As I journey around the blogging sphere and the internet in general I’m continually amazed at the vast majority of those who claim the name of Christ and yet who confess the doctrine of universal atonement. This doctrine simply put states the Jesus Christ died for all men without exception, that He made salvation possible for all men and that man makes the blood of Christ effectual for himself by his meritorious act of faith. So in other words, Christ died the bloody death of the cross but by His death He didn’t really secure the salvation of anyone, He only made it possible. You see of course why I’m continually amazed?
If we break down the word ‘atonement’ we find that it means ‘at one with God’ through the sin atoning blood of Jesus Christ. The whole of Scripture certainly teaches us that those whose sins Christ atoned for have been fully reconciled to God and that God Himself has instigated and accomplished this reconciliation in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:18 “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ and hath given us the ministry of reconciliation.
Romans 5:10 “For if, when we were enemies, (in our minds) we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
Colossians 1:20-22 “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself, by him, I say whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight”
The consistent Universalist, if reading the above verses would have to conclude that the blood of Christ reconciled all men to God and yet that reconciliation is meaningless without the efforts of man. Those efforts generally are represented by ideas such as ‘choose Christ’, ‘accept Christ’, ‘exercise faith’ and so on and yet is that what the Scripture teaches? If all are reconciled then there would also have to be universal faith and universal salvation. If this is true then all of those reconciled would be presented unblameable and unreproveable in his sight and we know from Scripture that this isn’t true.
The doctrine of universal atonement holds a very dim view of God, His character and His power. It makes God out to be totally impotent to accomplish His will and reduces His power to be dependent upon man’s power. Universal atonement actually has to claim that there is no power or merit or efficacy in the blood of Christ without the cooperation of man, therefore trampling underfoot that precious blood.
The love of God, His grace and His mercy are not mutable (subject to change); they are glorious attributes that accomplish exactly what He has purposed from all eternity.
to be continued..