Monday, March 25

For Whom Did Christ Die? C. H. Spurgeon

Many rail against the doctrine of "limited atonement." But know that it is not the effect or power of Jesus' atoning work that is limited, but it's application. Charles Spurgeon has interestingly had the respect of Christians on both sides of this issue. But while some readers may continue despising this doctrine, Spurgeon here explains just one reason it is a good doctrine, in fact, better than universal atonement. God's glory is at stake. May I add one thought here. If you read this and imagine, "Well, if I am not elect, then can I be saved?" That is the wrong question. The right question is, "Do I want to be saved?" Jesus did say, didn't he, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved . . ." (John 10:9). Let's not worry too much about the divine counsel of God. Study it, yes. But bow before it. If you wish to know God, then turn to him. But in order to rightly understand the complete and finished work of Christ on the cross rightly, consider the following . . .

"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out." 
John 6:37
Some persons love the doctrine of universal atonement because they say, "It is so beautiful. It is a lovely idea that Christ should have died for all men; it commends itself," they say, "to the instincts of humanity; there is something in it full of joy and beauty. I admit there is, but beauty may be often associated with falsehood.

There is much which I might admire in the theory of universal redemption, but I will just show what the supposition necessarily involves. If Christ on His cross intended to save every man, then He intended to save those who were lost before He died. If the doctrine be true, that He died for all men, then He died for some who were in hell before He came into this world, for doubtless there were even then myriads there who had been cast away because of their sins.

Once again, if it was Christ's intention to save all men, how deplorably has He been disappointed, for we have His own testimony that there is a lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, and into that pit of woe have been cast some of the very persons who, according to the theory of universal redemption, were bought with His blood that seems to me a conception a thousand times more repulsive than any of those consequences which are said to be associated with the Calvinistic and Christian doctrine of special and particular redemption. To think that my Saviour died for men who were or are in hell, seems a supposition too horrible for me to entertain. To imagine for a moment that He was the Substitute for all the sons of men, and that God, having first punished the Substitute, afterwards punished he sinners themselves, seems to conflict with all my ideas of Divine justice. That Christ should offer an atonement and satisfaction for the sins of all men, and that afterwards some of those very men should be punished for the sins for which Christ had already atoned, appears to me to be the most monstrous iniquity that could ever have been imputed to Saturn, to Janus, to the goddess of the Thugs, or to the most diabolical heathen deities. God forbid that we should ever think thus of Jehovah, the just and wise and good!"

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