Wednesday, November 16, 2011

We Should Believe Jesus Christ Died To Save Everyone, Not Just A Few Persons

By Pastor Bruce Oyen

For You (Jesus Died)

This Posting's Theme
     My theme for this posting is: We should believe that Jesus Christ died to save everyone, not just a few persons.
An Explanation Of The Extent Of The Death Of Jesus Christ
     The Bible clearly teaches that Christ's death was for the purpose of saving everyone, but that it is effective only for those who believe in Him for salvation. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 1:15 that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." Logic tells us that this includes all sinners. This means it includes all of us, for the Bible teaches we all are sinners. See, for example, what the Bible says in  Romans 3:10 and 23.
    But we must do something to get that salvation provided by Jesus Christ. The Bible says in Acts 16:31: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved." And the Bible says in Romans 10:13: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
An Explanation Of The False Doctrine Of "Limited Atonement."
     Many Christians believe in the false doctrine of "limited atonement." This false doctrine means that Jesus Christ did not die to save everyone, but only to save some, that is,  those whom God has chosen to save. They reinterpret, and also misinterpret, the many Biblical statements that teach Jesus Christ came into the world to save everyone, and that he died to save everyone.
The Results Of The False Doctrine Of "Limited Atonement"
    One result of this false doctrine is that the many Biblical statements, which for many centuries have been understood by the majority of Christians to teach Jesus Christ's death on the cross was for the purpose of saving everyone, no longer mean that.
    Therefore, those who hold this false doctrine tell us that what the Bible has long been understood to mean in statements such as those found in John 1:29 and in John 3:16 and 17; in 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 2:1 - 6; in 1 Timothy 4:10; in Hebrews 2:9; and in 1 John 2:1 and 2, don't mean that at all.  Rather, so they tell us, the Bible teaches that the purpose of Jesus Christ's death was to save only God's chosen ones. No one else, they tell us, was included in the saving death of Jesus Christ. As they like to put it, Jesus died to save only those who become believers. Now, logic tells us that means he died to save only a small portion of humanity, for only a small portion becomes believers in Jesus.
    Another result of this false doctrine is that we cannot tell anyone that Jesus Christ died to save them, because, according to this doctrine, no one but the Lord knows who was included in His death.
   Another result of this doctrine is that we can only assume or guess that He died to save us. After all, if we cannot tell someone else that Jesus died to save them, how can we say He died to save us?
Who In The Past Taught The False Doctrine Of Limited Atonement, And Who Presently Teaches It?
      Many famous Christians from the past taught this false doctrine, including John Gill and C. H. Spurgeon. Some say Spurgeon backed off his 5-point Calvinism as he got older. I doubt that. But we know for a fact that he promoted the false doctrine of limited atonement for most of his ministry.
      Many famous Christians from the present teach this false doctrine, including R. C. Sproul, John MacArthur, Jr., and John Piper. This is not hearsay. I have read some of what they say in support of this false doctrine.
      If you want to read examples of how the Bible's clear statements that Jesus Christ came to save everyone are reinterpreted and misinterpreted in order to fit them into the theology of 5-point Calvinism, just look at the notes in The MacArthur Study Bible on the verses listed above. It will amaze you to read that MacArthur thinks Jesus Christ died for everyone, but that He did not die to save everyone! He says that everyone benefits from the death of Christ in some way, but not in the same way! He says the Lord died for believers, but the Bible says He died for sinners! To listen to a MacArthur sermon promoting the false doctrine of "limited atonement," or to read it, click on this link:
http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-356/The-Atonement-Real-or-Potential
Support For The Biblical Doctrine Of The All-Inclusive Death Of Jesus Christ
     While it is true that many Christians and many Christian organizations promote the false doctrine of "limited atonement," it is also true that many promote the Biblical doctrine of this subject. Therefore, what follows are the statements of the Biblical doctrine from some individuals and organizations that affirm belief in the death of Jesus Christ for all persons, including those who end up in hell because they refuse to believe on Jesus Christ as their Savior.
  • Tyndale Theological Seminary has a very clear statement that supports the belief that Jesus Christ died to save everyone, and that opposes the false doctrine of "limited atonement". It says: "The Extent of Salvation We hold that Christ’s atonement was unlimited as to its provision for fallen humanity but limited as to its application to the elect. Thus, we reject the Reformed doctrine of Limited Atonement. [2 Pet. 3:9; 1 Jn. 2:2; 1 Tim. 4:10]."  This quote is from their website: http://tyndale.edu/about/doctrine.
  • Dr. Norman Geisler And His Veritas Evangelical Seminary support the Biblical doctine that Jesus Christ died to save everyone, but that only those believe in Him receive that salvation. And, they oppose the false doctrine of "limited atonement." Here is a quote from the doctrinal position of Veritas Evangleical Seminary. It covers 9 important points, but only what pertains to our subject is given:   "We Reject:  (2) any philosophy or theology which denies that human freewill can be exercised in the receiving of Christ's free gift of salvation; specifically, we reject the belief that Jesus' atonement was limited in its extent, instead, we believe that He died for all unrighteous people and that any perceived limitation rests in one's free rejection of Christ's finished work of atonement, and we reject the assertion that God's wooing grace cannot be resisted or that He has elected some people to go to hell; instead we believe that anyone who wills to come to Christ may do so freely as a result of the Holy Spirit's conviction and wooing persuasion of the heart;"  Here is a link to the seminary's website, from which the quote was taken: http://www.veritasseminary.com/Information/Statement.html.
  • A. T. Robertson, the famous New Testament Greek scholar, made this good statement affirming what the Bible says on this subject: "At any rate, the propitiation by Christ provides for salvation for all (Hebrews 2:9) if they will only be reconciled with God (2 Corinthians 5:19-21)." This quote was taken from his comments on 1 John 2:2, found in his set of books called Word Pictures In The New Testament. The quote was obtained from this website: http://www.studylight.org/com/rwp/view.cgi?book=1jo&chapter=002&verse=002. This statement does not limit the atonement to those who get saved, as does the 5-point Calvinist's atonement. Nor does this one by Robertson on Hebrews 2:9:  "His death was in behalf of every one (not everything as the early Greek theologians took it). The death of Christ (Andrew Fuller) was sufficient for all, efficient for some." Of course, the "some" for whom it is efficient are those who believe in Jesus Christ.
  • Lewis Sperry Chafer and John Walvoord were Presidents of Dallas Theological Seminary. Here is a quote on our subject from chapter 9 their book, Major Bible Themes: "In Scripture the death of Christ is revealed to be a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Accordingly, John the Baptist introduced Jesus with these words, 'Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world' (John 1:29). Jesus in His death was actually the substitute dying in the place of all men." Later in the same paragraph we read the following statement: "The Savior has already borne the divine judgments against the sinner to the full satisfaction of the God. In receiving the salvation which God offers, men are asked to believe this good news, recognizing that Christ died for their sins and thereby claiming Jesus Christ as their personal Savior."  These statements do not limit the atonement to those who get saved, as does the 5-point Calvinist's atonement.
  • J. Vernon McGee is the well-known radio preacher who died in the 1980's. He wrote many good books, one of which is called Doctrine For Difficult Days. John Walvoord, quoted above, wrote the introductory commendation of this book. Here are some quotes from the chapter called "Salvation: Part 1." McGee said the following: "My friend, when He died upon the cross, He was a substitute for you! And He was a substitute for me! What happened to Him at that time should have happened to us --- we are guilty, He is innocent. That's important to see. Don't feel sorry for Him. It was for the joy that was set before Him that He endured the Cross. He did it willingly and gladly. He doesn't want your sympathy, He wants your faith."  And then later in the same chapter McGee wrote the following: "Are you trusting Him today? Is He really a substitute for you? You don't need to feel sentimental about His death. He died for you. And you are the fellow to feel sorry for if you have never trusted Him. Because, my friend, what happened to Him will have to happen to you if you don't trust Him. But He died, the just for the unjust, the innocent for the guilty, the One who is holy for the unholy. He took my place. He took your place. That's a wonderful truth!" These statements do not limit the atonement to those who get saved, as does the 5-point Calvinist's atonement.
  • The Independent Fundamental Churches Of America, International has a good statement supporting what the Bible says on this matter:  "We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for all mankind as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that the sufficiency of this atoning sacrifice to accomplish the redemption and justification of all who trust in Him is assured by His literal, physical resurrection." from the deadThis statement does not limit the atonement to those who get saved, as does the 5-point Calvinist's atonement This quote is taken from the IFCA, International website: http://setup12.finalweb.net/site/cpage.asp?sec_id=140006911&cpage_id=140032338
  • Biblical Ministries Worldwide has good statements about this subject: "We believe the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice sufficient for the sins of the whole world, and our justification is verified by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 2:9; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2:24; 1 John 2:2)" Here is another one from BMW: "We believe the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice for all people and all who trust Him are saved by grace through faith on the grounds of His shed blood, accepted in the beloved, kept by God's power, and thus secure in Christ forever. (John 1:12; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1,38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:5,18-19)." These quotes were taken from their website: http://www.biblicalministries.org/content.php?pid=156 These statements do not limit the atonement to those who get saved, as does the 5-point Calvinist's atonement. 
  • Baptist Mid-Missions has a good statement about the extent the death of Jesus Christ:  "We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died as the substitutionary sacrifice for all men. The blood atonement He made was unlimited in its potential. It is limited only in its application, effectively saving those who are brought by the Holy Spirit to repentance and faith." This statement does not limit the atonement to those who get saved, as does the 5-point Calvinist's atonement. This quote is taken from their website:  http://www.bmm.org/BMM/AboutUs/ourbeliefs.htm
  • The Association Of Baptists For World Evangelism has a good statement about this subject: "We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He is very God of very God, being "God manifest in the flesh." He lived a life of absolute sinlessness and in His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins, dying not as a martyr, but as a voluntary substitute in the sinner’s place. He rose from the dead on the third day and ascended bodily into heaven. He is coming again to rapture His saints, and to set up the throne of David and establish His kingdom. The rapture is imminent and will be personal, pre-tribulational and pre-millennial."  This statement does not limit the atonement to those who get saved, as does the 5-point Calvinist's atonement. The quote is taken from their website: http://www.abwe.org/documents/principles-and-practices.pdf
  • The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International has a good statement  on this subject: "We believe the Lord Jesus Christ died as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of all men according to the Scriptures, and all who receive Him are justified on the grounds of His shed blood (2 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:21-26; Heb. 2:9; 1 Jn. 2:2)." The quote was taken from their website: http://www.fbfi.org/about/constitution-aboutus-84 This statement does not limit the atonement to those who get saved, as does the 5-point Calvinist's atonement 
  • New Tribes Mission has a short but clear statement about the extent of Christ's death:  "That the Lord Jesus Christ shed His blood and died as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world." This quote was taken from their website: http://usa.ntm.org/about/what-we-believe/ This statement does not limit the atonement to those who get saved, as does the 5-point Calvinist's atonement 
  • Chosen People Ministries has a good statement in support of an unlimited atonement: "We believe Jesus the Messiah revealed the mind of God (Deut 18:15; Acts 3:22-24; Matt 13:57; John 1:18; Heb 1:1-4), offered Himself once and for all as the only atoning, substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of humanity (Heb 4:4:14-5:10; 7:1-3; 9:6-10:18; 1 John 2:2; Rev 1:5." The quote was taken from their website: http://www.chosenpeople.com/main/about-us/doctrinal-statement This statement does not limit the atonement to those who get saved, as does the 5-point Calvinist's atonement 
  • The General Association Of Regular Baptist Churches has a good statement about our subject: "We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the mediatorial offices of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who, by the appointment of the Father, voluntarily took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin, and honored the divine law by His personal obedience, thus qualifying Himself to be our Savior; that by the shedding of His blood in His death He fully satisfied the just demands of a holy and righteous God regarding sin; that His sacrifice consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord bearing our sins in His own body on the tree;" The quote was taken from their website: http://www.garbc.org/?page_id=31 This statement does not limit the atonement to those who get saved, as does the 5-point Calvinist's atonement. 
  • The Ohio Bible Fellowship has a doctrinal statement that does not endorse the false doctrine of "limited atonement. Part of it says the following: "We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (John 1:1, 2, 14; Luke 1:35)." It also says: "We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24, 25; I Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 1:3‑5)." It also says: "We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 1:18, 19)."  These quotes were taken from their website: http://www.obf.net/doctrinalstatement.htm.
  • Baptist International Missions, Inc.  has a good statement on our subject that does not endorse the false doctrine of "limited atonement." Part of it says the following: "We believe in the virgin birth of Christ, His Deity, and sinless life, His vicarious death, along with His bodily resurrection and ascension, and in His personal, pre-millennial return. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is the second person of the Godhead, God in the flesh, virgin born as no other man has ever been born nor ever will be born. He lived an absolutely sinless life and became the sinner's voluntary substitute on the Cross by His vicarious death for man's sin. Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day, giving eternal assurance of redemption's full payment and the satisfaction of God's righteous indignation toward sin."  This quote was taken from their website: http://www.bimi.org/content/aboutBIMI.php.
In Conclusion
     As stated at the beginning of this posting, these are just a few of the many, many, many quotes that could be given to support belief in the Biblical doctrine that Jesus Christ did, indeed. come into the world to save sinners, and that includes all of them.
    Of course, His death on the cross will not do us any good unless we do what the Bible says must be done to be saved. And it says this in Romans 10:9 - 13:  "9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”  (New King James Version)       

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