(from a transcript of a sermon preached on 4/4/10 at Sovereign Redeemer Assembly)
Please turn in your Bibles to John chapter 3, and let's read verses 1 through 21:
John 3: (1) But there was a man from the Pharisees, Nicodemus his name, a ruler of the Jews. (2) This one came to Jesus by night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know that You have come [as] a teacher from God. For no one is able to do these [miraculous] signs which You do, except God be with Him. (3) Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, If one is not generated from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus said to Him, How is a man able to be generated, being old? He is not able to enter into his mother's womb a second [time] and be born? (5) Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, If one is not generated out of water and Spirit, he is not able to enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That having been generated out of the flesh is flesh, and that having been generated out of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Do not wonder because I said to you, You must be generated from above. (8) The Spirit breathes where He desires, and you hear His voice; but you do not know from where He comes, and where He goes; so is everyone having been generated from the Spirit. (9) Nicodemus answered and said to Him, How are these things able to occur? (10) Jesus answered and said to him, You are the teacher of Israel, and you do not know these things? (11) Truly, truly, I say to you, That which we know, we speak; and that which we have seen, we testify. And you do not receive our testimony. (12) If I tell you earthly things, and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? (13) And no one has gone up into Heaven, except He having come down out of Heaven, the Son of Man who is in Heaven. (14) And even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, (15) that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God did not send His Son into the world that He might judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (18) The [one] believing into Him is not condemned; but the one not believing has already been condemned, for he has not believed into the name of the only begotten Son of God. (19) And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness more than the Light, for their works were evil. (20) For everyone practicing wickedness hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, that his works may not be exposed. (21) But the [one] doing the truth comes to the Light, that his works may be revealed, that they exist, having been worked in God.
This passage starts out with a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, named Nicodemus. The Pharisees were the "conservative party" within Judaism. They held very strictly to the Law and were very outwardly moral. They were revered by their followers for their religious zeal and dedication, and they were held up as models worthy of imitation. They, along with most other Jews, believed that when the Messiah came, He would save the Jews and pour out judgment on the Gentiles, since they believed that only the Jews were included in God's love and favor, while the Gentiles were cursed and hated and excluded from God's love and favor.
Let's look closer at verses 14 through 16:
John 3: (14) And even as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, (15) that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Jesus Christ first shows that the lifting up of the bronze serpent in Numbers 21 is a picture of His being lifted up. In Numbers 21:6-9, God sent fiery serpents among the people, and then He commanded Moses to make a serpent out of bronze and to lift the bronze serpent up on a pole, and if anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked up and saw the bronze serpent, he would not die of his bite but live. In verse 15 of John 3, He says that, just like everyone who looked up and saw the bronze serpent did not die but lived, so everyone who looks to Jesus Christ in belief would not die but would have everlasting life. And who is the "everyone" to whom Jesus Christ was referring? Was it the Jews only, as the Pharisees believed? In the next verse, we see the astounding and disturbing statement that Jesus Christ tells this Pharisee. It is the most famous verse in the Bible:
John 3: (16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The King James Version translation is the most often quoted. It says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Let's look at the first phrase in this sentence: "For God so loved the world." This had to have shocked Nicodemus beyond what we could imagine. Here's Nicodemus, a Pharisee, who believed and taught that God loved the Jews only and that the Messiah was going to come for the Jews only. Yet right in the middle of talking about the Messiah being lifted up like the bronze serpent, saying that everyone who looks to Him will live, Jesus Christ now defines the "everyone." Is it just the Jews? No - it is the WORLD! The Greek word for "world" is KOS-mos, from where we get the word "cosmos." In this verse, KOS-mos is in the accusative case, so it's actually KOS-mon. Jesus told this Pharisee that God loved the KOS-mos! And Nicodemus knew exactly what Jesus meant by KOS-mos. And any Jew at that time would know what someone meant by KOS-mos if he said, "God loves the KOS-mos" - "God loves the WORLD." They would know that this person was saying that God's love was not confined to the Jews only but was also toward the Gentiles. The Pharisaical notion that God's love was confined to the Jews only was smashed to pieces.
Now it's important to note that the Jews would NOT have understood this phrase "For God so loved the world" to mean that God loved every single Jew and Gentile without exception. That's not how they thought, and that's not at all what Jesus meant. The Jews would know that the "WORLD" means Jews and non-Jews, NOT head-for-head, but in an organic sense. In fact, that's how they used the word "KOS-mos." If you'd have lived during this time and interpreted KOS-mos as "every single person without exception," you would've been seen as foolish. The Jews knew what this meant. The Jews knew that Jesus Christ was tearing down the notion that God's love was on the Jewish nation only. In fact, what follows this phrase proves this to be true. What did Jesus say after He said that God so loved the world? He said, "that He gave His only begotten Son, that EVERYONE believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." God didn't just love the Jews - He loved the Gentiles as well, so He gave His only begotten Son, so that EVERYONE - not just Jews, but Gentiles as well - who believes into Him should not die but have everlasting life. The Greek word for "everyone" is PAS. It means "all," "any," or "every." God so loved the WORLD that ALL who believe in His only begotten Son will have everlasting life. PAS pist-YOO-on - EVERYONE BELIEVING. Not just Jews, but EVERYONE who believes in Jesus Christ will have everlasting life. And we can extrapolate out past just nationality based on other passages of Scripture to say this: Not just males, not just free people, not just the rich, not just the well-educated, not just people with a certain color of skin, but ALL who believe in Jesus Christ will have everlasting life. God is no respecter of faces. Actually, let's turn over to the passage where Peter learned that God is no respecter of faces. Let's turn to Acts chapter 10 and read verses 1 through 35:
Acts 10: (1) But a certain man, Cornelius by name, was in Caesarea, a centurion of a cohort being called Italian, (2) [one] devout and fearing God, with all his house, both doing many alms to the people and praying continually to God. (3) About the ninth hour of the day, he saw plainly in a vision an angel of God coming to him, and saying to him, Cornelius! (4) And he was staring at him, and becoming terrified he said, What is it, Lord? And he said to him, Your prayers and your alms went up for a memorial before God. (5) And now send men to Joppa and call for Simon who is surnamed Peter. (6) This one is lodged with one Simon, a tanner, whose house by [the] sea. He will tell you what you must do. (7) And when the angel speaking to Cornelius went away, calling two of his servants and a devout soldier of those continually waiting on him, (8) and having explained all things to them, he sent them to Joppa. (9) And on the morrow, these passing along on [the] road, and drawing near to the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray about [the] sixth hour. (10) And he became hungry and wished to taste [food]. But as they were preparing, an ecstasy fell on him. (11) And he saw the heaven being opened and a certain vessel like a great sheet coming down on him, being bound by four corners, and let down onto the earth; (12) in which were all the four-footed animals of the earth, and the wild beasts, and the creeping things, and the birds of the heaven. (13) And a voice came to him, Rise up, Peter, slay and eat. (14) But Peter said, Not at all, Lord, because I never did eat anything common or unclean. (15) And again a voice [came] to him a second time, What things God made clean, you do not make common. (16) And this happened three [times], and the vessel was taken up into the heaven again. (17) And as Peter was doubting within himself what the vision which he saw might be, even behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius stood on the porch asking about the house of Simon. (18) And calling out, they inquired if Simon being surnamed Peter is lodged here. (19) And [as] Peter pondered concerning the vision, the Spirit said to him, Behold, three men are seeking you. (20) But rising up, go down and go with them, not discriminating, because I have sent them. (21) And going down to the men, the ones sent from Cornelius to him, Peter said, Behold, I am [the one] whom you seek. What is the cause for which you are here? (22) And they said, Cornelius, a centurion, a just man and [one] fearing God, and being testified to by all the nation of the Jews, was divinely warned by a holy angel to call you to his house and to hear words from you. (23) Then calling them in, he lodged [them]. And on the morrow Peter went out with them. And some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. (24) And on the morrow they entered Caesarea. And Cornelius was awaiting them, having called together his relatives and [his] intimate friends. (25) And as Peter was coming in, meeting him, Cornelius fell at [his] feet [and] worshiped. (26) But Peter lifted him up, saying, Stand up! I myself am also a man. (27) And talking with him, he went in and found many having come together. (28) And he said to them, You know how unlawful it is for a man, a Jew, to unite with or to come near to one of another race. Yet God showed to me not to call a man common or unclean. (29) Therefore, I also came without complaint, being summoned. Then I ask for what reason did you send for me? (30) And Cornelius said, From [the] fourth day until this hour I have been fasting, and the ninth hour I was praying in my house. And, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing. (31) And he said, Cornelius, your prayer was heard and your alms were remembered before God. (32) Therefore, send to Joppa and call for Simon who is surnamed Peter; this one is lodged in [the] house of Simon, a tanner, by [the] sea. Having come, [he] will speak to you. (33) Then at once I sent to you, and you did well [to] come. Now then, we are all present before God to hear all the things having been commanded you by God. (34) And opening his mouth, Peter said, Truly I see that God is not a respecter of faces, (35) but in every nation the [one] fearing Him and working righteousness is acceptable to Him.
God gives a vision to Peter that the distinction between meats has been abolished, as has the distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles. Peter then meets with Cornelius, who is a Gentile, and when Peter sees that a Gentile believes, he says, "Truly I see that God is not a respecter of faces, but in EVERY NATION the one fearing Him and working righteousness is acceptable to Him." EVERY NATION - not just the Jews! EVERY NATION - the WHOLE WORLD! And the Greek word for "every" is a form of the word PAS. EVERYONE who fears God and works righteousness is acceptable to God, not just the Jews. And in verse 45, the Jewish Christians were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles, here called the "nations." The Greek word for "nations" is ETH-nay, which is the plural of ETH-nos, from where we get the word "ethnic." It means "foreigners" or "foreign nations." So in the Jewish mind, the "world" consisted of the Jews and the ethnics.
The impact of this truth on the Jews, including the Jewish Christians, is hard to explain, unless you know how deeply rooted the notion of the Jewish nation as God's people was to the Jews. It was their whole identity. They were the people of God. Any non-Jew was NOT a person of God. But Jesus Christ came to break down the middle wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles so that both Jews AND Gentiles are joint-sharers in the promise of the gospel. This is the mystery of Christ that Paul talks about that has now been revealed. Let's turn to the book of Ephesians and read 2:11-3:12:
Ephesians 2: (11) Because of this, remember that you, the nations, [were] then in [the] flesh (those having been called Uncircumcision by those having been called Circumcision in the flesh made by hands) (12) that at that time you were without Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers of the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (13) But now, in Christ Jesus you who then were afar off, came to be near by the blood of Christ. (14) For He is our peace, He making us both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition, (15) in His flesh causing to cease the enmity, the Law of the commandments in decrees, that He might in Himself create the two into one new man, making peace, (16) and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, slaying the enmity in Himself. (17) And coming, [He] proclaimed peace to you, the ones afar off, and to the ones near. (18) For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. (19) So, then, you are no longer strangers and tenants, but [you are] fellow citizens of the saints and [of the] family of God, (20) being built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being [the] cornerstone, (21) in whom all the building being fitted together grows into a holy temple in [the] Lord, (22) in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in [the] Spirit. 3: (1) Because of this, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you, the nations, (2) if, indeed, you heard of the stewardship of the grace of God given to me for you, (3) that by revelation He made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief, (4) by the reading of which you are able to realize my understanding in the mystery of Christ, (5) which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations, as now it was revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in [the] Spirit, (6) [for] the nations to be joint-heirs, and a joint-body and joint-sharers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, (7) of which I was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me, according to the working of His power. (8) This grace was given to me, [I being] less than the least of all the saints, to preach the gospel of the unsearchable riches of Christ among the nations, (9) and to bring to light all, what is the fellowship of the mystery having been hidden from eternity in God, the [One] creating all things through Jesus Christ, (10) so that now to the rulers and to the authorities in the heavenlies might be made known through the assembly the manifold wisdom of God, (11) according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, (12) in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through His faith.
Let's go through this passage in a little more detail. Notice in Ephesians 2:11, the Gentiles are again called the "nations," which is the word ETH-nay. This verse also says that the Gentiles were called "Uncircumcision" by the Jews, indicating that they were outside the covenant that was symbolized by outward circumcision. In fact, in verse 12, we see that they are described as "strangers of the covenants of promise," since the covenants came to the Jews. They were "alienated from the commonwealth of Israel," meaning that they were not citizens of Israel but aliens. In verse 13, Paul describes the Gentiles as those who "were afar off." They were far away from the covenant God, far away from salvation. But what does this verse also say? It says that these Gentiles "came to be near," meaning that they now have access and communion with God. And how did these Gentiles come to have access and communion with God? The end of verse 12 says, "by the blood of Christ." Verse 16 says that Christ reconciled both Jews and Gentiles in one body to God through the cross, slaying the enmity in Himself. It is the efficacious work of Christ on behalf of certain Gentiles that caused them to be near instead of afar off, to be one with the elect Jews, to be at peace and not at enmity with the Jews and with God. In verses 14 and 15, Paul says that Christ Jesus made us both one and created the two into one new man, meaning that He brought the Jews and the Gentiles together in Christ, making them one in Christ. And He did this by breaking down the middle wall of partition between the Jews and Gentiles. What is that wall or barrier that Jesus Christ broke down? Well, we can see in verse 15 that it was the Law of commandments that came between the Jews and the Gentiles. Verse 17 is a reference to Isaiah 57:19, which we will see later, the Lord willing. In verses 18 and 19, Paul says that both Jews and Gentiles now have access by the same Holy Spirit to God the Father, and the Gentiles are no longer strangers and aliens but citizens of the saints and of the family of God. Paul then uses the word "mystery" in chapter 3 verses 3, 4, and 9 which is the Greek word mu-STAY-re-on, meaning something that had not before been completely revealed but is now revealed. And this MYSTERY is explained succinctly in verse 6:
Ephesians 3: (6) [for] the nations to be joint-heirs, and a joint-body and joint-sharers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,
This is what Paul had been talking about in the previous chapter. The nations - the ethnics, the non-Jews - were to be heirs together and sharers together with the Jews of the promise of the gospel. Let's turn to two other passages in the New Testament that talk about this specific mystery. First, Romans 16:25-26:
Romans 16: (25) Now to Him [who is] able to establish you according to my gospel, and the proclaiming of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of [the] mystery having been kept unvoiced during eternal times, (26) but now has been made plain, and by prophetic Scriptures, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known for obedience of faith to all the nations;
And then over to Colossians 1:25-27:
Colossians 1: (25) of which I became a minister, according to the administration of God given to me for you, to fulfill the Word of God, (26) the mystery having been hidden from the ages and from the generations, but now was revealed to His saints; (27) to whom God willed to make known what [are] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the nations, who is Christ in you, the hope of glory;
Do you see that this "mystery" is the truth that the non-Jewish nations are now part of the covenant through the work of Jesus Christ?
Now although this was a truth that was not fully revealed until the New Testament, the Old Testament was not completely silent on the subject. The prophets did prophesy that the Gentiles would become partakers of God's mercy, especially the prophet Isaiah. Let's turn to some of the passages in Isaiah that show this truth:
Isaiah 2: (2) And it shall be in the last days, the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. (3) And many people shall go and say, Come and let us go up to the mount of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach from His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion the Law will go forth, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. (4) And He shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more.
Isaiah 11: (10) And it shall be in that day, the Root of Jesse stands as a banner of peoples; nations shall seek to Him; and His resting place shall be glory.
Isaiah 42: (1) Behold My Servant; I will uphold Him; My Elect [in whom] My soul delights! I have put My Spirit on Him; He shall bring forth justice to the nations. (2) He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. (3) A bruised reed He shall not break, and a smoking wick He shall not quench; He shall bring forth justice to truth. (4) He shall not fail nor be crushed until He has set justice in the earth; and the coasts shall wait for His Law. (5) So says Jehovah God, creating the heavens and stretching them out; spreading out the earth and its offspring, giving breath to the people on it, and spirit to those walking in it. (6) I, Jehovah, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand, and will keep You, and give You for a covenant of the people, for a Light of the nations; (7) to open blind eyes, to lead out the prisoner from the prison; those who sit in darkness from the prison. (8) I [am] Jehovah; that is My name; and I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to engraved images. (9) Behold, the former things have come to pass, and I declare new things before they happen, I cause you to hear. (10) Sing a new song to Jehovah; His praise from the end of the earth, you who go to sea, and all that is in it; the coasts and their people. (11) Let the wilderness and its cities lift up, the villages where Kedar lives. Let those dwelling in the rock sing; let them shout from the top of the mountains. (12) They give glory to Jehovah and declare His praise in the coastlands.
Isaiah 49: (6) And He said, It is [too] little that You should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You for a light of the nations, that [You may] be My salvation to the end of the earth.
Isaiah 55: (5) Behold, You shall call a nation You do not know; yea, a nation not knowing You shall run to You, because of Jehovah Your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified You.
Isaiah 57: (19) [I] create the fruit of the lips: peace, peace, to the ones far off and near, says Jehovah, and I will heal him.
Isaiah 60: (3) And nations shall walk to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawning.
Isaiah 65: (1) I have been sought, not by those who asked. I have been found, not by those who sought Me. To a nation not calling on My name, I said, Behold Me! Behold Me!
Now let's turn to two passages in the book of Hosea. First, Hosea 1:10:
Hosea 1: (10) Yet the number of the sons of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which is not measured nor numbered. And it shall be, in the place where it is said to them, You [are] not My people, it shall be said to them, Sons of the Living God.
And then over to Hosea 2:23:
Hosea 2: (23) And I will sow her to Me in the earth. And I will have mercy on No Mercy. And I will say to Not My People, You are My people! And they shall say, My God!
What must the Jews have been thinking when they read those passages? Who did they think the "Not My People" were whom God said He would call His sons and His people? Well, we can know for sure that God was talking about the non-Jewish nations. How can we know for sure? Well, let's turn to Romans 9. We are, after all, still in the series on Romans, and specifically we're still in the ninth chapter of Romans. So let's read verses 23 through 26:
Romans 9: (23) and that He make known the riches of His glory on vessels of mercy which He before prepared for glory, (24) whom He also called, not only us, of Jews, but also out of nations. (25) As also He says in Hosea, I will call those Not My people, My people! And those not beloved, Beloved! (26) And it shall be, in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people, there they will be called, Sons of the Living God.
So here we see that the vessels of mercy that God prepared for glory from before the foundation of the world, those whom God chose to save from the foundation of the world, otherwise known as the elect, are called not only out of the Jews but also out of the ethnics - the non-Jewish nations, otherwise known as the Gentiles. The Greek verb "to call" is ka-LEH-oh, which is the same verb that is used in Romans 8:30:
Romans 8: (30) But whom He predestinated, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
This call is a SAVING call. It is an EFFECTUAL call. It is that call from darkness to light, from death to life, from being servants of sin to being servants of righteousness, from bondage to liberty. All who are savingly called repent from dead works and believe the gospel. So we see that God's saving call is not just restricted to the Jews. Those vessels of mercy are not called out just from Jews but also from the whole world. Paul was saying that salvation is not for us - the Jews - only, but for the whole world. Was he saying that everyone without exception is a vessel of mercy? Of course not, since he had just talked about vessels of wrath that were prepared for destruction. But he wanted his readers to make sure that they understood that these vessels of mercy came not just from the Jews but also from the Gentiles. This wording is similar to what we find in 1 John 2:2. Let's turn over there:
1 John 2: (2) And [He] Himself is [the] propitiation relating to our sins, and not relating to ours only, but also relating to all the world.
Do you see what John is saying here? John's primary audience was Jewish. John is saying this: Jesus Christ is the propitiation for the sins of us - the Jews - but He's not just the propitiation for our sins only; He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world - the Jews AND the Gentiles. And what do you think the Greek word for "world" is in this passage? Yep, it's KOS-mos. It's KOS-mou, to be exact, which is the genitive case of KOS-mos. And the word for "all" or "whole" is HOL-ou, which is the genitive case of HOL-os. That gives it additional strength. Christ is the propitiation for OUR sins, but not just ours ONLY - and the Greek word for ONLY is the same Greek word that Paul uses in Romans 9:24 when he says, "not ONLY us" - He is the propitiation not ONLY for the sins of the Jews but ALSO for the sins of HOL-ou tou KOS-mou - ALL the WORLD. The non-Jewish nations are included in the atonement. It is not just an exclusively Jewish atonement. This is the mystery that Paul was talking about in Romans 16, Ephesians 3, and Colossians 1. This is what John the Baptizer proclaimed in John 1:29. Let's turn over there:
John 1: (29) On the morrow, John sees Jesus coming toward him and said, Behold! The Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world!
What a proclamation: BEHOLD, LO, SEE - the Lamb of God, TAKING AWAY the sin of the world! Before Jesus had spoken to Nicodemus about God's love for the world, John the Baptizer had proclaimed that Jesus Christ was the sacrificial Lamb of God who came to TAKE AWAY the sin of the world! Just like Nicodemus must have been surprised at Jesus Christ's words, so must many of the Jews have been surprised at John the Baptizer's words. Here was a proclamation that the Messiah had come not just to take away the sin of the Jews but to take away the sin of the WORLD! The Gentiles were included in Christ's expiation of sin! What an amazing and blessed proclamation!
Now we can't mention 1 John 2:2 and John 1:29 without the universal atonement advocates claiming that these passages prove that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception. But they actually prove that Jesus Christ's atonement was effectual for everyone for whom He died. The apostle John said that Jesus Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. What does "propitiation" mean? The Greek word is hil-as-MOS. It means "reconciliation" or "appeasement." Did the work of Jesus Christ make propitiation or reconciliation or appeasement for the sins of every single person without exception? The universal atonement advocates would have to say that Jesus Christ made propitiation or reconciliation or appeasement for the sins of every single person without exception, including those who are in hell. They would have to say that there are people in hell who were reconciled to God by the blood of Christ, for whom God was supposedly pacified. Yet did their christ appease the wrath of God for those who are burning in hell? Did the blood of their christ make peace between God and those who are burning in hell? Did their christ reconcile to God those who are burning in hell? If so, why are they burning in hell? It is because their christ actually accomplished NOTHING on the cross. There are people burning in hell who are STILL UNDER the wrath of God, who are NOT at peace with God. Their god is a liar when he says that this christ reconciled everyone without exception to himself and propitiated for everyone without exception. The blood of their christ is of no effect in and of itself. And they blaspheme the true Jesus Christ by using His Name in their damnable heresy, claiming that the true Jesus Christ of the Bible reconciled everyone without exception to the true God of the Bible and was the propitiation for everyone without exception. They hate the true God and the true gospel. They are unregenerate.
John the Baptizer said that Jesus Christ takes away the sin of the world. What does "take away the sin" mean? The Greek verb for "take away" is AH-ee-ro. It means "to put away," "to remove," or "to expiate." Did Jesus Christ take away, put away, remove, or expiate the sins of every single person without exception? The universal atonement advocates would have to say that Jesus Christ took away, put away, removed, or expiated the sins of every single person without exception, including those who are in hell. They would have to say that there are people in hell whose sins were supposedly taken away, put away, removed, or expiated. Were the sins of those who are burning in hell TAKEN AWAY by the blood of their christ? If so, why are they burning in hell? It is because their christ actually accomplished NOTHING on the cross. There are people burning in hell for sins that were NOT taken away. Their god is a liar when he says that this christ took away the sins of everyone without exception. The blood of their christ is of no effect in and of itself. And they blaspheme the true Jesus Christ by using His Name in their damnable heresy, claiming that the true Jesus Christ of the Bible took away the sin of everyone without exception. They hate the true God and the true gospel. They are unregenerate.
The truth is that the atonement fully and perfectly accomplished complete, absolute, entire propitiation and expiation for all the people for whom Christ died - Jews and Gentiles. God's wrath was fully appeased when Jesus Christ became sin for His people and suffered the just punishment for that sin. The blood of Christ made peace between God and all for whom Christ died. Jesus Christ's bloody death on the cross totally canceled, totally purged, totally took away the sins of His people, putting them as far away as the east is from the west. So when we see that God loved the world and Jesus Christ took away the sin of the world and is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, we praise God that He foreknew, predestinated, called, justified, and glorified His vessels of mercy, not only Jews but Gentiles, based on the work of Jesus Christ alone, and we can rest in the finished, effectual work of Jesus Christ as the only ground of our salvation. Amen.