Fellow Christians, where do you stand on limited atonement, and unlimited atonement?Did Christ die for all?

I believe in the verses that say "That none should perish." And "Not for ours only but for the whole world." "Whosoever believes." I cannot wrap my mind around the belief that God chose some for hell, and they had no hope no matter what they did or believed, that they never had a chance.

Or that God caused man to fall in the garden.

I cannot believe anything which makes God the author of sin, or that some have no chance at all.

Some Calvinists say some people have no chance at all, I believe we are called to "turn to God." "Repent." Which means change of mind. If it is all predetermined, why evangelize? I believe God loves us and that God has given every opportunity for us to be in His presence.

Where do you stand and why?


Fellow Nerd, I just returned home from chess club, where we talked about Star Trek, so im in line for the nerd hall of fame. I agree, the limited atonement position seems too destructive to alot of scripture, and hurts the idea of evangelism.

Update 2:

Fellow Nerd, I just returned home from chess club, where we talked about Star Trek, so im in line for the nerd hall of fame. I agree, the limited atonement position seems too destructive to alot of scripture, and hurts the idea of evangelism.

Update 3:

Jack-----very interesting point, that all on His account will be resurrected. Jesus did say, "I am the resurrection and the life." His death is effectual to everyone based on the fact that all will be resurrected. Bravo, great job.

Update 4:

Agnes, I too believe that Christ was predestined, and preordained to appear, being God in the flesh, to do what no other human being could do, to satisfy the absolute righteousness of God on our behalf. In this God is free to justify us fully, not out of mere pity, or being arbitrary, this one, not that one. I believe that those who believe are saved and those who choose not to believe are condemned---self condemned. I can speak to men's minds, only God can speak to their hearts.

Update 5:

Samantha----ever notice concerning the Lamb's book of life that it say if "Their names were blotted out." To be blotted out means that their names were there to begin with. So it must have been intended that their name be written in it. This leads me to the conclusion that God desired them to remain in it, but something happened that their name would be blotted out.

Update 6:

Best bet------I agree that there is personal responsibility and accountability involved. "They are left without excuse."

Takeshi-----Thank you for your agreement.

Update 7:

Eclectic Heretic------Thank you for the star, and blessings on your journey as well.

"I am the way the truth and the life." Jesus Christ.

Update 8:

Marcia---Amen I will be writing back soon with the program details we talked about. Christmas and my son's birthday celebration later today has really taken up my time.

Grey Tower, you are very wise. I studied under Robert Thieme Jr. I agree that the death of Christ was only efficacious (efficacious meaning that what has been done will not fail and will accomplish always what it sets out to do) for the elect. But I believe that Christ's death accomplished for all a resurrection in the presence of God for all, some resurrected to salvation, and others to condemnation. I see the cross as the dividing line, those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are saved, and those who reject Christ are condemned already.

At any rate, Grey Tower, you have given an explanation that is both fair and God honoring. I will study what you have written and respond after giving your answer alot of objective thought. Thank you.

Update 9:

Takeshi-----I agree that the gospel is given as a whosoever will message, the scripture says not for our sins only but for the sin of the whole world.

Grey Tower---I believe that predestination was based on foreknowledge, God knew what each person would choose with their freewill, truly freewill, God does not force people to love Him, God is love and love does not force love in return. So I will agree with a predestination based on foreknowledge.

Is that where you stand?

Update 10:

Robert P-----I believe that God is not arbitrary, I believe there is personal accountability to the point you are entirely left without excuse if you are to spend eternity in hell. So sad, that so many will choose it, never understanding the heart of God. They end up opposing ultimate love.

Kj7 I will definitely keep you in the loop. Thanks for your interest in this question.

Grey tower has many interesting things to say, and graciously responded to my email request to discuss this issue. Her heart is good and seeks to honor and love God, and that is only a work that the Holy Spirit can perform. I can speak to your mind, only God can speak to your heart.

17 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    well, all real christians should agree with you in a sense that God want ALL to repent, and He has given and will continue to give all of us opportunities to do so. As the Calvinist thinking, i know Calvin was a prominent theologian. I haven't read his works though, and if what you said is correct, then it sounds like his view on this matter is a bit heretic.

    i just reread your question again as well as @grey tower answer. I just want to clarify that just because God's gospel is free and not meant to exclude anyone. And He does want all to receive eternal salvation and not even one soul lost. But the fact is He also gave us all free will, and He wont force us to choose Him... yes, Scripture clearly says that some will be lost... But they will do so because of the choice they made use their free will to reject Gods free gospel, and yes, it pains a loving God deeply, more than you and i could ever know.. but there is consequences for sins. and the ultimate sins is to reject the free Gospel and not repent.....

  • Jesus did die for all and so all on his account will be resurrected. Believers to eternal life and the rest of humanity to a condition called "the judgement" (notice it does not say condemnation). During the judgement, the resurrected masses will be taught the way of the truth and will have an opportunity to attain perfection Adam once enjoyed. Those who even under these favorable conditions and in full knowledge of the destructive power of sin choose to defy God, will suffer the second death and will cease to exist. Blessings.

    Edit: The Good News is truly good to all, but it is much better to part-take of the first resurrection. Praise God. The doctrine of hell as a place of eternal torment is not biblical. Greetings in Jesus.

  • 9 years ago

    I have no problem knowing that God knows the end from the beginning and so knows what the future will be...but still allows each person the free will to make a choice. It is very clear in John 3:16 that

    "whosoever believes in Him"....God wanted those who chose to love and follow Him. Yes He knows who that will be....but we are still allowed the choice.

    The Bible says that a certain number of people have been "given" into His Son's hand....and that until that last person chooses to follow Jesus, He will not return. And only God knows when that will be.

    To say that Jesus only died for some is not listening to what He, Himself had to says. He said, "I

    am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father, but by Me". It also says that

    He doesn't want any to perish, but He knows many will not choose to follow Him. There is a final

    book where your name is written in the Lamb's book of Life. He will open the book and read off the

    names of those who truly know Him. If we are all saved, why would He give His Son to such

    awful treatment...for no reason. It demanded the blood of Jesus to cover our sin. And He that Has the Son, has Life".

    God loves us...but He is also just and cannot accept sin. Only His Son could cover it with His blood. We make the choice.

  • ruh
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I certainly have in no way considered lots element in the Bible than in the component of judgment. yet that's that this very venture the place maximum of people, Christians secure, get it so incorrect. indexed below are in common terms some common concepts. A Christian is in no thank you to ex-communicate or condemn - Matthew 7:a million A Christian is to no longer decide a non-Christian - a million Corinthians 5:13 A Christian IS assume to decide somebody claiming to be a believer - a million Corinthians 5:12 A non-believer's judgment incorporates no weight with God - a million Corinthians 2:15 The Christian is judged on an usual basis excellent now, the non-believer later - a million Peter 4:17 because of the fact the believer's previous nature is ineffective and is born returned in Christ, the tip judgment will now no longer stick to. - John 5:24

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  • 9 years ago

    If you wouldn't mind e-mailing your answer to Grey Tower to me also, I would appreciate it. One thing he dances around is the idea of common grace, which is a nod to Arminianism, in my opinion, i.e. God loving everyone but specifically the Elect. Showing favor upon the reprobate is not true Calvinism.

    EDIT: Your mention of foreknowledge and free will working together is logically a nod to double predestination, which is again, not Calvinism. If God knew the will of Man, and created anyway knowing that will, then this is nothing but a designation of much of his creation specifically for Hell. This makes God the author of evil, which goes against the "would have that none perish" verse you quoted.

    Calvinism says that Man has lost fellowship with God from the fall of Adam forward. To fully answer this question, you need to realize that all of mankind stands condemned before God, save for grace alone. This includes babies, the developmentally deficient, people who never heard of Christ, and anyone else you want to include "for no fault of their own. They are at fault, God is fully justified in saving no one. There is no guarantee of salvation for anyone, save for Christ alone. This is where baptism comes in, and the Church performs this rite on babies under an assumption of belonging to a covenant of grace, knowing that it may not be God's will that they be saved. That doesn't make it worthless, because those babies, like any adult after baptism, is supposed to be in church next Sunday, under the yoke as well as the fellowship of the congregation. BTW, if you're looking at salvation as being under the law in the OT, you're wrong. Salvation has always been by grace, with the law written for man, not the other way around. Calvinists still believe in adherence to this law, divided into moral, civil, and ceremonial law. Christ removed the need for the ceremonial law in that he has become our sacrificial Lamb.

    Oh - to answer your original question--Christ could not have died for all in any way. If salvation is only an offer, then redemption was only half-accomplished on the cross, as it forever waits for "completion" by personal decision.Therefore the opposite is true, in that He died for no one. The only other alternative is for Christ to hand sins back after death so that the unbeliever can proceed to Hell (making him a liar), or Hell itself does not exist in the first place (also making Jesus a liar).

  • 9 years ago

    This is not complicated. Light or Darkness. Good or Evil. Eternal Life or Eternal Damnation.

    People reject salvation because they WANT to. Some people hate God. Some people deny God.

    God is not willing that any should perish, but not every single person wants to come to Jesus. Some people love darkness more than the light. Strait is the gate and narrow is the way. This is an individual choice.

    Romans 1

    And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Like you, I believe in the Biblical verses. Hence, Christ died for all--no exceptions. However, I do not believe that "God chose some for hell, and they had no hope no matter what they did or believed, that they never had a chance.

    Or that God caused man to fall in the garden."

    For me, what is predetermined is God's offer of salvation to each and every individual; this mean everyone is given the gift to be in heaven. However, since some *choose* to turn away from God and throw that gift away, they'd be elsewhere. If God were to force person X to be with Him even if X already chose not to have anything to do with God, it would not be love at all; it would be contradicting what God stands for. So where else would X be if not in a place which is the opposite of paradise?

  • 9 years ago

    Whilst it is true Jesus died to redeem people from every tribe, tongue and nation (Revelation 5:9), it is not true that everybody will be redeemed. Jesus died to save “his people” from their sins (Matthew 1:21); he laid down his life for “the sheep” (John 10:15), who are the people “chosen by God from before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). They were given to Jesus by the Father and Jesus will not lose any of them – they will all be raised up in the last day (John 6:37-40). Jesus was stricken for the transgressions of “God’s people.” He would “justify many” because he bore their iniquities and he bore the sin of “many” (Isaiah 53:8-12).

    The gospel call (to salvation) is universal in the sense that anyone who hears and believes will be saved. But not all will believe! There is no biblical basis for universal salvation. The gospel is to be preached to everyone because it is the power of God to salvation for all who believe and is the means that God has ordained by which the elect will be saved (Romans 1:16; 10:14-17).

    A common misunderstanding about the doctrine of limited of atonement is that it somehow lessens or diminishes the love of God for humanity. Not so. The doctrine of limited atonement, when correctly understood, magnifies the love of God, it does not diminish it. Limited atonement reinforces the intensive love of God that is revealed in the Bible. God loves His people with a love that saves them from their sin, as opposed to the love of the unlimited atonement view that sees God’s love as being more general in nature. In the unlimited atonement view, He loves everyone in general but saves no one in particular and in fact leaves the matter of their salvation up to them. Which is more loving, a love that actually saves people or a love that makes salvation “possible” to those who are dead in trespasses and sins and unable to choose God?

    How can God offer salvation to all, including those whom He has not elected or foreordained to be saved? How can we understand the paradox that occurs because the Bible teaches God intends that only the elect will be saved, yet on the other hand the Bible also unequivocally declares that God freely and sincerely offers salvation to everyone who will believe? (Ezekiel 33:11; Isaiah 45:22; 55:1; Matthew 11:28; 23:37; 2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 22:17) The solution to this paradox is simply an acknowledgment of all that the Bible teaches. 1) The call of the Gospel is universal in the sense that anybody that hears it and believes in it will be saved. 2) Because they are dead in their trespasses and sin, no one will believe the Gospel and respond in faith unless God first makes those who are dead in their trespasses and sins alive (Ephesians 2:1-5). The Bible teaches that “whosoever believes” will have eternal life and then explains why some believe and some don’t.

    Limited atonement does not support the view that God caused man to fall, or that God is the author of sin. God is Alpha and Omega, he knows the beginning from the end, he is the creator of time. Knowing that Satan was going to rebel is not the same thing as saying God is responsible for the fall of mankind or that God is the author of sin. God is holy, righteous and just and will never allow sin to go unpunished. At Calvary, God's justice met with his mercy and the eternal plan of salvation was completed. We evangelise because that is God's plan and purpose for all believers, to share the good news of salvation, but it is the Holy Spirit who brings people to repentance.

    EDIT: Appreciate the feed-back. John 1:29 tells us that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. This supports the view that all sin has been atoned for, but unless people believe that fact, they remain in their sin. Jesus has to be believed for his sacrifice to be efficacious. While God will not force any person, God knows who will believe on Jesus and who will not.

  • 9 years ago

    God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life.This applies to every single person God created. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Saviour. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.

    God predestines no one to go to hell.

  • I believe every human being has the chance right up to the last moment of life to believe, repent and be saved. But each person has to make that choice and if some decide not to believe, it's them, not God.

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