Wednesday, June 13, 2007
For Whom Did Christ Die? Other Reading
I start posting a weekly series answering the question "For Whom Did Christ Die?", and this week the Resurgence site adds an article by Tom Wells titled . . . "For Whom Did Christ Die?"

OK, so the question is common. In any case, Wells article is helpful. Check it out as supplimental reading as I continue my series (obviously, there will be some overlap in our presentations). Wells and I may not agree on the interpretation of certain biblical passages, but we both come to the same conclusion:

Words like Redemption, Reconciliation and Propitiation, when applied to the death of Christ, show that His death was for His people and not for every person who ever lived. Does that seem threatening? It need not. What we all must remember is that everyone who puts His trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will be saved. No one will ever believe, only to find that there is no Atonement for him or her.

The death of Christ is as broad as the category of believer. Beyond that it would do no good anyway. If Christ died for those who will never believe, His death would not help them in any fashion. It would only add to their condemnation. But Christ died for all who would ever believe. They, and no others, receive the benefit of the death He died for them.


posted at 2:00 PM  
Comments (4)

At 4:55 PM, Blogger M.A.C. said...

John in your post you say that Jesus did not die for everyone and we should not be alarmed by that. I find the statement contrary to the text in my Bible. John 3:14-16 Jesus teaches Nicodemus and us all as well that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.

Jesus died for everyone

John 1:29 , "The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."

John 4:42, "and they were saying to the woman, It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.

1 Tim. 4:10, "For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers."

1 John 2:2, "and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."

1 John 4:14, "And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world."

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Why did Jesus descend into hell?

1Peter 4:6

For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

Sounds as if everyone who chooses to believe whether it be through Redemption, Reconciliation or Propitiation or the simple conviction of their sin has the chance of eternal life. Both Greek and Jew, believer and unbeliever, sinner and saint.

At 10:40 AM, Blogger John said...


I will be dealing with this kind of argument later in my series. I ask that you continue considering the biblical case that I am making before you jump to the traditional "proof texts" for the unlimited atonement view.

At 6:40 AM, Blogger Arthur Sido said...


You imply that the proof text you wrote above show that Jesus died for everyone, those who will be saved and those who will not. I am sure John will do a more than thorough job of showing the error of this position, but let me just throw out a question to you:

Assuming Christ has perfect foreknowledge (which I assume you agree to, otherwise you fall into Open Theism which is rank heresy), He knows all things that ever have or will come to pass. This includes who will and will not come to Him. Whether or not you believe in the Biblical doctrine of election or merely hold to a foreknowledge based on looking down the tunnel of time is irrelevant. What is pertinent is that Christ knows everyone who will eventually be saved. Having that knowledge, are you saying He died in place of people He knew would never be saved? 1 Corinthians 7:23 says: You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. Did Jesus buy those who would end up in hell? Does He keep receipts? Why would He provide propitiation for someone who would never have saving faith in Christ? Is it possible that the word “world” doesn’t mean everyone in the world? If the Lamb of God came “to take away the sins of the world”, and “world” means every single person in the world, without exception, than no one is going to hell because their sins are taken away, right?

This is the danger of copy and paste “proof” texts viewed outside of the whole counsel of Scripture.

By the way, the Apostles Creed is not Scripture, and as such is not authoritative.

At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Justin says...

Arthur, while I agree with particular redemption, your question "Did Jesus buy those who would end up in Hell?" could be easily answered with a simple reference to 2 Peter 2:1 (although, those who do resort to it haven't the foggiest what it actually is saying).

But I like very much the argument put forth by you (I use it quite often, myself): Did Jesus actually atone for all the sins of everyone, even those who will, in the end, die in unbelief? If the answer is yes, then there opens up a variety of ramifications, not only in Christianity, but in God as well.


Mac, each reference that you use that has the word "world" is fruitless to defend your universal/hypothetical universal position. Consider the fact that during the time of Jesus' ministry, and in the time of Paul and John, it was believed that only the Jews would be saved. Jews recognized this as fact, and Gentiles recognized this as fact. But, Jesus isn't here to save the Jews only! He came to save Jews and Gentiles, hence, the word "world". The biblical authors never intended "world" to mean "every single human." Sadly, not many theologians understand this.


Anyway, I look forward to the series, John. :)


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