Christ's Atonement for Sins

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by KenH, May 23, 2002.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    If Christ suffered for all of the sins of all of the people of all time, then how can anyone end up in Hell? Under the idea of universal redemption, for what sin did Christ not already pay the penalty?

    There are several verses in the Bible where Christ's blood is referred to as being shed for "many", not "all". The Scriptures, taken as a whole, point to the doctrine of particular redemption.

    Unless, of course, someone can build a Biblical case that a person can be punished for a sin(including the sin of unbelief), or sins, of his that Christ has already been punished for. Which would mean that God would end up punishing two different people for the same act of sin. And that is not possible ever, ever, ever.
     
  2. Helen

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    Hi,

    Two things. First, in Hebrews 9:25, we read (KJV) that Christ "put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Christ Himself said all sins would be forgiven but the sin against the Holy Spirit. And that sin is precisely the sin that Reformed theology says cannot happen wilfully! The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, Christ said. Paul said in Romans 1 that God's wrath is being poured out by those who suppress the truth by their wickedness, despite the evidence of the creation itself.

    Christ also identified Himself as the Truth.

    When a man knowingly rejects Christ, who IS the Truth, and is witnessed to by creation and the Holy Spirit as well, then the man has rebelled against the truth, and that is the sin against the Holy Spirit -- to go against what you know is true.

    It is a consistent, knowing, willing choice to reject truth and, in rejecting truth, to reject Christ, which sends men to Hell.

    Jesus atoned for sins. That is a free gift to the taker. And it is the very rejection of that, achieved at such a cost, that causes the great anger of God to be poured out on the wicked.

    People don't go to hell for their sins. They go to hell for rejecting Christ -- the one sin that cannot be forgiven, for Christ Himself was the way by which forgiveness was achieved. They thus have turned their backs on the only possible salvation available to them and in so doing, have chosen hell over heaven.
     
  3. KenH

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    Helen,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Help me understand. You saying that if one has ever once rejected Christ and His gospel then he has committed the unpardonable sin? So unless we "say yes to Jesus" the first the time we hear the gospel we are condemned to Hell?

    Also, I am of the understanding that the unpardonable sin was to directly attribute the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of Christ to be the work of Satan as the Pharisees did(Matthew 12:24-32), not simply rejecting the gospel.
     
  4. Helen

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    I was taught that it was the Pharisaical pronouncement, too, at first. But then I had a chance to study under someone who took a broader view (my current pastor), and it makes more sense that for the Pharisees it was saying that Jesus was demonic. But they knew better. They KNEW He was not. So they were going against the very truth they were aware of.

    And no, it is not just a one-time deal. I think the Bible gives us a good example in Pharaoh in Egypt during the time of Moses. In six of the ten plagues, Pharaoh hardened his own heart. In fact, if you look at the progression, there is something interesting that happens. The first five plagues, Pharaoh hardens his own heart. Then, the next plague, God Himself hardens the man's heart. But then on the NEXT plague, Pharoah admits "I have sinned!" And so what happens? He has to harden his own heart again. And it is not until after that that God hardens his heart for good and, in effect, pronounces the death sentence on him.

    Or we can look at King Nebuchadnezzar. Idolator, throwing three men into the furnace who refused to bow down to his idol of gold. And then, finally, in chapter four of Daniel, we see that God intervenes and the king loses his sanity and throne until, we are told in verse 34 "I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever."

    So we know that in both cases a ruler consistently refused God, and in both cases God intervened miraculously. One kept hardening his heart and the other finally 'raised my eyes toward heaven.'

    Just like we can sin and Jesus picks us up (as Christians) and keeps us going time and again, and that this is WAY different from living in sin as a heart's desire, so there is a big difference between the man who struggles against God and finally acknowledges the truth of Him and the man who consistently hardens his heart instead.

    I guess I would want to say it's a sort of a 'final' thing and not a 'beginning' thing.

    There are a lot of people, and my beloved father was one of them, whose only knowledge of Jesus is as a swear word or as an excuse for some weird religious people to do strange things, or as a social club leader (Sunday Christians) -- that sort of thing. And they reject him, but, at the same time, earnestly desire to know the truth. They just don't know the truth is Jesus. My dad didn't (raised in a Philadelphia family where it was social and later was a radio announcer and had to work Sundays for about 8 years. During that time he would have to listen to about fourteen religious broadcasts each time. These were the days when it was all live -- the fifties -- and all he noticed was the way they were all so sure they each were right and the way they fought with each other coming and going!). But after he became terribly ill, and was dying, the Lord -- and I don't know how He did it -- confronted my father and before he died, Daddy was thrilled and joyous to know that Jesus was really whom he had been seeking for all those years.

    And there are a number of stories like that, actually. Daddy wasn't unique. He could have refused Jesus when he learned that Jesus WAS the truth he had always been seeking, but he didn't. And I don't think I ever saw him so happy as I did the morning of the day he died. He was glowing. He knew where he was going and he couldn't wait to get there. He died at six that evening.

    Jesus, you see, meant it when He said "Seek and you shall find." People like my dad may reject the entire gospel message either because they are not ready for it or because of the way it is presented. But if they want to know the truth, then no matter where they are looking -- and we always look in the wrong places without God! -- God will show them enough to get them going in the right direction if they are truly interested in the truth and not just in the intellectual search (C.S. Lewis did a great job with this type of person in his book "The Great Divorce", which I really recommend).

    What the Calvinists don't seem to understand is how much I agree with so much of what they say. Man, indeed, cannot find God. He doesn't know where to look or even what he is really looking for. But Jesus never said "Seek in the right direction and you will find..." He just said "Seek."

    One good way I heard of putting it was that you can't steer a car if it's not moving. But if the man is moving at all, God can steer. And steer He will, into strange 'coincidences' and such until the man has had enough truth in a way that he recognizes it that he can either turn away from it or follow a bit more. If he is interested in the truth, God will bring him to Christ. The man cannot do it on his own. I know that. I have no quibble with that part of Reformed theology. I know we are utterly helpless on our own.

    ---------

    I have a 'leak' in Netscape and my computer just warned me I'm running out of short term memory. Got to go before I get erased. Does that make sense above?
     
  5. rlvaughn

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    It seems that there may be three basic views of Christ's Atonement:

    1. Particular - that it is designed and effective for a particular group of people (the elect).
    2. General - that it is prospective for everyone in general and effective for no one in particular.
    3. Universal - that it is effective for everyone.

    I'm sure there are variations, but I believe they would all be subpoints of these main views.

    I'm wondering - for those of you who hold position No. 2 (general atonement) - do you believe that Jesus' atonement was substitutionary, and if so, how so?
     
  6. KenH

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    Thanks, Helen.

    If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that those in Hell commmitted a sin for which Christ did not atone, right? If so, then I think you have a much better position than others who promote the idea of general atonement who claim that Christ was punished for all the sins of everyone who ever lived or will live, but that those in Hell are being punished for the same sins that Christ already was punished for - double jeopardy if you will.

    I don't agree with your position but you have a better basis for your belief than other general atonement advocates. :cool:
     
  7. Ray Berrian

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    Unless you see the truth of the freedom of the human will you will never even put a dent in our understanding of the Biblical fact that Jesus died for every human being. Jesus does not have conscripts in Heaven, He desires that people after being convicted by the Sprit, turn to Him with all of their inner self. After salvation comes true worship of the Trinune Godhead. Sinners have minds, conscience and a will to make decisions. Here is where believing in Jesus makes the difference between Heaven or Hell. Of what lasting value, worship wise, would 'strong- arming' a sinner contrary to his or her will yield? This is not true worship but an alleged conspiracy taken out on human beings.
     
  8. KenH

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    Ray,

    Can you give a Scriptural answer to my original question?
     
  9. Primitive Baptist

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    Not so.

    And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. (Ex. 4:21)

    And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. (Ex. 7:3)

    And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said. (Ex. 7:13)

    And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses. (Ex. 9:12)

    And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him: (Ex. 10:1)

    But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go. (Ex. 10:
    20)

    For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (Rom. 9:17-21)

    I do not desire to put the will of man above that of his Creator.

    Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:13)

    So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. (Rom. 9:16)

    Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (Eph. 1:5)

    Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (2 Tim. 1:9)

    No, I do not believe that every man has a chance to be saved because God does not save according to chance. God saves sinners according to purpose. (2 Tim. 1:9)

    Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Rev. 4:11)

    Rightly so, but not concerning spiritual things.

    No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44)

    And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. (John 6:65)

    There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (Rom. 3:11)

    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor. 2:14)

    Jesus Himself taught particular redemption as did the writers of the New Testament.

    As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep... But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. (John 10:15, 26)

    For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matt. 26:28)

    Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14)

    According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (Eph. 1:4-7)

    Who has redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins? Us, that is, those He made accepted in the Beloved, those He predestinated, those He chose in Christ before the foundation of the world.

    [ May 23, 2002, 11:24 PM: Message edited by: Primitive Baptist ]
     
  10. Ray Berrian

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    Ing,

    We believe that Christ died for all human beings. His atonement has made provision for everyone. His call is to all that they might find everlasting life through Christ. The ones who believe are saved; the ones who ultimately reject Christ's offer will most definitely be lost. Nothing is lost to God just because the majority do not accept His salvation. He sovereignly reigns and is dependent on no human beings or other things. He is not intimidated when the majority reject His glorious offer in the Gospel. He loses nothing. Only people lose their never-dying souls when they refuse His entrance into their lives.

    I do not believe in universalism because He calls for a response of faith and trust that is gratuitously offered to God.

    A true universalists believes eventually everyone will be saved and that God is too loving to place anyone in the flames of a living Hell.
     
  11. connieman

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    To All...

    Only God can change the Ehiopian's skin, or the leopard's spots, or the sinner's heart.

    All the people who are born of God will say Amen!

    In the Name of Him whom we love only because He first loved us.

    connieman [​IMG]

    [ May 24, 2002, 01:07 AM: Message edited by: connieman ]
     
  12. Primitive Baptist

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    What "we believe" does not matter, but what saith the Scripture?

    For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matt. 26:28)

    I expect Jesus would be the most reliable source of information concerning the atonement since it was He, the spotless Lamb of God, who died. He said His blood was to be shed for many for the remission of sins.

    So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Heb. 9:21)

    The word many is used multiple times in Scripture referring to the death Christ died. Why must it be changed to give way to the free will of man?

    I suppose you believe Christ also died for the "vessels of wrath fitted for destruction" (Rom. 9:22).
     
  13. Aki

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    i think it is already twice that i've given this thought at other posts. but then the issue at this post has arised more than i am able to read. so now, this is my answer to the question:

    true, Christ has paid the penalty for all sins of all people. However, this is not make all souls justified. God's standard of accepting a soul is perfect righteousness, the same as His attribute. now those souls whose sins were simply paid for are not yet justified. thus they are still not as righteous as God, therefore still deserving the wrath of God. Upon faith, God then justifies the believing person, upon which Christ's righteousness is imputed in him.

    God's payment for sins is NOT equivalent to justification, which comes only at the moment of faith. this has some implications:

    1. though their sins are already paid for, man is not yet as rigtheous as God, therefore are still not acceptable for Him.
    2. upon faith, Christ's righteousness is imputed to the believing person.
    3. Souls that are condemned are so punsihed not becuase of their sins, since it was already paid for by the death of Christ, but because of their unbelief, which resulted to them lacking the rigtheousness that Christ's blood has for them.
     
  14. Aki

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    true. but to equate the leopard's spots to that of the sinner's heart is quite misleading, for upon changing the sinner's heart God does not go over man's volition, which He sovereignly designed to do (or not to do). changing a sinner's heart is not equivalent to a heart that will simply follow upon conviction, but rather a heart that may or may not follow upon understanding through convition. the leopard, on the other hand, is not given the choice of spots [​IMG]
     
  15. KenH

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    "Souls that are condemned are so punsihed not becuase of their sins, since it was already paid for by the death of Christ, but because of their unbelief"

    Isn't unbelief a sin? If it is, then Christ, in suffering the punishment for sins, atoned for it. If unbelief is not a sin, then I guess I don't understand the definition of sin.
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    God commands all men everywhere to repent. Therefore to fail to repent would be a sin. Therefore, man does go to hell for his sins since rejecting Christ is a sin.

    To say that man does not go to hell for his sins is to undermine the justice of God. You have a God who consigns people to eternal hell without a valid reason. It is our sins that send us to hell. The wages of sin is death. All who sin reap the reward of death. In Rev 20:11-15 we see people cast into the lake of fire on the basis of the things written in the books (not the book of life but the books). These books are apparently the record of sins for which man is being judged.

    Your position would make it unfair for God to condemn those who have never heard. Because man is condemned for his sin, God has every right to punish all sinners.

    Lastly, your erroneous statement about Pharoah has been refuted from Scripture time and time again. Long before Pharaoh hardened his heart, God said that he (God) would harden it. The references have been given below (for about the 5th time). :(
     
  17. pinoybaptist

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    I believe Helen said in one of her posts that trying to talk with (or to) Calvinists is like talking to a wall ? :D
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    Yeah but we can't help it. It's out of our control :D :D
     
  19. Primitive Baptist

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    And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: (Acts 18:27)

    If faith is necessary to obtain justification, how can these people be said to have believed through grace? The righteousness of Christ is not imputed as a result of faith, but it is the very source of our faith.
     
  20. Primitive Baptist

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