Skip to comments.Did Jesus Die for All or for Only the Elect? Two Theologians Debate
Posted on 01/26/2014 7:24:03 PM PST by SeekAndFind
For whom did Jesus die? For the sins of the entire humanity or only for the elect? This was the topic of a live debate between Messianic Jewish apologist Dr. Michael L. Brown and Alpha and Omega Ministries Director Dr. James White on RevelationTV.com Friday evening.
The issue boils down to what the intention of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit was in Christ going to the cross, said White, who heads the Phoenix, Ariz.-based evangelical Reformed Christian apologetics organization, as the debate began Friday at 9 p.m. EST.
"Jesus' death on the cross was a covenantal death," White said. "God deals with His people in the form of a covenant, and the new covenant was established in the blood of Jesus Christ. ... That has a specific audience, and a specific perfecting effect for those for whom it is made. Specifically, Jesus Christ died in behalf of His elect people and that in so doing He procured eternal redemption in their place."
White, who has taught Greek, systematic theology and various topics in the field of apologetics, quoted Hebrews 9:15 as a basis for his argument. "For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant," reads the verse.
The stated intention for Jesus' death on the cross is revealed to us in this passage, he said.
Brown, whose nationally-syndicated radio show, "The Line of Fire," airs throughout the United States, disagreed.
"The testimony of the Scripture is overwhelmingly clear that Jesus died for the sins of the entire world, so as to pay for the sins of every human being who's ever lived, demonstrating the grace and love of God to the entire human race and securing the salvation of everyone who believes," stated Brown, president and professor of practical theology at Fellowship for International Revival and Evangelism School of Ministry in Concord, N.C.
Brown quoted John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
The term, "the world," is clearly defined in John's Gospel, and it cannot mean the elect, argued Brown, director of the Coalition of Conscience.
He also quoted 1 John 2:2 ("He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.") and 1 Timothy 2:3-6 ("...God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people...").
White responded by asking if the word "all" is used without distinction in the Bible. God demonstrates His love toward the entire created order in His Son Jesus Christ, but even John 3:16 limits who benefits from Christ's death, for those who believe, he said. He added that faith is described as a gift of God.
However, Jesus' death was not just the demonstration of God's love; He also took away the sins of the world, Brown contended.
Brown said he does not believe God can predestine anyone to hell. In fact, culpability comes only when some choose not to believe in Jesus' death which was also for them, he argued. If they were not elected in the first place, then why should they be held responsible for their response in the negative?
White said his concern is, what the result of the death of Jesus Christ is, and the extent and the impact of atonement. He asked if Jesus intercedes for everyone, then why His intercession is failing for some.
Faith and repentance are a gift of God, he repeated.
Brown argued that the New Testament repeatedly says we are justified by faith, and not by Christ's death only. "So there is human participation."
The sovereign God, he added, decided to create the world while foreseeing the results. "I have no problem with foreknowledge and free will ... But God set things up so that there would be a people who responded to His call to be His, and many who would not."
After the debate, a viewer asked White if he ever extended the Gospel invitation to a group of people comprising of both Christians and non-Christians, and if so how could he be honest by offering salvation to everyone because Jesus did not die for everyone?
White responded by saying we are called to make a clear Gospel presentation, and it is not for us to know the identity of the elect.
About how one's belief in predestination can affect his or her evangelism ministry, Brown said if he went to a village for preaching, he'd have hope that at least some of the people there would respond to the Gospel. On the other hand, those who believe in election may not know if there's anyone from the elect in that group, he added.
While they had disagreements, Brown and White appreciated each other's ministries and walk with the Lord.
On Saturday evening, the two theologians will debate on whether the gift of healing has ceased for the present age.
I’ve always believed that Jesus took on all the sins of the whole world.
However, many choose to look elsewhere than to Jesus.
He only died for the ‘elect’, but all or anyone can be the ‘elect’ they just have to accept Him.
He accepted God’s (the Father’s) Wrath against all and every sin of all of humanity, past present and future, and gave up His human life willingly; all of humanity can be saved, but only some ( the elect) will accept His substitutionary Sacrifice. And those who reject it will be judged for that offense against the only begotten Son of the One True and Living God....
Other than Faith in Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, all else is works by which judgment shall be made.
What about you?
He iS God, after all!
I don’t know why we have these discussion. Do we know the mind of God? Is that what we think?
This is God’s decision, and His alone. He accepts those whom he accepts with “Grace”, and we/they come with humility. Who are we to ask who or why? It is a fruitless argument meant only to divide.
Worshiping God is a privilege, a duty, and a joy. What God does is up to Him alone.
“For God so loved the world....”
Book Of Life study ping.
"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly (emphasis added)." --Romans 5:6 (KJV).
As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!
The whole nation of Israel was Chosen. But individuals were not as God is not a discriminator of persons. How then, if God chose Israel, can an israelite not be saved? Because they don’t want to turn (change their mind, repent). This implies a will. Not a will that can resist God, but rather a will that God allows. God does not force himself on mankind.
Redemption <> salvation.
Stupid argument that is really beneath the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So he clearly meant ALL. But the Jews were #1 on his list for salvation.
Actually makes sense.
He fulfilled God's promise.
God's Son HAD to be Jewish.
One must be aware of the unique peculiarities Jews make use of in their language. For example, from Gills commentary, commenting on the Jewish use of the words all the world, the world, the whole world, all the men of the world, etc, Gill begins by quoting Jewish examples where the word is used in radically different ways from how we would use it today:
Nothing is more common in Jewish writings than to call the Gentiles, the world; and the whole world; and the nations of the world (l); See Gill on John 12:19; and the word world is so used in Scripture; see Joh_3:16; and stands opposed to a notion the Jews have of the Gentiles, that there is no propitiation for them (m): and it is easy to observe, that when this phrase is not used of the Gentiles, it is to be understood in a limited and restrained sense; as when they say (n),
it happened to a certain high priest, that when he went out of the sanctuary, the whole world went after him;(n)
which could only design the people in the temple. And elsewhere (o) it is said,
amle ylwk, the whole world has left the Misna, and gone after the Gemara;
which at most can only intend the Jews; and indeed only a majority of their doctors, who were conversant with these writings: and in another place (p),
amle ylwk, the whole world fell on their faces, but Raf did not fall on his face;
where it means no more than the congregation. Once more, it is said (q), when
R. Simeon ben Gamaliel entered (the synagogue), the whole world stood up before him;
that is, the people in the synagogue: to which may be added (r),
when a great man makes a mourning, the whole world come to honour him;
i.e. a great number of persons attend the funeral pomp: and so these phrases, the whole world is not divided, or does not dissent (s); the whole world are of opinion (t), are frequently met with in the Talmud, by which, an agreement among the Rabbins, in certain points, is designed; yea, sometimes the phrase, all the men of the world (u), only intend the inhabitants of a city where a synagogue was, and, at most, only the Jews: and so this phrase, all the world, or the whole world, in Scripture, unless when it signifies the whole universe, or the habitable earth, is always used in a limited sense, either for the Roman empire, or the churches of Christ in the world, or believers, or the present inhabitants of the world, or a part of them only, Luk_2:1; and so it is in this epistle, 1Jo_5:19; where the whole world lying in wickedness is manifestly distinguished from the saints, who are of God, and belong not to the world; and therefore cannot be understood of all the individuals in the world
(From Gills Commentary on 1 John 2:2, quoting from (l) Jarchi in Isa. liii. 5. (m) T. Hieros. Nazir, fol. 57. 3. Vid. T. Bab. Succa, fol. 55. 2. (n) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 71. 2. (o) T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 33. 2. (p) T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 22. 2. (q) T. Bab. Horayot, fol. 13. 2. (r) Piske Toseph. Megilla, art. 104. (s) T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 90. 2. & Kiddushin, fol. 47. 2. & 49. 1. & 65. 2. & Gittin, fol. 8. 1. & 60. 2. (t) T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 48. 1. (u) Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 11. sect. 16.)
Scriptural examples of this include:
Luk 2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
By this Luke means, not the whole habitable world, as much of it was still undiscovered, and not even the whole known world, which even in those days was not all under the power of the Roman empire, but just the Roman empire itself, or perhaps Judae.
Another one, which Gill mentioned:
1Jn 5:19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
Obviously we are no longer under the power of Satan, but have been released from his clutches by the power of Jesus Christ. The “whole world” is differentiated, in this case, from the children of God.
Luk 11:42 But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
Some translations render this all manner of herb, but, literally, it is every herb, which, obviously, the meaning is only every kind of herb.
St. Augustine uses this example in his explanation of the verse 1 Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved. I also recommend you observe the rest of his argument, as it is a good one.
Or, it is said, Who will have all men to be saved; not that there is no man whose salvation He does not will (for how, then, explain the fact that He was unwilling to work miracles in the presence of some who, He said, would have repented if He had worked them?), but that we are to understand by all men, the human race in all its varieties of rank and circumstances,kings, subjects; noble, plebeian, high, low, learned, and unlearned; the sound in body, the feeble, the clever, the dull, the foolish, the rich, the poor, and those of middling circumstances; males, females, infants, boys, youths; young, middle-aged, and old men; of every tongue, of every fashion, of all arts, of all professions, with all the innumerable differences of will and conscience, and whatever else there is that makes a distinction among men. For which of all these classes is there out of which God does not will that men should be saved in all nations through His only-begotten Son, our Lord, and therefore does save them; for the Omnipotent cannot will in vain, whatsoever He may will? Now the apostle had enjoined that prayers should be made for all men, and had especially added, For kings, and for all that are in authority, who might be supposed, in the pride and pomp of worldly station, to shrink from the humility of the Christian faith. Then saying, For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, that is, that prayers should be made for such as these, he immediately adds, as if to remove any ground of despair, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth [I Tim. 2:1-4]. God, then, in His great condescension has judged it good to grant to the prayers of the humble the salvation of the exalted; and assuredly we have many examples of this. Our Lord, too, makes use of the same mode of speech in the Gospel, when He says to the Pharisees: Ye tithe mint, and rue, and every herb [Luke 11:42]. For the Pharisees did not tithe what belonged to others, nor all the herbs of all the inhabitants of other lands. As, then, in this place we must understand by every herb, every kind of herbs, so in the former passage we may understand by all men, every sort of men. And we may interpret it in any other way we please, so long as we are not compelled to believe that the omnipotent God has willed anything to be done which was not done: for setting aside all ambiguities, if He hath done all that He pleased in heaven and in earth [Ps. 115:3]. as the psalmist sings of Him, He certainly did not will to do anything that He hath not done. (Augustine, Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love, Ch. 103. Interpretation of the Expression in I Tim. 2:4: Who Will Have All Men to Be Saved.)
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Obviously this cannot mean that no one seeks or understands, as, obviously, all Christians seek and understand (though maybe not perfectly). But, Pauls meaning is more general, referring to the depraved world, or of all Christians prior to Christ saving them, who, before that time, are incapable of seeing, believing or understanding until the Holy Spirit moves on them, as is said in other places, like 1 Co 12:3 and John 6:64-5.
Another example, Christ distinguishing between the world and those given to Him out of the world, offering His prayers only for the latter:
Joh 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
Thus the world does not mean everyone in the world, but all those not given to Him, in this example.
Finally, more direct examples, by comparing seemingly contradictory verses with their parallels:
1Jn_2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Joh_11:52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
Thus the meaning is, Christ is the atonement for all the sins of the children of God scattered abroad, of every nation and tribe. Thus the meaning of the “world” in this case is of the elect Gentiles.
Christ’s death is sufficient for all and efficient for the elect.
But He can stick you in a whale for not doing what he wants and that can be pretty uncomfortable....:O)
The Passover Plot. circa 1970 book covers the subject.
Jesus Christ suffered and died for ALL .
He offers the free gift of eternal salvation.
And there you have it....right at the end. This is what this whole argument is about. We need to save ourselves. That is why God died for the entire race. To show us the way.
Sorry, this is heretical teaching. I would even call it blasphemous. But then some say I'm a bit over the top.
The scriptures are clear:
I don't know how much clearer our Lord can be. We will die in our sins unless we believe that Christ is the Lamb of God who dies for His elect. His blood covers ONLY those who believe in Him. Everyone else will die in their sins. He states it twice in this tiny verse.
Christ did not die for the entire world.
So, you start off by complaining that the other poster says we need to save ourselves, when the actual statement was that we are saved through faith. That is our part in the salvation process. You call it heresy, and blasphemous.
Then you say this:
We will die in our sins unless we believe that Christ is the Lamb of God
This is why people can't talk to you. You rail and scream, and call others blaspheming sinners, then turn around and agree with them.
Wow!!! Did I say all that in my post???? Shame on me. I didn't realize how loud my typing was.
If people die in their sins then it is simply logic that Christ did not die for everyone's sins. Even the cool, logical Mr. Spock would agree with that logic.
You hit the nail on the head.
btt for ALL
You are correct! He can stick you in a whale, but let’s take a look at what God says people will do....
Read Revelation chapter 16, and see that some people will not turn from their ways, either in a whale, under rocks, struck with disease, hailstones.....
And God waits and waits for those “ungodly” to repent.
Deuteronomy 4:19 and Malachi 1:11
If I want to read revelation again, I would start at the beginning and not pick and choose what I read. Its a short book, but we all have our way of reading scripture. I think certain chapter and verse may be fine for some people to read it that way, but for me context starts at chp. 1 and ends at the end...But sticking someone in a whale I think is quite a unique way of getting someones attention...:O)
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. - Matthew 1:21
He (Jesus) will save (definite, not possible) his people (all of them and only them) from their sins.
Couldn’t really be any clearer, except to those who oppose the Word of God and insist that man is the sovereign one in salvation.
I have watched Michael Brown debate the really rude Orthodox rabbi Shmueley Boteach and mop up the floor with him.
Brown is excellent.