Who did Jesus die for?
Seems like a fairly simple question, and many are surprised to find out that there is heated theological debate surrounding it. One the one side stand those who subscribe to Calvinist theology and claim that Jesus only died for the sins of the elect. The elect are those whom God has predestined for salvation out of the world, as opposed to the reprobate, whom He has chosen for destruction. This is known as the doctrine of “Limited Atonement.”
On the other side stand those who say that Christ died for all, but that the price that was paid is only efficacious for those who obey the Gospel offered by grace to those with faith.

How this question is answered is highly consequential, for it will affect your entire view of the nature of God. Does God only love and save a few, or is there a universal invitation offered in love but which only a few will accept and obey? Let’s see what the Bible says on the matter.

Who has Jesus invited to come to Him?

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, (Titus 2:11 NKJV)
That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. (John 1:9 NKJV)
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, (Acts 17:30 NKJV)
And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. This He said, signifying by what death He would die. (John 12:32, 33 NKJV)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 NKJV)

What can be seen from these verses is that the call to salvation has gone out to all men, not just to an elect few, and that the invitation is for whoever will believe and obey it. So then, it is reasonable to conclude that the blood that was shed was sufficient for the forgiveness of every sin ever committed.

And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:2 NKJV)

Do you see the significance of that? The price has already been paid. All that is left is for us to accept that sacrifice through faith when we obey the Gospel. If someone goes to eternal punishment, how much more tragic it is that they will do so in spite of someone having paid their sin penalty for them!

The last words Jesus spoke before ascending to the Father, we’re a command to go into ALL the world and make disciples of all the nations. How? By baptizing them, and teaching them to do all things He had commanded them. (Matthew 28:18-20). It is certainly fitting, then, that the New Testament should end with a call to salvation as well. And it is a call to whosoever will (aka all y’all).

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely…
He who testifies to these things says, Surely I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:17, 20 NKJV)

20120909-010917.jpg

Advertisements