I have many friends who hold to the idea that Christ Died only for those that are elect, or even better, those decreed to be His from the beginning. Now I am not even going to touch upon if He did so before the foundation of the World (Subla-lapsairianism) or only after the fall (infralapsarianism). The idea that God does know the end from the beginning, and he, therefore, determines the eventual outcome, is one that any persuasion should look at. For me, someone that has come to the Classic Arminian position for a few years now, it seems unthinkable that God would only assure some of His general promise of liberation and freedom from Sin. Does not God desire all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4) and for all men to come to salvation and repentance? (2Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 18:23; Matthew 23:37). No! Says some of our friends, the Bible clearly shows an understanding that God only dies for the elect and, therefore, all men, which is interpreted as all kinds of men but not all men in a universal sense.
Limited Atonement, also known as Particular Redemption or Definite Atonement, is a controversial doctrine within some Christian denominations that holds that Jesus Christ died only for the sins of those who were chosen by God for salvation. The best case against Limited Atonement is that it contradicts the biblical teachings on God’s universal love and desire for all to be saved.
One of the primary arguments against Limited Atonement is based on John 3:16, which states that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This verse clearly states that God’s love extends to the entire world, not just a select group of people. Furthermore, 1 Timothy 2:4 says that God “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” This suggests that God desires the salvation of every person, not just a predetermined group.
Additionally, Limited Atonement contradicts the idea of human free will. If only a select group of people are predestined for salvation, then it would mean that God has predetermined some individuals to be saved and others to be damned, regardless of their own choices or actions.
- The doctrine of Limited Atonement can be seen as contradicting the character of God as revealed in the Bible. The Bible describes God as being loving, merciful, and gracious towards all people, not just a select few. If God only intended to save a specific group of people, it would contradict the idea that God is loving towards all of humanity.
- Limited Atonement also contradicts the idea of human responsibility for sin. If Jesus only died for the sins of a select group of people, then it would imply that those who are not part of that group are not responsible for their sins. This would contradict the idea that all people are responsible for their actions and will be held accountable for them.
- The Bible presents the idea that salvation is available to all people, not just a select group. For example, in 2 Peter 3:9, it says that God “is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” This implies that God desires the salvation of all people, not just a specific group.
- Limited Atonement can also be seen as contradicting the idea of evangelism and missionary work. If Jesus only died for the sins of a select group of people, then there would be no need to share the gospel with those outside of that group. However, the Bible presents the idea that we are called to share the gospel with all people, regardless of their background or beliefs.
Overall, the best case against Limited Atonement is that it contradicts the biblical teachings on God’s love, human responsibility, the availability of salvation to all, and the importance of evangelism and missionary work.