Join me at the deep end of the pool.
Please take the time to watch the video again and listen to the message Elder D.J. Ward is communicating for it is certainly biblical! Christ did not die to create the potential for souls to be redeemed. Christ died to redeem souls—the souls of the elect. He came to save his people from their sins (Mt. 1:21). On the cross Christ accomplished the redemption of the elect. Now before you get too excited about that word ‘elect’ remember Jesus said very clearly and plainly, ‘All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out’ (John 6:37). Do not for even a moment create a fictional non-existent person who is NOT elect but desires to be saved with all their heart. That person has not, does not, and will not exist. Apart from God’s grace the heart of a sinner will never desire Christ—no not even one (Rom. 3, Eph. 2).
Does this mean that the atonement of Christ is limited to only the elect?
For 2000 years the church has wrestled with this hard concept. Freewill Baptists would argue that Christ died for all humans past, present, and future, but in the end salvation is left up to each person. Ultimately, this means that Christ’s death may have been in vain—dying only to create the possibility of redeeming a people, but not actually redeeming anyone. Particular Baptists rejected this suggestion as absurd and argued like Elder D. J. Ward that Christ actually accomplished something on the cross. Andrew Fuller (1754-1815) may have been one of the first Baptists who attempted to balance these two ideas—particular redemption and general redemption or limited atonement and unlimited atonement. Fuller taught that Christ’s death was sufficient for the redemption of the whole world, but efficient only for the elect of God. In this way, Fuller suggested that ‘yes’ Christ tasted death for every man (Heb. 2:9), but because it was not efficient for all—everyone would not be saved in the end (often called universalism) (see 2 Peter 2:1). Fuller taught that the application of the atonement was limited to only the elect, but he argued for a crucial distinction. He also taught that Christ’s death was sufficient to satisfy the wrath of God for the sins of the whole world (see 1 John 2:2). Fuller’s position is most appealing because of the degree to which it reconciles two truths both taught in Scripture. Some came to identify Fuller’s position as ‘evangelical Calvinism’ which I think is a great label if a label is necessary.
What are your questions?