Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Unlimited Atonement, Jesus Died For All

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.

Related Articles:
Limited or Universal Atonement by Dr. David L. Allen; part 1 of 2
See other articles under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels) in lower right column.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

He Maketh No Mistake

Lately I’ve been especially busy. Man, the things I could write about pastoral ministry out of these recent weeks. But not now. So I haven’t had a lot of time to write for Gulf Coast Pastor. But I will leave you with a poem.

This week I preached the funeral service for a wonderful Christian man who turned 90 just a little over a month ago. I closed the message with a poem I sometimes use at Memorial Services. It is in Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors, W. A. Criswell, Broadman; 1980. It has brought a measure of comfort to many.

He Maketh No Mistake

My Father’s way may twist and turn,
My heart may throb and ache,
But in my soul I’m glad I know,
He maketh no mistake.

My cherished plans may go astray,
My hopes may fade away,
But still I’ll trust my Lord to lead
For He doth know the way.

Tho’ night be dark and it may seem
That day will never break;
I’ll pin my faith, my all in Him,
He maketh no mistake.

There’s so much now I cannot see,
My eyesight’s far too dim;
But come what may, I’ll simply trust
And leave it all to Him.

For by and by the mist will lift
And plain it all He’ll make
Through all the way, tho’ dark to me,
He made not one mistake.
-A. M. Overton

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 24, AD 2009.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Random Advice to Pastors, Part 2

22. Whatever your salary, and it won’t be much, discipline yourself to live on less than you make. Tithe to your church and put at least 5% into your Guidestone (800/262-0511; guidestone.org) retirement.

23. Put as much as possible away for retirement. Have it taken out of your salary before you get your check, that way you won’t miss it. If you have taken it out of your own salary, when your church gives you a cost of living adjustment, gently remind them that the amount of your salary going into retirement also needs to be adjusted.

24. Love your people and they will overlook some of your faults and shortcomings.

25. There are times you need to defend yourself and times you don’t. Occasionally it can be good for you to be falsely maligned, and do nothing in your defense.

26. There are times you must face someone head on and go to war with them. But those times are not often.

27. Get at least moderate, regular exercise. Mow your yard. Park far out in the parking lot and do some extra walking. When making hospital visits, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get plenty of rest. Eat and drink your fruits and vegetables.

28. Pray for your enemies. It will do you good. It may also do them good.

29. Become an expert in at least one area that has nothing to do with the ministry.

30. Spend time doing something that relaxes you and that you enjoy. Hunting, fishing, sports, gardening. A healthy diversion can save and prolong your ministry.

31. As you have opportunity, help someone who will never have the ability to in any way repay you.

32. About once a year read a good biography of an outstanding preacher or Christian. Suggestions: D. L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, Billy Sunday, Vance Havner, R. G. Lee, R. A. Torrey, W. A. Criswell, Bill Wallace, Bertha Smith, Lottie Moon, B. H. Carroll, Peter Cartwright, Christmas Evans…

33. Use illustrations and occasional jokes and poems in your sermons. They build interest and help people remember what you had to say. Get sermon illustration books and use commentaries with good illustrations.

34. One day you will stand unprepared and preach a great sermon. This may ruin your ministry. A great, unprepared sermon is the exception and not the rule.

35. Be gracious to fellow pastors. You don’t understand their situation or know what they’re going through. They are often falsely and unfairly accused, sometimes by their peers.

36. Read or listen to someone else’s sermon on a regular basis.

37. Encourage any young preachers in your church. Give them the opportunity to preach. Spend time with them.

38. Consult the following on a regular basis: Adrian Rogers, Warren Wiersbe, W. A. Criswell, Jerry Vines, J. Vernon McGee, H. A. Ironside, David Jeremiah, These are guys who know how to get through to the common man. In my humble opinion, these guys are also doctrinally sound.

39. Occasionally preach a really simple sermon. You may be surprised at how it blesses your congregation. Don’t do this all the time.

40. Don’t neglect the old saints in your congregation. Spend time with them and you may be surprised at how they love you back.

41. You can always be right, or you can have friends. Choose to have friends.

42. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 14, AD 2009.

Random Advice to Pastors, Part 1
How to Get a Life When Ministry Drains it Out of You
Other articles in lower right margin

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Random Advice to Pastors, Part 1

1. Love your people and realize they probably deserve a better pastor.

2. Get to know at least one older pastor that you can respect. Go to him often for advice.

3. Get involved in the Association, State and National Conventions. You need the fellowship and encouragement. They need your support. They need you to keep them on track. You sometimes need them to keep you on track.

4. Preach the Word of God. Make it interesting and easy to understand. You are not preaching to impress your professors or seminary friends. You are preaching to the common folks in the pews. You are preaching to please your Heavenly Father.

5. More talented and godly preachers than you had their ministries destroyed by immorality. Avoid even the hint of scandal.

6. Your wife sees and understands things that you do not. Unless you are an idiot, you will listen carefully to what she has to say.

7. Have younger friends in the ministry. One day your peers will be dead.

8. When you retire, be your pastor’s best friend. Be the kind of church member you wished you had when you were a pastor.

9. Periodically renew your first love and passion for Jesus and His Word.

10. Preach all the Bible, but understand that there is a reason for some of the best loved Bible passages. Preach from them often.

11. It is not a sin to preach a sermon again. Sometimes you can improve on it. Soloists do it all the time. But don’t do it as often as they do.

12. Remember that you never get spiritually deeper than when you lead a little boy or girl, man or woman, to Jesus.

13. Don’t get hung up on a particular doctrine in the Bible. There are a lot of doctrines in the Bible. They are all good.

14. Preach and teach the fundamental, basic doctrines of the Christian faith. Teach them well. Explain them. Make them interesting. Tell why they are important.

15. Teach what Baptists believe and why they believe it. There are good biblical reasons for these beliefs.

16. Occasionally get out good literature to your people. Don’t just assume they know what you know. They don’t. Don’t assume they will look it up on the internet. They won’t. Good books, tracts, pamphlets, DVDs. Don’t flood them with literature. Just push something good every now and then. Have a good denominational state paper sent to every family, or at least to your church leaders. The printed word will not reach everyone, but some will read it and be reinforced by it.

17. Your church is important, your wife and family are more important. Spend time with them. Laugh with them. Joke with them. You’ll never be perfect, but live what you preach in front of them.

18. Work on your humility. This can be most difficult. Humility is something that when you think you have it, you’ve lost it. But humility is not so much thinking low thoughts of yourself; it is just not thinking of yourself. Put God first, family second, your church third, yourself last.

19. Don’t have something going on at the church every day of the week, unless it is a special week, like a revival. Families need time together.

20. Take at least a full day off every week. Two days a week is better.

21. Learn how to relax with your family and friends and not care what happens at church. There are times you need to care what happens at church, and times you don’t need to care or worry. Tell God you are going to let Him worry about your church on your day off.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 7, AD 2009.

Random Advice to Pastors, Part 2
Baptists and Eternal Security, or Once Saved Always Saved; Part 1 of 3
Other articles in lower right margin