The Practical Implications of an Unlimited Atonement
written by SEA member, Roy Ingle
On a more personal level, what are the implications of an unlimited atonement when it comes to ministry? I believe there is much value in preaching the truth of unlimited atonement.
1. All People Are Responsible For Their Fate.
There can be no charge in Arminianism that people are decreed by God to spend eternity in hell. We teach that because Jesus died for all, all must repent and believe the gospel (2 Peter 3:9). The will of God is clear: all can be saved (1 Timothy 2:4) and Jesus gave His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). All then can come and repent and be saved through faith in Jesus (Acts 17:30-31). Thus when a person stands before the Lord God in judgment (Hebrews 9:27), they will be responsible for their own sins and cannot ever blame God for Him not electing them to salvation. They will go to hell for their own sins (John 3:19-21). There will be none who can accuse God of wrong at the judgment for not choosing them (Romans 1:18-32; Titus 1:16; Revelation 20:11-15). There is no double predestination here. No “horrible decree.” Only personal responsibility for one’s fate.
2. We Can Exhort All To Truly Come and Repent and Be Saved.
While it is true that only God foreknows those who will repent (Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 1:2), we can have the assurance from the Word of God that we can preach to all people knowing that His will is to save all who come to Him (John 6:35-40). He does not delight in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:32) and His delight is in people hearing the gospel (Romans 10:14-17) and repenting of their sins (Isaiah 1:16-18). We can preach all the “whosoever” passages in the New Testament knowing that God truly wants to save sinners for His glory and honor (Revelation 22:17).
3. We Can Preach An Atonement That Is Glorious And Powerful.
Our view of the atonement is not limited. It is unlimited! It is unlimited in its power to save (1 John 2:2). It is unlimited in its power to redeem all who will come in true faith and repentance (Romans 5:15-18). It is unlimited in its power to break the power of sin over a person’s life (Romans 6). It is unlimited in its power to defeat the enemy (Hebrews 2:9, 14). It is unlimited in its power to secure our forgiveness (1 John 1:7-10). It is unlimited in glorifying the Lord Jesus for His saving work (Revelation 5:9-10). It is unlimited in its love (John 3:16). It is unlimited in its power to save us from the wrath of God (Romans 5:8-9; 2 Thessalonians 1:10). Our God truly is a sovereign God who is able to forgive all who come to Him in repentance (Romans 2:4).
4. Through Faith in the Atonement, We Have the Assurance of our Salvation.
How can you know you are the elect of God? By faith in the atonement! We are justified through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1) and our salvation is dependent upon Him alone (John 1:29; 6:29; Acts 13:38-39; 15:11; Ephesians 2:8-9). Our election is based on us being in Christ through faith (1 Timothy 4:10). Our election is sure when we are abiding in Christ (John 15:1-11; 2 Peter 1:3-11) and this keeps our assurance (Romans 8:16). It is when we walk in disobedience that we show our lack of faith in Jesus (Hebrews 3:6-19) but in our faith, we stand secure (2 Corinthians 1:24). Because Jesus died for all, all can have the assurance of their salvation not based on works or upon the mysterious will of God but upon faith in the precious blood of Jesus that can cleanse all from sin (Isaiah 53:4-6). No matter what a person has done, God is able to forgive them because of the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9:14; 10:10, 14). Our assurance is based on Jesus (Hebrews 7:25)!
5. We Can Preach Salvation Knowing the Holy Spirit Works For All To Be Saved.
John 16:8-11 makes no sense if the atonement is not unlimited. The Holy Spirit has come to convict the world of sin. Why the world if in fact the world is only “all types of people” or “the elect” but not the “world” as we see in 1 John 2:2? From reading of the New Testament it is clear that Jesus died for all (1 Timothy 2:4) and all can be saved through faith. The Holy Spirit then works through the preaching of the gospel to bring conviction and to bring salvation to the lost. Jesus died for all lost sheep and this would be us all (Isaiah 53:6). All have sinned (Romans 3:23) but all can be saved through faith in the blood of Jesus (Romans 3:24-26). The Holy Spirit, as we preach the truths of the gospel, brings conviction of sin and He brings regeneration to those who repent (Titus 3:5-7). The only way a person can be born again is by faith (1 Peter 1:22-23; cf. John 3:1-7). The Spirit must do this work and He does it for all who repent. Our duty is to preach to all (Romans 10:14-17) and God will save sinners for His glory (Romans 11:32).
6. We Can Preach The Great Commission Knowing God’s Will Is For All.
We can take the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21; and Acts 1:8 and preach the gospel to all nations knowing that God’s will is to save all who believe. Our passion should be to reach each and every person with the precious gospel of Christ. All can be saved from the cities of Great Britain to the jungles of Vietnam. God desires to save all. He sent His Son to redeem all who would repent. We can walk into any village on earth and preach the gospel knowing that God wants to save sinners (Luke 19:10) and this is why He came. Jesus was born to die for our sins (Matthew 1:21; Galatians 1:4). We don’t have to wonder who His elect are but simply preach the truths of the gospel and He will save those who believe through the foolishness of our preaching (1 Corinthians 1:21).
There are many more implications we can write on about an unlimited atonement from prayer to dealing with doubts to the problem of evil. We serve a good God. We serve a loving God. We serve a God who is mighty to save. We serve a God who delights in saving sinners and has proven this with the giving of His Son. We serve a holy God who has atoned for our sins by the precious blood of the spotless Lamb of God. We have the assurance that He accepts us not because of works but because of the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin. Surely, Jesus is the Savior of the world (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14).
For the original post, go to: http://arminiantoday.com/2012/12/06/the-practical-implications-of-an-unlimited-atonement/