THE ATONEMENT IS LIMITED TO THOSE WHOM GOD WILL SAVE
This is an assertion by many, yet they fail to find a single verse that states such a thing. It is never stated in the Bible... anywhere! The argument that is made is that in John 10:15 where Jesus states, "As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay my life down for the sheep." From this it is asserted that Jesus died for no one else but the "sheep." Later He says, "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep..." this is taken to mean that only the sheep will respond to the Sheppard, not because they believe, but they believe because they are the sheep.
This is a totally erroneous idea of how the atonement of Christ works and who Jesus died for. So, before we examine this in detail, let's dispel the error that many draw from John 10.
First, it assumes that the sheep are already marked out. This is flawed, for the same people that Jesus said "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep..." he says, "though you believe not in me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe..." Jesus has not discounted them from ever hearing and following (10:27,) and thus becoming sheep!
Secondly, we must ask what is meant here where it is said that Jesus dies "for" the sheep. While it is true that the sheep are directly affected by the benefits of His death, this does not mean that He did not die for others, and that they could not have ever been sheep. Paul said, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20). By these very words someone could contend that Jesus only died for Paul. While is is true that Jesus died for Paul, and true that He died for the sheep, it is equally true that He died for the whole world!
The Bible states, " And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 Jn. 2:2. This is certainly not dieing for the "sheep only."
God, "is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9.
"We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." Heb. 2:9.
" 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; for God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." John 3:16, 17.
"Therefore, as by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." Rom. 5:18.
Paul says, "there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." 1 Tim. 2:5, 6.
My friend, there is not a singular statement in all of Scripture that says that the death of Christ was for a limited few. There are, thank God! Multiple references to God's love in His atonement to all!
One can dip and dodge the obvious by trying to redefine the Bible by saying "all doesn't really mean "all." Or, "The world doesn't mean the "world." We even see that "whosoever will" cannot be taken at face value.
With a few isolated and ambiguous passages, they have in their minds, defeated the plan of God for all mankind so that they can fit Him into their narrow box of theology.
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