The Blasphemies Of Universal Atonement (1)
Many have suggested that we are too dogmatic about the blessed gospel doctrine of particular, effectual redemption. If you will carefully consider the blasphemies which must be embraced by all who teach that Christ died for, made atonement for, and provided the possibility of redemption to the whole human race, even those who perish under the wrath of God in hell, you will, if you understand and believe the Scriptures, see the reason for such dogmatism.
The teaching that Christ died to save all men MAKES MAN HIS OWN SAVIOR. If the Lord Jesus only made redemption possible, if he only rendered men savable and put them in a savable condition, if he only made it possible for man’s sins to be put away, then any who are saved are saved, not because of what he did, but because of what they do! If justification was not accomplished at Calvary (John 19:30), then it must be accomplished by something we do. If righteousness was not brought in by Christ’s obedience (1 Cor. 1:30), it must be brought in by ours. If sanctification was not finished by Christ’s blood (Heb. 10:10-14), we must find a way to make ourselves holy before God. If our sins were not forever purged and put away by the sacrifice of our Substitute (Heb. 1:3), then it is up to us to put them away. If the Son of God did not actually obtain eternal redemption for us (Heb. 9:12), then we must do something to secure it for ourselves. The Word of God declares that these things were done for God’s elect by their Savior. If they were not in fact finished for us, we are all without hope forever. A spiritually dead sinner, whose every thought is iniquity, can never make himself holy before God!
The doctrine of universal atonement REDUCES THE LOVE OF GOD TO NOTHING. At first glance some would say, “That cannot be right. The universal redemptionist says God loves everyone. You say God only loves the elect.” My point exactly! The Word of God highly commends the love of God displayed in the death of his Son and in our redemption by his blood. We rejoice to sing…
“Could we with ink the oceans fill, And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade -
To write the love of God above Would drain the oceans dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky”.
We delight in the love of God! But what kind of love is that which does not secure the salvation of its objects when it has the power to do so? If God loves all men alike, what does the love of God have to do with anyone’s salvation? Absolutely nothing! That is not the teaching of Scripture. The Word of God declares that those who are the objects of God’s everlasting, predestinating love are also the objects of his effectual call and the possessors of his eternal inheritance (Jer. 31:3; Eph. 1:4-11). The Scriptures emphatically assert that if God has sacrificed his darling Son for us he will not withhold any good thing from us (Rom. 8:32). It is ridiculous beyond the point of absurdity to imagine that God almighty sacrificed his Son for people and then sends them to hell!