I hope that everyone on this egroup will read very carefully, search the Scriptures to see if these things be true, and think on these things.
Those who believe in universal atonement do not believe in the Christ of the Bible. They do not believe that Christ came to establish a righteousness that demands and ensures the salvation of all whom He represented. If one has a christ that did not establish such a righteousness (i.e., a christ that came to make everyone savable if they would only do their part), one believes in and trusts an idol -- a god who cannot save.
All regenerate persons believe the gospel. The gospel is the good news of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. As part of believing the gospel, all regenerate persons have repented of dead works and former idolatry. They have repented of ever thinking that salvation was conditioned on themselves. They have repented of ever thinking that anything they did would gain favor with God. They realize that before hearing and believing the true gospel, all their works were evil in the sight of God. They realize that when they believed in salvation conditioned on the sinner, they were lost. Thus, when a person comes along who believes in salvation conditioned on the sinner, he realizes that this person is lost, because he knows that this person does not believe the gospel and knows that all who do not believe the gospel are lost.
One of the main evidences of being regenerated is not speaking peace to others apart from the only ground of peace, which is the righteousness of Christ. A person can say he believes the gospel, but does he believe it to the point of saying that all those who do not believe this gospel are lost? And if he doesn't go that far, then he does not truly believe the gospel.
There are many who claim to believe and rejoice in the doctrines of grace and even say that universal atonement is a heresy out of hell. Yet they will not go so far as to say that those who believe this heresy are lost. In fact, most say that at least some who believe this heresy are saved. What is this saying when one says that a universal atonement advocate is saved? It is saying that you believe you have the same father they do. It is saying that you worship the same christ they do. It is saying that you believe the same gospel they do. And when it all boils down, this professed believer in sovereign grace DOES have the same father, worship the same christ, and believe the same gospel they do. The "basics" you agree on show the god you worship. If you think that efficacious atonement is just a "theological refinement" that believers "grow into" after "much study," then you do not believe that efficacious atonement is at the heart of the gospel. And if there is no efficacious atonement, there is no atonement at all. Thus, those who tolerate universal atonement advocates and the universal atonement advocates themselves believe in the same atonement, which is no atonement.
If any of you reading this believe in universal atonement (that Christ died for all without exception), then you are still dead in your sins. If any of you reading this believe that at least some who believe in universal atonement are saved, then you, too, are still dead in your sins. You are commanded to believe the true gospel, which is the good news of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. You are commanded to repent of ever thinking that salvation was conditioned on you in any way to any degree and to repent of speaking peace when there is no peace. I say this out of love for you. Most of you will think I am mean, harsh, unloving, arrogant, etc. That is what they thought of Christ and Paul. But perhaps some of you, or maybe even just one of you, who is reading this, has been convinced of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. Maybe some or one want to know more. If so, I would like to hear from you. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. May God use this post to His purposes. And to God ALONE be all the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Marc D. Carpenter
E-mails, Forums, and Letters