As you know, there is a great division among religious people over the doctrine of redemption. I am truly sorry that the division exists; but it does. Christ and his doctrine have always caused division among religious people. The great majority of religious people believe what is called Universal, General Redemption. They believe that Christ shed his blood for every person in the world, and that the intention of Christ in his death was the eternal salvation of every person in the world. It seems evident to me that three inescapable conclusions must be drawn from such doctrine: (1) If it was our Lord’s intention to redeem and save all men, and yet all men are not saved, then the purpose of Christ in his death is frustrated. (2) If the Lord Jesus Christ shed his blood for every person in the world, and some of those for whom he died go to hell anyway, then, in that measure, Christ died in vain. And (3) If Christ died to make an atonement for all men, and some men yet perish under the wrath of God, then Christ has failed in his mission; his work of redemption is a failure. 

These are blasphemous absurdities which we cannot and will not endure. They rob Christ of his glory in redemption, destroy the foundation of our hope, and call into question the eternal Godhood of our Saviour. (If Christ could fail in anything he attempted, or intended, to do, he could not be the Almighty God!) If the commonly accepted doctrine of Universal, General Redemption is to be believed, these shocking conclusions must be accepted! 

There are some, however, among whom we are glad to be numbered, though we may be a despised few, who believe in the Bible doctrine of Particular and Effectual Redemption. We believe that the shed blood of Christ was of infinite value, but that the intention of Christ in his death never was the salvation of all men. Without question, if Christ had intended to save all men by his death, if that had been the purpose and object of his atonement, all men would have been saved. But the salvation and redemption of all men never was his purpose. We believe, according to the scriptures, that THE INTENTION OF OUR LORD’S ATONEMENT AND THE EFFECTS OF HIS ATONEMENT ARE THE SAME. IT WAS HIS INTENTION TO REDEEM GOD’S ELECT BY THE SHEDDING OF HIS BLOOD AND BY THE SHEDDING OF HIS BLOOD ALL OF GOD’S ELECT ARE REDEEMED. This is clearly the doctrine of Holy Scripture. The Bible never speaks of those people for whom Christ died as being redeemable, justifiable, pardonable, or saveable; but they are the redeemed, justified, pardoned, and saved. (Read: Isa. 53:4-12; Matt. 20:28; 26:28; John 10:11, 14-16; 19:28-30; Acts 20:28, Rom. 3:24-26; II Cor. 5:21; Gal. 1:4-5; 3:13; Eph. l:7; Col. 1:20-21; I Tim. 1:15; II Tim. 1:9-10; Tit. 2:14; Heb. 9:12; 24-26; 10:10-14; I Pet. 1:18-20; 2:21-24; I John 1:7,9; 2:1-2). These twenty-five passages of Holy Scripture plainly reveal two essential facts about the death of our Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary: 

  1. The Son of God voluntarily laid down His life as a Substitute for a particular people, and 
  2. By his death at Calvary the Lord Jesus Christ effectually accomplished the eternal redemption of all God’s elect, those people for whom he died. 

What Christ intended to do in His sacrificial death He has done. He has effectually redeemed us from the curse of the law, put away our sins, brought in an everlasting righteousness, purchased to Himself a people, and perfected forever those who are sanctified, or set apart in God’s eternal election as the objects of His love and grace. We reject as heresy any doctrine that denies or diminishes the efficacy of our Lord’s atoning sacrifice. 

Don Fortner 

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