3:14-20 cont.]:

(v. 14) "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,

(v. 15) that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

(v. 16) 'For God so loved the world [of the elect] that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever [of the elect] believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

(v. 17) For God did not send His Son into the world [of the elect] to condemn the world [of the elect], but to save the world [of the elect] through Him.

(v. 18) Whoever [of the elect] believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever [of the elect] does not believe stands condemned already because he [who is elect] has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

(v. 19) This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, [of the elect] but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

(v. 20) Everyone [of the elect] who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.'

Chafer, op. cit., p. 114-115, cont:

"In this passage the Greek word kosmos is used to refer to the organized world. To limit the 'world' in verse 16 to the elect is to contradict what the passage says. It is obvious from verse 17 that God did not send His Son to the elect but to the entire world.

Verse 19 declares that 'light has come into the world,' and that this light is rejected by people who love darkness. There the word 'world' clearly refers to the entire creation including the non elect. In the light of the context, an important element in exegesis, the word 'world' in verse 16 is universal.

[Chafer, op. cit., p.116]:

"The word 'whosoever' [or 'whoever'] is used about 110 times in the New Testament with the obvious inference that it is universal in its application. In regard to the death of Christ as providing salvation, the word 'whosoever' is used in John 3:16 (KJV) in the statement, 'whosoever believeth in Him should not perish.'

["whosoever" = "pas" = everyone]

A similar statement is made in Acts 10:43, 'All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.'

["everyone" = "panta"]

Even in the final invitation to the unsaved to come to Christ, Revelation 22:17 states, 'The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'come!' Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.'

["Whoever" = "ho" = the one who = him]

All the passages that state that Christ died for the elect are not decisive in themselves, but even one statement in Scripture that Christ died for all should be sufficient to support the doctrine of unlimited atonement.

c) THE HYPERBOLE OF WORLD IN SUCH PASSAGES AS ROMANS 1:8 IS NOT PARALLEL TO THE WORLD OF THE ELECT

i) [Ro 1:8]:

"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world."

"your faith is being reported all over the world." =

"World" is an hyperbole here which refers to the area of the world which was currently accessible for believers to spread the gospel, i.e., the area of the Roman Empire. Other parts of the world were not yet accessible such as the North American and South American continents and would not be considered as included in this. This is not parallel to the concept of the world of the elect because the world of the elect is not confined to a particular arena or area.

C) MANY = ALL MEN, ELECT AND NON ELECT IN THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES:

[Dr. Danish goes on to quote from John Calvin's commentary on the Book of Mark:

1) [Mk 14:24]:

"And He [Jesus] said unto them, 'This is My blood of the New Testament which is shed for many."

"The word 'many' [John Calvin says] does not mean a part of the world only but the whole human race. He [Jesus] contrasts many with one as if to say that He would not be the redeemer of one man but would meet death to deliver many of their cursed guilt. No doubt that in speaking to a few, Christ wished to make His teaching available to a larger number. So when we come to the holy table, not only should the general idea come to our mind: that the world is redeemed by the blood of Christ, but also each should reckon to himself that his own sins were covered."

2) [Ro 5:12, 15]:

(v. 12) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man [Adam, v.14] , and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned -

[Because of what Adam did in the garden, death came to all men not just to the elect, (cp v. 15; Gen 2:17; 3:19; Eph 2:5). The context is herein confirmed that "all men" elect and non-elect are being referred to in this passage when this term is used and it establishes the meaning of all men = elect and non-elect for the word many in the next verse]:

(v. 15) But the gift [of eternal life, Eph 2:8-9] is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man [Adam], how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

Since all men died spiritually as a result of Adam's sin in the Garden and that is referred to by the word 'many' then it is possible that many can refer to the whole world. The second half of this verse also uses the word many, this time to refer to those for whom Christ died, i.e., again the whole world, otherwise the word many would have to have two different definitions in the same context - a violation of rules of language and common sense.   

So "the many" who "died by the trespass of the one man" [Adam] refers to all men, elect and non-elect. And the same "many" had the "gift that came by the grace of the one Man Jesus Christ, overflow" to them. The meaning of the phrase 'overflowing to them' does not dictate that the gift was received by all of them; but it was made available to them. The atonement was universally made to all men, but not forgiveness of sins until it is received by faith, (Acts 10:43).

D) EVERY ONE, WHOSOEVER, WHOEVER = ALL OF MANKIND, ELECT AND NON ELECT IN THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES:

1) [Heb 2:9]:

"But we do see Him Who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for every one."

[Chafer states, op. cit., p. 115]:

"Hebrews 2:9 also reveals that the death of Christ was for everyone... ...Only by reading into the passage what it does not say can the term 'everyone' be made to mean 'all the elect.'

2) [Acts 2:21 and Ro 10:13]:

"Every one who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

3) [Rev 22:17]:

"And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely"

By interpreting the aforementioned passages using the normative meanings of the words one arrives at the position of unlimited atonement with absolutely no contradiction in God's Word.

4) [Jn 3:16-20]:

(v. 16) "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

"God so loved the world...whoever..." = The word "whoever" cannot be limited to the elect for it would be tantamount to saying that God so loved the world of the elect that whoever of the elect would believe will have eternal life. This would not make sense because God has infallibly determined that all of those who are elect will believe.

...since all of the elect will inevitably believe then to say, "whoever of the elect will believe is misleading and erroneous.

(v. 17) "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

The first "world" here cannot be limited to the world of the elect since non-elect occupy the same world that God's Son was sent into. The context then is established for the rest of the verse as referring to a world of all men - elect and non-elect - to which God sent His Son to save. Whether the non-elect will choose to be saved is not determined here, but the universal availability of eternal life through Jesus Christ is. Other verses including the next one quoted make it evident that the availability to the non-elect of eternal life is rejected and therefore not received:

(v. 18) "Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son."

Continuing the context established in verse 17 and earlier in 16, the word "whoever" must be a universal whoever - elect and non-elect. If it were limited to the elect, the verse would sound redundant and contradictory:

"Whoever of the elect believes in Him is not condemned, (all of the elect will believe so why say this?), but whoever of the elect who does not believe stands condemned already..." [this is contradictory to say since none of the elect will choose not to believe].

[Chafer states, op. cit., pp. 114-115]:

"In the familiar passage of John 3:16-20 limited exegesis is illustrated when some try to refer this only to the elect..."

In order to demonstrate this inconsistency add the words 'of the elect' after every "whoever" and "world":

4 cont.) [Jn 3:16-20 cont.]:

(v. 16) 'For God so loved the world [of the elect] that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever [of the elect] believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

(v. 17) For God did not send His Son into the world [of the elect] to condemn the world [of the elect], but to save the world [of the elect] through Him.

(v. 18) Whoever [of the elect] believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever [of the elect] does not believe stands condemned already because he [who is elect] has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

(v. 19) This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, [of the elect] but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

(v. 20) Everyone [of the elect] who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.'

[Chafer, op. cit., p. 114-115, cont]:

"In this passage the Greek word kosmos is used to refer to the organized world. To limit the 'world' in verse 16 to the elect is to contradict what the passage says. It is obvious from verse 17 that God did not send His Son to the elect but to the entire world. Verse 19 declares that 'light has come into the world,' and that this light is rejected by people who love darkness. There the word 'world' clearly refers to the entire creation including the non elect. In the light of the context, an important element in exegesis, the word 'world' in verse 16 is universal.

[Chafer, op. cit., p.116]:

"The word 'whosoever' [or 'whoever']] is used about 110 times in the New Testament with the obvious inference that it is universal in its application. In regard to the death of Christ as providing salvation, the word 'whosoever' is used in John 3:16 (KJV) in the statement, 'whosoever believeth in Him should not perish.'

["whosoever" = "pas" = everyone]

A similar statement is made in Acts 10:43, 'All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.'

["everyone" = "panta"]

Even in the final invitation to the unsaved to come to Christ, Revelation 22:17 states, 'The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'come!' Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.'

["Whoever" = "ho" = the one who]

All the passages that state that Christ died for the elect are not decisive in themselves, but even one statement in Scripture that Christ died for all should be sufficient to support the doctrine of unlimited atonement.

E) MISCELLANEOUS PASSAGES WHICH PROVE OUT UNLIMITED ATONEMENT

1) [2 Pet 2:1-2]:

(v. 1) "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord Who bought them - bringing swift destruction on themselves.

(v. 2) And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned"

Those who bring "swift destruction on themselves" must be non-elect for their destiny is the Lake of Fire.

The subject of this passage is false prophets and teachers who, Peter states, will go to destruction, i.e., who will end up in the Lake of Fire. Therefore they are all non-elect. Yet this verse says that "the sovereign Lord...bought them", i.e., redeemed them by what he did on the cross, (cp Gal 3:13-14). So this verse is saying that the great redeeming work of Christ extends to false prophets and teachers who deny the "Lord Who bought them", meaning that He made provision for their salvation. But those false teachers are never saved - and therefore are non-elect.

[Chafer, op. cit., pp. 116-117]:

"A passage that makes especially clear that Christ died for the ungodly is 2 Peter 2:1-2 where the false prophets who are condemned are said to have been bought or redeemed by Christ. 'But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them - bringing swift destruction on themselves.' Agorazo, the primary word for redemption, is translated by the verb 'bought'.

Those who adopt limited atonement must say dogmatically that this word is not used in a redemptive sense, but if agorazo is not used in the redemptive sense then in what sense is it used? In what sense could Christ have died and bought the unsaved? In view of the fact that this is the standard word for redemption, it would seem to be a direct affirmation that Christ died not simply for the elect but for all the ungodly. Those who hold to unlimited redemption do not question that Christ died for the elect or even that He has a love for the elect which is somewhat different from His love for the world though His love for unsaved man is infinite."

The Law which condemns all men, elect and non-elect, was canceled for all mankind by what Christ did on the cross:

2) [Col 2:14]:

"[Christ] having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross."

3) [Eph 2:15a]:

"by abolishing in His flesh the Law with its commandmentments and regulations..."

4) [Gal 3:13-14]:

(v. 13) "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written; 'Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.'

(v. 14) He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit."

The payment of the purchase price extends to all men, some will trust in Him and receive eternal life and some will not. The word "Gentiles" in Gal 3:14, for example, cannot be restricted to only elect Gentiles. The context does not support this restriction. And verse 14 of Galatians 3 states that the "blessing given to Abraham ...through Christ Jesus" which is salvation comes to elect and non-elect Gentiles as well as elect and non elect Jews. However, verse 14 goes on to say that this salvation must be "by faith". As a matter of fact, Christ paid the ransom price even for those who deny Him, who choose not to believe that He redeemed them:

5) [Compare 2 Peter 2:1 previously examined]:

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves."

6) [1 Cor 15:22-23]:

(v. 22) "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

(v. 23) But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then when He comes, those who belong to Him."

"For as in Adam all die" = All who are in Adam and remain that way will die and go to the Lake of Fire. The word translated "as" = "hosper" = demands this interpretation: that those who are in Adam die those in Christ live. Since all men start out in Adam and since some will be changed to being in Christ then "as in Adam" refers to remaining that way, never changing and "so in Christ" refers to those few who receive this status of being "in Christ", (Ro 6:3; 8:1; Eph 1:13-14). All men, elect and non elect are born in Adam, (Ro 5:12), and if they remain that way all their lives they will die under condemnation and go to the Lake of Fire - elect and non elect. The word "die" meaning eternal separation from God and thereby condemnation in the Lake of Fire, (Jn 8:24 + Rev 20:15). But the elect inevitably trust in Christ as Savior unto eternal life, (Ro 8:28-30), and the non elect do not, (1 Pet 2:8; Ro 9:22-24).

"so in Christ all will be made alive" = "so [all who are] in Christ...will be made alive." = Of this group of individuals who are in Adam, i.e., all men elect and nonelect; those who choose to be in Christ will be made alive. Inference is thus strongly made that all who are in Adam have a choice between being in Christ or not which supports unlimited atonement. Those who are in Christ - those who trusted alone in Christ alone for eternal life: ALL of those who are in Christ - will be resurrected alive from the dead in perfect, immortal, sinless bodies just like our Lord's, (Phil 3:10-11, 21). In other words these will be the elect who choose to believe in Christ as Savior and who will be made alive. The elect inevitably trust in Christ as Savior, and the non elect do not. Verse 22 does not say that all men will be saved, especially because verse 23 eliminates the possibility of that interpretation:

The first part of verse 23 states: "But each [of those who will be made alive] in his own turn [will be made alive].

"Christ, the first fruits" = Our Lord in His humanity was the first one to be made alive - resurrected unto eternal life in a human, immortal body, (1 Jn 3:2; Ro 8:9). "then when He comes," = Then when He comes again in His Second Coming.

"those who belong to Him" = [i.e., those who trusted alone in Him alone - the elect - will be made alive unto eternal life in their immortal bodies, (1 Cor 15:20ff)]

7) [John 8:24]:

In John 8:24 Christ said, 'I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the One I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.'

It should be noted that the unsaved are not said to be unregenerate because Christ did not die for them but because they did not believe. Any other point of view would contradict not only unlimited atonement but also limited atonement for in both cases it is clear that the application is delayed until the time of belief even for the elect.

8) [Eph 5:6]:

Another passage used to support limited atonement is Ephesians 5:6:

"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient."

The words 'those who are disobedient' do not refer simply to the non elect but to the fact that even elect people were disobedient before salvation...

[Note that the word translated "disobedient" here in Scripture means "disbelieving".

9) [Compare 1 Pet 2:7]:

"Now to you who believe, this stone [Christ, the Cornerstone] is precious. But to those who do not believe..."

"But to those who do not believe..." = "apedokimasan" = literally: "to [those] disobeying"

So to disobey the gospel is to not believe in it. Compare 1 Pet 4:17; Acts 5:32; 6:7; 14:1-2]

F) THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES ARE ADVANCED BY THOSE WHO HOLD TO LIMITED ATONEMENT BUT THEY DO NOT SUPPORT THAT VIEW NOR EXCLUDE UNLIMITED ATONEMENT

1) PASSAGES

[Chafer, op. cit., p. 113]:

a) In John 10:15 Christ said, 'I lay down My life for the sheep.' The statement that Christ laid down His life for the sheep is said to exclude those who are not His sheep.

b) In 15:13 Christ said, 'Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.' The argument here also is that Christ is said to have died only for His friends and not for the whole world.

c) In [John] 17:2, 6, 9, 20, and 24 Christ referred to the fact that those who will be saved have been given to Him by the Father. The argument here is similar to previous verses that inasmuch as Christ singled out the saved, He was stating that His death was only for the elect.

d) In Romans 4:25 Paul stated, 'He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.' The use of the word 'our' is taken by some to limit the death of Christ to the elect.

e) In Ephesians 1:3-7 an extended revelation is given on God's great purpose of saving all who have been predestined to salvation. In the verses that follow, promises are applied to those who are chosen for salvation.

f) In 5:25-27 a comprehensive view is given of the church for which Christ 'gave Himself up' (v. 25).

No one disagrees that Christ in His death provided for the elect. The question is whether He limited His death to that purpose. In addressing Christians Paul could obviously say that Christ died for them, but this does not settle the question as to whether He died for others as well. At best it is an argument from silence, and the issue has to be settled by other references where the Bible explicitly refers to the death of Christ as providing salvation for the whole world.

2) VARIOUS SCRIPTURES SAY EXPLICITLY THAT CHRIST DIED FOR THE LOST

a) [Compare Luke 19:10]:

"For the Son of man came to seek and to save what was lost."

This verse does not include an express statement that the death of Christ is limited in its provision to the elect. Any passage that states that Christ died for the elect is not decisive in itself. When Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20:

b) [Gal 2:20]:

"I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me"

He obviously was not claiming that he is the only one who is saved.

c) [John 11:51-52]:

[John wrote of Caiaphas]:

"He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one."

Obviously Christ did not die only for the Jewish nation as some might suggest.

d) [Isa 53:8]:

The same thought is expressed in Isaiah 53:8 where Christ is said to have been 'stricken' 'for the transgression of My people.' The issue has to be settled by the total revelation of Scripture and not by isolated texts."

III) THE DOCTRINES OF SCRIPTURE SUPPORT UNLIMITED ATONEMENT

A) INTRODUCTION

If unlimited atonement is a true doctrine of Scripture then it will fit in perfectly with all of the other teachings from God's Word, especially since the doctrines of Scripture cannot be contradictory. An investigation of a number of key doctrines from the Bible indicates that this is indeed the case:

B) THE GREAT COMMISSION IS FOR ALL MEN, ELECT AND NON ELECT

Consider the command to every believer to spread the gospel of salvation to every man in the whole world:

1) [Lk 24:47]:

"And that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations - beginning from Jerusalem."

2) [Mt 28:19]:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.."

[Chafer, op. cit., p. 111]:

" UNIVERSAL GOSPEL PREACHING

In preaching the Gospel should those who believe in the doctrine of election avoid offering salvation to all? In Scripture God discloses nothing whereby the elect can be distinguished from the non elect as both classes are unregenerate. Since a preacher of the Gospel cannot know who in his audience is elect, he is free to offer salvation to all without creating a problem for the non elect. Even some elect persons may resist the claims of the Gospel until the day of their death. Because the Bible affirms that Christ died for all, all can be offered the Gospel without anyone attempting to determine whether they are elect or non elect."

So the gospel which is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life is to be presented to all men.

[Chafer, cont]:

"Consistency and honesty demand that the one who believes in limited atonement refrain from proclaiming God's universal offer of the Good News of God's love and grace in Christ to all men indiscriminately, since in that view God did not extend grace to all nor did Christ die for all. To tell all men that these things are true - that salvation is available to all - is a lie [if limited atonement is true]." (Lightner, 'A Case for Unlimited Atonement' p.15).

As an exponent of limited atonement, one cannot answer truthfully the Philippian jailer's urgent question in Acts 16:30 - "..what must I do to be saved?"

If one answered as the Scriptures say "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved..", (Acts 16:31), and the person is not elect, the answer would imply that the person could believe and be saved; but according to limited atonement advocates God has made no provision for that non-elect person to be saved. So the proper & honest answer would have to be "If God has chosen you to be saved then all you have to do is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved; but if God has not chosen you, you don't have a prayer ..you are lost and condemned forever no matter what! God has chosen purposely to not provide salvation for you even if you were to believe, which you cannot anyway! You are in effect a vessel of destruction." Clearly, this is not the gospel of salvation as evidenced in Scripture, certainly it is not good news to the whole world. God has made provision for all men to be saved. All men, were it not for His election however would still choose not to believe. Those whom God by His grace alone has elected inevitably will believe and be saved. It is not through any merit of the elect that they are chosen or that they do believe - not even the fact that they chose to believe - for that very faith was given them to believe, (Phil 1:29). Yet it is by the volition of the believer that he chose to believe. No appeal is ever addressed to men that they should believe because they are already regenerated. It is rather that they should believe and receive eternal life.

C) THE DOCTRINE THAT IT IS ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD WHETHER AN INDIVIDUAL IS SAVED OR CONDEMNED PERMITS THE DOCTRINE OF UNLIMITED ATONEMENT

1) [Cp Ro 9:22-24]:

(v. 22) "What if God, choosing to show His wrath and make His power known, bore with great patience the objects of His wrath - prepared for destruction?

(v. 23) What if He did this to make the riches of His glory known to the objects of His mercy, whom He prepared in advance for glory"

D) GOD IS OMNIPOTENT - HIS PURPOSES CAN NEVER BE DEFEATED

Just as God created a perfect earth and then created perfect mankind to dwell on it in perfect harmony with Him forever, but man's rebellion resulted in a change in this scenario such that now not all men will enjoy such an experience even though God had made provision for all men; so in the same way, God has provided for the salvation for all mankind but any man's refusal to trust alone in Christ alone will deny him the opportunity be saved and dwell with Him forever. In neither case is God's plan thwarted for this is precisely what He had decreed and what will occur. And in neither case has God miscalculated, for it all was decreed by Him to prove out that given free will man will inevitably choose to rebel, so God is therefore justified in instituting a universe which is ruled totally under His sovereignty and no one else's. As a matter of fact the Noahic Flood, the failure of the Mosaic Law Period, the evident failure of the Church Age and of all of God's sovereignly decreed dispensations have been prophesied to and will end in failure for this reason.

[Chafer, op. cit., p.111-112]:

"IS GOD DEFEATED IF MEN ARE LOST?

This question relates to the larger question as to whether any sin or defiance of God means that God is defeated. Actually the total process of people being saved or unsaved brings glory to God because it manifest His infinite attributes. There is no defeat for God because His purposes are being perfectly fulfilled even by the judgment on the lost in which His holiness and righteousness are revealed. Rejecting Christ and His redemption, as every unbeliever does, is anticipated in the plan of God, though at the same time it is not according to the wishes of God Who is benevolent in His relationship to all mankind. As stated in 2 Peter 3:9, 'The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.'

"...The view that all men are saved by Christ's death for them is not supported in Scripture, for both the lost and the elect are equally regarded as unregenerate and unsaved until the individuals involved place their trust in Christ...."

The doctrine of election relative to salvation may better be comprehended if we understand that it is the infinite glory of God and the finite will of man which are simultaneously involved in man's eternal destiny.

If Scripture teaches that everything is to the glory of God,

and it does:

1) [Ro 11:36]:

"For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen"

and if God's Word indicates that each individual is accountable for his eternal destiny, (and it does, cp Jn 3:18); then in order for God to receive all the glory one must then conclude that God's omnipotence is so unfathomably infinite over man's finite will that whether man chooses to believe or to not believe, God still gets the glory. So God is not defeated if men are lost - His purpose and will being perfectly fulfilled even when men do not receive Christ as Savior.

Even though "God is not willing that any should perish," [2 Pet 3:9], man must still choose which it will be for him - heaven or hell. Those who reject God's love and sacrifice do not defeat God's purpose, but rather, fulfill it. For without God's gift of faith fallen man inevitably chooses hell, thus proving that it is God alone Who must be sovereign in the universe. No man can attain the righteousness of God without the grace of God operating in his life from start to finish.

E) SINCE ALL MEN, ELECT AND NON-ELECT, ARE SINNERS

AND SINCE CALVARY PROVIDED FOR ALL SINNERS

THEN CHRIST DIED FOR ALL MEN

1) THERE IS NO DISTINCTION IN SCRIPTURE BETWEEN ELECT AND NON-ELECT SINNERS IN THEIR REGENERATE STATE

There is no distinction in Scripture between elect and non-elect sinners in their unregenerate state, i.e., all men are totally depraved and incapable of providing anything toward their own salvation:

a) [Ro 3:19, 23]:

(v. 19) "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God;

(v. 23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"

[Kenneth S. Wuest states, op. cit., p.59]:

" 'have sinned' is constative aorist, presenting a panoramic view of the human race as doing nothing except committing sin...."

[Even the good that all men do is contaminated with whatever motivations come out of every man's sin nature, and is therefore unacceptable to God, (cp Isa 64:6)]

[Wuest, cont.]:

...The [root] word [which is translated as 'sinned'] is "hamartano", 'to miss the mark,' thus, 'to fail in obeying the law.' 'Come short' is present tense, [indicating a constant condition in the present of sinful behavior]: 'right now come short.' The verb is 'hust^re o' 'to be left behind in the race and so fail to reach the goal, to fall short of the end, to lack.'..."

b) [Eccl 7:20]:

"Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins."

c) [Jer 17:9]:

"The heart [of man, i.e., his mind] is more deceitful than all else. And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?"

d) [Ps 51:5]:

"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me."

e) [Isa 64:6]:

"For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment, and all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away."

2) SINCE CHRIST CAME INTO THE WORLD TO SAVE THE LOST, THE UNREGENERATE, I.E.,SINNERS

a) [Lk 5:32]:

"I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

b) [Lk 19:10]:

"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

c) [1 Tim 1:15a]:

"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners "

3) THEN HE DIED TO SAVE ALL MANKIND, FOR ALL MEN ARE SINNERS, ELECT AND NON-ELECT

F) THE DOCTRINE OF UNIVERSAL PROPITIATION DOES NOT CONTRADICT THEDOCTRINE OF FORGIVENESS OF SIN

COMPARE

1) [1 Jn 2:2]:

"And He [Jesus Christ] is the propitiation [satisfaction] for our [all believers', (v. 2:1)] sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world [all unbelievers elect and non elect]."

WITH

2) [Acts 10:43]:

"'Of Him [Jesus Christ] all the prophets bear witness that through His name every one who believes in Him has received forgiveness of sins."

["every one who believes in Him has received forgiveness of sins." = Everyone who trusts alone in Christ alone to pay the penalty for one's sins, (Acts 10:39-42, Eph 2:8-9) receives the gift of eternal life. 1 Jn 2:2 examined earlier which states that the sins of the whole world past, present and future are paid for, does not contradict Acts 10:43 which requires an act of faith from an individual in Jesus Christ as Savior in order to receive forgiveness of sins. This is because there is a marked distinction between having ones acts of sin paid for and receiving forgiveness for one's sins.

Although the penalty for an individual's sins has been paid for whether one believes it or not, thus satisfying God relative to that matter, God's forgiveness of that individual is only received when one trusts alone in Christ alone to resolve ones sin problem, (cp Eph 2:8-9). The instant one exercises one's faith in Christ marks the beginning of a number of things for the new born believer, not the least of which is the reception of the gift of absolute righteousness credited permanently to his account, so that he can escape the 'clutches' of the Lake of Fire and enter heaven's shores when his life on earth is over. So the penalty for sins is not the issue, but whether one is righteous enough to go to heaven is. Man has an inherant sin nature which produces individual acts of sin, (cp Ro 7:14-23), which he must have replaced by God's absolute righteousness before he can enter heaven.

3) [Ro 3:21-24]:

(v. 21) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

(v. 22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. there is no difference.

4) [Cp Phil 3:9]:

"And be found not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is though faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith."]

(v. 23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

(v. 24) and are justified [i.e., saved] freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

Picture a human father and his son. The son commits a crime for which the father makes restitution. The charges are dropped and the son does not have to go to jail, i.e., pay the penalty for his crime. The son, however, does not repent, i.e. change his mind about being responsible for his actions or in another case he does not accept the fact that the father's actions are sufficient to make full restitution. The father therefore cannot forgive the son for his actions, but instead, punishes his son, not for the crime he committed, for restitution was already made, but for his attitude of not being willing to accept the father's propitiating, (satisfying), the justice system relative to the son's wrongdoing. The justice system was satisfied but the son's unrepentant attitude blocked any forgiveness that the father could bestow upon his son. The unrepentant son in one case did not believe he had to be responsible for his actions, in the other case, the son was not willing to accept the fact that the father's actions settled the whole matter.

In like manner, an unbeliever has had all of his sinful thoughts, words and deeds paid for by what Jesus Christ did for him on the cross. But the unbeliever dies in his sins, (Jn 8:24), i.e., he does not acknowledge his helpless guilt before God by accepting Christ's payment for it in total. That individual does NOT receive God's forgiveness for his sins due to that individual's unrepentant - unchanging - attitude of never accepting that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all of his sins - past, present and future. He has not changed his mind that he must accept exclusively what Christ did for him on the cross and nothing else. The unbeliever just does not believe that his actions are accountable before God and must be dealt with exclusively through what God has provided for him because he is a sinner without recourse. That individual will spend an eternity in the Lake of Fire not for paying the penalty for his acts of sin but for his unrepentant attitude which stems from his sin nature. So having one's sins paid for is one thing and receiving forgiveness for those sins is another.