Jesus’ Punishment Not Like Ours

Jesus’ Punishment Not Like Ours

There are certain denominations that don’t believe in the eternal conscious torment of the sinner, even among professing evangelical circles. I will deal with this in future articles, but they often bring up the inequality of punishment that Christ receives as a substitution for sinners. Someone like me who believes that hell is eternal conscious torment is often accused of not seeing the cross in just terms because Christ didn’t suffer eternally. There are some opponents who are inevitably annihilationist that will admit, however, that Jesus also was not annihilated. So in either case, Jesus’ punishment does not equally demonstrate the punishment of the wicked. Yet some within this camp further affirm that Jesus dying was the punishment. In other words, because Jesus died, that is how He was able to equally take our punishment because we die. And He rose again, defeating death on our behalf so that the righteous can have immortality. In essence, the moment that Jesus died is when Jesus took the punishment and only in dying, therefore, can we justly say He took our place, since death is the punishment.

While I do not holistically disagree with the conclusion, I also do not fully agree with the premise. Jesus’ experienced God’s wrath for us on the cross. The punishment was not solely death, but suffering God’s wrath because sin was laid upon Him. Death is the result of sin, and Jesus should have died long before He hung on that cross because of the way He was beaten. But because He was sinless, and had not yet had sin placed upon Him (which was a picture of the day of atonement), the body He had was not yet ready to die. It was only after sin was laid upon Him, and God’s wrath poured upon Him that He could cry, “It is finished!” This is penal substitution which some who reject eternal conscious torment love to also subtly deny. Or better yet, not explicitly affirm with plain speech. They rather affirm substitution, but not penal substitution. But I digress. The point is how do we reconcile the fact that Jesus was able to endure sufficiently and efficaciously God’s wrath that He will forever pour out on sinners? If the annihilationist position is true, why would Jesus have to experience the Father’s wrath if the punishment is realized in His death?

These are questions that seem weighty, but can be answered easily. Let’s make this plain. Jesus did not suffer punishment the same way that we will suffer punishment. Whether you believe annihilationism (in any form) or eternal conscious torment, one truth about Christ’s atonement will remain the same. Jesus suffered more for sinners than any sinner will ever suffer for their own sin. Why? Because of who He was! Listen, we are not just talking about a regular Joe Schmoe. We are talking about the precious Lamb of God! God of very God. The Holiest of Holies. The High and Mighty Son. The Prince of Peace. He humbled Himself, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was ridiculed, mocked, and beaten by His own creation who He could have crushed like grasshoppers. Yet, He endured suffering in obedience to the Father to fulfill all that was written concerning Him. In one sense, He did not need to hang for hours. He didn’t need to continue bearing with the mocking and jeering that He did on behalf of sinners. But He chose to. And whether God chose to do it with a paper cut, or He chose to do with all of His eternal might, because of who Jesus was, just one tiny drop of blood spilled from an open wound inflicted upon Him would have been sufficient to save infinite legions of depraved sinners. But because dying is a part of the punishment, He could have just had His throat slit like the lambs of the Old Testament. He could have had a swifter execution. But instead He chose one of the most excruciating and humiliating ways to die. And endured God’s wrath as He bore it all!

I pray you don’t miss this. The punishment of Jesus will never match the punishment we receive because Jesus should not have been punished. If it were not for the grace of God, the punishment of Jesus would never have happened. If it were not for the justice of God, the punishment of Jesus would not be necessary. So in one sense, I agree with those who are opponents of eternal conscious torment that the punishment on Jesus doesn’t seem fair and equal. Because it wasn’t! What’s fair is that >>>> I <<<< should have been slaughtered! I should have experienced God’s wrath for all eternity without mercy and grace. Jesus enduring even a millisecond of God’s wrath on my behalf is infinitely more grace than I will EVER deserve. So when I hear from certain circles concerning their rejection of penal substitution and eternal conscious torment on how it seems cruel, I agree. Jesus should have wiped us all out! It’s seems cruel that it took the matchless, priceless, precious, and spotless God-Man in order for wicked and depraved sinners like us to be free. That Jesus, in His willingness and obedience, stepped into time, clothed Himself in sinless flesh, and subjected Himself to something worse than an everyday criminal’s death. It was one of the most tortuously notorious executions invented by man. A punishment reserved for the worse of the worst. Yet He suffered more than just a criminal’s death so that criminals like me can be saved. Why would He do such a thing?! It is more than cruel, it should not have happened! God would have been perfectly justified in giving us what we deserve, and never thinking twice about it. And in light of what the Father did to Jesus, eternal conscious punishment in Hell seems like an act of mercy in comparison to what Jesus endured for us. But the Triune God, by His mercy and grace, had an eternally bigger plan to save sinners from their sin, and to separate a people unto Himself, so that they can enjoy the greatest blessing ever to receive –Himself.

Jesus was more than a substitute. He was THE Surpassing Substitute. He was more than what you could expect a substitute to ever be. Sacrifices in the Old Testament typified substitution, but Jesus outshines them all! But Jesus wasn’t just a substitute, He was THE Perfect Penal Substitute. He didn’t just suffer a little of God’s wrath, but endured as much as was necessary to appease and satisfy His justice as a propitiation for our sins. And this was still infinitely more than He deserved. He endure more suffering, more pain, more sorrow, more agony not because of how long He was on the cross, but because He was on the cross! I cannot stress this enough. Jesus is more valuable and more beautiful than any being in the universe because He was God. He gave Himself for our sins. The punishment was not what we should have received. It was way more than we’ll ever experience, because He was innocent. If we can grasp this, when we look at Jesus on the cross, we should no longer wonder how He could sufficiently endure God’s eternal wrath, but wonder in why He was on the cross in the first place. We should no longer ponder the punishment matching the crime, but the fact that He had to be punished in the first place. We should be more offended at Christ having to take such a punishment than the eternal conscious torment of the wicked. Because if we value Jesus as He should be valued, it should be no surprise that God would eternally pour out His wrath on those that choose their sin over Him. Jesus’ punishment is by far a greater offense than sinners suffering in Hell forever (although paradoxically, it is a glorious grace because of Him who regenerated me because of it). I am more humbled and broken about my sin when I see the Lamb of God crushed by the Father, than by millions of souls weeping and gnashing in Hell. Jesus shouldn’t have suffered and died on that cross. But praise God He did. For it was the only way I would see Jesus as preciously and magnificently as I do today (and it grows daily). And even still, this article falls miserably short in comparison to the glory and majesty of who He is and what He has accomplished for those of us who have repented and believed His glorious gospel.

One final word. While I get what people say when they sing or read that “it should have been us upon that cross,” I can no longer say that this is fully the case for me. I don’t seek to undo thousands of pages that say something to this effect, because, for the most part, I don’t disagree. I should have experienced my punishment for my own sin. And it is from this sentiment that this understanding springs forth. So when people say this, I don’t fret. But I have recently come to appreciate the crucifixion of Christ in a way that has become exceptionally humbling for me, and I sought to share it with all. I pray that this article brings you to the same place it has brought me. To a place of deeper reverence, worship, obedience, and understanding concerning what Jesus accomplished on our behalf.

-Until we go home

A Devastating Question for Lifestyle Evangelists

A Devastating Question for Lifestyle Evangelists

If you have followed DefCon or any other site that affirms gospel-centered theology, you have already run across mounds upon mounds of reasons why lifestyle evangelism is unbiblical. We’ve expounded, extrapolated, and exegeted this to death in order to reveal why trying to win souls by simply just living your life before the unsaved is plainly unbiblical. But the one thing we have failed to do is teach how to engage a person that believes we should simply let our good works shine before men, and then be ready to give an answer for the reason of the hope that lies within you when they ask you.

I like to keep the target of an article directly in my gaze. Therefore I will not exhaustively offer my insights as to why I think this strategy of evangelism is good or bad depending on the context.  But here is a mock conversation that will reveal the most devastating question you can ask someone that believes in lifestyle evangelism, which will allow the drill of the gospel to penetrate the problem at its core and root out this man-centered method.

(Background: You are walking down the street and you see someone with a sign by a booth that says “FREE HUGS.” You notice it also has Jesus’ name on some of the other signs, so you walk over to investigate)

Lifestyle Evangelist (LE): Would you like a free hug today?

You: Sure. What’s it for?

LE: We just want to demonstrate the love of Christ and show that we love you?

You: Ah. I see. Do you preach the gospel when you get people who are interested?

LE: We are showing the gospel by sharing the love of Christ through hugs.

You: So what is the greatest demonstration of God’s love to mankind?

LE: Jesus Christ dying for our sins.

You: So how do your hugs measure up?

Did you catch the point? The last two questions really expose the root problem of merely “demonstrating” the love of Christ without opening your mouth about the gospel. And the previous to last question really sets up the penetrating question at hand.

If someone feels that they are being more effective (which is pragmatism by the way) by sharing the gospel through their lifestyle and neglect to share the good news of Christ, by asking them, “What is the greatest demonstration of God’s love?” you will bypass any defense and shoot right to the source of why Christians should even bother to spread the gospel in the first place. The sacrifice of Christ for sin! Even more so, when you ask them “How does their (insert good work here) measure up?” it pinches the nerve of this pragmatic error and hopefully causes the hearer to question their means of “spreading” the gospel. Or, in their minds, letting their good works shine. Because it causes the person to take notice that they are basically saying their good work, whatever that may be, is a proper or better demonstration than Christ’s sacrifice for sin.

If it is true that Christ died for our sin, and that while we were still sinning, Christ died for us, if this gruesome act is what God had to undergo in order to save men from sin, death, and hell, how in the world could any of our good works ever measure up!? Sure we do good works because we are saved, and yes, as a byproduct of our preaching our good works compliment our message, but there is nothing (and I mean nothing) that we can do (ever) that will be a better demonstration of God’s love other than what He has already done! Let’s read that one more time. This is extremely important. There is nothing we can do to demonstrate the love of God in such a way that would project the glory of the gospel than what God has already done. That should be one of the greatest assurances for fearlessly speaking the gospel. But oftentimes, it’s not. Forgive us Lord for our unbelief.

I’m not saying taking up your cross is not a powerful testimony. But it’s not the gospel. I’m not saying you can’t give to the poor. But it’s not the gospel. I’m not saying you can’t show kindness, goodness, meekness, humility, love, self control, gentleness, and the like. But it’s not the gospel. I am not saying that your works amount to absolutely nothing when trying to be a witness in the world. But it’s not the gospel! All these things are types and shadows that should point to the gospel message. And even does demonstrate the power and love of Christ in some measure, none of our good works should be held to such a high regard that we think it measures up to the love of Christ efficaciously demonstrated to us on the cross. Tell the old, old story of He who paid an eternal price for our sin and gave Himself for us to make us free from sin’s power!

Remember that the above conversation is only an example. Each conversation is unique and can flow in different directions. However, don’t lose sight of the main point. It might take a little persuasion to reveal what you are trying to say, but as long as you keep the last question in sight (really the last two questions), you should be able to drive home the single, most important point of how the gospel should be shared – that we should tell someone what is the gospel, not just show them! To do otherwise is to essentially say that what we are doing is a better demonstration than what God has done.

-Until we go home

The Consistency of God’s Justification

20130712-141054.jpgI found a gem on justification, written by J.I. Packer, that can be found here:

Let me quote from it:

God’s justifying judgment seems strange, for pronouncing sinners righteous may appear to be precisely the unjust action on the judge’s part that God’s own law forbade (Deut. 25:1; Prov. 17:15). Yet it is in fact a just judgment, for its basis is the righteousness of Jesus Christ who as “the last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45), our representative head acting on our behalf, obeyed the law that bound us and endured the retribution for lawlessness that was our due and so (to use a medieval technical term) “merited” our justification. So we are justified justly, on the basis of justice done (Rom. 3:25-26) and Christ’s righteousness reckoned to our account (Rom. 5:18-19).

The argument, in summary, is this: If God is just, how can He declare someone that is sinful to be righteous? Answer: Because the righteousness that God sees when he looks at the elect sinner is the righteousness of Christ. In other words, God does not nilly willy and “in a vacuum” declare something sinful to be holy. That would indeed be an unjust declaration. However, if in Christ we are righteous, because He is our “Adam,” that is, our spiritual representative and head, then it would be unjust for God to NOT declare us justified. See the logic there? According to God’s own consistency, since Jesus is our righteousness, God justifies the elect.

The justifying action of God is not an exception to his otherwise perfect justice. On the contrary, the action is an application of God’s perfect justice. This is the magnificence of the cross. The cross verified and guaranteed the justifying salvation to all who were of the elect sons and daughters of Christ, the new and perfect Adam.

Sermon of the week: “Sovereign Election, Israel & Eschatology (a.k.a. Why Every Self-Respecting Calvinist is a Premillennialist)” by John MacArthur.

John MacArthur Your sermon of the week is Sovereign Election, Israel & Eschatology (a.k.a. Why Every Self-Respecting Calvinist is a Premillennialist) by John MacArthur. This is the message that caused a stir a few years ago when MacArthur delivered it at the Shepherd’s Conference.

Not all the contributors on this blog agree with MacArthur on this subject, but I wanted to make it available here for those who have not listened to it yet.

You may also want to hear the opposition’s position to the Premil view posted last week by ATG.

For a more in-depth examination of this subject, I highly recommend MacArthur’s six -part series found on this previous post. (I actually prefer MacArthur’s six-part series as he has more time to unpack his points, and makes a more convincing argument for the Premil position, than he does in today’s single message.)

You can download this week’s message by MacArthur by going to the page found on this link, or just right-click and save this link.

For Whom Did Christ Die? The Simple Logic of Limited Atonement

Did Christ Die for All Men? Or Did He Die for Only Some Men?

“The simple logic of  Limited Atonement or particular redemption

At some point in our Christian walk we must ask ourselves this vital question: “Who did Christ die for?” A huge portion of our theology is wrapped up in this little question, which has been a hotly debated issue for centuries. I want to offer the answer as I see it by using the simple logic that led to me changing my entire view of scripture several years ago. I believe that most Christians actually believe in Limited Atonement, but disagree on free will or election of the believer.


  1. I am assuming in this post that you believe that the Bible is the inerrant, eternal, Word of God
  2. I am also assuming that you, the reader, agrees that there is a literal Heaven and a literal Hell as defined in the Bible.
  3. I assume that you agree that our salvation is connected to our belief that Jesus Christ is God, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross in our place, and rose again on the third day securing eternal life for all who believe in Him.

Let’s Agree on One Point at the outset:

These 3 questions are the basis of this discussion. Read these and consider them very carefully:

1. Do all men/women go to Heaven?

I believe that all Christians who stand by the assumptions above would answer NO to this question. If your answer to this question is yes, then you believe in universalism, which is not Biblical and you are not a Christian.

2. Do all men/women go to Hell?

Again I believe that all Christians answer NO to this question. If your answer to this is yes, you are not a Christian because you don’t believe in the atoning work of Christ on the cross, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life with Christ in Glory for the believers.

3. Do only some men/women go to Heaven?

All Christians must answer YES to this question. Because both questions 1) and 2) must be answered NO and it is non-negotiable…for Biblical Christians this is the only option.

The answer to these simple questions gives us one simple point to agree upon as our starting point: Some people go to Heaven and some people go to Hell. All Christians will agree on this point.

How Does Someone Get to Heaven?

Ok, let’s take one more step together, so if some people go to Heaven and some people go to Hell, what is the deciding factor? How does one avoid eternal damnation in the fires of Hell and inherit the eternal life and glory with Christ for all eternity in Heaven? This is answered with the Gospel of course.

There is only one way…believe the following list and become a disciple of Christ (how this belief comes about is a different topic…i.e. free will/election):

  • Christ, the Son, is the second person of the Godhead eternal and holy
  • The Son condescended from Heaven to earth as 100% man and 100% God born as a baby
  • Christ lived a perfect sinless life full of miracles, signs, and wonders
  • Christ was tried for heresy and sentenced to crucifixion, and died on the cross.
  • On the cross Christ became sin and received the infinite wrath of God the Father as a substitute in our place
  • Christ’s death on the cross secured redemption, reconciliation, justification, and adoption as sons of God for those who believe, die to self, and follow Him
  • Christ, on the third day, was resurrected, thus defeating death and appearing to many.
  • After a short time in his resurrected form Christ ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father where He intercedes on our behalf as an advocate.
  • Review John 18-21, Luke 22-24, Acts 2, 2 Corinthians 5:10-21, Colossians 1:10-23, 2:12-15, Romans 1-8

This is what we must believe to be saved from the eternal punishment due for our sins. All sin, all must face judgment (Romans 3). We are saved by our faith in Christ.

Romans 1:17 – For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Galatians 2:16 – “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”

We should be good so far and all Christians should be in full agreement at this point.

Salvation (Justification) by Faith in the Cross Work of Christ

We know and agree that we are saved by faith in Christ’s death on the cross and we know and believe that He died in our place as a substitute and through our faith our sins are forgiven. So, this is where the controversy starts to kick in.

Let’s go deeper still with more questions:

1)  Did Christ’s death on the cross secure eternal life through forgiveness of sins for God’s Elect? This means that every sin through all of history for THE ELECT (the children of God) only was paid for on the cross. Otherwise stated as: “All of some people’s sins paid for”.

** OR **

2)  Did Christ’s death on the cross secure the potential of eternal life for forgiveness of sins to those who chose to believe? This means that every sin for every person throughout all of time was paid for on the cross. Otherwise states as: “All sins for all people”.

Which is it? This isn’t an easy question because both answers have HUGE implications on our entire theological position and it must be considered carefully. Did Christ’s death actually secure eternal life for the children of God or did it only give the potential for eternal life for those who believe?

What then does John 19:30 mean and what theological impact does it have?

John 19:30 – “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

What does “it is finished” mean? – We’ll return to this soon.

Very Important Logic Question:

Can someone go to hell whose sins were paid for on the cross? This is the implication from answer 2) above. In addition it would mean that Hell is full of people who had the potential of salvation because their sins were paid for, but they chose not to believe? This also means that Christ’s death on the cross was not actually effective.

Can this really be?  Or is it bad logic? Let’s look at it from a different angle…scripture:

Ephesians 1:4-5 “4…even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,”

This passage is pretty clear that he (the Father) chose us in him (Jesus) before the foundation of the world. We were predestined for adoption. We were not predestined for the potential of adoption, but for adoption, which is to be an heir to the kingdom of God and to receive eternal life through faith in Christ.

Ephesians 2:4-6 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

How can we have the potential for salvation through choosing to believe in Christ if the Bible says that “even when we were dead in our trespasses (sins), God made us alive together with Christ”? God did it while we were still dead in our sins…before we believed.

Romans 5:6, 8, 10 “6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly… 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son…”

Again, we see that Christ’s death and the reconciliation to God occurred while we were sinners, while we were enemies with God. How could our choice to believe in Christ apply the forgiveness of sins through belief when it has already occurred? There doesn’t seem to be any potential. Scripture reads as if it is a done deal. Return now to John 19:30

It is Finished

John 19:30, as we looked at reads simply: “…It is finished…”

The Word of God, God himself states on the cross: “it is finished.” There is no ambiguity in this statement. What was finished? Christ’s mission described in Philippians 2:5-8 to come to Earth humble and in the form of nothing (human) and to obey to the point of death. It was also to transfer us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:12-14) and to defeat the enemy by nailing our sins to the cross (Colossians 2:13-15). I could continue, but I think you get the point. His work for securing our redemption was finished by dying on the cross.

So, was it finished or was it not? Did Christ’s death ACTUALLY complete the work? Was the forgiveness of sins ACTUALLY finished for those that are predestined to be adopted as children of God? Was redemption actually finished? Justification actually finished?

In this short phrase, “it is finished”, we see several important aspects in the original language. First the word actually means to bring to a close, to end, to perform, execute, or complete. It also means to carry out the content of a command by fulfilling it. This word, which is a verb is a the Perfect, Passive, Indicative, which means that it was completed without need of repeating and it is a statement of fact. John is telling us that it is finished. The atoning work is finished, Christ did it a long time ago.

The Propitiation for Our Sins

Think about this logic for a minute. We agreed at the outset that not all go to Hell or Heaven in our basic assumptions. So, how could Christ be the propitiation of our sins (and every single person in the world) if all people are not saved? Propitiation (defined as: to appease or satisfy) means that those whom Christ was the propitiation for have not condemnation sin Christ has appeased and satisfied the penalty of wrath in our place as our substitute.

1 John 2:2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

  • Important to note here: “World” is the Greek word “Kosmos”, which has 8 definitions in the Greek lexicon and none of the 8 definitions means “all people for all time”. Kosmos in this verse simply means that salvation is not restricted to just the Jews, but the whole world beyond Israel…God will save people from all over the world, all nations, and all people groups.

1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 Romans 3:25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

But What of Our Faith?

Those who have faith in Christ are saved from Hell and receive the inheritance of Heaven as adopted sons, so doesn’t everyone who believes have an equal chance at salvation? YES! Of course they do. All who believe in Christ will be saved, the Bible tells us so. Look at these passages relating to our faith:

 John 6:37-40, 44  37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”… 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”

Only those given by the Father to the Son will come to the Son, which is faith. Only those who are given by the Father to the Son will look on the Son and believe.

Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”

Hebrews 12:2 “…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,…”

The Father gives the disciples to the Son, our faith is a gift from the Father, and Christ is the perfecter of our Faith. It is finished. Every child of God, predestined for adoption (Ephesians passage above) will have faith and will be saved. There has never been a person who cries out to God for salvation through faith in Christ who hasn’t been saved.


In conclusion, I want to return to the question above. Did Christ death on the cross actually secure eternal life for the Elect children of God? Or, did Christ’s death just secure the potential for all mankind depending on who believes?

Implications are everything with this question.

  1. If we say that Christ death actually secured eternal life for the Elect, we must then accept that God predestined every believer before time began and HE gives the faith to those. Then every single child of God is saved and the atoning sacrifice on the cross is perfect and complete and every single person whom God did not elect is punished in Hell for their sins which were NOT atoned for. I am very comfortable with this.
  • Believers elect? – YES
  • Sins of all mankind atoned for? – NO
  • Sins of the believer atoned for? – YES
  • Believers go to Heaven? – YES
  • Sins of the non-believer atoned for? – NO
  • Non-believers in Hell with sins atoned for? – NO

2. If we say that God doesn’t elect believers and that Christ’s death on the cross gives the potential for every single person for all time to be saved depending on their faith because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice then you are left with some people being saved based on their belief and their sins are atoned for and others who don’t believe and go to Hell, but their sins are atoned for. This I cannot accept under any circumstance.

  • Believers elect? – NO
  • Sins of all mankind atoned for? – YES
  • Sins of the believer atoned for? – YES
  • Believers go to Heaven? – YES
  • Sins of the non-believer atoned for? – YES
  • Non-believers in Hell with sins atoned for? – YES

Please consider this simple logic and the Bible verses above that support these two options. It was either finished on the cross or not. I personally chose to believe it was finished. To not agree with limited atonement means that you believe that there are people in Hell who have had their sins atoned for and the cross work of Christ was not perfect and effectual.

Ultimately the question in the title, for whom did Christ die? We could answer with, “He died for the elect.” However, even that is too shallow. For whom did Christ die? He died for God the Father who predestined before time began that the climax of Plan A would be Christ dying in an atoning sacrifice for the children of God.

This bottom piece is more simple logic that influenced me from John Owen:


John Owen

The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:

  1. All the sins of all men.
  2. All the sins of some men, or
  3. Some of the sins of all men.

In which case it may be said:

  1. That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and so, none are saved.
  2. That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth.
  3. But if the first be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins?

Sermon of the week: “Atonement and Justification – The Pharisee and the Tax Collector” by John MacArthur.

Your sermon of the week is Atonement and Justification: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector by John MacArthur.

A great message from a great portion of Scripture.