FOR GOD SO LOVED...WHO? (part 21)
Christ says of His sheep, which are all, and only, those whom the Father has given unto Him, and for whom Christ died, “...I give unto THEM eternal life; and THEY shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck THEM out of my hand” (Jn. 10:28). Does the Son know more than the Father? Does the Father not know which are to be saved, or even that not all will be saved? Of course not. Significantly, it is God the Father Who has given God the Son “…power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as (the Father) hast given Him” (Jn. 17:2). It is the Father’s will that only those whom He has given to His Son be given the gift of eternal life. Those whom the Father is not willing should perish are they whom He has given to the Son for the purpose of the Son giving unto them eternal life so that they will never perish. God has actually done something to ensure that those He is not willing should perish, never will perish. God does not sit and hope that some will choose Him, FOR HE HAS CHOSEN THEM, and given them to His Son to give unto them eternal life thus ensuring the fulfilment of God’s will that none of them ever perish. According to the Lord Jesus Christ, those who will never perish are those to whom He has given eternal life, i.e., those whom it was the Father’s will to give to Him: “…that He should give eternal life TO AS MANY AS THOU HAST GIVEN HIM” (Jn. 17:2). Imagine the Almighty, All-powerful, Omniscient and unchangeable God of the universe wanting none to perish, but being unable to do anything about it! Imagine God not wanting a person to perish, but not doing anything about it, not entrusting that person to His Son, thereby ensuring that person receive eternal life, and never perish! It is obvious that God can do, and has done, something to ensure a person not perish, that He not only has the power to implement His will, but He has clearly done so, for He has designated a people before the foundation of the world to eternal life by entrusting them to His Son. God’s will is unchangeable, therefore, unchallengeable. “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath” (Heb. 6:17). “…the decree of God, concerning the salvation of His people by Jesus Christ, which is immutable; as appears from the unchangeableness of His nature, the Sovereignty of His will, the unsearchableness of His wisdom, the Omnipotence of His arm, and the unconditionality of the thing decreed…that the unchangeableness of God's purpose in saving them by Christ might be manifest to them, and be out of all doubt, He ‘confirmed it by an oath’; His counsel and purpose; He not only determined in His mind that He would save those He ordained to eternal life, and promised it in His covenant; but He also, to confirm it the more to the persons concerned in it, if possible, annexed His oath to it…it expresses the interposition of the oath between God's purpose and promise, and man's weakness: God did as it were bind Himself by His oath, or lay Himself under obligation, or become a surety, for the fulfilment of His purpose and promise; which shows the super-abounding grace of God, the weakness of man, and what reason the heirs of promise have to believe.”
In light of the immutability of God, what He wills, and what He does, is completely unchallengeable, so why not entrust every individual without exception to His Son if He is not willing that any at all should perish? The reality of the Scriptures dictates that eternal life is only given to those whom the Father has given to the Son (see Jn. 17:2). In view of the fact that God has not given all to His Son, but only some, it stands to Biblical reason that it is only the ones whom He has given to His Son that He is not willing should perish, seeing that the Son only gives eternal life to them. If God can choose them before the foundation of the world solely by His will, if He can predestinate them to life everlasting solely by His will, then surely this is more than enough evidence to show that those whom God is not willing should perish, never will perish. This is an inescapable, unavoidable, truth, and those who try to spin their way around it, or who seek to deny it, do so unto their own destruction, and those who listen and follow such as these will also fall into the same ditch as their blind guides. Beware the lies of men who by their subtleties and fair sounding speeches deceive the simple (see Rom. 16:17,18). God, as the Shepherd of His sheep, seeks the lost ones until He finds them (Lk. 15:4,5). “For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search MY sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; So will I seek out MY sheep, and WILL deliver them...” (Ezek. 34:11,12 cf. Jn. 11:51,52). Now, does this sound like a God Who can only hope to find some of His sheep, or Who sits and waits for them to come to Him, or Who can only hope that none of them will perish, but is powerless to deliver them all? There are no other sheep but God’s sheep, therefore, there can be no one whom God wills should not perish other than His own sheep, for they are the only ones He searches for, seeks out, and will deliver. The sheep are all God’s people. There are no black sheep among them, nor goats, for they are all handpicked by the Lord Himself. Man is divided into two groups: the sheep and the goats. The sheep are God’s people, and the goats are of their father the Devil (see Matt. 25:32,33).
The ones who will not perish are those to whom Christ gives eternal life. These are the same ones God has given to His Son, they are His sheep, and the reason why they will never perish is because God is not willing that they perish! Why else do you think He has given them to His Son, and why would He not give any to His Son whom He was not willing should perish? These are gravely important questions which those who subscribe to the false doctrines of God’s loving, and Christ’s dying, for all must, yet have never been, and never will be, able to answer. What has God done to save those whom He is not willing should perish? He has given them all to His Son, and sent His Son, as Saviour, for them. The whole purpose for the Father giving any to His Son is salvation, therefore, it is God’s will that only those He gives to His Son never perish. The saved are all chosen by the Father and given to the Son. Obviously the Father has not given all to His Son, for Christ does not pray for all the world, everyone without exception, but only for those whom the Father has given Him, FOR they are God’s elect children, the only ones He is not willing should perish (see Jn. 17:9). Christ Himself stated that the reason why He prayed only for the people the Father had given Him was because they were HIS PEOPLE, they were not of the world, but of God, the ones He appointed to obtain salvation. They were not goats, but His sheep, HIS CHOSEN CHILDREN (see Jn. 17:9). God has decreed, He has declared, by His very act of electing these precious ones before the foundation of the world to salvation, that THEY are the ones He wills should not perish. Simultaneously, God’s will that they should not perish reveals that it is His will that all others—the world of the ungodly—should perish. Christ prayed, died and intercedes only for those whom the Father has given Him. He prayed not for all without exception, He died not for all without exception, and He intercedes not for all without exception. God only has mercy upon those He chooses to have mercy upon, proving absolutely that He has not chosen to have mercy upon all without exception, therefore, He could not be willing that none at all perish (see Ex. 33:19; Rom. 9:15). In choosing to have mercy, and compassion, toward some, we see that as God is not willing that all without exception perish, so too, God is not willing that all without exception be saved. Christ has not died for those whom the Father wills not to show mercy, for they have been appointed unto the eternal Wrath of God. They were not appointed to obtain salvation, for Christ did not die for them: “For God hath not appointed us to Wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us…” (1 Thess. 5:9,10). Clearly, God has appointed those for whom Christ did not die, to His Wrath. God has made the distinction according to His will, and there are none who can be saved without it. Christ prays for the chosen, because the Father gave them to Him showing they are His people, for He has chosen them unto salvation, hence His giving them to His Son is for the express purpose of His atoning for their sins. Election is about God choosing to love and save those whom He is not willing should perish. Reconciliation and redemption is for them, Christ became a curse for them, and His Righteousness is imputed to them, His people, and no others. No other group of people fit into this category, but those whom the Father has given to the Son.
The Lord Jesus makes clear the fact that none of the chosen will ever perish, or be separated from His love, in the following verse: “All that the Father giveth Me SHALL COME TO ME; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn. 6:37 cf. Jn. 10:28,29; Rom. 8:35-39; Heb. 7:25). The elect of God shall not perish for God is not willing that they should perish, but that all of them come to Jesus His Son. He loves them with an everlasting love, and shall never cast them out. God always acts on His will; He always sees to it that His will is performed and fulfilled right down to the very last detail. No one can stop it, or change it. People may shout ‘God loves all’, and ‘Christ died for everyone without exception’ as loudly as they like, but the unassailable fact remains that there is absolutely NO evidence whatsoever to back up any of their claims other than their own ignorant misunderstanding, and misinterpretations of the Word of God. Nothing that can match the clarity and abundance of the Scriptures which show God’s love is for His people, which is why He gave them to His Son, which is why He died for them, and in so doing, secured their salvation. God has ensured their salvation by giving them to His Son, not merely hoping they will dedicate their lives to Him, but, in order that they will turn to Him and perform the good works which God has ordained that they should perform. Such good works has God not ordained for those who are not His workmanship created in Christ Jesus. What the Lord wills, is what the Lord makes happen. God says: “So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isa. 55:11 cf. Isa. 45:23). The Lord God does not live with unfulfilled desires. God’s Words do not fall to the ground, nor does His will ever go unfulfilled, for how then would He be God. If all God could do was hope what He wanted to happen come to pass, but was powerless to make it happen, what would He look to for His will to be fulfilled? What would God’s hope be in, and how would this hoping differ in any way from a man’s vain hopes? Salvation is of the Lord, not of man. God’s hope is not in man. God has no faith in men that they will do ‘the right thing’. Even the enemies of God know that none can resist His will (see Dan. 4:35). “...O Lord God of our fathers, art Thou not God in Heaven? And rulest not Thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? And in Thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand Thee?” (2 Chron. 20:6 cf. Dan. 4:35; Rom. 9:19). No one can stop the will of God from occurring, and no one can make happen that which the Lord does not want to occur. The elect will all come to Him, for they have been chosen not to perish, but to receive eternal life: “For God hath not appointed us to Wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us…” (1 Thess. 5:9,10 cf. 1 Pet. 2:8). God’s appointing some, and not all, to salvation goes against everything claimed by those who insist God is not willing that any should perish. If they are right, we would be left with the ridiculous situation of God not willing that any should perish, but conversely appointing many to His Wrath. The Scriptures speak plainly that all those whom the Father has given to His Son, He in turn gives eternal life to, and thus these shall never perish, for it is the will of the Father that they have everlasting life. “Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:15). (for more on 2 Peter 3:9 please see my book ‘Not willing that any should perish’).
Whilst many Arminians flounder helplessly in a vain attempt to make their interpretation of 2 Peter 3:9 sound even remotely plausible, others aspire to convince people of God’s love for all and that Christ died for everyone without exception, by turning to Hebrews 2:9: “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man”. As is the case with several other Scriptures this is another verse, which, on the surface, does indeed appear to be saying that Christ has died for everyone without exception. “The relationship between obviousness and truth is tenuous at best.” The seemingly obvious is not always true, and, for many, the truth is not always that which is readily apparent. To correctly understand, and rightly interpret, such Scriptures one must go beyond a mere cursory glance. In this instance, one simply needs to look at the verses which surround verse 9 to see that it could not possibly be referring to Christ’s death for all of humanity, but only the ones chosen by God. “What moved God to make Jesus a little lower than the angels, and deliver Him up to death, was not any anger towards Him, any disregard to Him, or because He deserved it, but His ‘grace’, free favour, and love to men; this moved Him to provide Him as a ransom; to preordain Him to be the Lamb slain; to send Him in the fulness of time, and give Him up to justice and death: the Syriac version reads, ‘for God Himself through His own grace tasted death for all’; Christ died, not merely as an example, or barely for the good of men, but as a surety, in their room and stead, and that not for every individual of mankind; for there are some He knows not; for some He does not pray; and there are some who will not be saved: the word ‘man’ is not in the original text, it is only (uper pantov), which may be taken either collectively, and be rendered ‘for the whole’; that is, the whole Body, the Church for whom Christ gave Himself, and is the Saviour of; or distributively, and be translated, ‘for everyone’; for everyone of the sons God brings to glory, ‘…in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings’ (Heb. 2:10) for everyone of the ‘brethren’, whom Christ sanctifies, and He is not ashamed to own, and to whom He declares the name of God, ‘For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren’ and ‘…I will declare Thy name unto My brethren, in the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto Thee’ (Heb. 2:11,12), for everyone of the members of the ‘Church’, in the midst of which He sang praise, for every one of the ‘children’ God has given Him, and for whose sake He took part of flesh and blood, ‘And again, I will put My trust in Him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given Me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the Devil’ (Heb. 2:13,14 cf. Isa. 8:18), and for everyone of the ‘seed’ of Abraham, in a spiritual sense, whose nature He assumed, ‘For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham’ (Heb. 2:16 cf. Acts 3:25).
“‘For every man’. This rendering is quite misleading. ‘Anthropos’, the Greek word for ‘man’ is not in the verse at all. Thus, one of the principal texts relied upon by Arminians in their unscriptural contention for a general atonement vanishes into thin air. The Revised Version places the word ‘man’ in italics to show that it is not found in the original. The Greek is ‘panta’ and signifies ‘every one’, that is, every one of those who form the subjects of the whole passage—every one of the ‘heirs of salvation’ (Heb. 1:14), every one of the ‘sons’ (Heb. 2:10), every one of the ‘brethren’ (Heb. 2:11)…Theologically it is demanded by the ‘tasted death for every one’, i.e., substitutionally, in the room of, that they might not. Hence, every one for whom He tasted death shall themselves never do so.” Obviously, those who do end up in Hell are the ones whom Christ did not taste death for. He did not die for all, He did not become a curse for all, He was not the Substitute for all. The Scriptures clearly show that Christ has tasted death for every one whom His Father gave to Him. “‘…If a man keep My saying, he shall never taste of death’ (Jn. 8:52), and this is true only of the people of God. What we have just said above is confirmed by many Scriptures. ‘…for the transgression of My people was He stricken’ said God (Isa. 53:8), and all mankind are not His ‘people’. ‘…I lay down My life for the sheep’, said the Son (Jn. 10:15), but every man is not of Christ’s sheep (see Jn. 10:26). Christ makes intercession on behalf of those for whom He died (see Rom. 8:34), but He prays not for the world (see Jn. 17:9). Those for whom He died are redeemed (see Rev. 5:9), and from redemption necessarily follows the forgiveness of sins (see Col. 1:14), but all have not their sins forgiven.
“'That He should taste death for every man'. We cannot doubt that these words depend on those which immediately precede; and yet how can it be said that Jesus has been crowned with glory in order that He may ‘taste death for every man?’ Almost all difficulty is removed if we consider… ‘it is on the triumphant issue of His sufferings that their efficacy depends’. But it is impossible for the Christian to separate, even in thought, the one from the other—the sufferings from the certain triumph (see Isa. 53:11 cf. Isa. 53:8; Heb. 12:2). We might, perhaps, say that it is only by a misuse of human analogies that we separate them even in time: in the Gospel of John, at all events (if not in this very Epistle—see Hebrews 2:14), we are taught that in His crucifixion Jesus is exalted. This clause, then, brings us back to the thought of the glory reserved for man: through death the fulfilment of God’s purpose might seem to be frustrated; through the death of Jesus on behalf of every man (see 1 Pet. 3:18) it is fulfilled. The outline presented here is filled up in later chapters; there we shall read that man’s inheritance was forfeited through sin, and that only through the virtue of a death which made atonement for sin is the promise again made sure (see Heb. 9:15-16; 9:28). To ‘taste death’ is a familiar Hebraism. If it has any special significance here, it would seem less natural to see a reference to the short duration of our Saviour’s death, than to understand the words as pointing to the actual taste of all the bitterness of death. (comp. Hebrews 6:4,5).
"Hebrews 8:11 – 'And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest'. Notice that the ‘all’ who know God are the ‘every man’ in the immediate context of the verse. Not every individual who was or will ever be born will know God, have His laws written in their minds and hearts and be His people; it all has to do with the context.” Context disambiguates the ambiguous. Context determines, thereby, brings clarity to, content. "…it is obvious from the context of Hebrews chapter 2 and the clear teachings of the Scriptures that Christ did in fact redeem His people from their sins and reconciled them to God through His death. God then refers to the people who will inherit ‘the world to come whereof we speak’ as ‘every man’, (which includes all of God’s elect, both Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, free and bond, male and female) ‘many sons’, ‘they who are sanctified, ‘My brethren’ (three times), ‘the seed of Abraham’ and ‘the children which God hath given Me.” The verse immediately following Hebrews 8:11 says: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 8:12 cf. Heb. 2:17). “The way and means, in and by which God pardons, is the propitiatory sacrifice of His Son; and the word here rendered ‘merciful’, signifies ‘propitious’ (which is the actual word used in the original Greek: ‘propitious I shall be’); ‘I will be merciful’—Greek, ‘propitious’, the Hebrew, ‘salach’, is always used of God only in relation to men. God pardons none but those to whom He is pacified, or rendered propitious by Christ; there is no mercy, nor pardon, but through Him; He pardons on the foot of reconciliation and satisfaction for sin by Christ; so that forgiveness of sin is an act of justice, as well as of mercy; or it is an act of mercy streaming through the blood and sacrifice of Christ.”
The phrase ‘every man’ may also be seen in: “Genesis 7:21 – “And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man” “Not every man without distinction was destroyed. Noah and his entire family were saved. Matthew 20:9: 'And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny'. The ‘every man’ are those in the immediate context, not every man without exception that ever lived, as is the case in Matthew 25:15: ‘And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey’. Mark 8:25: ‘After that He put His hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly’. It should be obvious that this once blind man did not see every individual that ever existed or would exist. He saw those in his immediate context, and they are referred to as ‘every man’." (see also Mk. 15:24; Lk. 16:16; Jn. 2:10; 7:53; 16:32; Acts 2:6,45). Acts 4:35 says “And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.” “The context of ‘every man’ is obviously found in Acts 4:32 where it says: ‘And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common’. The ‘every man’ was every man of the multitude that believed. Context always determines the meaning of the phrase ‘every man’.
“Romans 12:3: ‘For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith’. Has God given faith to ‘every man’ who ever lived or will live without exception?” Certainly not. “‘For all men have not faith’ (2 Thess. 3:2), and ‘Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes and hardened their heart…’ (Jn. 12:39,40).” (see also: 1 Cor. 3:5-7,10; 7:7; 12:7; Col. 1:28; 1 Pet. 4:10). The every man of Romans 12:3b is referring to the ‘every man that is among you’ of Romans 12:3a. “Colossians 1:28: ‘Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus'. Did Paul and the other apostles preach to every individual who was ever born, millions of whom were already in Hell, and millions as yet who had not even been born?” Hardly. “By these two words, ‘warning’ and ‘teaching’, the several parts of the Gospel ministry are expressed; and which extend to all sorts of men, rich and poor, bond and free, greater and lesser sinners, Gentiles as well as Jews; and who are chiefly designed here, and elsewhere, by every man and every creature.”
Another Bible passage which is often used in conjunction with Hebrews 2:9 in an attempt to convince the gullible of a universal love of, and a universal death for, everyone without exception, is 1 Timothy 2:4-6: “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time”. Again, what these verses appear to be saying on the surface is not what this passage could possibly be saying at all when seen in the light which context generously provides. If we turn our attention to the beginning of the chapter, the very first verse of 1 Timothy 2, we see Paul the apostle exhorting that “…supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men” (1 Tim. 2:1). In the verse immediately following we see Paul explaining what he means by the phrase for all men, “For kings, and for all that are in authority…” (1 Tim. 2:2). Paul is writing about prayer being made for all types of men, even for kings and others who are in positions of authority. Verse 4 is of particular relevance to our study, for it appears to be stating that it is the will of God that all men, everyone without exception, be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. We have learned that God is a Sovereign God Who does whatsoever He wills, and so if this verse was literally saying that it is God’s will that every individual ever born be saved then surely everyone would be saved, for who could, and how would, anyone stop God from accomplishing His will to the fullest extent. Likewise, verse 6 speaking of Jesus being a “ransom for all” as with “taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9), cannot be referring to His death for everyone without exception, for if this were the case then surely all without exception would indeed be saved, seeing that Christ’s death was a substitutionary death, and the apostle states that the ransom has been paid intimating that all for whom the ransom has been paid will be saved. “‘Who gave Himself a ransom for all…’ (1 Tim. 2:6 cf. Matt.20:28; Mk. 10:45); not for every individual of mankind, for then all would be delivered, freed, and saved, whereas they are not; or else the ransom price is paid in vain, or God is unjust to receive a sufficient ransom price from Christ, and yet not free the captive, but punish the person for whom He has received satisfaction; neither of which can be said. But the meaning is, either that He gave Himself a ransom for many, as in Matthew 20:28 for the Hebrew word (lk), to which this answers, signifies sometimes many, a multitude, and sometimes only a part of a multitude, or rather it intends that Christ gave Himself a ransom for all sorts of men, for men of every rank and quality, of every state and condition, of every age and sex, and for all sorts of sinners, and for some out of every kindred, tongue, people, and nation, for both Jews and Gentiles; which latter may more especially be designed by ‘all’, as they are sometimes by ‘the world’, and ‘the whole world’; and so contains another argument why all sorts of men are to be prayed for, since the same ransom price is given for them; as that for the children of Israel was the same, for the rich as for the poor. We read, that when the people of Israel comforted the high priest upon the death of his wife, or any relation, they used to say to him, (Ktrpk wna), ‘we are thy atonement’, expiation, or ransom; that is, as the commentators explain it, by us thou shalt be atoned, for we will be in thy room and stead, with respect to all things that shall come upon thee; but here the High Priest and Mediator is the atonement and ransom for the people.”
A ransom is never paid indiscriminately in the hope that all hostages, whoever they may be, and wherever they are in the world, might be set free. A ransom is a determined amount required from a specific source in order to free a particular person, or persons. A ransom is an exchange. A ransom is what is substituted for that which is to be ransomed. The ransomed in Scripture are called “…the ransomed of the Lord…” (Isa. 35:10). Salvation is of the Lord for His ransomed people. Christ is the ransom for HIS people, and no others. He substituted His death for their life; He took their sin, and gave them His Righteousness. “In the ancient world, a ransom was paid in order to secure the release of a captive. A price could be paid to buy a slave’s freedom or to release a hostage, for example. Today the term is most commonly associated with kidnapping, where money or some other service is demanded in exchange for the safe return of a victim. Importantly, the kidnapper determines the price that sets the hostage free. Some in church history have said the Devil is the person to whom Christ pays the ransom. But if this were the case, the Devil would be the one who wins the victory. After all, the person who receives the ransom payment is the one whose goals have been met. Scripture routinely presents Satan as the foe whom Jesus defeated (see 1 John 3:8b), and so clearly the evil one cannot demand any ransom. God alone determined the ransom amount, and so Jesus bought His people out of the Wrath rightly due their sin…Jesus gave His life in exchange for our safety from Divine Judgment. By faith we are saved—but not from Satan. God’s people are saved from the Wrath of God (see 1 Thess. 1:9–10)…Expiation conveys the idea of cleansing sinners of their sin or of removing the penalty of their sins. It is readily associated with the Old Testament sacrificial system and also with the work of the One who ‘takes away the sin of the world’ (see Jn. 1:29). Yet Christ’s death on the cross involves more than covering the sins of His people, it also placates the Wrath of God. This is what propitiation means. The Lord’s holiness demands punishment for sin, and in Jesus, God satisfies His own Wrath (see Rom. 3:21–26). He is therefore propitious, that is, favorable to His children.”
Once a ransom is paid the transaction is ended. “It cannot be understood of every individual that has been, is, or shall be in the world; millions of men are dead and gone, for whom prayer is not to be made; many in Hell, to whom it would be of no service; and many in Heaven, who stand in no need of it; nor is prayer to be made for such who have sinned the sin unto death, (see 1 Jn. 5:16) besides, giving of thanks, as well as prayers, are to be made for all men; but certainly the meaning is not, that thanks should be given for wicked men, for persecutors, and particularly for a persecuting Nero, or for heretics, and false teachers, such as Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom the apostle had delivered to Satan. But the words must be understood of men of all sorts, of every rank and quality, as the following verse. 1 Tim. 2:2, shows…this in opposition to the notions and practices of the Jews, who used to curse the heathens, and pray for none but for themselves, and those of their own nation. It is His ordaining, purposing, and determining will, which is never resisted, so as to be frustrated, but is always accomplished: the will of God, the Sovereign and unfrustrable will of God, has the governing sway and influence in the salvation of men; it rises from it, and is according to it; and all who are saved God wills they should be saved; nor are any saved, but whom He wills they should be saved: hence by all men, whom God would have saved, cannot be meant every individual of mankind, since it is not His will that all men, in this large sense, should be saved, unless there are two contrary wills in God; for there are some who were before ordained by Him unto condemnation, and are vessels of Wrath fitted for destruction (see Rom. 9:22); and it is His will concerning some, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned (see 2 Thess. 2:11,12); nor is it fact that all are saved, as they would be, if it was His will they should; for who hath resisted His will? (see Rom. 9:19), but there is a world of ungodly men that will be condemned, and who will go into everlasting punishment (see 1 Thess. 5:9): rather therefore all sorts of men, agreeably to the use of the phrase in (1 Tim. 2:1) are here intended, kings and peasants, rich and poor, bond and free, male and female, young and old, greater and lesser sinners; and therefore all are to be prayed for, even all sorts of men, because God will have all men, or all sorts of men, saved; and particularly the Gentiles may be designed (see 1 Tim. 2:7 cf. Eph. 6:8), who are sometimes called the world, the whole world, and every creature; whom God would have saved, as well as the Jews, and therefore heathens, and heathen magistrates, were to be prayed for as well as Jewish ones.”
Another example of all not meaning all without exception in the Scriptures is found in the phrase, “All flesh” in Genesis 6:13: “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” This Scripture does not refer to all men without exception, for it is obvious that Noah and his family were not included among those upon whom the end would come. The all flesh in this verse was a reference, as the apostle Peter points out, to all flesh of the ungodly “…bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly” (2 Pet. 2:5). Yet another example of all men not being a reference to every man without exception is found in Revelation 19:18: “That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great” (cf. 1 Cor. 12:13). Here we see the phrase all men used and defined, by that which immediately follows: ‘free men, and men in bondage (slaves), small men and great men’. It is clearly not a reference to all individuals without exception, but to various types of men. It is a qualitative statement rather than one referring to quantity. Importantly, Christians cannot be among this number of men further demonstrating that all men does not mean every individual without exception. “They are the substance of all the inhabitants of the antichristian empire, both eastern and western, of whatsoever rank, state, and condition they be, (see Rev.13:16). The metaphors are taken from, and there is a manifest allusion to Ezekiel 39:17-20, and the whole denotes the entire slaughter and utter ruin of the whole antichristian army, and the certainty of Christ's victory over it before hand; and also the destruction, not of all men, but of all that are the followers of antichrist, throughout his dominions, which will now wholly fall into the hands of the saints, and be enjoyed by them.”
2 Peter 2:1 is still another verse of Scripture used by lost men, to whom the Gospel of God is hidden, in an attempt to defend the Biblically indefensible lie that Christ died for everyone without exception. “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” “It is unclear exactly what Peter means when he says the false teachers were ‘bought’. It is true that 1 Corinthians 6:20 and other verses such as 1 Corinthians 7:23 use ‘bought’ as a reference to what Christ did at His death. But that does not mean that the word is used in this way everywhere it appears in Scripture…the word used to say the false teachers were ‘bought’ can be used to denote any kind of deliverance, and so does not necessarily indicate that they had been purchased by the blood of Christ. Based on the context, it may be best to understand the statement that the false teachers had been ‘bought’ not as a reference to the death of Christ, but a reference to some other act of deliverance—such as deliverance by God's goodness from the idolatry of the world. Notice how later on Peter refers to the false teachers as having had a form of ‘deliverance’ in that they ‘escaped the pollutions of the world’ by the knowledge of the Gospel (see 2 Pet. 2:20). This verse is not referring to salvation, but outward reformation with no ultimate inward reality. These people did not have their natures changed and so returned to the mud like a pig. We all know of many unsaved people who for a time reform their lives, but soon go back to their old way. In 2:20 Peter is saying that the false teachers are like that; and so in 2:1 it is possible that the ‘deliverance’ or ‘purchase’ of these teachers refers to their outward escape from the pollution of the world and thus does not imply anything about whether Christ had bought them by His death.
"There is also another possibility…It is quite likely that Peter is referring to the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt in 2 Peter 2:1, for Peter compares the false prophets that would arise in the church to the false prophets that arose in Israel: ‘…there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you…’ In the Old Testament the whole nation of Israel, and thus even the false teachers in it, was considered to have been ‘bought’ by God in the Exodus from Egypt. Through this deliverance, God ‘bought’ the nation of Israel and thus Israel rightfully belonged to God as His peculiar people. We see this in Deuteronomy 32:6, which is the passage that Peter is probably alluding to: ‘Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? is not He thy Father that hath bought thee? Hath He not made thee, and established thee?’ God ‘bought’ Israel not by the death of Christ, but, as this text says, by forming the nation. This is evident from Exodus 15:16 as well, which speaks of the Exodus as the act of God whereby He ‘bought’ Israel: ‘Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of Thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till Thy people pass over, O Lord, till the people pass over, which Thou hast purchased’. So the nation of Israel was considered ‘bought’ by God because of the Exodus. Since 2 Peter 2:1 is comparing the false teachers who arise among believers with the false prophets who arose in Israel, could it not be that Peter is saying that these false prophets will be from the nation of Israel—that is, those who were ‘bought’ in the Exodus? Or, perhaps could he not be saying that these false teachers will be church attenders in a position analogous to those in Israel who had been ‘bought’ at the Exodus? Regardless, we see that there are many different things Peter could mean when he says the false teachers were ‘bought’ by the Lord. Because of this ambiguity, it would not be wise to take this as a passage denying Christ’s atonement only for the people whom the Father had given unto Him. In fact, in light of the clear teaching elsewhere in Scripture that Christ’s exclusive atonement for the people God had chosen before the foundation of the world is true, it would be best to interpret this ambiguous passage in light of those.
"Second, it is also ambiguous whether Peter is referring to God the Father or Christ as the Lord who bought them when he says that they will even deny ‘…the Lord that bought them…’ In fact, it is likely that ‘the Lord’ Whom Peter says had bought these false teachers is a reference to God the Father, and not Christ the Son. This is because in the following verses God the Father is spoken of and, even more significantly, the Greek word for Lord used here is NEVER USED OF CHRIST, but ONLY OF THE FATHER. ‘…even denying the Lord that bought them’; not the Lord Jesus Christ, but God the Father; for the word (kuriov) is not here used, which always is where Christ is spoken of as the Lord, but (despothv) ; and which is expressive of the power which masters have over their servants, and which God has over all mankind; and wherever this word is elsewhere used, it is spoken of God the Father, whenever applied to a Divine person, as in (see Lk. 2:29; Acts 4:24; 2 Tim. 2:21; Rev. 6:10) and especially this appears to be the sense, from the parallel text in Jude 1:4: ‘For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ’, where the Lord God denied by those men is manifestly distinguished from our Lord Jesus Christ, and by Whom these persons are said to be bought: the meaning is not that they were redeemed by the blood of Christ, for Christ is not intended; and besides, whenever redemption by Christ is spoken of, the price is usually mentioned, or some circumstance or another which fully determines the sense: ‘…feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood’ (Acts 20:28; see also 1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18,19; Rev. 5:9), whereas here is not the least hint of anything of this kind: add to this, that such who are redeemed by Christ are the elect of God only, the people of Christ, his sheep and friends, and church, and who are never left to deny Him so as to perish eternally; for could such be lost, or deceive, or be deceived finally and totally by damnable heresies, and bring on themselves swift destruction, Christ's purchase would be in vain, and the ransom price be paid for nought; but the word ‘bought’ regards temporal mercies and deliverance, which these men enjoyed, and is used as an aggravation of their sin in denying the Lord; both by words, delivering out such tenets as are derogatory to the glory of the Divine perfections, and which deny one or other of them, and of His purposes, providence, promises, and truths; and by works, turning the doctrine of the grace of God into lasciviousness, being disobedient and reprobate to every good work; that they should act this part against the Lord Who had made them, and upheld them in their beings and took care of them in His providence, and had followed them with goodness and mercy all the days of their lives; just as Moses aggravates the ingratitude of the Jews in Deuteronomy 32:6 from whence this phrase is borrowed, and to which it manifestly refers: ‘Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? is not He thy Father that hath bought thee? hath He not made thee, and established thee?’, nor is this the only place the apostle refers to in this chapter, (see also 2 Pet. 2:12,13 compared with Deuteronomy 32:5, and it is to be observed, that the persons he writes to were Jews, who were called the people the Lord had redeemed and purchased, (see Exodus 15:13,16), and so were the first false teachers that rose up among them; and therefore this phrase is very applicable to them. If Peter is saying that God the Father bought these false teachers, it cannot be a reference to the atonement. Why? Because the atonement was made by Jesus, not the Father. Thus, here is another reason that it is likely that the purchase spoken of here is not a reference to the death of Christ.