Limited Atonement

Part 5

Scriptures People use to Object Limited Atonement.

Nick Bibile


We have seen very clearly in our past studies that Christ came to die only for the elect. The Reformers strongly believed in the particular election, the Puritans came to America and established a strong faith. God poured his spirit upon this nation, there were revivals, and God used George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards and others. However, along came false teachings of John Wesley and Finney. During the time of John Owen there was an Arminian by the name of Thomas More, he wrote Universality of Free Grace," he believed that Christ died for every single person on the face of the earth. There were false heresies creeping to the church from every direction, Owen strongly defended these arguments in his book The Death of Death in the Death of Christ. Then during the time of George Whitefield, John Wesley came against particular election. He wrote a hymn called universal redemption. I am quoting part of this hymn,

Thy only Son it gave, To save a world so dearly loved, A sinful world to save. For every man he tasted death, He suffered once for all, He calls as many souls as breathe, And all may hear the call. A power to choose, a will t' obey, Freely his grace restores; We all may find the living way, And call the Savior ours.

Now there are scriptures in the Bible that when you read at first it looks like that Christ came to save all. When we study election in the Bible we see these words, all, everyone and the world. Then without going much deeper and studying diligently many come to the conclusion of John Wesley, that Christ died for all men, God does not want anyone to perish but all to come to repentance. God so loved the world that he gave his Son. God desires all men to be saved. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. We who embrace the doctrines of grace should be well prepared to give answers to these scriptures. Remember the scripture is the final authority, but can we take just one sentence and make a doctrine? No. We need to take the context of the passage and the whole of scripture.

The word all

Today we are going to see the word all in the light of election. If we cannot finish we will continue next week. We will take a few scriptures to see how this word all is applied.

Joh 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

Joh 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Ro 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Did all men believe that Christ came to bear witness? Including king Herod, the Scribes and the Pharisees? Did they believe that Christ came to die for them? No. They did not believe that Christ died for them, they did not believe him to be God, the Son of God, the Messiah, and the Savior of men.

Who are the all men who believe in him, whom he will draw and all men whom he will justify? Are they the unbelievers or the believers? Yes believers, because unbelievers cannot believe in him. These scriptures are referring only to the elect.

When Christ died, did he draw all men to him? After he was resurrected, did he appear to all men? Are all men justified? The answer is obvious, No. Then the word all is to be taken in limited sense. It does not mean every single individual.

If we say that Christ came and died for all men, meaning every single individual but every single individual is not saved, then Christ did not die for all. He died only for the true believers. Now we when we preach the gospel we do not know who is elect and who is not. If God put a yellow stripe on the face of all the elect who will hear the gospel and respond, we not waste our time in preaching the gospel to everyone as we know the people who have a yellow strip on their face will respond and we will preach the gospel only to them as we know they will be saved. However, God did not put a yellow stripe on the faces of the elect, so we are commanded to preach the gospel to every creature, however only the elect will respond.

" The whole world has gone after him" Did all the world go after Christ? "then went all Judea, and were baptized of him in Jordan." Was all Judea, or all Jerusalem, baptized in Jordan? "Ye are of God, little children", and the whole world lieth in the wicked one". Does the whole world there mean everybody? The words "world" and "all" are used in some seven or eight senses in Scripture, and it is very rarely the "all" means all persons, taken individually. The words are generally used to signify that Christ has redeemed some of all sorts some Jews, some Gentiles, some rich, some poor, and has not restricted His redemption to either Jew or Gentile ... (C.H. Spurgeon from a sermon on Particular Redemption)

Let us see more on the word all

Lu 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

The good news and the great joy is only for the elect of God. This refers again to his people.

Mt 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

He came as the mediator for his people, his people like any other were the children of wrath, and enemies of God and Christ came to save them.

Isa 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

Heb 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

First, the gospel is preached to them, and then they realize that they are lost and perishing and they need a Savior. Then they are convicted of their sins and they will repent and be converted. The Philippian jailor cried out to Paul and Silas, sir, what must I do to be saved? There was an urgency of the wrath of God that is coming, how can I be saved from this danger? Three thousand people were converted under Peters sermon as they saw the danger and were convicted by their sins. For them only it is a great joy of the birth of the Messiah, the true joy is only for the true believers. The world has no joy in the birth of the Savior. The carnal man loves to please his flesh and on December, he remembers, I cant believe it is Christmas time, it is time to decorate the home with lights, and to but the Christmas tree. Then the merchants of this world will tempt them with all kinds of materialism that will please the flesh. Oh! The carnal man and woman loves Christmas time, is it because of Christ? No. It is for the flesh not for the spirit. It is a joy for the flesh and not for the soul. They meditate on the shopping, they spend their time on the malls, they eat, drink and enjoy for their own fleshly appetite.

1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Some say it was the will of God that all men should be saved, and he died for all.

In this context, the will of God is efficacious, meaning effectual and productive. His will is for his good pleasure. It is based on thy will be done. Therefore, what is accomplished is his effectual will. ," Ps. 115:3. "He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth," If all, then, here be to be understood of all men universally, then God failed on his purpose of his will.

If it was the will of God for all men, that is including every single individual to be saved, then they will be saved. Because who can resist his will? However, it is a fact that all are not saved. Because it is very certain it is not the will of God for all to be saved. The Antichrist is not saved and his followers are not saved. It was the will of God not to reveal the gospel truths to everyone. It was his will that it should be so.

Mt 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Therefore, it is not his will to save everyone. Then what about 1 Tim 2:4? Read carefully from the beginning.

1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

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

Apostle says that prayers and thanksgivings be made for all men, then he goes on to say for kings, and for all in authority. This means not men who are only in low class of life but also to men who are in high class of life. It is clear that the word all here is to be interpreted as not every single individual but different classes of people. Let me give a good scripture that goes along with this to understand.

Ge 7:14 They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.

When Noah and family went to the Ark, did he take every beast to the ark, every cattle, every creeping thing, every fowl and every bird? No, but every animal after his kind. This is speaking of not all the animals but only the different classes of animals. In the same way, Gods desire, his will is that not all men will be saved but all classes of men, men who are in high authority, low authority and different positions to be saved. The power of the gospel is not only to the Jew but also to the Gentile. Therefore, prayers and thanksgiving should be made to the Gentiles too who are in all classes of life.

If someone still does not believe then he has a problem with verse five. The mediator came only for his people. If the all people are not saved then the mediator failed in his work to save his people. On the other hand we received the promised of eternal inheritance because of our mediator.

Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

By the way this confirms even more if you read I Tim 2:6

1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Again, we know that Christ did not pay the ransom price for every single individual, if all would be ransomed then all would be saved. Again, the context of this passage is all classes of people. The ransom price was paid for all classes of people. We notice that Paul was ordained to preach for the Gentiles. The ransom price was paid not only to the believing Jew but also for the believing Gentile. If the ransom price is paid for every single individual and if they are not saved, then the price that was paid is in vain, it has no value, as they are not all ransomed. The ransom price that Christ paid has infinite value as it satisfied the Father. The ransom price was paid for many for a limited number of people of all classes including the Gentiles.

Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

What about 1 Tim 4:10?

1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

First, I would like you to see how Paul made it clear as he distinguished between two. The word specially in Greek here is malista It means chiefly or above all.

1.     1.       Savior of all men.

2.     2.       Specially of those that believe.

I would like you to use common logic that both cannot be the same and true. If he is the Savior of all men, then why did Paul say specially of those that believe? They should be included in Savior of all men, because he is the Savior of those believe. However, Paul distinguished by saying specially of those that believe that means there is a difference of those that believe and the first statement Savior of all men. The meaning Savior of all men should be different or else it does not make any sense. If Christ is the Savior of all people, including all unbelievers then all must be saved, but some are lost and go to hell so he cannot be the Savior of all people.

The word Savior in Greek is sotare means a deliverer, one who saves from danger, also it means preserver.

The word Savior here in context is preserver. God is the preserver of all men, he gives them life and supplies them the needs, and he sends rain and the sunshine upon the righteous and the unrighteous. He supplies them the necessaries of life, but he takes particular care and special care of those who are his, the believers. They are his portion, his inheritance and the apple of his eye. They are distinguished from the unbelievers.

If you have been reformed in doctrine then there will be a true reformation in your life style. Then you are his portion, his inheritance and you are the apple of his eye. There is a vast difference of your lifestyle not to the glory of your flesh and greediness but for the glory of God.