Saturday, 29 June 2013



I came across these objections a while ago. To be honest, they are easily answered. Feed back (as in any article) always appreciated.

If Christ Did Not Die for All Men, Then...

 # FIRST OBJECTION: There never was a possibility that all could be saved and hope was limited only to some:

MY ANSWER TO FIRST OBJECTION:  Assuming here that "all" means "all without exception" (for the word carries two meanings in the Bible) it is true to say that "There was never a possibility that all could be saved..." This is because the Bible never teaches that there is a possibility that all without exception could be saved. The non Calvinist objector here does not see his way to providing any Scriptural proof and this is largely because there is none to provide.  This fact is seen at once from the Old Testament where the saving grace of God was largely limited to those of the Jewish community. "You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." (Amos 3:2) For thousands of years, whole communities in the Gentile nations lived and died in their sins without a missionary and therefore without the possibility that they could be saved, unless God chose to send them a man of His choice to preach the gospel to them. Even today, there still places on this earth totally void of a gospel witness  - unreached tribes in the deepest jungles who have never yet heard the good news.

The second part of the objection is that "...hope was limited only to some" but even the objector himself (as Evangelical) limits the hope of being saved to those who are prepared to actually come and receive Christ as their Saviour. Otherwise, the sinner will remain "without Christ and ... having no hope" (Ephesians 2:12) Hope in the Bible has always been limited to the some.  This is exactly what the Calvinist in his broader description as an Evangelical maintains - no hope outside of Jesus Christ.

# SECOND OBJECTION: Obviously some cannot avoid damnation:

MY ANSWER TO SECOND OBJECTION: Any man who takes it upon himself to reject the gospel cannot avoid damnation. This alone is the where any damnation lies  - in the sinner's self determination to love and cling to his sin. They will not come to Him that they might have life (John 5:40) and therefore they bring damnation upon their own heads, being the author of their own destruction.

# THIRD OBJECTION: We must feel the insincerity of inviting all to be saved:

MY ANSWER TO THIRD OBJECTION: There is no insincerity at all  in inviting all to be saved, something which those who believe in Particular Redemption are wont to do. While we limit the intention of the atonement to what it will be finally seen to deliver i.e. the salvation of the elect , yet we do not limit in any way the intrinsic worth or merit of this atonement. We are happy therefore to run with the maxim that "Christ suffered sufficiently for the whole world, but efficiently only for the elect." saying with John Calvin: "This solution has commonly prevailed in the schools...I allow that what has been said is true..." It was this truth of the infinite worth of the atonement that enabled Spurgeon to say: "I know there are some who think it necessary to their system of theology to limit the merit of the blood of Jesus: if my theological system needed such limitation, I would cast it to the winds. I cannot, I dare not, allow the thought to find lodging in my mind, it seems so near akin to blasphemy." (Autobiography of  Spurgeon) and yet have him also declare: "I may be called Antinomian or Calvinist for preaching a limited atonement; but I had rather believe a limited atonement that is efficacious for all men for whom it was intended, than an universal atonement that is not efficacious for anybody, except the will of man be joined with it. "(4:121) The strength of the free-for-all invitation lies, not in the intention, but in the merit or worth and so the Calvinist can go on evangelising bidding men to look and live and rebuking and warning those who refuse to do so. 

# FOURTH OBJECTION: Unbelief is no longer a sin, especially for those who have no cross to believe on.

MY ANSWER TO FOURTH OBJECTION: The sinner is being asked to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31) and the invitation that He extends to sinners. No man is being asked to believe if he is elect, but  he is being simply asked to take the sinner's place and to apply for pardon in accordance with the gospel promise which is for every creature. As McCheyne put it well so long ago: "The question is not, 'Am I elect?' but rather, 'Am I one of the human race?'" (Sermon on Proverbs 8:4) A sinner may read the gospel invitation, especially as it is addressed to the "whosoever" (Romans 10:13) and conclude that such includes him in its scope. This is a wide enough matter and so leaves the sinner without any justifiable feeling of hopelessness.

# FIFTH OBJECTION: It would be a sin for those for whom Christ did not die to believe on Him, because they would be believing a lie, a false hope:
MY ANSWER TO FIFTH OBJECTION: If the gospel invitation was limited to the elect, then these words would be pertinent words, but the free offer of the gospel (which is to be extended to every last sinner) renders the objection null and void.

# SIXTH OBJECTION: Those who preach the gospel to every creature SIN because they preach good tidings to all men when in fact there aren't good tidings for all men in the cross:

MY ANSWER TO SIXTH OBJECTION: This is an unjust charge. It is unjust because the gospel invitation is based on two things [i] The worth of the merit of Christ's work which is infinite and [ii] the commanded width of the invitation which is to the whosoever, as elucidated in the previous answer. This being so, it is no sin to preach the gospel to every creature as commanded in Mark 16:15. No living man has any right to conclude that Christ did not die for Him. If he does so, it will not be in a Calvinistic induced despair, but simply because he views it as another excuse to hold on to his sins.

# SEVENTH OBJECTION: God would be insincere in commanding all men to repent, seeing if they did repent, they'd have no provision in the cross:

MY ANSWER TO SEVENTH OBJECTION: This objection is erroneous again on two accounts. [i] It assumes that repentance is required only to facilitate the reception of Christ. Even if there was no salvation for anyone, we would still be required to repent and forsake our rebellion against God. We would still be required to believe everything which God said. [ii] It assumes that you have men repenting but coming to the Cross and God turning them away. There is no record of anyone coming in repentance and faith to the Cross and being turned away and Calvinists do not believe nor teach that such happens. This is the figment of an over zealous imagination on the part of those who oppose the Doctrines of Grace (or to be more precise) what they perceive those same Doctrines to teach.  Both repentance and faith are saving gifts from God and they are given specifically to His elect so that they will come to the Cross and be saved.

# EIGHTH OBJECTION: Why does He say He's not willing that any should perish?

MY ANSWER TO EIGHTH OBJECTION: God's unwillingness that any should perish stems from that part of His character that is benevolent and loving etc., He is not a cruel despot, taking delight in the sufferings of His creatures for the sheer fun of hearing their screams and anguish. Yet He willingly allowed sin to enter into the world and based salvation on the necessary reception of Christ, when He might have easily avoided the first and thus rendered the second unnecessary. It is sufficient for the sinner to read words like 2 Peter 3:9, look at the invitation of the gospel and conclude that there is hope for him if he will but come and believe etc.,

# NINTH OBJECTION: All for whom He did not die come into the world with the irrevocable sentence of damnation upon them:
MY ANSWER TO NINTH OBJECTION: This is just the first objection rehashed. See the answer given there.

# TENTH OBJECTION:  Why should the Devil do anything, seeing God will hand over to him the largest portion of humanity without his lifting a finger?
MY ANSWER TO TENTH OBJECTION: This objection again lays undue emphasis and weight on God handing over the largest portion of humanity (assuming that the largest portion of humanity will be lost) to the Devil. The sinner effectively hands himself over to the Devil by his constant sinning and rejecting of the overtures of grace. The question also presupposes that if the Devil did nothing then all men would run to the Cross and be saved. This ignores the innate wickedness and depravity of the sinner's heart. The Bible makes it clear that [i] all men will not be saved and that [ii] a certain number will be converted through the preaching of the gospel. Even non Calvinists (of the Old School Evangelicalism) believe this. God had a purpose in creating the Devil in the first place - creating him with the full knowledge that he would turn malignant and create havoc in the world. Yet He wisely decided that this should be the course. In a future day, we will fully understand the whys and the wherefores of these things.

 Similar articles: 

* 12 reasons CH Spurgeon and Particular Redemption 

* The Debt is paid - Particular Redemption 



  1. Hello Colin,

    I apologize for not having participated yet. I am always blessed in discussions with you but so far I've been happy even to have the time to read your articles. I'm afraid I won't have the time deserved to devote to this article either but I wanted to offer some thoughts and ask some questions. I appreciate your time and look forward to your considerations.

    Regarding the first objection; how do you interpret Romans 5:18?

    Regarding your response to the eighth objection; is it possible that in creation God chose to allow Adam to freely abide in His Word and that it was rather Adam who willingly chose to allow sin in the world? On what do you base your understanding of the character of God? Is it based on historical observation (the evidence of God) and interpretation or on the knowledge of Jesus Christ? I think this may be a critical difference in our theologies.

    Do you consider the doctrine of particular redemption is equivalent to limited atonement?

    Thanks again for all your kindnesses.


  2. Hi KC,

    Thanks for passing by and participating in this blog. I always appreciate feedback and, if from old friends, this is an extra blessing. I think you do pretty well to keep up with these articles at all!

    1) Re: Romans 5:18 The argument of Romans 5 is that Adam represented all his people without exception (i.e. the human race) while Christ is the Federal head of all His people i.e. the believers (or, if you want, the elect) Adam brought definite condemnation. Christ brings definite righteousness and (as all agree) that is applied only to those who believe. All men (without exception) are not represented in Christ, b/c if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature and that evidently is not so for every last member of the human race.

    2) Both Adam and God willingly allowed sin to enter into the world. Adam for entirely wicked reasons, while God for a greater and holier purpose. Our all powerful God could have prevented sin from entering into the world, just as He will prevent sin from entering into Heaven in eternity to come. He chose not to and permitted it (as said) for the greater glory.

    3) I base my understanding on the character of God from those attributes e.g. holiness, wisdom that are revealed in God’s word. I see it also in the face of Jesus Christ, but must turn to the Bible to observe it there. While I have an experience of Jesus Christ as my Saviour, I am more willing to subject my experience to the Bible than submit the Bible to my experience.

    4) The terms are usually used in an intermingled way, although I think that Particular Redemption is more accurate. I refuse to be bound by a man made outline (TULIP) – no matter how handy it might be for memory purposes. Both sides of the dispute actually limit the atonement, although in different ways.

    Keep in touch,




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