Is the atonement of Christ unlimited?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The Bible has much to say on the atonement of Christ. The question is whether His sacrifice provided limited or unlimited atonement. The word atonement means "satisfaction or reparation for a wrong...

July 01 2013 15 responses Vote Up Share Report

Q jcryle001 JD Abshire
The words “all” and “world” are used in several different senses in scripture. The question remains, individually or collectively?

In Luke 2:1 "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed."
The entire world? North America, Russia, China, Alaska?

Matthew 27:22 “Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? [They] all say unto him, Let him be crucified.”
All individually? If so, Mary the mother of Jesus and the disciples had to be included.

Mark 1:5 “And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.” 
Was "all" Judea and Jerusalem baptized in Jordan? Did Herod, Herodias and Barabbas take a dip?

John 12:19 “The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? Behold, the world is gone after him.” Did the whole world go after Christ? Were the Pharisees including themselves in their statement? Not hardly.

1 John 5:19 “[And] we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” Does the “whole world” mean everybody? If so, how can the whole world lie in wickedness yet at the same time some are of God?

I believe most will agree that Israel, the Jews are God's chosen people. The Old Testament overwhelmingly bears this out for it records God's dealings with Israel and his providential care of them over thousands of years. There are very few accounts of The Lord showing favor to anyone other than the Hebrews.

Doesn't it make common and doctrinal sense that the Jew had an attitude of superiority and prejudice toward non-Jews? Even in the New Testament Gentiles were referred to as dogs, heathen and sinners.

After choosing and ordaining his disciples in Matthew 10, Christ COMMANDED them to not go into Samaria or any city of the Gentiles but only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Except for isolated incidents, this did not change until after the resurrection and Pentecost. In Matthew 15 when the Canaanite (Gentile) woman asked Jesus to heal her daughter he at first did not respond. She had addressed him as Son of David. Being a Gentile she had no claim on Christ under this Jewish designation. But praise be to God when she came and worshipped him then properly said, "Lord, help me" he responded.

After Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem in John 12, verse 21 states that certain Greeks (Gentiles) told Andrew they wanted to see Jesus. Apparently not knowing how to handle the situation he went to Phillip, they in return both told the Lord. There was no mention of The Lord granting these Greeks audience. V. 23-24 "And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."

John 12:32 "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
Compare the above verse with John 17:9 “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. “ 
If Christ intended on redeeming the whole of humanity, why did he only pray for some? 

Ephesians 2:11-13 "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."

Because of Christ’s finished work on the tree, the God of the Hebrews has also become savior of “all” types, kinds and nationalities, “all” over the “world”. 

The mystery to me isn't why does he only save some but why does he save anyone. I am so unworthy!

November 28 2013 6 responses Vote Up Share Report

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
Jesus was the 'atoning sacrifice' or propitiation for all men (I John 2:2), to be received by faith (Rom 3:35). The perfect sacrifice (Christ) allows God to look at us despite our sin, allows Him to not count our sin against us, and covers over God's anger for us (Num 15:1-31). Salvation "delivers" us from slavery to sin into eternal life as adopted sons of God. Salvation is the end result of abiding faith (I Pet 1:8-9).

Atonement is necessary to cover our uncleanness so that we may experience God's presence (Lev 16:1-34). 

This does not mean that God "must" overlook our sin, but that Christ is the sacrifice by which He may do so and satisfy His justice.

Atoning sacrifices were made by the High priest for all the Israelites (Lev 16:34, Ex 30:10). The people also had to give up other offerings for sin or praise, etc, and the atonement sacrifice had to be offered yearly (Sometimes more) as the blood of animals was imperfect. There were other sacrifices (sin offering, praise offering, first fruits, guilt offering, scapegoat, etc) as well - all of which found their fulfillment in Christ.

Jesus later offered atonement for the people of God (Heb 2:17) and the whole world (1 John 2:1-2) by being the perfect an atoning sacrifice. We receive the merit of this sacrifice (imputed righteousness in the eyes of God) by faith. (Rom 3:21-26). God sent His son to die for all, that we might believe on Him and live (John 3:16, I John 4:9-10, Heb 2:9)

Atonement is again distinguished from salvation in Heb 9:23-28

"...Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." Heb 9:28. It is on account of Christ's atoning sacrifice that God forgives us if we call on Christ's name (I John 2:12, Eph 4:32, Acts 10:43).

Christ's atoning sacrifice was for all mankind. His blood was poured out for many to make forgiveness possible (Heb 9:16-22, Lev 17:11, Dan 9:27, Mark 14:24, Matt 26:28). However, only those who confess their sin and have abiding faith, dying to sin and rising with Christ will one day receive salvation into eternal life {and more immediately, the down payment of the Holy Spirit}. (I Pet 1:3-9, Mark 1:15, Acts 17:30-31, Luke 13:1-5, II Tim 2:8-13, I John 2:3-11, Acts 2:38, John 3:14-21).

So then, Atonement is unlimited in that Jesus died as the atoning sacrifice for all mankind - believers and nonbelievers, jews and greeks alike (I Tim 2:1-6). It could be said, in a sense, to be limited by man in it's effect - as those who do not believe on Christ do not have His righteousness imputed to them by God. Even this fails to give a complete picture though - it's not a failure or limit on the part of the sacrifice.

Consider that the High Priest (also Jesus) must be the one to offer the atoning sacrifice for the people, and be the mediator between the people and God (Heb 8:1-6). Only believers follow the High priest and are among the people of God, so the atoning sacrifice only "applies" to believer, and only believers enter the contract (via faith - like signing it) that Christ has mediated between God and man. An unbeliever could repent and believe, and then the sacrifice would apply to him as well. God would not act/punish his sin because of the sacrifice, and apply the righteousness of Christ to the new believer instead. The new believer would be adopted by God as a son.

[In general, the topic is complex enough (and distinct, despite crossover, with other concepts such as the sin offering, Jesus as Savior, Jesus as Lord, forgiveness, etc) that care should be taken not to wrest atonement past what scripture says to make it fit any personal interpretation. Part of the hard part of discussing 'limited' vs. 'unlimited' atonement is that those are summaries of philosophies that man has come up with with their own definitions and ideas, vs. Explicit doctrines of scripture.]

July 29 2014 8 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image Tim Thornton Bible student, unprofitable servant
The atonement either makes salvation possible for everyone or actually secures the salvation of some.
The only way to rightly think about the atonement of Christ is to answer the question what has God said he accomplished by it.
Matthew 1:21b.......
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for HE WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE from their sins.”

The central feature in Christ role in saving His people is

Matthew 20:28
28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

How did He think about what he was accomplishing?

John 6:37-40
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Those whom the Father has given to Jesus are described as those who see the Son and believe in Him.
The Jews mentioned in the previous verse are those who have seen Him and do not believe.

John 6:36 
But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.

How is it that you or I or anyone else find ourselves seeing Jesus and believing.

Notice what comes first SEEING, what did Jesus tell us about how it is that we acquire spiritual sight?

John 3:3 (NKJVS)
Jesus answered and said to him, “ Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot SEE the kingdom of God.”

Many well meaning people get the order turned around they teach that believing is the cause of seeing, or in other words they teach that if you believe you will be born again (be able to see)

For the sake of clarity it is important not only to consider the order but also the spiritual realities. Being born again and seeing the Kingdom of God opens our hearts to the true nature of God as righteous and the painful inescapable reality that I am not.
The John Newtons Hymn a Amazing Grace captured this beautifully
Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me I once was lost but now I'm found was blind but now I see.

What did grace make him see?

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and Grace my fears relieved how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.

Being born again and acquiring spiritual vision happens independent of my will. It is the result of the quickening work of the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 2:1-5 (NKJVS)
Chapter 2
By Grace Through Faith
1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

The illustration of Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness presupposes an awareness of the poison of the serpent coursing through you veins and eminent death resulting.

"'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear"

Once the perishing suffer looked he was healed

"and grace my fears relieved"
"How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believe"

The preciousness of grace appears after the look.

This is a very important point to keep in mind when communicating the truth about the GRACE OF GOD. It doesn't begin with a sense of His favor. 
Titus 2:11
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 
teaching us that,

Look up the text

November 28 2013 14 responses Vote Up Share Report

Raccoo Bob Johnson Layperson. Self Educated Theologically - see full bio
There are 4 possibilities:
1. Jesus died for SOME of the sins of SOME people. This isn't right. If all of their sins are not paid for, they are not saved.

2. Jesus died for SOME of the sins of ALL people. This isn't right for the same reason as #1

3. Jesus died for ALL of the sins of ALL people. This is the Arminian opinion. But if this is true, why aren't all people saved? Everyone's sin is paid for! Yet we know all people aren't saved. What prevents them? Arminians' only answer is that their unbelief prevents them. But is unbelief a sin? Yes it is according to John 16:9. - "The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me." But if ALL their sin is paid for, then even the sin of unbelief is paid for and still everyone should then be saved. But we know that is not true.

Therefore the only remaining option is:

4. Jesus died for ALL the sins of SOME people. This is what is the Reformed, Biblical, true answer is. Unbelief cannot be the reason they are not saved. So the only reason left is that they were not chosen to believe. The gospel is offered to all, but all are in bondage to Satan. Salvation, or grace, comes first. This enables a person to be saved. When they are born again, then they believe. Did you have a choice to be physically born? It's the same with being born again. Once born again by the grace of God we accept that new life. Sources: the Bible, John Owen's "the Death of Death in the Death of Christ", and Martin Luther's "The Bondage of the Will." Contrary to the Arminian position, this doctrine emboldens me to proclaim the gospel for it is not me who persuades, but the Spirit who convinces, as was the case with Lydia of Thyatira, whose heart was first opened and then she believed those who preached.

May 31 2014 9 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Bruce Lyon Elder: Restoration Fellowship Assembly
When Jesus died on the stake he shed his blood in order that first all mankind might be reconciled to his Father and his God, and secondly that the forgiveness of sins would apply to all who accept him as the one whom his God and Father sent, for that is the work of God. So the atonement of the anointed one - Christ is unlimited to all those who accept the message he brought and live my it accepting him as the anointed on of God, the Messiah of the Israel of God which all those who are in him have been grafted into! What a glorious future awaits all those who look forward to the coming of our lord and savior Jesus, who look forward to co-ruling and co-inheriting with Jesus all that God has placed in his hand. May the new age soon come!

November 27 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Shantkumar S. Kunjam An Indian, Mennonite Church, Pastor, Administrator, Bishop,
When Jesus died on the cross His death atoned all and every past, present and future sin of the world. Now sin is not any obstruction for any person to enter into God's kingdom of heaven. In fact the nailing of Jesus on the cross was actually nailing of that law that condemned humans of sinning (Col. 2:14), because being the Word of God Jesus was the embodiment of God's law.

At the rapture, those who belong to Christ, only they shall rise and not face the judgment of the great white throne at the end. At the white throne end judgment the deciding factor would be any one's name is in the Lamb's book of life or not. And those who are condemned, who were not willing to accept Jesus' death as an atonement for their sins, will be shown from their books how sinful their activities were.

When we preach for repentance, it is not repentance from sin but it is turning to God in Jesus Christ. Christian preaching is inviting people of the world to accept God's eternal life in Jesus Christ. When once we are in, it becomes God's responsibility to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:9; Eph. 5:26, 27). It is like a child being born in an Israelite family. By birth that child is an Israelite but as a mark of his place in Israelite family he is circumcised (Col. 2:11).

So all sins are atoned in Jesus' death on the cross. That means every body's sin, whether believer or unbeliever. People will go to hell, not because their sins are not atoned for, but because they would not accept God's offer of eternal life in Jesus Christ spelled out in Jn. 3:16. It is their rejection to Jesus Christ, and not their sin, that will condemn them.

January 18 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Edwin Danny Reaid
We ask ourselves is the atonement of Christ unlimited? (It is true that the key area of disagreement is over who limits that atonement-God or man?) But, the real question we should be asking: Is God's Sovereignty unlimited? With man being the deciding factor the Church will continue to move in the direction of Universalism and the justification of self. 

“Predestination therefore, as it regards the thing itself, is the Decree of the good pleasure of God in Christ, by which He resolved within Himself from all eternity, to justify, adopt, and endow with everlasting life, to the praise of His own glorious grace, believers on whom He had decreed to bestow faith.” 
― James Arminius
So, who limits the atonement? I actually believe that James Arminius is saying God.

May 14 2015 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Frederick Thomas Rom 3:4 ...let God be true...
Atonement for all

In the book of Revelation we read how God pours out His wrath on mankind giving them opportunity to repent and the result was as written: 'many repented not'. Rev 16:9, Rev 16:11 Rev_11:13; Rev_14:7; Rev_19:7.

Here we see God going all out to save sinners, God scorch men with fire to repent. 

God would be evil and foolish to scorch men with fire to repent while they were not on His chosen list. 
God is not foolish because every sinner is on the list for salvation John 3:16.

The answer to me pivots on Gods attribute 'All Knowing'

God who is All Knowing knew before He created the human race, they going to fail. In failing they will have to be separated from His presence forever. Now that begs the question didn't God before creation have the ability to see the future of His intention. The future that it will not be 100% successful and shouldn't that stop a wise person in his tracks. 

Unless you have a remedy to fix it all you will proceed. If you don't have a remedy for the product that would fail then you are unwise which God is not. 
We speaking about a human life who will spend eternity in hell in flames in darkness in continual unbearable pain. Forever and ever. That doesn't make sense for the All Knowing God to proceed with an idea like that without clearing Himself by offering a free remedy to all His creation.
Nobody enters this world without Gods approval. God opens the womb and close the womb. Jer 1:5, Is 44:24, Ecc 12:1 and Job 31:15 Job_34:19; Neh_5:5; Pro_14:31, Pro_22:2; Isa_58:7; Mal_2:10

God had to make atonement for all and it had to free. Why? Because God in creating the human race knew their inability to handle free-will yet still made them. Now God through offering atonement to all freely is blame free. Or rather proving He is The all Wise God.

The human race are sinful material by its own doings.
Therefore God could rightfully say in Rom 9:13 Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED." 
God can (pick and choose) say this to of Adam and Eve's offspring

Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 

In fact anytime when God says something that 'sounds' unfair, unjustly, bullying, etc. He just reiterates to us that we are the sinners here and that by our own choice. God can rightly speak in this manner without been guilty of sin. 

Gods words matter
Rom 3:4 By no means! Let God be found true though every human being is false and a liar, as it is written, That You may be justified and shown to be upright in what You say, and prevail when You are judged [by sinful men]. [Ps. 51:4.] 
Psa 51:4 You're the One I've violated, and you've seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. MSG

Romans chapter nine God spoke out after the fall of Adam and Eve. If they didn't fall Romans 9 would not exist.

However now Gods loving atonement is made for all free of charge. All is called and nobody has an excuse or a case.

August 11 2016 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data David Huffman
Why the question comes to us is born, as others have already said, in the Predestination/free will debate. The reformed group and the Arminian group are so entrenched in their respective positions that Calvin and Arminius would not even recognize what is attributed to them. 

I believe most 'armchair' bible students of which I readily admit I am one, are led down a path going nowhere on this subject. Why? Because we don't have a clear understanding of who God is biblically speaking. If we understand that God is loving, good, kind, just, merciful, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, immutable, immanent, and transcendent, and holy, we must conclude that he is all of these all the time and eternally.

We have the words of scripture but our knowledge of God is incomplete because we are finite. In order to give the subject fair treatment it is critical to study and meditate and define God's attributes. To do that we must look prior to the Creation and into eternity. Whatever it may mean, the triune God determined to create and to save and to punish and He did it an eternal time ago.

Once we grasp His attributes we may come to a different understanding about the debate. For instance, God and God alone has free will. He is Sovereign/preeminent, He answers to no one. Not you, or me, or the devil. No one. However, his creatures are accountable to him and must give a reason for their actions. 

He does assign limited responsibilities or limited sovereignty to man and woman in Genesis and they have the ability to choose but with the caveat that they will come under the consequences of the entailments of their choices. There is no similarity to the free will that God has, in man.

We should also understand that Predestination is a biblical doctrine (see Romans 8: 28-30). So is election. (Eph. 1: 11) and so is Grace (any gospel). These subjects are not in contradiction to one another. They are complimentary and work together.

Jesus paid the penalty for sin. He arose victorious over death. The atonement covers the sin debt. It is limited because it requires belief and trust in the redeemer and that has always been true. Abraham believed God and righteousness was imputed to him. So one benefit of sins forgiven is knowing Christ and living for Him. Those who deny Jesus as Lord and savior choose also to deny His atoning work and they remain in their unbelieving sinful state with all the consequences having rejected the gift of salvation.

By the way, there is a theological movement (Open theism) that would tell you that God limits his knowledge in certain instances. He limits His omniscience? That would mean that he does not know something. And that is exactly what they are getting at. If that were true He would not be God. 

Theology is good and necessary, but it isn't perfect. It can help us understand some things and confuse us on others. 

Jesus gave the great commission, therefore we bring the good news through the foolishness of preaching. It is God ordained. We do it in obedience to Him with joy and gladness, not burdened. 

Acts 16:31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Limited atonement yes, but widespread too. 

God's peace to all who participate herein.

January 13 2018 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Anne Smith Mother to two daughters, Grandmother to two grandsons.
Yes, I believe that Jesus died so that every single person would have the opportunity to turn to him by repenting. It is as if we are placed right back at the beginning just as Adam and Eve were in the garden and given the freedom to choose whether or not to obey God. We are all given the same choice and we are all responsible for the decision we make. We can choose life or death, God has made it very clear to us the consequences of the choice we make. The gift of life is there, but will not be forced on us. When Christ through his death and resurrection opened the gates of heaven, we had the choice of entering into his kingdom and accepting him as king or ruling our own lives.

November 28 2013 8 responses Vote Up Share Report

Scan14 Michael Tinsley Retired Army veteran. Love my Bible (Jesus) and fishing.
Adam's sin condemned every human to a sinful state. Very few Christians deny that nor should they.

Is Adam's sin which affected us all then _greater than Jesus's atonement with his crucifixion and resurrection?

If through Adams' sin we are/were all in a fallen state then the grace of God, an undeserved and unearned gift, given to us by Jesus has forgiven _all for their sins.

If this weren't so then why do we send evangelists to other countries (and here in America) to spread the gospel?

Again, if this weren't so, do we deny Christ's work on the cross deeming it insufficient (?), when in fact, His one time sacrifice _was sufficient for all sin.

Only the elect are saved but, _everyone's sin is and was forgiven. See Romans 6:10, Hebrews 7:27, and Hebrews 10:10.

May 14 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

1515012380789778228527 RICK PORTER Chaplain [ Truckers Chapel ]-- Undeserving Child of God
It seems we who are born again believers are always coming up with theological "terms" that are not mentioned directly in scripture, then we want to debate the meaning of these terms.

Scripture says God is not limited in anything, nor His fullness is not severed [ Isaiah 55:9 ], [ Colossians 1:7 ], [ Job 36:22-24 ] and [Ephesians 3:19 ].

Jesus the Christ came to completely and unlimitedly fulfill all that Scripture said must be fulfilled [ Matthew 5:17-18 ]. His atonement was all God required for all to be born again. Those who are born again are fully atoned for, those who aren't do not limit what Jesus accomplished.

May 01 2017 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini James Kraft 74 year old retired pipeline worker
Salvation is limited to those who believe the gospel of our salvation. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that is all of us, that He gave His only Son, Jesus, that WHOSOEVER, anybody, that believes in Him, Jesus, has eternal life and can never be lost.

Some believe that Jesus only died for a select few and condemns the rest to hell. That is not what the bible says. If the bible says that all that come to Him by faith, He will in no wise cast out, then what God says is true. John 6:37-40 

If the bible says we have eternal life because we have believed on the Son, then all who come to Him by faith alone are saved. All of those that believe are given eternal life and are chosen by God to be saved because they believed the gospel of all grace.

The bible says that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. But how shall they believe, unless there is a preacher who preaches the gospel of all grace to save sinners?

Faith is not a work. Faith is belief. Those that believe the gospel of all grace are saved and have eternal life. 

Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, so that any one who comes to Him by faith alone will be saved. Romans 4:1-8 We are given His righteousness and our sins can no longer be imputed to us. Galatians 2:16 Galatians 3:6-12 

Those that believe can never be condemned, and those that do not believe are condemned already. John 3:18 Those that have trusted Christ as their savior are saved and have eternal life. 

We are given the gospel of all grace, and those that believe it by an act of the will are saved. Those that have heard the gospel and rejected it to be saved some other way are lost. There Is only one gospel. We either accept it by faith alone, without works, or we reject it.

It is our responsibility to believe the gospel. God offers it as a free gift, but we have to receive it by faith alone. If we add any works to Gods grace, then it is another gospel. 

We either trust Jesus to save us, or trust in our own righteousness and good works to save us. Salvation by grace in what Jesus did on the cross for us, and when we receive it by faith alone we are saved and have eternal life. Once we have accepted it by faith alone, we are sealed unto the day of redemption and can never be lost.

May 01 2017 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image41 Ezekiel Kimosop
Is the Atonement of Christ Unlimited?

Yes it is. I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that God's atonement in Christ is unlimited. By unlimited, I imply that it was not restricted to a given set or number of sinners. This is not to suggest God intended to save all sinners unconditionally as claimed by the universalism doctrine. Only those sinners who respond to God's saving Christ in the gospel shall be saved (John 3:16-17). The limited atonement doctrine is, in my considered opinion, theologically and historically inconsistent with the revelation and authority of Scripture. It is neither discernible nor remotely implied in Scripture. 

The fact that some sinners will not believe the gospel does not of itself imply that God's atonement is lacking in efficacy or that God's sovereignty is placed in theological uncertainty. Scripture teaches that God has granted every sinner a free will choice in the same manner that He did Adam (Genesis 2:16-17). He does not robotically control men. Scripture alone is the exclusive basis for understanding the mind of God. Human philosophical theories, however intellectually refined, cannot oust the authority of God's word. 

The doctrine of limited atonement, in my view, presupposes that God determined ahead of time that His redemption works in Christ Jesus shall be applied to only a limited number of sinners and to the exclusion of the rest that will be condemned in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-15). This also implies that God created some people, a large number of them, in His own image and likeness simply to deny them His saving grace and that some would earn His grace unconditionally. This violates several passages of Scripture including John 3:16-17; Romans 10:5-21; 2 Peter 3:9 that communicates God's intentions on reaching out to all sinners with His saving grace. 

In settling for the limited atonement doctrine, the following regrettable theological conundrum stands out, in my view:

First, the God of Scripture is portrayed as insincere and dishonest concerning His revelation in Christ Jesus and that He never after all intended to reach out to all sinners except a select few. Such a conclusion is inconceivable, theologically (cf. Numbers 23:19).

Secondly, God is portrayed as unjust. Sinners who end up in hell had no true choices to make either in their obedience or the lack of it since their destiny had been sealed long before they were born! This also brings into question the validity of God's justice in the face of theological determinism.

Thirdly, God is revealed as an utterly discriminative God. He condemns some sinners arbitrarily without an objective basis even as He saves others without any rational basis, contrary to the revelation of Scripture in Jeremiah 17:9-10; Ezekiel 3:18-20; John 3:16-17; 1 John 2:2). 

Fourthly, the implications for the limited atonement doctrine are far reaching and appear to exceed the confines of the authority, provisions and intentions of the Author of Scripture as revealed in the two cannons of the Bible. It also presupposes that God's promise in John 3:16-17 and other relevant passages of Scripture should be understood in a different context, far from the Author's intentions. 

The Limited Atonement doctrine is therefore unbiblical, in my view. While it finds the support of deterministic philosophical groups, the doctrine is inadmissible in any Bible centered Christian community that holds the revelation of Scripture as sacred, authoritative and final. 

I submit that God's atonement in Christ Jesus is unlimited, efficacious in all ages since Calvary and that no sinner is beyond its divine path. The atonement is sufficient to cover virtually every speck of sin in the world, past present and future. The only condition that holds back this atonement is unbelief. A sinner who hears the gospel proclaimed and ends up hell cannot look God in the eye and blame Him for his fate. God made the way for ALL sinners to receive His pardon in Christ

March 12 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Al Mari Private practice as a cardiovascular & thoracic surgeon
The short answer is, it depends on what "limit" means. 

All have "sinned and come short of the glory of God"(Rom. 3:23)
The consequence of Adam's sin is "eternal death" or "second death" from which there is no resurrection. There is a "first death" because of our mortal flesh nature, from which all were "appointed to die" then be resurrected(Heb. 9:27).

And, because of that, salvation is needed from this particular eternal death. But, salvation is a process strategically planned before creation. And, atonement is first and foremost. It refers to mankind's reconciliation to God the Father. This requires the "atoning blood" from a "Passover Lamb" chosen from the "foundation of the world". Remember, "without shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins" (Heb.9:22)

Since this atonement is for all mankind, (as Adam sinned so all were counted to have sinned), it is therefore "unlimited" as to its encompassing depth and breadth.. Meaning, for all and not limited to any particular person. 

However, this atonement, is limited as to the time of its availability and effectiveness. It is limited first to those belonging to the "firstfruits" who will manifest themselves in the "first resurrection". Then will be available and effective to those who will participate in the "second resurrection" occurring after the "Millenium". Those who will be in the "second resurrection" and will not accept Christ and refuse the Holy Spirit's in-dwelling will be judged to suffer "damnation and second death in the lake of fire"(Gehenna fire). 

In summary, atonement is unlimited as it encompasses all mankind. But, it is limited to certain people at a particular period of time.

September 11 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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