FOR WHOM DID CHRIST PRAY?
"As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him" (John 17:2). For whom else did Christ die but for those God gave to Him? And who could say that anyone from that group of people entrusted to Christ was not elected before the foundation of the world? Do you believe that Christ died for anyone whom God did not first give unto His Son? Do you think Christ died for those whom He did not pray for? "I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world: Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me....I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine....Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word" (John 17:6,9,20). “All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27). The Lord Jesus here states that He has revealed the Father only to those whom God gave unto Him out of the world. Jesus states quite clearly that He prays NOT for the world, those whom God DID NOT give unto Him, but exclusively for those whom God did give to Him. In saying this, Christ makes a clear and distinct difference between those He prayed for, and those He did not. Between those God gave to Him, and those He did not. Christ adds that He did not pray only for those there with Him, but also for all those who would believe on Him through their word. Obviously those who would believe were also given unto Christ by the Father out of the world. Do you think Christ died for the people He did pray for and/or those for whom He did not pray? The Lord Jesus only aligns Himself with those people who are the Father's, "And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them" (John 17:10). “…Behold I and the children which God hath given Me” (Hebrews 2:13). In other words Christ's people are God's people. And, God's people are the ones He chose before the foundation of the world according to the good pleasure of His will, "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world..." (Ephesians 1:4). Christ did not say that the Father gave unto Him everyone in the world, but that those He did give unto Him were out of the world. These are God's people, God's chosen. He chose them before the foundation of the world, and entrusted everyone of them to His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Those the Father did not give unto His Son are those whom He did not choose out of the world. Christ did not say that He prayed for the world, but only for those God gave to Him out of the world, for they were God’s people: “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine” (John17:9). The distinct air of separation, distinction and exclusivity is quite evident.
Now how, in light of the above verse, could anyone in their right mind think that Christ prayed for the world? Moreover, how could anyone possibly believe after reading these very words of Jesus the Savior that Christ died for everybody, for the world: for those whom God gave to Him out of the world, and for those He did not! To include both groups is to go against the grain of the entire tenth chapter of John, indeed the whole of Scripture. It is quite evident from Scripture that God did not love the people He did not give to His Son, for if He did why did He not also entrust them to His Son? Why did He not also call them out of the world? Does God favor some He loves above others? And if Christ loved them, indeed would die for them, why then did He not pray for them? Does anyone dare say that Christ did not exclusively pray for those God gave to Him out of the world? Of course not. Christ said it Himself, "I PRAY FOR THEM: I PRAY NOT FOR THE WORLD..." (John 17:9). Then how can anyone believe that Christ died for those He did not pray for? In essence Christ was saying here that which He has previously said in the Gospel of John, "...I lay down My life for the sheep" (John 10:15 see also verse 16). Now, does anyone believe that Christ prayed for anyone but the sheep? In light of this does anyone dare say that Christ died for those for whom He did not pray? For those who were not of His sheep? Is anyone that ignorant of the glaringly obvious? That Christ died, that He laid down His life, as the Substitutionary Sacrifice exclusively for those He prayed, for His sheep? The same ones whom God chose out of the world and entrusted to His Son? One needs to pause here for a moment and ask oneself the question, 'Why did God take these people out of the world and give them to His Son'. What does Jesus say He did in John's tenth chapter? Christ states clearly that He prayed for those people, the ones God had given Him. Now who else could these people be but those very same people Christ died for, whom He refers to as His sheep, the very same ones He prayed for? How then can anyone say that Christ died for those for whom He did not pray?; for those God did not give to Him out of the world?; for those whom Christ does not call His sheep?
Who are these ones for whom Christ did not pray? Those who are of the world; the ones whom God did not take out of the world and entrust to Christ. These are the ones who are not among the chosen of God. These are of the world, these are the goats NOT THE SHEEP! (see Matthew 25:32-34,41). God did not choose them out of the world, He did not give them unto His Son which is why Christ did not love them, pray for them or die for them. They were not given unto Him for they were not chosen. Christ prayed for the people He would die for, and He died for the people He prayed for, the people God gave to Him. To say otherwise is to show one's ignorance of the Scriptures, and, therefore, of God. If you do not have a problem with Christ praying ONLY for the people God gave Him, then you should not have a problem with Christ dying EXCLUSIVELY for those God gave Him. In writing to believers, John said, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the Propitiation for OUR sins" (1 John 4:10). The apostle Paul in His letter to the believers at Ephesus wrote, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved THE CHURCH, AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR IT" (Ephesians 5:25). Who are those who make up the Church of Christ Jesus? They are the called out ones. Those God gave to Jesus are the people God loved, the ones He chose, called, out of the world. The same ones Christ loved, prayed for and died for. Just as Christ did not pray for the world, those who were not given to Him by the Father are not among the people Christ died for. Christ prayed for those He would die for and He died for those whom He prayed for because those are the ones God chose from before the foundation of the world and gave unto His beloved Son. According to 1 John 4:10, these are the ones God sent His Son to the earth to die for, to be the Satisfaction for their sins (see also Isaiah 53:8,11).