There are two objections from the Calvinist side against Arminians and Molinists which are really so terrible, I’m struggling to make a blog post of decent length about them. They’re such simple mistakes that they have simple refutations. One of them is against Unlimited Atonement and the other is against Resistible Grace. Now, as I said, these are really bad objections. But I hear them so frequently that I thought it was worth writing about.
1: If Jesus died for everyone and not everyone is saved, then the blood of Christ is wasted.
This just simply isn’t true. Jesus’ death on the cross is not in vein just because everyone for whom He died doesn’t come to repentance and get saved. So long as anyone gets saved, the death of Christ isn’t in vain. Now, I would agree that if Jesus died on the cross and no one got saved, then yeah, His sacrificial death would have indeed been a pointless exercise. No sense in dying such a horrible, vicious death if no one is going to benefit from it, right? However, there will be millions and millions of people in Heaven from each generation of mankind. Christians from the 1st century to the 21st century and even people from before Christ came who benefited the retroactive effects of His death. Jesus’ blood will cover many people and many sins. His blood isn’t “wasted”. His death was not “in vain”. His blood isn’t wasted because it absolved many, many sins. His death saved many, many people (including yours truly). Even though there are some for whom Christ died who didn’t get saved, nevertheless, many people did get saved by it. Besides, The Bible tells us that Jesus died even for the non-elect. The Bible tells us, “[Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2 NIV)
Jesus said “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” – (John 3:16-18 NIV)
In John 1, John The Baptist said “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” – John 1:21
So, Jesus died for “the world”. 2 Peter 3:9 says God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” and 1 Timothy 2:4 says God “…desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” While these two verses don’t say that Jesus died for all people, it does say that God wants all people saved. And if God desires all to be saved, then it stands to reason that Jesus would have died for all so that they could be saved (even though many would be lost because they freely chose not to repent). However, just two verses after 1 Timothy 2:4, Paul says that Jesus “gave himself as a ransom for all”- 1 Timothy 2:6
So regardless of this objection, The Bible explicitly teaches that Jesus died for all, contradictory to the L in T.U.L.I.P
2: If God wants all people saved, but all are not saved, then that means God is a failure as a Savior.
No. Christ allows to people to perish to preserve their choice of destiny. He doesn’t fail. Resistible Grace is not an infringement on God’s omnipotence. He holds his power back on purpose when He draws people to repentance to preserve the freedom. If God were to determine them, their love for Him wouldn’t be genuine (as I’ve mentioned in numerous debates on the problem of evil, free will is crucial for love to be possible. True, sincere love is impossible without the option and possibility not to love).
So God doesn’t fail. Human beings fail and God permits humans to fail because He didn’t want a bunch of puppets. God succeeds in saving everybody who chooses to place their faith in Christ. We’re the failures, not God. Whoever chooses to place their faith in Christ will be saved (Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9). God will never fail those who place their trust in Him (Deuteronomy 31:8, Hebrews 13:5). Whoever believes in Jesus Christ will be saved (John 3:16, Mark 16:16). This is something we can have confidence in (Hebrews 11:1, Jude 24-25).