One of the five points or beliefs of Calvinism (aka Reformed Doctrines, Doctrines of Grace) is limited atonement. Limited atonement says that Jesus did not die for everyone. He shed His blood only for the elect, or those who would get saved. This is also called particular atonement.
While I agree with some aspects of Calvinism, I believe that the Bible clearly teaches unlimited or general atonement. In other words, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ died for the sins of all mankind, all humanity.
Unlimited atonement does not endorse universalism. Jesus died for all, but only those who receive Him as Savior will have their sins forgiven and be saved (John 1:12; 14:6; 1 Timothy 4:10; etc.).
The normal, natural meaning of a number of verses make it clear that God loves all, wants all to be saved, and that Jesus died for all.
Scripture that teaches unlimited atonement:
1. Who takes away the sin of the world! -John 1:29
2. For God so loved the world… For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. -John 3:16-17.
Notice how the word “world” is used.
3. I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. -John 12:47.
4. Christ died for the ungodly. -Romans 5:6.
Who are the ungodly? Both the elect and those who are not elect.
5. If One died for all, then all died; and He died for all…God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. -2 Corinthians 5:14-16, 19.
6. Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. -1 Timothy 2:4.
7. Who gave Himself a ransom for all. -1 Timothy 2:6
Compare with the meaning of “all” in these verses and in Romans 3:23 and Ephesians 1:11.
8. Who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. -1 Timothy 4:10.
9. [That Jesus] might taste death for everyone. -Hebrews 2:9.
10. Not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. -2 Peter 3:9.
11. He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. -1 John 2:2.
12. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! -Matthew 23:37.
Jesus would have saved them all, but they “were not willing.”
13. But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. -2 Peter 2:1
Even the false prophets were bought by Jesus. Christ is the Savior of all men, even false prophets. He has purchased their salvation. But only those who believe will be saved.
Some who believe in limited atonement point to verses that speak of Christ’s death for, and His love for, those who are saved. This in no way negates the other Scripture that says Jesus died for all, and loves all. Someone may say, “Bill loves Mary and Jeff.” That in no way means that Bill does not love anyone else. To say Jesus loves Daniel and Brittany, does not mean He loves no one else.
The above Scripture is the reason that most Baptists believe that Jesus shed His blood for everyone on the face of this earth. You can speak to any human on this earth and say with confidence, “Jesus loves you. He died for your sins and rose again so that you can be forgiven and made right with God. Jesus offers His salvation to you.”
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 27, AD 2009.
Limited or Universal Atonement by Dr. David L. Allen; part 1 of 2
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