The Limited Atonement Doctrine claims that Jesus died for some sinners but not all

Calvinists believe that God has chosen some for salvation. He makes them desire salvation from sin so that they will choose it. They say that Jesus only died for the elect. That is, those who were chosen for salvation.  Jesus only bought those who were chosen out of the human race by God for salvation.


It is supposed to contradict the scripture text, "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled."  It is pointed out that the text never actually says those saved and bought sinners will be damned.

Catholics and Arminians (Protestants who are not Calvinists) blaspheme their crucified saviour by obstinately clinging to the dogma that he atoned for the sins of the entire human race.

If Jesus really paid for every offence that ever occurred and will occur then everybody will go to Heaven because their sins because their sins are expiated. Because God can’t punish sin more than it deserves he cannot punish it after he has fully punished it. Jesus would be dishonest if he atoned for sin in full and then sent the impenitent sinner to eternal torture to pay for it again. It does no good to claim that sins are not paid for until we accept what Jesus paid for until we accept what Jesus did for us for the Bible says that God took away the sins of many and put them on Jesus. A just God could not transfer guilt from those who would never be saved to Jesus crucified and then put them in Hell. If you are predestined, it follows that you are saved even before you turn to Christ. Turning to Christ is the outcome of your predestination not the cause of it.

The Bible says that God chooses some for salvation no matter what they have or will do. Jesus said that all the Father gives him will – not might or are likely to but will – come to him (John 6:37). He said this in the context of everlasting salvation. If these people are given to Jesus because they have already given themselves to God and therefore to Jesus then that makes no sense. They must choose salvation by irresistible divine influence for they are already chosen. This passage supports Calvinism.

Calvinism says that God saves all people out of his mercy. Mercy cannot be forced or it is not mercy. That means that if God choose some for salvation and the rest for everlasting punishment then it is not because he must do it for an unknown purpose. He does it for pure spite and is arbitrary. Proof of this is in the fact that he never requires (the Bible and the Church prefer to ignore Jesus making that requirement in the sermon on the mount) that we prove our repentance by undoing our sins as far as possible before we ask for mercy so the result is that after all the harm we have done it only takes a quick prayer to make peace. The cross of Christ certainly tells us that God hates the non-elect. Nobody could be happy and believe in such a terrible doctrine. Your family and friends could be predestined to an eternity in Hell.

Mark 10:45 is an example of Jesus saying that he came to give his life for many. But “scholars are generally agreed that ‘for many’ [in Greek anti pollon] was a Jewish way of saying ‘for all’” (Essentials, page 129). The many then is not backing for limited atonement. But is the verse saying that all will be saved by Jesus’ ransom. God will not save everybody for some will to go Hell forever so all means all God intends to save or all who are willing to be saved. We must remember that the words the quibbling are over are not the words of Jesus but the rendering of his words into Greek. Jesus didn't speak Greek. Thus the argument from the words Jesus used isn't applicable here. And Jesus might not have had the Jewish usage of for many in mind at all. The words could still mean literally for many and not all.


A SUMMARY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE, Louis Berkhof, The Banner of Truth Trust, London, 1971
APOLOGETICS AND CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, Most Rev M Sheehan DD, M H Gill & Son, Dublin, 1954
DOCUMENTS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH, edited by Henry Bettenson, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979
ESSENTIALS, David L Edwards and John Stott, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1990
JESUS THE ONLY SAVIOUR, Tony and Patricia Higton, Monarch Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 1993
KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE, Paul E Little, Scripture Union, London, 1973
OXFORD DICTIONARY OF PHILOSOPHY, Simon Blackburn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996
PROFOUND PROBLEMS OF PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY, Rev George Jamieson BD, Simpkin, Marshall, & Co, London, 1884
RADIO REPLIES 3, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1942
THE BIBLE TELLS US SO, R B Kuiper, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1978
THE CROSS OF CHRIST, Christadelphian Publishing Office, Shaftmoor Lane, Birmingham
THE CROSS THE VINDICATION OF GOD, DM Lloyd Jones, Banner of Truth, Edinburgh
THE LIBERATION OF PLANET EARTH, Hal Lindsey, Lakeland, London, 1975
THE METAPHOR OF GOD INCARNATE, John Hick, SCM Press Ltd, London, 1993
THE POWER OF THE CROSS, Tony Ling, CMI Publishing, Coventry 1995
THE SACRED EXECUTIONER Human Sacrifice and the Legacy of Guilt Hyam Maccoby Thames and Hudson, London, 1982
WHO WILL DELIVER US, Paul Zahl, Fount Original, Collins/Fount, London, 1983
WHY DID CHRIST HAVE TO DIE? Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986
WHY GOD PERMITS EVIL, Dawn Bible Students, East Rutherford, New Jersey


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