FOR GOD SO LOVED...WHO? (part 24)

 

 

The very essence of salvation is to know and trust in God: Who He is and what He has done for His people. For what conceivable purpose, what possible reason would God allegedly love those people who never hear, know, understand or believe His Mighty Gospel, when none of them ever heard of His love, nor prospered in any way because of it? The tired old excuse that they were not saved because they chose to reject God falls flat on its face, for they never even heard of the true God. Seeing that such people die in unbelief, how could God have loved everyone without exception, and sent His Christ to die for the sins of everyone without exception—which, I might add, includes the sin of unbelief—if so many billions, received no benefit from the alleged universal love of God, and death of Christ? And, where does the evidence lie that God ever loved those who were, all their lifetime, ignorant of the purported fact that God sent His Son to die on the cross for them to take away their sins? How can this be a manifestation of God’s Love? I mean, isn’t the entire defence of the claim that God loves all, and Christ died for all, based on giving everyone an equal chance to decide for God, or against Him? To do something for someone, which requires, and desires, their will to bring it to fruition, and yet not ensure that person even hears of what you have done, is not an act of love, but one of sheer cruelty. Providing, thereby, desiring, a way of escape for people, but leaving them in their ignorance of it is nothing but cold-blooded evil. These questions must not be treated with disdain and simply, and conveniently, dismissed by those who believe God loves all, and that Christ His Son died for all, but must be faced and answered. They are serious questions which must be dealt with objectively, and only, in light of Holy Scripture by all those who profess to know God. Of what use would it be, and what purpose would it serve, for a man to manifest his love for a woman by doing something which he had predetermined the woman would never know anything about, or experience! “Is it not inexplicably strange that a Sovereign, Omnipotent God of all power should so love multitudes and yet be unable EVEN TO CONVEY that love to them, so leaving them to die in ignorance?”

 

Returning now to the matter of atonement, if Christ has actually put away all the sins of everyone He died for, then there remains no further payment to be made, no further punishment to be meted out because of those sins. Christ said upon the cross, “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30 cf. Jn. 4:34), and so the matter is closed. If all sin has been atoned for, is it not right to conclude that the sin of unbelief has also been taken out of the way? For what good would it have done, and what sense would it have made for Christ to atone for every sin EXCEPT that ultimate and unpardonable sin which keeps a man out of Heaven, the sin of unbelief? How can a man ‘choose God’ if the sin of unbelief continues to block his way? If it is not in accord with Scripture to believe that the sin of unbelief was amongst those sins which were nailed to Christ’s cross, then the sin of unbelief has not been done away with for ANY man, moreover, there is no atonement for it. The penalty it attracts has not been paid, and, therefore, no one can possibly come to God, via God’s will, or man’s, for the sin of unbelief reigns supreme, being untouched by the atoning blood of Christ. I am sure the reader can see, without too much difficulty, that the doctrines of universal atonement and free will clearly contradict what the Word of God says. A person who believes, shows that Christ did die for them because only in a blessed state can one believe, and those who are blessed of the Father are made so because they were given by the Father to the Son to die for—to remove the curse of sin from them! Christ became a curse for everyone He died for, everyone the Father entrusted to Him, which is why they all come to Him. All they that remain cursed to the end are those whom the Father did not give to the Son to bless by means of His death. Everywhere the Arminian turns, he is faced with an impenetrable Scriptural roadblock!

 

The question which every Arminian needs to ask themselves is, Why does a multitude for whom Christ allegedly died—became a curse for—remain in unbelief, and still go to Hell in a cursed state? If Christ became a curse for them, if He was their substitute, if He took the punishment for their sins, including the sin of unbelief so that it would no longer reign in their lives, what punishment remains, what curse remains, and how could they possibly remain in an unbelieving, and accursed state? If Christ lifted the state of cursedness from them, took away the curse—something which was not done, and cannot be done, without the imputation of Righteousness in place of it—to the saving of their souls, what could possibly stop them from coming to Him? Unbelief? HOW? How could the sin of unbelief remain to the end of a person’s life, for whom Christ became a curse in order that they would one day believe? How could anyone whom the Father has given to the Son, not come to Him? (see Jn. 6:37). On what basis would anyone remain dead in sin, to the end of their lives, and face an eternity of punishment for their sins if Christ took their sins out of the way by nailing their every sin to His cross, becoming a curse for them, and charging them with His Righteousness? If Christ did not become a curse for them the curse of sin remains upon them evidenced by their unbelief. If the curse of sin remains untaken away to the end of a person’s life, then Christ simply did not die for them. If they are not imputed with His Righteousness then Christ simply did not die for them, He did not become a curse for them, He did not make atonement for them. If you say, ‘They die in unbelief because they did not choose Him’, I ask: how could they have died in unbelief when Christ took away every obstacle, including the sin of unbelief, which could prevent them from being saved? Christ’s death was about removing the curse of sin from His people so they would no longer naturally be at enmity against God, and in no way, or to any degree, was it an act of indifference towards it. Christ’s death was for a specific purpose: HE TOOK AIM AT THE SINS OF HIS PEOPLE AND BLASTED THEM OUT OF EXISTENCE! Surely the reader does not believe that Christ has failed in some way to deliver safely to the Father all those whom the Father gave to Him, and for whom He died? Arminians would say, 'Oh no, they remain in a cursed state because they failed to believe in, and accept Him'. But, again, what of those who never even heard of Him? Did Christ die for them, pay the price for their every sin, knowing they would not even hear the Gospel, let alone believe it and ‘accept’ what He had allegedly done for them? It is true that all those who perish in eternal fire failed to savingly believe in the Son of God, but in light of this, how could it be that these ones who fail to believe in Christ were ever among those whom the Father loved and gave to His Son for the express purpose of dying for their sins, and obtaining eternal redemption for them. Christ said all those whom the Father gave unto Him, WOULD ALL COME to Him (see Jn. 6:37), believe and be saved, thereby proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that all those for whom Christ laid down His life would in time believe on Him. This shows indubitably that Christ’s obtaining eternal redemption for those He died for is not conditioned on their decision, but purely on Christ’s act. Those whom the Father has given to the Son are the only ones Christ prays for, these are the only ones Christ died for. A man who has been given by the Father to the Son will, at the appointed time, have his blindness to the truth, fuelled by his spiritually dead state of unbelief, completely removed from him, and replaced with the gift of faith, given by grace, which all God’s elect children receive to the glory of God. The Light of God’s glorious Gospel has shined unto them. God has shined in their “…hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6 cf. 2 Cor. 4:3-6).

 

No chosen vessel of God’s has ever, or will ever, die in unbelief. If this statement is true, which it most assuredly is, then it must also be true that all those whom God has not chosen will die in unbelief. The Arminian does not merely shoot himself in the foot when apportioning blame for a man’s remaining unbelief to his failure to choose God, he completely blows it off, because if a person remains in a cursed state it shows that Christ did not become a curse for them, He did not die for them at all. Those who persist with the fallacious argument that Christ did become a curse for them, but what He did for them did not become effective in their lives because of their unbelief, clearly, and conveniently, overlook the fact that whomsoever Christ became a curse for would receive His Righteousness. Where there is redemption, there is also Righteousness. Where there is death for sin, there is also Righteousness imputed. Sin is charged to the sacrifice, and Righteousness is imputed to the ones for whom the sacrifice was made. The Righteousness of Christ replaces the sin which one has been eternally redeemed from. The substitutionary sacrifice of Christ has removed the sins of those for whom He died, and Christ’s Righteousness is put in its place. Addressing fellow believers, the apostle Paul wrote: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, been made a curse for us…” (Gal. 3:13 cf. Titus 2:14); “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30); “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21 cf. Isa. 61:10). “…to be made the Righteousness of God, is to be made Righteous in the sight of God, by the imputation of the Righteousness of Christ. Just as Christ is made sin, or an offering for sin, by the imputation of the sins of others to Him; so they are made Righteousness, or Righteous persons, through the imputation of His Righteousness to them; and in no other way can the one be made sin, or the other Righteousness.” Christ gives eternal life to whomsoever the Father has given Him, not whomsoever wills to accept it (see Matt. 11:27; Jn. 17:2). Christ gives eternal life not to all, but to all whom the Father has given Him, therefore, it is THEIR sins which Christ has removed, and replaced with His Righteousness. In the case of the eternally lost, it is not that atonement has been made but has failed to be accepted, but that no atonement has been made for them at all. You cannot have the effects of atonement hanging in limbo waiting for the ‘sinner’s decision’ to make it functional. There is no such thing in the Bible as an atonement pending: no atonement which awaits, and is, therefore, conditioned on, some decision on the part of man so that its benefits can then be made effective, or brought to fruition. This is a most laughable, and ridiculous, concept which the Scriptures know nothing of. According to this line of reasoning one would be saying, 'He atoned, paid the price for your sin, but at the same time, He did not pay the price for your sin if you do not accept and receive what He has done for you', or ‘He atoned for your sin, but what He did is withdrawn, cancelled out, or overruled if you do not accept Him as your Saviour’. The remission of sins cannot be overturned. No act, or lack of action, on man’s part can ever undo what God has done. “Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which He hath made crooked?” (Eccl. 7:13 cf. Isa. 14:27; 43:13). They say, ‘Christ died for your sins so you don’t have to’, but their irrational mindset insists that you will suffer for your sins, too, if you do not accept what He did for you! Whichever way you look at it, you have God punishing Christ and the one Christ allegedly died for if the one He died for inexplicably dies in unbelief. There is no precedent for such anti-Scriptural lunacy as this! On the one hand Arminians teach that Christ has done something, and on the other, that He has not done it if we fail to accept it! Others insist that the work of atonement was performed and completed, but goes unrewarded if one does not believe. So Christ effectively pays for your sins to the satisfaction of God’s Justice, but you also must satisfy the already satisfied Justice of God by also paying for your sins if you do not accept what Christ has allegedly done on your behalf! They say, ‘Christ did take away your sins, but if you reject this and do not believe and place your trust in Him, then you will have to pay for your sins as well.’ The illogicity of such thinking reveals a failure to grasp the fundamental fact that atonement was made SO THAT a person would come to the Father by Christ. Atonement was performed to ensure the salvation of all for whom it was made. To paraphrase the words of the Lord Jesus ‘All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me, for I will atone for their sin and impute unto them My Righteousness for this is the Father’s will for them’ (see Jn. 6:37; 2 Cor. 5:21). Predestination is the backdrop for the atoning work of Christ. Predestination set the scene for exactly whom Christ would die: He died for those God gave Him, who were chosen before the foundation of the world to be His brethren, His saved people, His adopted children.

 

The Word of God says: “Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of Thy people, Thou hast covered all their sin. Thou hast taken away all Thy Wrath: Thou hast turned Thyself from the fierceness of Thine anger” (Psa. 85:2,3). “Took it from them, and laid it on Christ, Who bore it, and took it away, so as it shall never return more to their destruction; and by the application of His blood it is taken away from their own consciences; for this denotes the manifestation and discovery of forgiveness to themselves; it is a branch of redemption, and is in consequence of it; and is a fruit of the free favour and good will of God through Christ; and it only belongs to the Lord's special people, the people He has taken into covenant with Him, and for whose iniquity Christ was stricken: 'thou hast covered all their sin'; this is but another phrase for forgiveness, (see Psa. 32:1), and this is done by the Blood and Righteousness, and Propitiatory Sacrifice of Christ, the antitypical mercy seat, the covering of the law and its transgressions, and the people of God from its curse and condemnation; whose sins are so covered by Christ, as not to be seen by the eye of avenging justice, even all of them, not one remains uncovered. ‘Thou hast taken away all Thy Wrath’, or ‘gathered’ it; sin occasions wrath, and the people of God are as deserving of it as others; but the Lord has gathered it up, and poured it forth upon His Son, and their Surety; hence nothing of this kind shall ever fall upon them, either here or hereafter; and it is taken away from them, so as to have no sense, apprehension, or conscience of it, which before the law had wrought in them, when pardon is applied unto them, which is what is here meant; (see Isa. 12:1), ‘Thou hast turned Thyself from the fierceness of Thine anger’; the anger of God is very fierce against sin and sinners; it is poured forth like fire, and there is no abiding it; but, with respect to the Lord's people, it is pacified by the death of His Son; or He is pacified towards them for all that they have done, for the sake of His Righteousness and Sacrifice; and which appears to them when He manifests His love and pardoning grace to their souls; (see Ezek. 16:63).” “…Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Rom. 4:7,8). What will God impute to those whom He has blessed? The very Righteousness of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

What happened on the cross was a transaction between God the Son and God the Father. Christ paid the price for the sins of all God’s chosen, and the Father accepted His payment on behalf of the people He gave unto His Son. Christ’s work is done, the Father is satisfied with what the Son has done, and the will of the Lord has been accomplished. There is nothing that remains unresolved, or unsettled concerning the atonement of Jesus Christ for His people, or any condition for its effective application which has not been fully and perfectly met by the perfect Saviour. Christ has done it all, and His Father has accepted all that He has done for all the people He did it for. Eternal redemption has been eternally accomplished, obtained and established for all those for whom Christ died. THAT is Biblical reality, which is a far cry from the fantasies and fictions of the Arminian gospel. What the Arminian christ has done is something that lies in an indefinite state between reality and fantasy—a suspended animation—which awaits a touch from the magic wand of our belief and acceptance in order to make it ‘really real’. Arminianism is a denial of the very meaning of the word atonement, it stands against everything that atonement means, and the reader will not find any of Arminianism’s teachings in God’s Word. The word atonement means ‘exchange, reconciliation’, "...and is the result of the redemption, the Divine act of salvation, the ceasing of God’s Wrath" through the imputation of the sins of His people to Christ, and of Christ’s Righteousness to His people. Christ gives His Righteousness to those He became a curse for. Christ imputes His Righteousness to those from whom He took their sins. Atonement was made, completed and accepted by Christ and the Father. The fact that Christ’s sacrifice was offered to God on the behalf of those He laid down His life for, shows conclusively that its success was completely dependent upon God’s acceptance of it. All that Christ has done actually takes effect on all those He did it for. Their sins have been punished, they have been dealt with, and God’s Justice IS, not will be, or might be, but His Justice IS satisfied concerning the sins of those His Son died for. The God of Holiness IS appeased through the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ for His people. Christ’s work of atonement was about EXCHANGING the sins of His people for His Righteousness. Imputation is a two way street: one cannot separate the act of the taking away of sins from the charging of His Righteousness, the success of which does not depend on man, but on the determining power of God’s unstoppable grace. “The happiness of His people  is bound up in what God has designed for them.” The Lamb has taken away the sins of those for whom He died, and His Righteousness is/will be imputed to them at the time which God has appointed. It is all the Work of God in order to save all those for whom it was performed.

 

The apostle John, writing to fellow believers, said: “In this was manifested the love of God toward US, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that WE (those whom He called out of the world, and gave to His Son) might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved US, and sent His Son to be the Propitiation for OUR sins. Beloved, if God so loved US, we ought also to love one another” (1 Jn. 4:9-11 cf. 1 Jn. 3:16). This passage most assuredly does away with any confusion concerning exactly who it is that God loved and gave His Son for. Clearly, God’s sending His Son into the world was not a manifestation of His love for every individual in the world, but exclusively for His elect: those whom He called out of the world. The Son of God was sent into the world SO THAT the people God had given Him out of the world would live through Him. Christ was commissioned by the Father, He was sent on a mission to redeem His brethren—the ones whom the Father loved and gave to Him. The Father sent the Son so that His people might live through Him. Christ is the means of life. Christ is the Mediator of Life, the Bridge to Life, for He is “…the Way, the Truth, and the Life…” (Jn. 14:6). Those whom He was sent for, those whom He was given to, are all given life, “He that hath the Son hath life…” (1 Jn. 5:12). What the Lord Jesus did, He did for them who were ordained by God to believe and trust in Christ. This is God’s love in full bloom! God is the God of all salvation. Who will be saved, and how they will be saved is defined by God’s predetermining will which is the ultimate overseer of His love. God has mercy on whom He wills to have mercy, and God loves those whom He wills to love. Salvation is not something which is left to each individual to determine, but that which only God has willed, and could will, for those whom He has chosen. Christ was the Satisfaction for the sins of those whom God had chosen and given to, or commissioned, Him to lay down His life for: the Church (see Eph. 5:25). Again, what purpose would there have been in Christ dying for everyone, knowing that not everyone He died for would have eternal life, therefore, knowing that His payment for the sins of some would be in vain. The Word of God knows of only two ways Christ’s death could have been for nothing, in vain, and that is: "...if righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain" (Gal. 2:21) and "...if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" (1 Cor. 15:17). Why would the Father tell the Son to die for a people He did not give Him—a people who would not believe? Why would the Father send the Son to die for a people who would reap no benefit from what He did? Why would the Father send the Son to die for a people He did not predestinate to be called and justified through faith? What kind of a death would this be? It could not be an atoning death, for their sins remain unatoned for. It could not be a substitutionary death, for their sins have not been taken away and they have not been made Righteous. His blood was shed in sacrifice, but their sins are not remitted. Nothing has been accomplished!! If all for whom Christ died do not come to Him, then one must attach vanity and failure to His death. Seeing that this is impossible, for the Word of God states that He WILL see His seed, the travail of His soul—“He shall see with satisfaction the salvation of His Church” (see Isa. 53:10,11)—it must be concluded that Christ’s death was for all whom the Father gave Him. They will all be saved, for they have all been ordained, predetermined, predestinated, to come to Him.

 

John 1:29 tells us, “...Behold the Lamb of God, which TAKETH AWAY (bore) the sin of the world” (see also 1 Cor. 5:7; 1 Jn. 3:5). This teaches that Christ has borne sin, He has carried away sin, as well as the guilt of sin, and consequent penalty which sin invariably attracts. Notice here the definitiveness of taketh away, rather than the indefinite ‘could’, ‘might’ or has ‘potentially’ taken away sin, which would make the taking away dependant, or conditioned, on something outside the power, or scope, of the one who does the taking. There is nothing potential in this verse concerning the taking away of sin, nothing which is in any way vague, ambiguous or general about Christ’s taking away, or the bearing of, sin and the punishment due unto it, but it is clearly an act which is ‘definite, exact, explicit, having precise limits, or boundaries, and known for certain’‘that taketh away’—taketh up and taketh away. The word signifies both, as does the corresponding Hebrew word. Applied to sin, it means to be chargeable with the guilt of it (see Ex. 28:38; Lev. 5:1; Ezek. 18:20), and to bear it away (as often). In the Levitical victims both ideas met, as they do in Christ, the people's guilt being viewed as transferred to them, avenged in their death, and so borne away by them (see Lev. 4:15; 16:15, 21, 22; and compare Isa. 53:6-12; 2 Cor. 5:21).” The Lord Jesus Christ taketh away forever the sins of those He died for, He does not return their sins to them if they do not ‘choose Him’, for all the Father has given Him shall come to Him (see Jn. 6:37). As we have discovered, the word ‘world’ here could not possibly mean every individual, for if it did it would then mean that Christ bore, took away, the sin of all men without exception. The consequence of such an act would see all men saved whether they believed in Him, or not“…by ‘the sin of the world’, is not meant the sin, or sins of every individual person in the world; for some die in their sins…and they go into everlasting punishment for them; which could not be, if Christ took them away: rather, the sin which is common to the whole world, namely: original sin; but then it must be observed, that this is not the only sin Christ takes away; for He also takes away individual sins; and the Arabic and Ethiopic versions read in the plural, ‘the sins of the world’; and also that this He takes away, only with respect the elect; wherefore they are the persons intended by the world, as in John 6:33,51, whose sin, or sins, Christ takes away: and a peculiar regard seems to be had to the elect among the Gentiles, who are called the world, in distinction from the Jews, as in John 3:16; 1 John 2:2, and the rather, since the lambs of the daily sacrifice, to which the allusion is, were only offered for the sins of the Jews: but John here signifies, that the Lamb of God he pointed at, and which was the antitype of these lambs, not only took away the sins of God's people among the Jews, but He also took away the sins of God’s people among the Gentiles.” The Word of God highlights the inextinguishable fact that the success of Christ’s atonement was dependent on the Father’s accepting it, and not on the acceptance of the individuals for whom it was made. This is confirmed by the apostle Paul, writing to the saints at Ephesus, in Ephesians 5: “…Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God…” (Eph. 5:2).

 

The apostle John, writing to fellow believers in his first Letter, says: “And ye know that He was manifested TO TAKE AWAY OUR SINS; and in Him is no sin” (1 Jn. 3:5; cf. Isa. 53:5,6,8,11; Matt. 1:21). Christ shall save His people from their sins by taking their sins away. This, of course, does not mean that Christ was manifested to take away the sins of only John and those to whom he was writing. What distinguished them from the world, and why he says Christ was manifested to take away ‘our’ (their) sins, is that they were believers. Christ shall save His people from their sins by taking their sins away. The taking away of sins means they shall never be returned, and the people whose sins have been eternally removed will never suffer the punishment rightly due unto them, for Christ has exhausted all punishment for those for whom He died. God’s love for His people is manifested in His Son making atonement for their sins “…as the antitype of the scape goat, making reconciliation and satisfaction for them, through the sacrifice of Himself; which was doing what the blood of bulls and goats, or any legal sacrifices or moral performances, could never do (see Heb. 10:4): and this He did by taking the sins of His people upon Himself, by carrying them up to the cross, and there bearing them, with all the punishment due unto them, in His body; by removing them quite away, and utterly destroying them, finishing and making an end of them: and by causing them to pass away from them, from off their consciences, through the application of His blood by His Spirit”. It is clear from this that Christ has not taken away the sins of the world, meaning the sins of everyone without exception, but rather all the sins of God’s elect who were in the world. It could be no other way, for if this meaning is not correct, all we would be left with is the Scriptures saying that Christ failed to take away the sin of the world, everyone without exception, because many have not had their sins taken away, but by contrast they have remained in their sins, and consequently have been/will be cast into Hell because of them. What Christ came to the earth to do, we can be assured He did do. God’s purpose was for His Messiah to redeem all that He entrusted Him with, and we can be sure it was fully accomplished, and completely successful, in the fact that it was wholly accepted by God.

 

The following verse is perhaps the most damning of all the Scriptures which prove that God’s love is not a universal love of all men, but an exclusive love reserved for His people: Christ says, “...I pray not for the world...” (Jn. 17:9). Does Jesus mean that He refuses to pray for all men without exception? Of course not. Christ’s statement can only mean one of three things: (1) Christ does not pray for anyone at all; (2) Christ does not pray for the world of the godly; (3) Christ does not pray for the world of the ungodly. Only one of these options is correct. Clearly Christ does not pray for all without exception, for He makes it perfectly clear that not all have been given to Him by the Father. Just as clearly, Christ praying only for those whom the Father had not given Him is not logical, and simply does not make any Biblical sense. The only Scriptural conclusion that can be reached is that Christ, in not praying for all without exception, obviously does pray only for those the Father has given Him. Christ Himself explains why: “I pray for them…which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine” (Jn. 17:9). The original Greek states: ‘I about them am asking not concerning the world I am asking but concerning whom You have given to Me’. Without fear of contradiction, Christ only prays for the people of God who are clearly the ones the Father has given Him. The world spoken of here is not a reference to all men without exception, for the context reveals it to be the world of the ungodly, the unchosen, the ones who were not God’s people. Christ is saying here that those whom He does pray for are those the Father has chosen to love, the ones He has predestinated to be given to Him and come to Him. Again, we see a distinction made between those who have been given to the Lord Jesus, and those who are referred to as the world. Some may attempt to defend the extremely weak notion that Christ is here saying that He does not pray for the Gentiles, but only for His Jewish disciples. However this claim is immediately quashed by Jesus’ clarifying words found in John 17:20: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word.”

 

Throughout the Scriptures, the word world can be a reference to the world of the godly, and at other times to the ungodly. The several variant meanings of the word world is testament to the fact that world does not mean world—meaning, all without exception—as so many confidently, yet wrongly, assert when quoting John 3:16. “The world of John 3:16 (Greek: ‘kosmos’, from which comes our English word, ‘cosmos’, referring to our ‘orderly, harmonious, systematic universe’) is the creation made by God in the beginning, now disordered by sin, with the elect from all nations, now by nature children of wrath even as the others, as the core of it. As regards its people, the world of John 3:16 is the new humanity in Jesus Christ, the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45). John calls this new human race ‘the world’ in order to show, and emphasize, that it is not from the Jewish people alone, but from all nations and peoples “…a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues…” (Rev. 7:9). The original Greek has it out of every nation…’  "The people who make up the world of John 3:16 are all those, and those only, who will become believers (whosoever believeth); and it is the elect who believe (Acts 13:48).” Indeed, those who subscribe to the phrase “whosoever believeth” to mean whosoever chooses out of their free will to believe, must face the very pertinent question: ‘Who will believe?’ All they can do is reply, “whosoever”. The true believer saved by the Sovereign grace of God can go one step beyond that, and quote Acts 13:48 which shows exactly who will believe, how they will believe, and why they will believe: “…as many as were ORDAINED to eternal life believed.” Note that those who believe are not then ordained, but they are first ordained by God to eternal life, and then believe. God has willed them to believe seen in His ordaining them to eternal life. It is not they who have chosen to believe, just as it is not they who have loved God first. All who believe, do so because God loved them first, because He ordained them to believe. Eternal life is not a reward to whosoever believeth, because whosoever believeth were first ordained, by God, to eternal life. Believing is a gift, it is a choice made by God, and granted by God to all whom He has ordained to receive eternal life. Those who have been appointed by God to salvation, and given to His Son, will all believe. These are the ones Christ prays for, for they are the children of God. This signifies the Sovereignty of God, and the Scripturally undeniable fact that salvation—all of salvation—from predetermining who would be saved, to their believing and coming to Christ, to the eternal glory which awaits them, is all of God. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ…” (2 Cor. 5:17,18). “…all things in the new creation are of Him; the work of renovation itself is His; all the grace that is implanted in regeneration comes from Him: nothing is of the creature, or to be ascribed to it. All things in redemption are of Him; He drew the plan of it, called His Son to be the Redeemer, appointed and sent Him as such; and particularly that branch of it, reconciliation, is of Him. The work of reconciliation, or making atonement for sin, is ascribed to the Father…it is properly Christ's work; but because He took the first step towards it: He formed the scheme of it; He set forth His Son in His purposes and decrees to be the propitiatory sacrifice; He assigned Him this work in council and covenant, in promise and in prophecy, and sent Him to effect it; therefore He is said to do it ‘by’ Him; that is, by His blood and sacrifice, by His sufferings and death, to which, and to which alone, the Scriptures ascribe our peace and reconciliation: and this is made to ‘Himself’: as being the party offended, Whose law was broken, against Whom sin was committed, and Whose justice required and demanded satisfaction.” If any work of man’s, including his believing, preceded the grace of God—God doing first—then salvation could no longer be something which is by grace alone, but by a collaborative effort on the part of God and man. If any part of salvation is dependent upon what a man does, then salvation could not be said to be by grace, and Christ has died in vain, for salvation would be conditioned on man, and not upon grace alone (see Gal. 2:21). Grace is an act of God, and so, it is by an act of God that a man is saved, and not by any act of man. “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus…Who by Him do believe in God…” (1 Cor. 1:30 & 1 Pet. 1:21cf. 1 Cor. 8:6). The Scriptures also say: “…who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed to him again?” (Rom. 11:35 cf. Job 35:7; 41:11; 1 Cor. 4:7). All that a man has, has been given him by God.

 

Perhaps the biggest bombshell in our study of John 3:16, and the implications which have been falsely attributed to it, is that in all of the over 31,000 verses of Scripture in the entire Bible which include the word’s love, loved, lovedst, loves, lovest, loveth, loving, and lovingkindness, there is not a single solitary reference to God, or Christ His Son, loving ‘the world’, apart from John 3:16! Does the reader not think this extremely odd who believes that John 3:16 is some great testament to God loving every individual ever born? That only one verse in the 31,102 verses in the Word of God would herald the ‘magnificent news’ that God loves everyone without exception? As we have shown, the problem which those who hold to a flawed understanding of John 3:16 is that they misuse other verses of Scripture in an attempt to force John 3:16 into saying what they believe it says, or want it to say, rather than conducting a proper study of the whole Word of God and view John 3:16 in the Light which the whole of Scripture provides. Doubtless this book would be laughed out of existence, and thrown out as so much rubbish if it continually referred to only one verse of Scripture as proof of its teachings. It is of a surety that whoever God loves HE KEEPS, and He keeps them—ensures their eternal safety—by giving them to His Son, and giving, or sending, His Son for them, for their particular, and effectual, benefit. The greatest evidence of love, Jesus said, is “...that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn. 15:13). Therefore it stands to Biblical reason that the greatest evidence of the Father’s love is that He gives those whom He loves—whom He calls brethren—to His Son to die for (see Heb. 2:11-16). The motivation for Christ in praying for those He prays for is the fact that they are the Lord’s people, His chosen, and so, His motivation in dying as a sacrifice to God could only be for those people because they are His Father’s people: “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; FOR they are Thine (Jn. 17:9). The fact that God has not chosen all is evidenced in Christ His Son’s not praying for all, for not all are the Father's. God has only given to His Son those who are His: His elect children. God has not chosen all, but only some to be His people, and thus has given only them to His Son in order to save them from their sins.

 

Observe 1 John 3:16, and compare it with Paul’s words found in Ephesians 5:25: “Hereby perceive we the LOVE of God, because He LAID DOWN HIS LIFE for us....Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also LOVED the Church, and GAVE Himself for it” (see also 2 Cor.11:2; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 5:2; Heb. 9:14). Christ said of Himself: “I am the good Shepherd: the good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep” (Jn. 10:11). Christ gave His life for the people He loved. These three Scriptures show conclusively that Christ laid down His life for the ones God loved, who are the Church of God, who are the sheep of Christ, the ‘us’ of the New Testament Letters. Thus, He could not have laid down His life for all without exception, for not all without exception are saved, therefore, not all without exception are loved, not all without exception make up the Church of God, or are the sheep of Christ, the ‘us’ of the New Testament. What we have shown, and proven by Scripture, throughout our word study, contextual study and doctrinal study, is that ‘For God so loved the world’ could not possibly mean all without exception, and the above verses are confirmation that our findings are true, accurate, correct and Scriptural. How can one reconcile Christ having “loved the Church” and given “Himself for it”, with God loving all without exception? How can one reconcile Christ giving “His life for the sheep”, with His giving His life for all, which would include the goats as well as His sheep? How could Christ have paid the price for the sins of the goats, as well as His sheep, knowing that He would one day separate the goats from His sheep? (see Matt. 25:32). Why would Christ have taken their punishment knowing that they would also receive full punishment for their sins? The goats are the eternally cursed who go into everlasting fire so how could Christ have become a curse for, and imputed His Righteousness to, them? (see Matt. 25:41). And, how does one reconcile the fact that God’s love is manifested in Christ laying down His life for the elect, His Bride, His Church, His sheep, with His alleged sacrifice for all without exception? Christ died for the ones God loved, the ones He specifically, and with surgical precision, called out of the world to become His Church, and to whom He refers in a very personal, intimate, way, as “MY sheep” (Jn. 10:27; Ezek. 34:11). Those whom the Father does not give to the Son are those whom He does not love. Can any of these whom the Father has not entrusted to His Son possibly be among the called, the predestinated, the chosen, loved and adopted children of God? Absolutely and unequivocally not! If they were, why were they not also given to the Son rather than being separated from His chosen ones, and told to “…depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire…? (Matt. 25:41). Those who have not been given to the Son are not of His Church, they are not among those God has called out of the world, they are not among Christ’s sheep for whom He died and rose again. There can be no other conclusion reached which the Word of God will support.

 

It cannot rightly be said that God has loved, and given anyone to Christ to make atonement for, who dies in unbelief, for the Lord has said: “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). The person who is elect can never become non-elect. The destiny of those predestined to eternal life can never be changed. The elect cannot but come to Christ, for this was clearly ordained before the foundation of the world by the Father Who gave His people to His Son. Those whom the Father has chosen will be saved, and Christ’s death ensures the salvation of all whom the Father gave Him. What the Lord Jesus is saying here is that all those whom the Father has given Him will be assuredly and eternally saved, for the Father has chosen to love them and save them, and it is this love which draws them to the Saviour Who has died for them. But the Lord is also simultaneously declaring in John 6:37 that all those whom the Father has not given Him will not come to Him, for they have not been elected in Christ before the foundation of the world, and, therefore, have not been loved by Him at all. Just as you cannot be saved without the means to salvation—the atoning death of Christ—you cannot ‘miss out’ on salvation if the means has been provided, and performed, for you. Whilst Arminians gleefully insist that ‘God loves everybody’, countless numbers continue to cascade into the mouth of Hell regardless, because, it is claimed, they did not accept this love. They maintain, ‘Christ did die for all, but many still go to Hell because they did not accept Him’. According to such erroneous doctrine God has no actual plans for salvation which are guaranteed will be fulfilled, for they are all dependent not on His predetermined will, but on the changeable will of the individual. According to Arminian doctrine, the Father has not given any to His Son, for the ultimate decision lies in the hands of each individual—it is up to them to give themselves to Christ—and so the governing role of chooser is taken from God, and becomes the exclusive domain of man. Arminian doctrine, therefore, asserts that only those who have made a decision for Christ will come to Him, and that this has nothing to do with the will of a Sovereign and Almighty God giving His chosen to His Son. Such thinking does not only contradict the Scriptures, but is completely, diametrically and blasphemously opposed to the Words of God seen in John 6:37. Arminianism declares salvation to be all about an offer made to all, based on God’s love for all,  but which is not accepted by all. But how can this be, when Scripture says that all those who love God WERE LOVED BY HIM FIRST!! (see 1 Jn. 4:19). And if all those who love God were loved by God first, then it becomes patently obvious that all who are loved by God—AND ONLY THOSE WHO ARE LOVED BY GOD—will surely come to (love) Him (see Jn. 6:44; Jer. 31:3). THE DIFFERENCE MAKER IS GOD AND HIS ELECTIVE LOVE. If all who love God were loved by Him first, it is self-evident that those who do not love God, were never loved by Him at all. If the only way a man can truly love the true and only God is if God loved him first, then clearly those who die not loving the true God could never have been loved by Him at all. Christ never knew those who only claimed to love Him (see Matt. 7:23). How could Christ have loved such people when He never knew them as His people, and whom He completely disavowed! Those who insist that God loves all, and that Christ subsequently died for all, must, in line with such claims, also teach that salvation is an offer to all, and, consequently, that man is not spiritually dead, but alive and free to make his choice for God, or against God. But, as we have seen, this ‘free offer’ teaching clashes head-on with the fact that not everyone hears the Gospel. Many do not even know of ‘an offer’, let alone what it is. How can this be an example of ‘God’s loving all’ when such a ‘love’ has no giving attached to it? How can God be manifesting His supposed ‘all-inclusive love’ toward a person to whom He does not even make known His ‘great offer’? How can this be said to be fair if salvation is an offer to all, which is a teaching that is inextricably connected to the doctrine of universal love? And if salvation is not an offer to all, then it cannot be said that God loves all, or that Christ died for all, therefore, it must be an offer only to some, and, if so, why? The Arminian must provide an answer to the question, ‘Why is the offer of salvation limited?’, why, if God loves all, and Christ died for all, does He make the offer of salvation known only to some?’ Arminians talk of the doctrine of election being a restriction to God’s love, a harsh, uncaring doctrine, and yet, their false doctrine of ‘salvation as an offer to all’, because of God’s alleged ‘love for all’, is not even made known to all! What kind of crazy love, said to equally love all, does not do equally for all it loves? God’s electing love loves all whom He has chosen, equally. They are all given to the Son, and He in turn died for them all thus providing eternal redemption and security for all that are loved of God. God’s true love is manifested toward all His chosen in equal fashion.  Arminianism’s claim that God loves all falls flat on its face, for such ‘love’ does not even make known the way to salvation for all—let alone save all—but inexplicably only to some. Surely, if God loves all why would He then not make His offer known to all? The inconsistency in the notion of  a universal love for all is glaringly apparent. In light of this, and at the very least, Arminians must admittedly agree that though it is claimed that God loves all and salvation is an offer, it cannot be an offer to all. And, if not an offer to all what sense would it make, and of what use would God’s alleged love for all and Christ’s sacrifice for all be, if many would resist His love, or, not only decline the offer, but never even hear of it! What would have been the reasoning behind God’s sending His Son to take upon Himself all the sins of everyone without exception, and then offer salvation based on this act, knowing full well, that multitudes would not even hear of this magnanimous event, let alone be ‘given the chance’ to accept what was allegedly done on their behalf? Why would the alleged sacrifice for all be only offered to some? The entire premise behind God’s alleged love for all, and Christ’s death for all is so that everyone has an equal chance to accept what has been done, and yet, curiously, it is not made known to all. The whole theology of Arminianism comes crashing down to earth at the last hurdle. God loves all and sent His Son for all, and yet, He does not tell all about it! This is nothing but spiritual insanity, which only the spiritually dead could ever embrace. Led by a misinformed zeal in those who have misconstrued the Word of God, the Arminian would have everyone believe that God has provided a potential salvation for all, by sending His Son for all, for the purpose of taking away the sins of all, and making the success of it all dependent upon each individual’s acceptance of what has been put on offer, and yet has not even ensured that everyone without exception would at the very least hear of this grand offer! My friend, if this is the god you believe and trust in for your salvation, you have made the gravest and severest of all errors. You have embraced a false god, and have placed your trust in a false Christ of another gospel which simply cannot save anyone. You are not saved, for you have yet to place your trust in the Sovereign and Almighty God Who saves all whom He has ordained to eternal life. Repent and believe the Gospel of God.