The purpose of this post is to share an idea with you about how to understand the numerical-scope of the Lord Jesus Christ’s atonement. (Who all Jesus died for).
If you’ve ever read the new testament, you’ve read how that Jesus died for all.
And that fact settles the matter doesn’t it?
Yes amen, it does.
But when you ponder the application of that atonement in regard to the people who were already in hell at the time of the crucifixion…then the scope of Jesus’ substitutionary sin payment can be a little hard to understand.
I mean, how can God punish two different people for the same sins? And since Jesus was punished for everyone’s sins, then why are those people still being punished in hell for the same sins that Jesus was punished for on the cross?
When I was previously into ⚠️calvinism⚠️ for a season, (thankfully God steered me out of that mess), I thought that I’d found my answer in their doctrine of “limited” atonement.
Because “limited” atonement says that Jesus didn’t die for everyone’s sins, He only died for God’s predetermined-elect people’s sins. The other people (most people), who were not pre chosen by God, have no possibility of salvation.
[⚠️calvinism⚠️ has a lot of theological problems, but I won’t go into all of that here].
The problem with believing & defending the doctrine of “limited” atonement is, to support it you have to intentionally ignore and wrest numerous unflinching verses which teach that Jesus died for every man. (Verses which annihilate the doctrine of limited atonement to any honest reader of scripture).
So here’s a possible answer to the scope of Jesus’ atonement:
~~ Is it possible that Jesus didn’t die for the sins of each particular person individually?
But He died for the sins of all people in that His atonement was sufficient & available to all? ~~
(That solves the whole paradox as far as I can tell.)
Let me show you an example of what that may look like please:
The person who’s in hell right now who’s being punished for their sins, isn’t experiencing redundant punishment.
Because Jesus didn’t die for the specific-person’s sins who rejected God’s grace. (Don’t worry, I’m going to explain How He died for all).
So then if He didn’t die for the dammed people’s sins, then how did Jesus die for the sins of the whole world? For every man? And how would God have everyone to be saved?…
I believe that it’s because Jesus put boundless propitiation on the table for anyone who will take it.
In modern language, Jesus Christ put a blank check on the table in the amount of “paid-in-full” for anyone & everyone who will pick the check up and write their name in the blank.
Thereby the atonement is name-specific to all of whom it’s applied to, and yet it’s not name-specific and unapplied in regard to all those who reject it. (All at the same time). In that way, He died for His sheep, He died for all, He died for the specific Christian…while at the same time He didn’t die specifically for the person in hell. They left the payment on the table that could have had their name written on it. Jesus’ atonement was never applied to them…so they are rightly being punished in hell for their sins.
God succeeded magnificently in Jesus’ atonement!
But the damned soul failed miserably by their rejecting the Light given to them. They rejected the free gift of righteousness by faith.
And of course Jesus’ atonement was applied to saints of old prior to the cross who believed God. People like Rahab, Ruth, David, and everyone else who believed God prior to the cross, (reference Romans 3.25 & Hebrews 11). They (just like us today), had the option set before them to believe God & trust in Him, (or not).
Think about this…God chose the nation of Israel, and He pursued them to believe & worship Him…but most of them refused and went to hell. They (at large), refused His calling, they resisted the Holy Ghost. But Joshua and Caleb didn’t, they believed God, and Jesus’ atonement was applied specifically to them.
So to conclude, I leave you with some verses to dwell on as you consider this matter:
John 3.14-17 KJV
14 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
Romans 5.18 KJV
“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.”
1 Timothy 2.3-6 KJV
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;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
1 Timothy 4.10 KJV
“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.”
Hebrews 2.9 KJV
“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.”
2 Peter 2.1 KJV
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
Thank you for sharing some of your valuable time with me in considering this matter.
I don’t have all the answers to everything. So I advise you to not blindly accept anything that I or anyone else teaches. You should always prayerfully test everything you consider with the king James bible.
And all glory goes only to the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and no glory ever goes to us whatsoever.