Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Does "All" Really Mean All?

 The last two posts I have been touching on the topic of "Calvinism". If you aren't familiar with this subject, or even if you are, it would be good to read the previous posts in order. The first is an introduction, the second explores one of the areas of debate on this topic:

The L in the Calvinism TULIP stands for Limited Atonement. This blog post will not cover all of the finer points of both sides of this much passionately debated issue, but I give it an overview with links for your further study. On face value, the term Limited Atonement (or also called Particular Atonement) sounds offensive and heretical. 

What! God's sacrifice for our sins is in no way limited!!! 

True...so let us explore what this sound bite is actually talking about.

 Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect. Support for this position is drawn from such scriptures as Matt. 26:28 where Jesus died for ‘many'; John 10:11, 15 which say that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats, per Matt. 25:32-33); John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bore the sins of many (not all). http://www.calvinistcorner.com/tulip.htm

Sufficient for all, but not efficacious for all...in other words the sacrifice itself is sufficient to save every person ever born on this earth, but it does not do so. It is not efficacious, effective, in everyone's lives. On that point everyone that calls themselves Christian will agree. So why is this such a disagreeable assertion for many?...I personally think that people get stuck on the shortened for TULIP's sake title of LIMITED atonement.

Everyone agrees that not everyone  "gets" saved, or all Christians would also be universalists. Something has to happen. Jesus said: "You must be born again" John 3:3

The idea that one can will himself to be born again was discussed in the last post, so this is a continuation on that idea. The fact that the Lords atonement is  not effective for everyone is accepted by most Christians whether they call themselves Calvinists or not. The problem lies in the fact that those who are not Calvinists accuse Calvinists of saying that God forces some to be saved, and forces others to be not saved by the fact that He determined when He made us whether we would be one of His or not. I had one semipelagian call the God of Calvinists a "rapist god", because He forces some to love Him. The problem is we cannot love Him unless He causes us to, changing our hearts and minds and lives in conformity to His will for us...but we tend to think in human terms so such a thing would be a limitation on our freedom and ability when in actuality it is the opposite: God frees us to be able to love Him (remember...the truth sets us free).

But the Bible tells us in John 3:16 that God so loved THE WORLD, and that all who believe on Him will be saved...yes...

Act 13:47  For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, "'I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'"
Act 13:48  And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.

Not everyone receives it. Not everyone is *ignited* by the truth of it. Some might be able to fake that for a while and fool a whole bunch of people into thinking they were born of the Spirit...but eventually the truth will bear it out whether they truly were transformed by the choosing of Gods saving Spirit who knows who are His...and who are not chosen.

I have heard many say "But that is not fair!!!!!"

True. Fair would send everyone to hell. Grace saves some that had no desire or ability to be good enough to be eternally with God. We do not want "fair", we desire grace.

Then I have heard from objectors: "When God said ALL He meant ALL...when Jesus said WHOSOEVER He really meant that for ALL"

Here is a link to a short article that goes into this a little further:

If that makes you uncomfortable, take it to Jesus, confess your need for His Spirit to transform you by His power. He is not obligated to give you what you ask, but He does keep His promises, and one of His promises to us is that He gives liberally to all who ask of Him (James 1:5). However He does it in a way that we know and ultimately acknowledge the fact that it is His choice, not ours, that saves us out of the destiny we all would have been headed for, hell, which we all deserve (whether we want to think so or not, the truth is we all deserve hell)...and that it is GRACE that keeps some of us from going to what we all deserve.

Next time: Perseverance of the Saints


  1. What would be so wrong in the salvation of all? If that were to be true, would you have an objection to it personally? I ask just because I remember when I first started seeking that very thing out and found that it can be found in the bible.

    You may want to peek around on this site if you ever want to give that view a fair shake. Tons of information, food for thought.


    1. What would be wrong? I know you won't like this answer because...honestly, and I don't say this to be mean...truth....I see you as thinking that you know more about everything than God....that is one problem the Lord doesn't let me get to thinking about myself for very long. Thanks Alice, I'll check it out...probably won't agree with much, if any of it, but I'll give it a go... ;)

    2. Oh...my answer: if it goes against what the Bible says, IN CONTEXT, (problem most people that go against scripture, seeing contradictions where there are none, is that the wrench it out of proper context), I will disagree with it. I tend to think the Bible is right where most people are just wrong and ill informed.

    3. Maybe we'll deal with some specific examples of contradictions later, but see what you think about it if you get a chance to read over there.

    4. I began reading "Lake of Fire part II" and confess it gives me a horrendous headache reading this drivel. He takes verses out of context and makes all kinds of leaps from his own admittedly carnal wisdom. Alice it really does take the Spirit of God to read and understand His word. This L. Ray Smith doesn't, it's very glaringly obvious to me. I'm sorry that you find false comfort in such baseless blasphemies. I still continue to hope and pray that one day you will be born of the Spirit of God for real, not for "religion".

    5. Still reading that link, but can only tolerate small bites at a time, I see he "believes" in God, he's just misinformed. I used to believe there is no hellfire (SDA teaches that) but it really boils down to not mattering what you want to believe, it won't change the truth of the matter.

    6. I think we all believe what we want to, and the text can be twisted in any way to prove anything. If hell doesn't bother you, then I guess you are free to believe that a god of love plans to send people there. Many would disagree.

    7. The difference is I don't like an "idea" of hell, I can see the reality of it, and accept the things that are irrespective of whether I like it or not. There is a difference. I wouldn't like a prison sentence either, but if I was sentenced to prison it really wouldn't matter if I didn't believe there was such a thing as prison and believing myself justifying my own actions, believing myself to be just (self disillusioned) probably wouldn't convince a just judge either....but this discussion is moot because you are so much wiser than the God of scriptures.

  2. On the reality of it,

    Where is it? We've all seen prisons, we all know that criminals (although sometimes falsely convicted) go to them. No one has ever seen hell and outside of the bible, there is no proof of it's existence.

    1. Exactly...the proof is whether you believe God at His word and continue in faith (foolishness according to the natural man of the flesh) or want to believe yourself "smarter than that"....I wonder which category you fall into...perhaps you will flatter yourself with the answer I have seen you give before: "neither one, I am unique and form my own opinions..."

    2. In my own life God has given me plenty....PLENTY...of proof that He doesn't lie, I've tried getting away with twisting His word too, why do you think I can spot such tactics so quickly? Because God had mercy on me and showed me what I was doing, and I was horrified at seeing that self...and can spot that anywhere else I see it quite easily enough.

    3. I guess God just doesn't have mercy on everyone.

    4. When I post on Total Depravity, perhaps you might be truly humbled (not the fake humbled we all are quite capable of)...and I hope you understand that I say these things with a heavy heart....perhaps if you continue to seek Him sincerely, looking for the crumbs that fall for the beggars and filthy undeserving, He may grant you those crumbs, like He did for me...

    5. I know Calvinism pretty thoroughly. It's not about humility, or being right, it's about what is true. Calvinism helps to solve a lot of bible problems, but has problems of it's own.

    6. Alice, I didn't want you to think I'd only give a superficial attempt at your link you provided but to be honest what I've read so far is very sub-par, attempting to justify his idea of what a perfect God must do by his reading of the scriptures with his prejudices forming the guidelines, and you may think that everyone does that....you may continue to think whatever you want, and in the end the truth will bear out. I'm still suffering through it, though, and may (or might not) do a post on it...I'll pray on that one.

    7. Thanks for taking an interest, Susan.

      I DO think that he uses his prejudices in reading the scriptures, and I do think everyone does that. Your preference for the teachings of Calvin (for whatever reason) skew your view of scriptures in one way. Many others see things differently, and everyone believes their own interpretation is correct. It's hard to see that from the inside of a theological bubble. Perhaps considering other points of view will either solidify your belief in Calvinism, or lead you to explore other options.

    8. Hi Alice, I agree, to a point...I was Seventh day Adventist as a child (I mentioned this before but don't know if you were aware of this) and being religious we were taught to understand the Bible according to their teachings so I certainly understand that you might believe that I still do that. I don't agree with John Calvin on everything, I didn't agree with his death sentence of Servetus, and I don't agree with baby baptism, but other than that he was pretty much right on from what I see in the Bible...but to think there is no hell goes directly against what Jesus says, so no, I do not agree with the man in the link you sent me. I can also see how reading and believing such drivel can steer you into the things that you went to from there, if there is no Holy Spirit to direct your path you can fall into all kinds of problems...as you did, this is the reason why it is clear you never were saved to begin with. A person who is saved would NEVER turn arou.nd and blaspheme God along side of atheists. Have you noticed that mostly atheists hang at your site now? A born again person would be bothered with finding themselves agreeing with atheists...you are not bothered by it, and you don't find that strange? How can you be so deceived as to think you could have truly been born of the Spirit of God, and then fully turn against Him. That is fully as absurd as all your other speculations, and sadly so.


Please be as gracious as you would like others to be to you. Thank you :)

Please try to keep your comments on the topic of the post you are commenting on.

If there is a link to an article or podcast, or if there is an embedded video please view these before airing your views on the posting. If you clearly did not watch video/read link I may choose to remove your comment or leave your comment and then not respond to it ...particularly if you have a question that is already answered on link or video.

Opposing viewpoints are of course allowed here, however, I will limit such discussions to two or at most three further comments on one topic, so do try to get all your criticisms in while keeping that in mind, and don't take it personal....I just don't want to be bogged down with a constant barrage of replies that go on and on like a dog chasing it's tail in circles.