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The doctrine of Limited Atonement (or Particular Redemption) is probably the most confusing and controversial of all the doctrines of grace. Limited Atonement teaches that Christ's redeeming Work was to save ONLY the elect, the predestinated ones. This heresy teaches that He died for the penalty of sin in the place of ONLY certain specified sinners. How utterly absurd!
Limited Atonement . . . is it Biblical?
The excerpt below came from Dave Hunt at the Berean Call. Our ministry is in agreement with Dave Hunt and his ministry.
Question: A Calvinist gave me six verses
not dealt with in What Love Is This? How do you respond? I am not a Calvinist and
am looking for more insight. The verses
are: Acts 3:16; 11:18; 18:27; 1 Corinthians
12:9, 13; 2 Peter 1:1.
Answer: In 1 Corinthians 12:13 (“all made
to drink”), there is nothing to support Calvinism.
Paul is referring to Christians: those “baptized into one body.” The subject is the
working and gifts of the Holy Spirit in the
church, not salvation, much less predestination
or election. Nor does “made” mean “forced.” If we were made to drink of the
Holy Spirit in the sense of being forced,
then all Christians would live perfect Spirit filled lives, and there would be no purpose
for the judgment seat of Christ with “fire
[to] try every man’s work of what sort it is”
(1 Cor 3:13) or for rewards. This verse doesn’t
The metaphor “to drink” defines “made.”
Drinking requires faith, effort, and cooperation
on the part of those through whom the
Holy Spirit works. If grace is “irresistible,”
bending the will of “totally depraved” sinners
and causing them to believe the gospel,
why doesn’t it cause them after they are
saved to live perfect lives? If all is of God
and nothing of man, then the human experience
is just a giant puppet show—which
every conscience knows is not the case.
In fact, Calvinists ought to avoid this
verse because of the word “all” and its clear
connection as well as contrast to what Paul
said about Israel: they were “all baptized
unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and
did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did
all drink the same spiritual drink: for they
drank of that spiritual Rock that followed
them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Cor 10:2-4). Yet many of them “were overthrown
in the wilderness” (v. 5).
What can the Calvinist say? Were some
never saved in the first place? Then how
is it that all were baptized and partook of
Christ? Were some once saved but lost their
salvation? Neither scenario fits Calvinism.
Surely some were true believers, most were
not. Yet all were delivered from Egypt, all
partook of the Passover lamb, all partook of
the same spiritual food and drink, etc.
James White avoids 1 Corinthians 10:2-4, as does Boettner. None of the 13
contributors to Still Sovereign touches it,
and both MacArthur’s Study Bible and
Sproul’s Geneva Study Bible ignore the
obvious problem for Calvinism. Admitting
that it is “an embarrassment to those of the
Reformed persuasion,” Dillow attempts
to face the problem in The Reign of the
Servant Kings (pp. 54-59), but is ambivalent.
R.T. Kendall declares that all of those who
came out of Egypt were saved and are in
heaven—clearly not true. God was going
to wipe them all out for their sin (Ex 32:10),
many were executed for their rebellion, and
many were swallowed by the earth and went “down quick into the pit” (Nm 16:30)—surely
Clearly, there were no “elect” within
Israel who alone were chosen for salvation.
Salvation was offered to every Israelite
without exception. That is why Calvinists
avoid the Old Testament pictures of Christ’s
coming sacrifi ce (as James White does in
my debate with him in book form: Debating
Calvinism: five points, two views). None
of the Old Testament examples fits any of
the five points of Calvinism. Furthermore,
many who were delivered at the Passover
from Egypt were slain by God; and many
who were healed through looking in faith to
the serpent lifted up were lost eternally.
Books by Calvinists avoid the Old Testament
when it comes to God’s dealings with
Israel, the Passover, the serpent lifted up in
the wilderness, and the Levitical sacrificial
system. Why? Because they were for all of
Israel, thus refuting “limited atonement,”
i.e., that Christ died only for the elect. There
is no hint of an elect within Israel who alone
were the recipients of God’s grace. To the
Calvinist, the word “made,” fits irresistible
grace. But all Israel were made to drink of
that Rock; yet all were certainly not believers,
most perished in the wilderness, and
many were judged instantly for their sin.
As for the other verses, Acts 3:16 says “the faith which is by him” and 11:18 says “God also to the Gentiles granted repentance
unto life....” Of course, faith and
repentance are from God, as is everything
we enjoy. This does not say, however, that
repentance or faith are given to only a select
group, much less that either is irresistibly
imposed upon anyone. Every breath that
anyone draws is a gift from the One who “giveth to all life, and breath, and all
things” (Acts 17:25)—but man must do the
The same applies to the other three verses, “them that have obtained...faith” (2 Pt 1:1); “which had believed through grace” (Acts
18:27), and “faith by the same Spirit” (1
Cor 12:9). The Calvinist tries to make faith a
special gift of God given to only the elect,
and only after they have been sovereignly
regenerated by God. On the contrary, never
does the Bible say that faith is sovereignly
given by God; always faith is credited to the
individual (Mt 9:22; 15:28; Mk 10:52; Lk 7:50; 17:
18, etc.). Eleven times Scripture refers to “thy
faith,” 24 times to “your faith” as well as to “our faith...my faith...their faith...his faith,”
etc.—but Calvinists avoid these scriptures
in their books. . . . (February 2004)
"Limited Atonement" Refuted By The Scriptures
The best way to refute the false view of "Limited Atonement" is by checking out the various verses in the Bible that teach clearly an "UNLIMITED ATONEMENT."
It is only common sense that the Bible CANNOT teach both an "Unlimited Atonement" and an "Limited Atonement." Only one belief can possibly be right! SO . . . the other one has to be wrong because these two beliefs contradict one another.
Isa.53:5-6 refutes Limited Atonement!
Isaiah 53:5-6 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (KJV) . . . Emphasis mine. This Messianic Passage refutes Limited Atonement! This refers to the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. It clearly teaches the Lord's death for sinners on Calvary's cross. Christ was the "servant" spoken of in Isaiah 52:13.
Mat.11:28 refutes Limited Atonement!
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (KJV) . . . Jesus' words.
Jesus, the perfect, sinless, Son of God and God the Son is speaking here.
The purpose of Christ's Words was to communicate with His listeners. He always wanted to make His teachings clear (except when He spoke in parables to some unbelievers). He did NOT want to confuse people when He spoke these words.
When our precious Saviour uttered these gracious words, "come unto Me, ALL ye that labour and are heavy laden," I KNOW that this was an UNLIMITED invitation to the entire group of people. His invitation extended on down through the years, to the entire world of humanity . . . ALL who would be born since the day that He spoke these words to His audience that day. His Words were to any and all who were "heavy laden" and who "labour" to "COME UNTO" Him! My friend, this includes ALL OF US . . . since we ALL are "heavy laden" and we ALL "labor" under the weight and load of SIN! Jesus did NOT in any way LIMIT this invitation only to the "ELECT"! The Lord Jesus offered pardon and peace and rest . . . to ALL who might "COME UNTO HIM."
John 1:29 refutes Limited Atonement!
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (KJV)
The word for "taketh away" is "airon" and the meaning of the verb, ("airo") is "take up, lift, raise; bear, carry; take away, remove; destroy, kill. " This is what the Saviour did with the sins of the world on the cross!
"The sin of the world" The "Lamb of God," the Lord Jesus Christ, in His capacity as the Sacrifice for the sins of the world, did NOT simply "take away" the sins of ONLY the "elect" or of "believers in Christ" [though He surely did this] . . . NOT only the elect, NOT only the saved ones, NOT only believers in Him . . . my dear friend, what He did on the cross was for the WHOLE world! ALL people everwhere! EVERYONE everywhere!
The sinner MUST do something . . . he/she MUST turn to this One and Only "Lamb of God" who did "take away" his every sin . . . past, present, and future . . . and receive and accept this provision for him/her. John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (KJV) . . . IF a person refuses to accept the provision (Jesus' Work on the cross), the sinner will NOT receive the atonement, but instead go to an everlasting, eternal Hell. My dear friends, Jesus offers an UNLIMITED ATONEMENT. . . IF a person accepts it! There is NO Limited Atonement stated anywhere in the Bible!
John 3:14 refutes Limited Atonement!
John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: (KJV) . . . Jesus' words.
There are similarities between the brass serpent and the cross in John 3:14.
Num. 21:6-9 definitely looks forward to the "Unlimited Atonement" of Christ on the Cross of Calvary.
Numbers 21:6-9 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.  Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.  And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (KJV)
The "fiery serpent" that Moses made and set up on a pole looked forward to Christ on the cross. "Every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live." IF a person had been bitten by a poisonous snake, when they looked up at the brass snake on the pole would not die, but live! It is the same today . . . we have been bitten by a poisonous snake (SIN) and IF we look up to Christ on the cross . . . we live, ETERNALLY!
In Moses' day, it included ALL the people who had been bitten by a snake! Today, it also includes ALL the people bitten by sin . . . EVERYONE!!! Jesus provision of atonement was made for ALL people everywhere! I wonder how many people that day in the desert refused to look up at that brass snake. But, just think of the millions today who refuse to look up to Jesus on the cross!
Looking up at that brass snake on the pole did NOT heal the people bitten by snakes. It was FAITH and believing God (1 John 5:10-13), that healed the people then . . . AND now!
There is a message in the brazen serpent for us today! In the wilderness, there was a UNIVERSAL and UNLIMITED PROVISION by God for those who were bitten. Today, there is a UNIVERSAL and UNLIMITED PROVISION by God, through His Son's death at Calvary, for all those bitten by SIN . . . that means ALL of us! BUT, unless we look to the Saviour in FAITH, that unlimited provision of atonement will not do the sinner one bit of good!
John 3:18 refutes Limited Atonement!
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (KJV) . . . Jesus' words.
Those who hold fast to the false and unbiblical teaching of a "Limited Atonement" teach that Jesus Christ's death on the Cross had nothing at all to do for the sins of the world. My question is: Why does the Bible say it does? (1 Tim.2:6; 1 John 2:2).
The sins of the world includes EVERY man, woman, and child who ever lived, which is clearly taught in John 1:29. Limited Atonement people believe that Christ's death on the Cross was exclusively and only for the "elect," those specifically chosen by God.
They believe that God does not condemn the non-elect to Hell because Christ had not died for their sins. Jesus did NOT teach any thing even close to that!
Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. (KJV) . . . Jesus' words.. . . We ALL are or were LOST!
Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (KJV) . . . Jesus' words. . . . Jesus does NOT say just for the elect! He says His Blood was shed for many!
John 3:18-19 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (KJV) . . . Jesus' words.
1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (KJV) . . . . . . Jesus' words. OUR sins = whosoever! NOT just the elect.
NO where in the Bible is there the slightest reference to an election of God whereby one person is chosen to be saved and another is not. There is NO teaching anywhere in its pages that a person is saved solely on God's choice alone. God gave us a free will. Some times it is good, some times it is bad, depending on decisions that we make. But for the individual to meet God's terms of salvation, he/she must decide to believe Him, and accept His ONLY Plan of salvation, Christ Jesus! Christ Jesus paid the price for the sins of the WHOLE world!
It is the plan of God that is elected, chosen, foreknown, and predestined . . . NOT the individual or national choice of man to conform to that plan. The plan is the same for ALL alike. Everyone without exception is invited, chosen, elected, foreknown, and predestined to salvation . . . on the sole basis of the individual's choice and total conformity to the Gospel to the end of life. IF the individual chooses to reject God's atonement . . . that person will be lost (go to Hell). There is NO exception to this divine plan. God's part in salvation for ALL mankind has been completed, and whosoever meets His terms shall be saved.
Rom.5:6 refutes Limited Atonement!
Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (KJV)
Limited Atonement people take this clear verse and teach the very opposite of that which was intended by God, the Author of Scripture. They claim that it teaches that the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary had merit, benefit, and was LIMITED only to the ELECT, or those who would one day accept and receive Christ as Saviour, and that His death had nothing at all to do with the "sins of the world" in general, whether saved or lost! This is heresy, and is clearly contrary to the revealed Word of God!
Christ died for the ungodly . . . how much clearer can the Bible be? There is NO doubt whatsoever that Jesus' death on Calvary's cross was for the sins of the entire world of "ungodly" people. The word "ungodly" has to refer to the unsaved, the lost, Hell deserving sinners!
The Limited Atonement people interpret the word "ungodly" as "ungodly ELECT people," but the context of this Passage does NOT say or even hint at such a heresy! "UNGODLY" obviously means every man, woman and child, since ALL have sinned, thus ALL are "ungodly" and have come short of the glory of God (Rom.3:23). It is for ALL these unsaved, lost, Hell-deserving, Hell-bound sinners that the Lord Jesus Christ "died." Romans 5:6 is clear proof of an "UNLIMITED ATONEMENT" of Christ on the Cross!
2 Cor. 5:19 refutes Limited Atonement!
2 Cor. 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (KJV)
Reconciling the world unto himself. The world here means the entire human race, ALL people, everywhere . . . NOT just the elect! The whole world is alienated from God without Jesus! Jesus' death on the cross was God's way of reconciling people to Him. This verse is proof that God designed that the plan of salvation should be adapted to ALL men, NOT just a selected few!
2 Co. 5:l9 is also falsely interpreted by "Limited Atonement" People.
They hold to the false, unscriptural and unbiblical view that Jesus Christ died ONLY for the ELECT. They say that His death has nothing whatsoever to do with the NON-ELECT . . . the sinners who never trust Christ as their Saviour because of their unbelief.
1 Tim.2:5-6 refutes Limited Atonement!
1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (KJV)
Who gave himself a ransom for all . . . ALL!!! ALL men, ALL people, the WHOLE world! This clearly teaches an UNLIMITED ATONEMENT!
Heb.2:9 refutes Limited Atonement!
Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (KJV)
Jesus suffered on that cross, took our olace, was our Substitute, paid our penalty . . . NOT just for the elect . . . but for EVERY man! BUT, the individual MUST believe God (1 John 5:10-13) and accept what Jesus did for us. Only then will the provision of Atonement made possible by Christ on the cross take effect. It is up yo the individual!
The verse clearly teaches that Jesus Christ, in His incarnation, on the Cross, "should taste death FOR EVERY MAN." The word for "taste," means to have perception of, experience, to experience death, to die in our place! The Lord Jesus Christ suffered "DEATH FOR EVERY MAN," . . . BUT . . . this does not automaticallygive "EVERY MAN" eternal life, forgiveness of sins, or a home in Heaven. What it does mean is that Jesus paid the penalty for EVERY man, woman and child on the face of the Earth. Everyone who comes to Christ, and through Christ receives this One and only Saviour personally . . . thus receiving redemption, eternal life, and forgiveness of his sins. BUT . . . ALL those who REFUSE to come to Christ by faith are lost eternally and are sent to the Lake of Fire!
1 John 2:2 refutes Limited Atonement!
1 John 2:1-2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.(KJV)
And he (JESUS) is the propitiation (atonement) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world . . . The WHOLE world! NOT just the elect.
1 John 4:14 refutes Limited Atonement!
1 John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. (KJV)
The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. . . . The WORLD!!! That is ALL the people therein! The Lord Jesus Christ, God's beloved Son, was and IS the "SAVIOuR OF THE WORLD"!! He is NOT just the "SAVIOUR" of the "elect." He earned the title "SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD" . . . BUT every person must have personal faith in this "SAVIOUR" to be the recipient of ETERNAL LIFE, and forgiveness of their sins. Christ is the "SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD" because He died for the SINS OF THE WORLD. He can only be the personal "SAVIOUR" when the individual places his faith and trust in this Saviour for himself. Nothing else will work! This clearly speaks of an UNLIMITED ATONEMENT by Christ!
John 3:15-16 refutes Limited Atonement!
John 3:15-16 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV) . . . Jesus' words.
It is the "world" that was the object of God's great love here. This is NOT the "world of the elect" . . . it includes EVERY person who was ever born, from Adam to the last person who will ever be born. It includes WHOSOEVER! This clearly teaches an UNLIMITED ATONEMENT!
"That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" proves that the OFFER of God's great love is for ANYONE who believes in the Lord Jesus as their Saviour. "Whosoever believeth" does not restrict God 's offer of salvation to just some LIMITED group, but to EVERYONE in the whole world! IF God wanted to show us a LIMITED rather than an UNLIMITED ATONEMENT teaching in this verse, He would have said "If the ELECT believe" or "If the LIMITED number of people believe." BUT . . . when God said "Whosoever believeth," He showed that His GIFT was to benefit an UNLIMITED NUMBER of people . . . whosoever would "BELIEVE" or trust Him as Saviour!
"Unlimited Atonement" is clearly taught in the Bible. It is a Biblical doctrine that is clearly taught in the Bible. Don't let anyone try to tell you differently.
The "Unlimited Atonement" of Christ on the cross is a vital doctrine! "Limited Atonement" is a damsable heresy!
There is no worse ERROR in Calvinism than "Limited Atonement." Though differences in the other points of the "five points of Calvinism" exist, this "L" or "LIMITED ATONEMENT" is the worst ERROR of that system.
Challenges against "Unlimited Atonement" will continue to increase, both in number and severity of attacks against the sound Biblical doctrine of "Unlimited Atonement." "Limited Atonement" people's belief and attitude is in direct opposition to the clear teachings of the Bible and is a danger to one and all.
BEWARE! . . . Rampant in today's world! . . .BEWARE!
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Catholics Are WRONG!
?False Teachers, Why?
Judging False Teachers
Oneness Heresy, Refuted
Word-Faith, It It Healthy?
Other web sites exposing Limited Atonement hersey: