(DRAFT) Limited Atonement #4: Remaining Questions


Problem passages

Heb 10:29 “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?”

2 Pet 2:1 “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.”

Ezek 18:30–32 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. / Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? / For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”


Free offer of salvation to all without exception

The doctrine of limited atonement gives the evangelist confidence that Christ will save the people for whom He died when the gospel is preached.

The free offer of salvation to all without exception is sincerely meant by the one sharing the gospel simply because he/she does not know who the elect are. To push that farther, at any moment the elect could be absolutely everyone living – so the preacher must preach! The Christian, believing in particular redemption, must share the gospel with absolutely everyone!

In a word, the evangelist is always preaching to “anyone who will hear, anyone who thirsts, anyone who will believe, all who labor and are heavy laden, sinners, those who are wiling.” These are the words used in the following texts:

Ezek 33:11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’

Isa 45:22 Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

Isa 55:1 Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price.

Matt 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Luke 5:32 “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Matt 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

Acts 26:28–29 ‘Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.”

Rev 22:17 “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”


Preach the gospel no matter your understanding of the extent of the atonement

While the true gospel requires an understanding of definite atonement, a hazy understanding of this doctrine should not prevent any Christian from sharing the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection.

Rom 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”

Rom 10:14–17 “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? / And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” / But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” / So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

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