To the universal
First of all, I want to say that I very much appreciate the fact that you realize that you do not worship the same God I do. Many (on both sides of the debate) would say that this is a matter over which true Christians can disagree; you realize that it is not, and I respect that. Either I worship the true God, or you worship the true God, not both. One of our Gods is an idol. One of our Christs is an idol. Either the Christ whose blood does not save is an idol, or the Christ whose blood secured the salvation of all whom He represented is an idol.
Before I get into Scripture, I would like to reiterate some questions that I asked that nobody answered. Here they are:
If Christ's blood did not save, then what did Christ's blood do? Did Christ's blood actually DO ANYTHING in and of itself?
Was Christ the PENAL SUBSTITUTE for the goats? That is, did He PAY THE PENALTY that was due the goats? Did Christ's blood PAY THE DEBT that the goats owed to God for their sin? Did Christ satisfy God's law and justice on behalf of the goats? Was God's wrath poured out on Christ in the stead of the goats? After you answer these questions, please answer these: What is the reason there are some people in hell? Have their sins been paid for by the blood of Christ?
Please define PROPITIATION for me. Then tell me how Christ's blood PROPITIATED for the sins of the goats.
Please define ATONEMENT for me. Then tell me how Christ's blood ATONED for the sins of the goats.
Please define REDEMPTION for me. Then tell me how Christ's blood REDEEMED the goats.
And I have some additional questions:
Did Christ's blood ENSURE anything for those for whom it was shed?
For what sins is God punishing those in hell?
Didn't God already punish those sins on the cross?
Okay. Now let's go into some Scriptures.
> I want (as do my
> brothers) be struck by the truth of God's Word. All you have to do is
> show us just ONE verse that says that God ONLY died for those He elected
> to salvation. Your arguements sound good, but you are not substantiating
> all your words with one shred of biblical evidence.
I gave you a verse that is as plain as the nose on your face, which is John 10:15, but you choose to interpret it from your own depraved reasoning. The verse shouts exclusivity. When Jesus said that He gives His life for the sheep, He is excluding a certain people for whom He did not give His life. If He were not excluding the non-sheep here, the verse would be absolutely meaningless. Here's an example that might bring this home to someone on this cc list: Suppose Jesus said, "I know the Jews, and the Jews know Me, and I lay down My life for the Jews." Everyone listening to Him would know that He is excluding the Gentiles. This is really basic stuff here.
But let me give you some more verses that show what my Christ actually accomplished on the cross. If you are really serious about studying the Scriptures to find out the Truth, you will look each one of these up. [Note: when I say "us," I use the language of the Bible to mean "those of us who believe." I do not mean to imply that "us" means both me and the universal atonement advocates.]
Justifies us and saves us from wrath (Romans 3:24; 5:9).
Reconciles us to God (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Colossians 1:21).
Makes us dead to sin (Romans 6:1-11).
Gives us justification of life, makes us righteous (Romans 5:18-19).
Makes us not condemnable or chargeable, makes us free from the law of sin and death, makes us unable to be separated from the love of God (Romans 8:1-2,31-39).
Makes us the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Delivers us from the present evil age (Galatians 1:4).
Redeems us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13).
Redeems us, giving us the adoption of sons (Galatans 4:5).
Crucifies us unto the world and crucifies the world unto us (Galatians 6:14).
Blesses us with all spiritual blessings, makes us holy and without blame, redeems us, forgives our sins, gives us an inheritance (Ephesians 1:3-14)
Makes peace and abolishes enmity between us and God, reconciling us to God (Ephesians 2:13-17)
Redeems us and forgives our sins (Colossians 1:14).
Makes peace with us, reconciles us, presents us holy and unblameable and unreprovable in God's sight (Colossians 1:20-22)
Forgives us our trespasses, blots out the handwriting of ordinances against us and takes it out of the way (Colossians 2:13-14).
Redeems us from all iniquity and purifies unto himself a peculiar people (Titus 2:14).
Justifies us, makes us heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:6-7).
Purges our sins (Hebrews 1:3).
Delivers us, makes reconciliation for our sins (Hebrews 2:14-17)
Gives us eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9)
Saves us to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25).
Eternally redeems us, purges our conscience from dead works to serve the living God, gives us an eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:12-15).
Puts away our sin (Hebrews 9:26-28).
Perfects us forever (Hebrews 10:14).
Gives us boldness to enter into the holiest (Hebrews 10:19).
Redeems us (1 Peter 1:18-19).
Heals us, makes us die to sins and live unto righteousness (1 Peter 2:24)
Brings us to God (1 Peter 3:18).
Cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
Takes away our sins (1 John 3:5).
Washes us from our sins (Revelation 1:5).
Redeems us to God (Revelation 5:9)
Now, after reading all these passages regarding what Christ's blood, Christ's cross, Christ's righteousness, does -- do these describe even in one instance the goats? Maybe some of you can now see why I sometimes like to call this doctrine "Effectual Redemption" rather than "Particular Redemption" or "Limited Atonement." Christ's life and death actually DID SOMETHING for those whom He represented. It was EFFECTUAL. Now, to you universal atonement advocates: Did Christ's blood PUT AWAY the sin of the goats? Did Christ's blood saves the goats from wrath? Did Christ's blood reconcile the goats unto God? Did Christ's blood make the goats righteous? Did Christ's blood make the goats free from the law of sin and death? Did Christ's blood redeem the goats from the curse of the law? Did Christ's blood abolish the enmity between the goats and God? Did Christ's blood purge the sins of the goats? Did Christ's blood make reconciliation for the sins of the goats? How much value do you put on Christ's blood?
I look forward to your answers.
To God ALONE be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
I realize that you do not want to get into a debate or discussion, but I must let you know about what your position means. You don't have to respond to it if you don't want to, but I am obligated to tell you this.
> i will say that i believe that Jesus died for
> everyone... i do
> not think that everyone will be saved, but only those who chose
> Him and and
> ask for forgiveness... i believe that is what His blood was for...
I hope and pray that I make this as clear as possible.
The gospel is the good news of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. Any "gospel" that conditions any part of salvation on the sinner is a false gospel.
You said that you believe that Jesus died for everyone. This means that you believe that Jesus died for those who are now suffering in the torments of hell. You believe that Jesus shed His precious blood for those who are damned forever. So what did the blood of Jesus actually accomplish, according to your belief? It actually accomplished NOTHING without the help of man. It did NOTHING in and of itself to save ANYONE. For if the blood of Christ was shed for those in hell, Christ's blood, Christ's death, did NOTHING for them. You believe in a "gospel" of Christ's death PLUS the work of the sinner. The true gospel that is plainly put forth in Scripture shows that Christ's work ALONE is what makes the difference between heaven and hell. Yet you believe that it is NOT Christ's work alone that makes the difference; instead, it is ultimately the work of the SINNER that makes the difference.
You believe that Jesus died for everyone but not everyone will be saved. Thus, you believe that Jesus's death did not accomplish salvation. You believe that Jesus's death does not ensure and demand the salvation of all for whom He died. You said, "i believe that is what His blood was for." His blood was for WHAT? What did His blood actually DO, in and of itself? To you, all it did was to make salvation possible if the sinner would do his part. This is not grace; this is WORKS. This is a false gospel of works salvation. Do you see this? The blood of Christ has NO REAL VALUE to you. What you really value is your decision, which, along with Christ's blood that made it all possible, saves you.
Adam, I am not saying this to be mean or unloving. I care for your soul. And I must say that, as it stands right now, you are not saved. You do not believe in the true Jesus Christ or the true gospel of grace. I know you probably won't respond to this, but I would welcome any questions or requests for clarification. I would also urge you to read the manuscripts of a series of 10 sermons I preached on the gospel. They contain many Scripture proofs for the true gospel. You can find them at http://www.outsidethecamp.org/sermons.htm. I also have these sermons on tape if you would like to have them. Adam, I pray for your salvation. God commands you to repent of believing in salvation conditioned on the sinner and to believe the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the work of Christ alone.
To God ALONE be the glory,
Thanks for writing.
> I've debated arrogant Calvinists before, but you take the cake, you know
Interesting you should make such a comment, since I'm not a Calvinist. I am a Christian. All true Christians believe the gospel, which is God's promise to save His people conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. This means that all true Christians believe that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. Those who believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception DO NOT believe that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the difference between salvation and damnation; instead, they believe that it is the work of the SINNER that makes the difference between salvation and damnation. Such people call themselves Christians, but they are really no different than the multitude of other self-righteous religionists that come in the name of all the different world religions.
> I'm still willing to call you my brother, but to you I am
> outside of
> Christ. What a shameful thing you are asserting.
What is truly shameful are people who call themselves Christians but who do not believe in the very heart of the gospel, which is the atonement of Christ. Those who believe that Christ atoned for those in hell spit in the face of Christ, treat His blood as nothing, and trample His blood underfoot. They hate the true God and the true Christ and the true gospel.
> The Bible does not teach me to believe in Calvin to be saved, but
> to believe
> in Christ.
I definitely agree. However, from the way you structured the sentence, it seems that you think that I tell people to believe in Calvin. Let me set the record straight. I do not believe in Calvin, and I do not tell others to believe in Calvin. Calvin was an unregenerate man. And even if he were a regenerate man, I would never ask someone to believe in a person other than Jesus Christ.
Now what does it mean to believe in Christ? It means to believe in His PERSON and His WORK. His PERSON is the perfect God-Man Mediator. His work was to establish a righteousness, to make complete payment for sin, to totally appease God's wrath. Now had Christ made a COMPLETE payment for sin and TOTALLY appeased God's wrath for everyone without exception, then obviously, no one would go to hell, since everyone's sins had been paid for and God's wrath against everyone had been totally appeased. But we know that this is not the case. We know that there are some in hell. Thus, Christ DID NOT pay for the sins of those in hell, and God's wrath IS NOT appeased against those in hell. Just think: If Christ paid the penalty for the sins of a person in hell, then what is that person doing in hell, since the penalty of his sins had already been paid for? He would be paying for sins that had ALREADY been paid for! The truth is that Christ established a righteousness that ENSURES the salvation of EVERYONE whom He represented. If this were not the case, then Christ's blood is worthless. Thus, someone who believes in universal atonement DOES NOT believe in Christ.
> I believe in the God-Man who died for my sins and
> rose to be the
> Lord of the living. I believe he saves me and that I contribute
> nothing to
> my salvation. Does that not make me a Christian?
If you believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception, then you DO NOT believe that you contribute nothing to your salvation; you DO NOT believe that salvation is conditioned on the work of Christ alone; instead, you believe in salvation conditioned on the sinner.
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
Thanks for your response.
> < Those who believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without
> exception DO
> NOT believe that it is the work of Jesus Christ alone that makes the
> difference between salvation and damnation; >
> I do not understand this position. How do you deal with verses like Matt.
> 23:37; Jn. 5:34, 40; Acts 7:51; 2Cor. 5:19; 1Tim. 2:4; 1Jn. 2:2;
> 4:14? I do
> not see how these could be interpreted in a manner consistent with your
> above stance, without doing violence to the text.
You that you believe the false gospel of salvation conditioned on the sinner and are thus unregenerate. I do not tell you this to be mean; I tell you the truth with the hope that God will cause you to see the truth.
I'll go over each of the passages you mentioned.
After Jesus cursed the religious leaders (scribes and Pharisees), he continues by telling them that they (the religious leaders of the day and their ancestors) killed the prophets. "Jerusalem" is talking about the religious leaders. Jesus then said that he desired to gather Jerusalem's children (the Jews), and Jerusalem (the religious leaders) were against this. Many who have no idea how to exegete Scripture say that Jesus said, "How often would I have gathered ye together ... and ye would not", with the "ye" meaning Jerusalem. But, in acutality, Jesus said, "How often would I have gathered YOUR CHILDREN together ... and YE (NOT "your children") would not." So Jesus, weeping out of anger toward the scribes and Pharisees, tell them that they are the ones who are trying to resist Christ's gathering the Jews together. This has NOTHING to do with Christ's desire to save some people who ended up resisting that salvation. When Christ said that he desired to gather Jerusalem's CHILDREN together, He was expressing a desire that is fulfilled.
Jn. 5:34, 40
Jesus is saying that he says those things that they might be saved. Is this talking about everyone without exception? Obviously not. In John 10, Christ says that he lays down his life for the SHEEP (v. 11) and that some of those in the audience did not believe because they were NOT HIS SHEEP (v. 26). It can't get any clearer than that. Some did not believe because they were not among those for whom Christ lay down his life. John 5:40 says that they will not come to him, that they might have life. Why not? It is because they were not His sheep.
Stephen first went into the history of the Jews and how there were some who opposed the prophets. He then told his audience that THEY resisted the Holy Ghost just like THEIR FATHERS resisted the Holy Ghost. How did their fathers resist the Holy Ghost? By opposing the prophets. It is NOT talking about resisting the Holy Ghost's working on/in them to try to save them; it is talking about resisting/opposing the Holy Spirit-filled prophets.
I assume you're talking about the word "world" here. Now let's replace "world" with "everyone without exception," since this is what you believe:
"God was in Christ, reconciling everyone without exception unto himself, not imputing the trespasses of everyone without exception to them ..."
Okay. So what does it mean to RECONCILE? It means to make peace between. So, did Christ's death make peace between God and everyone without exception? If so, then there would be NOBODY in hell, unless God is an unjust ogre who punishes people who are at peace with him. And what does NOT IMPUTING TRESPASSES mean? It means to not count their sin against them. If someone's sin is not counted against them, then they cannot be punished for that sin. So, did Christ's death make it so that the sins of everyone without exception were not counted against them? If so, then there would be NOBODY in hell, unless God is an unjust ogre who punishes people whose sins are not counted against them. Thus, if "world" means everyone without exception, one of two things must be true: (1) Everyone will go to heaven, or (2) God punishes people who have been made to be at peace with God and whose sins have not been counted against them. Both are damnable blasphemy.
When we see "world" in relation to salvation, it means both Jews and Gentiles. The self-righteous Jews thought that salvation was only for THEM; when Christ came along and said that God loved the WORLD, it was an astounding statement, because it meant that God's love was not only for the Jews, it was for the Gentiles as well. In no way did the Jews take this to mean that Christ was talking about everyone without exception; they knew that he was talking about all men without DISTINCTION.
I assume you're talking about the phrase "all men" here. Again, in context, we see that Paul is exhorting the saints to pray for men in different estates, including kings and those in authority. He is talking about not discriminating in prayer based on the person's estate in life; we should pray for ALL KINDS of men. Why? Because God will have ALL KINDS of men to be saved, not just the poor, not just the rich, not just the Gentile, not just the Jew, not just the black, not just the white. The Greek behind this phrase bears this out. And what if we put in "everyone without exception" into this verse? "who will have everyone without exception to be saved ..." This would mean that God desires the salvation of everyone without exception. Yet we know that whatever God desires, that He does (Job 23:13). My God is the sovereign, omnipotent God of the universe. Whatever God desires to do, He does. There is NOTHING that thwarts His desire. If He desires to save someone, He will save that person, and there will be NO STOPPING IT. Your god is a weakling who wishes things would happen that don't happen. He's not the sovereign, omnipotent God of the universe; he is an emasculated god whose will is thwarted by men.
Here again is "whole world." He is the propitiation for the sins of the Jews, and not for the Jews only, but also for the Gentiles. Let's put in "everyone without exception" in this verse: "and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of everyone without exception." This is saying that Christ is the propitiation for everyone without exception. What does PROPITIATION mean? To propitiate means to appease or to pacify. Christ was a propitiatory sacrifice; he appeased God's wrath when He became sin for us and incurred the judgment for that sin. Now if Christ died for everyone, then god's wrath against every single person's sin has been appeased. And if God's wrath against every single person's sin has been appeased, then God's judgment of sinners to hell nullifies Christ as propitiation.
Here is "world" again, meaning both Jews and Gentiles. But if you say that Jesus is the Savior of everyone without exception, why is not everyone without exception saved? Is he a SAVIOR, or is he merely a POTENTIAL savior? Did the work of Christ actually ACCOMPLISH salvation for everyone whom He represented, or are there some whom He represented that He wanted to save but couldn't?
Please see the attached files.
> < . . . instead, they believe that it is the work of the SINNER that makes
> difference between salvation and damnation. Such people call themselves
> Christians, but they are really no different than the multitude of other
> self-righteous religionists that come in the name of all the
> different world
> religions. >
> I do not believe this characterizes my confidence in Christ. If
> you were to
> ask me one of the classic evangelistic questions--"What would you
> say to God
> if you stood before Him and He asked you why He should let you into
> heaven?"--I would answer, "Because of the righteousness of Your Son." Is
> that not the faith of a Christian?
Your belief in universal atonement totally vitiates your answer. It makes your answer out to be a lie. You DO NOT believe that you will go to heaven SOLELY because of the work of Christ. How can I say that? Because you believe that the work of Christ DOES NOT make the only difference between salvation and damnation. You believe that Christ's work was FOR EVERYONE WITHOUT EXCEPTION, and it was YOUR OWN EFFORT that makes you to differ between you and lost people. If you truly believe that it is "because of the righteousness of Your Son," you would believe that the righteousness of God's Son DEMANDS and ENSURES YOUR salvation AND the salvation of EVERYONE for whom He worked out that righteousness. You would believe that Christ's righteousness actually ACCOMPLISHED SALVATION, that it actually made salvation SURE and CERTAIN IN AND OF ITSELF. You do not believe this.
> < Now what does it mean to believe in Christ? It means to believe in His
> PERSON and His WORK. His PERSON is the perfect God-Man Mediator.
> His work
> was to establish a righteousness, to make complete payment for sin, to
> totally appease God's wrath. >
> Yes, I believe that!
You DO NOT believe that. You DO NOT believe that Jesus Christ made COMPLETE payment for sin and TOTALLY appeased God's wrath. If you believe that Jesus Christ made COMPLETE payment for sin, you would believe that everyone for whom Christ died have had their sins COMPLETELY PAID FOR. If you believe that Jesus Christ TOTALLY appeased God's wrath, you would believe that God's wrath is TOTALLY APPEASED for everyone for whom Christ died.
> You may have some doctrinal disagreements
> with others
> in the Body, but that places you in no position to judge whether
> or not they
> truly believe.
When it comes to gospel doctrine, I AM in a position to judge whether or not someone believes. See www.outsidethecamp.org/rightjudg.htm .
> < Now had Christ made a COMPLETE payment for sin and TOTALLY
> appeased God's
> wrath for everyone without exception, then obviously, no one would go to
> hell, since everyone's sins had been paid for and God's wrath against
> everyone had been totally appeased. >
> False. Scripture addresses this: "They perish because they
> refused to love
> the truth and so be saved." (2Th. 2:10)
This Scripture is true (and the others you quoted), and it in no way contradicts what I just said. Those who refused to love the truth and so be saved did NOT have their sins paid for, and God's wrath was NOT appeased aginst them. That is why there is a hell. If God's wrath were appeased, then they would NOT suffer God's wrath in hell! It's so simple, even a child can understand it! HELL means that God's wrath is NOT APPEASED for some people!
> What you have failed to do is balance the verses you focus on with the
> verses that indicate people are turning away from a universally
> (not universally effectual) act of atonement. The atonement is
> only for believers, but Scripture *also* says it was *performed* on behalf
> of *all*.
Okay. So what did the atonement ACCOMPLISH for those in hell?
> < The truth is that Christ established a righteousness that ENSURES the
> salvation of EVERYONE whom He represented. >
> Look, that is Calvinism, so why do you refuse the label of "Calvinist"?
> Which of the 5 key doctrines of "TULIP" do you actually reject?
I DO NOT reject ANY of the five doctrines of grace. These doctrines are NOT Calvinism, even though some people call them "The Five Points of Calvinism." These doctrines are GOSPEL DOCTRINES, especially the doctrine of the atonement, which is at the VERY HEART of the gospel. I would encourage you to read my series of sermons on the gospel at www.outsidethecamp.org/sermons.htm , which includes a series on Essential Gospel Doctrine, which is the doctrine that EVERY Christian believes.
> << I believe in the God-Man who died for my sins and rose to be
> the Lord of
> the living. I believe he saves me and that I contribute nothing to my
> salvation. Does that not make me a Christian? >>
> < If you believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without
> exception, then
> you DO NOT believe that you contribute nothing to your salvation; >
> Where in Scripture does it state that in order to be saved, I must believe
> that Christ's death was only for the elect?
Nowhere does Scripture give a prerequisite to be saved. What Scripture says is that when God regenerates someone, He immediately causes that person to believe the GOSPEL. The efficacious atonement of Christ is at the very heart of the gospel. Again, I would encourage you to read the series of sermons I mentioned above.
> I want to be very clear what
> I'm asking you here: I'm not asking you for verses that you
> believe *teach*
> that Christ's death was only for the elect; I'm asking you for one verse
> that stipulates that in order to be a true believer one must *believe that
> particular doctrine* (even if it turned out to be right).
As I said before, there are NO prerequisites to being saved. There is NOTHING a sinner must do or believe before God saves him. But ONCE God saves him, he will IMMEDIATELY believe the gospel. The gospel is God's promise to save His people conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone. A huge part of the gospel is the atonement. If someone does not believe in the atonement, he does not believe the gospel. Those who believe in universal atonement believe that Christ's atonement did not actually ACCOMPLISH anything in and of itself, which makes it NO ATONEMENT at all. The series of sermons explains it in much more detail. But if you want Scripture, here it goes: Romans 1:17 says that the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel. Mark 16:16 says that those who do not believe the gospel shall be damned. Romans 10:3 says that those who are ignorant of this righteousness of God revealed in the gospel are going about to establish a righteousness of their own and are thus lost. So what is that righteousness of God that is revealed in the gospel? See Romans 3:21-26. That will at least give you a start. But I strongly encourage you to read the series of sermons on the gospel. If you have any questions after that, I would be happy to answer them.
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter