Good mornin to you, and thank you for stopping by and considering some doctrine with me.
I used to believe that Jesus died for everyone’s sin in humanity, (made efficacious by the free will of man when he chooses to believe on Jesus).
However I’ve recently come to rethink my beliefs about that.
Let’s consider the following scripture for a moment please…
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.“
Well we know for a fact that hell hath enlarged herself with damned souls who died in their sins. So clearly their sins weren’t taken away, (because they’re currently being punished in hell for their sins).
Accordingly, I can’t state strongly enough how important the following point is…
You must remember that Jesus’ atonement (His substitutionary death) wasn’t only for the people who would believe on Him after His resurrection.
His atonement was equally for the sins of the saints-of-old who were awaiting the Messiah to come, people like Moses and David for example, (see Romans 3.25).
* Therefore if Jesus died for the sins of everyone, (in the literal sense), then that would have to include the sins of the people who were already in hell before He was crucified.
* Which would include the wicked people of Sodom & Gomorrah whom God poured out His wrath upon.
* Were those people released from hell after Jesus made His atonement for the sin of “the world?”
* Or did Jesus atone for their sin, but they still had to stay in hell and be punished for their sin anyway?
* And if that were the case, then the actual value of Jesus’ atonement for their sin would be greatly diminished wouldn’t it?
~ Which brings us to the following consideration ~
* Has Christian doctrine now concluded that Jesus didn’t die for certain people before to the cross?
* But He did die for every person after the cross?
(That’s a confusing & contradictory view of the application of Jesus’ atonement isn’t it)?
* And to add to that instability, popular Christian doctrine says that now (after the cross), fallen man decides on whom Jesus’ atonement will be successful, and on whom it will be wasted. Leaving fallen & spiritually-dead man in charge of the success-rate of God’s redemptive work in Christ.
Therefore (as I see it), there’s no escaping the fact that if Jesus didn’t die for the sins of the people in hell prior to the cross, then that-alone proves that Jesus didn’t atone for the sins of everyone.
Therefore His atonement is limited.
[And even if someone holds to the view as I once did that Jesus died for everyone’s sins, they still believe in some version of limited atonement (whether they realize it or not). Because the people who die today and are in hell today, don’t have His atonement applied to them because they didn’t believe on Jesus. Therefore His atonement is limited even in that expansive scenario where Jesus died for everyone’s sin].
So then who is “the world” for whom Jesus atoned for their sins?
Who is the “every man” for whom Jesus tasted death?
Here’s my thoughts on the possible scope of His atonement for “the world,” (and similar phraseology)…
21 “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? “
If you read scripture between Sinai and the cross, you can’t help but notice that the physical nation of Israel was the only people who had access to God.
It made no difference whether it was the Philistines, the Jebusites, (or any other non-Israelite people), if someone didn’t become part of the nation of Israel, they were without hope, and without God.
Now look at what Paul wrote to Gentiles in Ephesians chapter 2:
Therefore it seems (to me) that the handful of passages of scripture that speak about Jesus dying for everyone’s sin, may have been referring to all types of people, (not necessarily every individual person of humanity).
And I also think about God’s purpose in atonement.
What I mean is, consider please that God has the authority & power to do anything that He wants to do with humanity, (or anything else that’s His property).
Would God have died in a gamble that perhaps a few random, spiritually-dead people might believe on Him? Giving spiritually -dead man the ultimate control & final say over the net outcome of His greatest work?
Would He have intentionally died for specific people for whom He intended to save? (From among all people groups of humanity). And would He have absolutely saved everyone whom He specifically died for, & intended to save? (His sheep, His elect).
God bless His saints
All glory to the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and no glory to us whatsoever.