Whatever happened to “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Whatever happened to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 6:31) Whatever happened to “And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17) Whatever happened to Romans 10:9 and Romans 10:13, which read, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
The great salvation invitation is to everybody, and the church, including this First Baptist Church, needs to focus on God’s invitation and not man’s foolish questions.
The great soul-winner Curtis Hutson said:
By limited atonement, Calvin meant that Christ died only for the elect, for those He planned and ordained to go to Heaven: He did not die for those He planned and ordained to go to Hell. Again I say, such language is not in the Bible, and the doctrine wholly contradicts many, many plain Scriptures.
For instance, the Bible says in I John 2:2, “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world .” The teaching of Calvinism on Limited Atonement contradicts the express statement of Scripture. First Timothy 2:5,6 says, ” The man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all….”
The Bible teaches that Jesus is the Saviour of the world. John 4:42 says, “And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” Again I John 4:14, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” The Scriptures make it plain that Jesus came to save the world. John 3:17 says, ” For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
No man will ever look at Jesus Christ and say, “You didn’t want to be my Saviour .” No! No! Jesus wants to be the Saviour of all men. As a matter of fact, I Timothy 4:10 says, “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.”
The Bible teaches that Christ bore the sins of all people. Isaiah 53:6 says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” There are twos “alls” in this verse. The first “all” speaks of the universal fact of sin- “All we like sheep have gone astray.” And the second “all” speaks of universal atonement – “and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” The “all” in the first part of Isaiah 53:6 covers. If all went astray, then the iniquities of all were laid on Christ.
Not only did He bear the sins of us all, but the Bible plainly teaches that He died for the whole world. Look at John 2:2: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.” If that isn’t plain enough, the Bible says His death was for every man; “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9).
Nothing could be plainer than the fact that Jesus Christ died for every man. First Timothy 2:5,6 says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all. . . . ” Romans 8:32 states, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
Look at the statements–statement after statement: “that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man”; “Who gave himself a ransom for all”; “delivered him up for us all.”
John 3:16 has often been called “the heart of the Bible.” It has been called “the Bible in miniature.” “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus died for the whole world. He suffered Hell for every man who has ever lived or ever will live. And no man will look out of Hell and say, “I wanted to be saved, but Jesus did not die for me.”
Some argue that if Jesus died for the whole world, the whole world would be saved. No. the death of Jesus Christ on the cross was sufficient for all, but it is efficient only to those who believe. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross made it possible for every man everywhere to be saved. But only those who believe that He died to pay their sin debt and who trust Him completely for salvation will be saved.
Again I quote John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. . . .” Everybody is potentially saved, but everybody is not actually saved until he recognizes that he is a sinner, believes that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the sin debt, and trust Him completely for salvation.
The atonement is not limited. it is as universal as sin. Romans 5:20 says, “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Isaiah 53:6 states, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
A famous English preacher spoke in an English town, then rushed to catch his train for London. A sinner who heard him preach felt that he must immediately settle the matter of salvation. So he followed the preacher to the train. Just as the train pulled into the station, he took hold of the preacher’s lapel and said, ” I want to be saved! Tell me how!”
The minister said, “I must catch this last train to London. Do you have a Bible?”
“Yes, I have one at home,” said the anxious inquirer.
“Then go home and find Isaiah 53:6. Read it carefully. Go in at the first all, and come out at the last all, and you will be saved.”
The preacher rushed away, and the anxious sinner was left alone. He went back to his home, and opening his Bible, he turned to Isaiah 53:6. What did the preacher mean, he wondered–“Go in at the first all and come out at the last all, and you will be saved”? He found the verse and read it carefully: “All we like sheep have gone astray.”
Well, he thought to himself, I can certainly go in at the first all. I have gone astray. I am a poor, lost sinner. Then he read the last part of the verse, “And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” He said to himself, “If I come out at the last all, I must believe that all my sins were laid on Christ, that He took my place and paid for my sins. And if I rely upon that, I will be saved. That’s what the preacher meant.”
He then trusted Christ and was saved. He believed that he was a sinner and that all his sins had been laid on Christ.
Let’s focus on what Jesus Christ commands us to do and that is “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel.”
And let God save those that believe in Christ, whoever they are.
– David Paul