While in conversation about Limited Atonement with a friend who is a Calvinist, he said he had a verse which would end the teaching of Jesus dying for all of humanity. I asked him to give me the verse which would end that teaching:
And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God FROM every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”ESV
I capitalized the word from to indicate what he emphasized when reading that verse. What we see here is a scene from heaven after the resurrection of the dead. This is where the church catholic is gathered from all time and all nations. Yes indeed those were ransomed from every tribe, language, people and nations. What it clearly does not say is that those who are in attendance were the only ones died for. Those who refuse to trust in Jesus’ perfect life, death, burial and resurrection do not receive these gifts. That in no way indicates that those gifts are not theirs or that God in no way wanted them to have eternal life.
This is a sadness. Due to his or her own stubborn refusal to believe in Jesus, that instead of eternal life, the unbelievers are entering into eternal death. Many believers that I have talked to have loved ones and friends who are great folks but have a steadfast refusal to trust in Jesus. What these dear ones are trusting is in his or her own goodness. That if there is a god in their thoughts it is a false god who will weigh the good against the bad and all will be swell. Still others have children who were raised in the faith but have rejected it for various reasons. This can cause hours of tears in concern and prayer for these children’s eternal salvation.
One thing the L does for some of my reformed is to give them an out. A fiction which they can tell themselves so that the sadness, for the unbelieving, can be kept at bay. Others eventually will commence blaming God for the lost condition of their family or friends. “Why did you let my unbelieving son or daughter be born? Didn’t you have enough kindling for hell?”
This is similar to the charge Adam had against God for the woman God gave him. Eve had the similar charge against God for the serpent God placed in the garden. Interesting to note, in the record of that exchange the serpent did not pass the blame along to anyone else. He seemed pretty cool with all of it.
Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”ESV
God does not explain in his holy word, apart from unbelief, why even though Jesus died for all sinners why some are saved and others lost. Father is merciful to his children so we can go ahead and pray boldly and cry for our lost family and friends. Jesus did not die in order to send people to hell. We pray he will grant all true repentance and faith in Jesus.
Trust this good news and live in the peace that it gives.