Does the Bible teach that Christ died for all men or only those who are or will be saved? Are some people predestined to be saved and others to be lost?
Dr. Bobby G. Batson
Park Place Baptist Church
Little Rock, Arkansas
In answer to the questions “Does the Bible teach that Christ died for all men or only those who are or will be saved? Are some people predestined to be saved and others to be lost?” We should understand why Christ came into the world and died on the cross.
First, Jesus came into the world to save the people, which the Father had given to Him. John 6:36-39 “But I said unto you, that ye also have seen me, and believe not, all that the Father giveth me shall come to me: and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.”
Second, Jesus came into the world to say down His life for His sheep. John 10:11 “I am the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John 10:14-16, “I am the good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so I know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring. And they shall hear my voice: and there shall be one fold and one Shepherd.”
John 10:18 declares that Jesus layed down His life as commanded by the Father. “This commandment have I received of my Father.” In John 10:24 the doubting Jews demanded of Jesus, “If thou be the Christ tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them in verses 25-30, “I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me is greater than all: And no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.”
Third, Jesus in His high priestly prayer, prayed not for the world but for those given to Him by the Father, John 17:1-2, “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”
In John 17:6-9 Jesus declares, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: Thine they were and thou gavest them me. “(these to whom he declared the Father’s name)…”the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me: for they are thine.”
All of the above scriptures show that Jesus came to die for those given to Him by the Father, and to lay down His life for the sheep, and His priestly prayer before His death was for those given to Him by the Father. All of these teachings are based on the Sovereignty of God.
Perhaps the one Scripture, which most emphatically asserts the Sovereignty of God in connection with His determining the destiny of His creatures, is the 9th chapter of Romans.
In verse 21, “Hath not the Potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor.” This verse represents fallen man as impotent as a lump of clay, and out of the same lump He makes some vessels to honor, and some to dishonor. God not only has the right to do this, but He exercises this right.
Many more scriptures could be given to show that Christ died for the elect and God has predestinated them to salvation, but space will not permit and I shall mention only a few.
Acts 13:48, “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”
Romans 8:28-30, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
I Corinthians 1:22-27, “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified unto the Jew a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.”
Ephesians 1:4, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.”
Ephesians 1:5, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”
Ephesians 1:11, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”
II Thessalonians 2:13, “But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”