Scripture makes it clear that Jesus’ atonement was not limited in its power (which is what Arminianism implies). Instead, it is only limited in its scope. In other words, it is not extended outside of God’s bounds to include those who end up in Hell, because if it was, then there’d be absolutely no reason at all to trust in the power of Jesus’ blood to save. Moreover, no one could ever trust a Father who would accept the price of His Son’s blood while withholding from Him the possessions that His blood has purchased!!
Arminianism is a lie from the pit of Hell, for the Father did NOT allow His Son to pour out any of His blood in vain, for He has given Him ALL of the possessions that He has purchased with His blood (Eph. 1:14). Jesus fully entrusted His Father with the price of His blood, for He knew that His Father would give Him ALL of the purchased possessions that He paid for, in full, with His own blood, which means NONE of them can EVER end up in Hell (Jn. 10:15, 26-29).
All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. (Jn. 6:37).
This was the divine design of the Deliverer’s death; to save ALL of those that the Father has given Him. And ALL of them will come to the true Jesus of the Bible, for ALL of their spiritual blessings have been purchased by His precious blood, including the grace gifts of faith and repentance, so that they will NEVER finally perish in sin and unbelief. Because God ALWAYS accomplishes His designs.
“When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men” (Eph. 4:8). And the “gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:29). “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num. 23: 19).
The main reason why Arminians become so legalistic is because they cannot reasonably trust in their hypothetical, universal atonement. For one, there would have to be self-generated requirements that could make such a powerless atonement effectual for them; self-contrived conditions that would differentiate them from all who end up in Hell, which would contradict Scripture.
“For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Cor. 4:7).
The divine design of the Deliverer’s death was never intended to provide a mere “window of opportunity” for the self-righteous to enter into God’s covenant by stealth (see: Mt. 22:11-14). Jesus is the only way, and only Jesus is the Door, for no one can come to the Father but by Him (Jn. 6: 44). There are ZERO short-cuts into the kingdom of God. There is no such thing as baptismal, sacramental or decisional regeneration, despite the lies of false religion. Yet, these are the broad paths that the self-righteous will seek out, for they have yet to receive a love of the truth and a saving knowledge of who Christ Jesus really is, and how He really saves.
The good news of the true gospel is that it offers an atonement that can be trusted; an atonement that actually atones; an atonement that requires no human effort to make it effectual. The only qualification is that one must be a poor, helpless sinner in desperate need of the Deliverer. It is a fountain free and open to anyone who wants this kind of atonement. And the only ones who will want this definite atonement (which is the only atonement represented in Scripture), are those who fully realize their total inability to deliver themselves from the bondage of sin and the wrath of God that their sin deserves.
Those who don’t want the Deliverer’s definite atonement are those who don’t yet realize the desperate wickedness of their own heart. And unless they are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, they will not seek to enter into the narrow way, but will instead seek the broad way to destruction. They will seek a different gospel; a different atonement; one not represented in Scripture. Jesus calls them thieves and robbers, for they attempt to find a broader way to enter into the everlasting covenant (Jn. 10), such as baptismal or decisional regeneration. Because, a sacramental or conditional concept of salvation is the logical conclusion of a so-called universal atonement.
There is a universal call of the gospel, but there is NOT a universal atonement or a universal salvation represented in Scripture. There is also only one Deliverer represented in Scripture, and He offers a definite deliverance.
But the type of deliverance that a person thinks they need, will determine the type of deliverer that they will call upon. For instance, if a person realizes they are bleeding to death, they do NOT want to call a lawyer. Moreover, if a person realizes they need legal help, they do NOT want to call a doctor. Likewise, a truly repentant person who realizes their total depravity, in comparison to the perfect holiness of their Maker, will NOT want to call upon an imposter who cannot offer a perfect imputed righteousness on their behalf, by virtue of a definite atonement!
When one truly realizes that they are completely helpless to save themselves, they don’t want to call upon a deliverer who doesn’t actually deliver from sin; they don’t want a deliverer that only paves the way for an abstract “possibility” that they might be able to save themselves by their own “freewill” authorization and works. Creaturely “freewill” can only act in accordance with its nature, and fallen sinners can only receive a new nature by virtue of a definite Deliverer Who offers a definite atonement!
This is why those who are quickened by the Holy Spirit, to realize the severity of their fallen condition, are the only ones who will desire to call upon the only Deliverer Who offers a definite atonement; the true Jesus of the Bible. But, those who are NOT given this deep conviction concerning the depths of their hopeless condition, compared to the perfect holiness of God, are those who will ignorantly rest content with a deliverer who cannot actually deliver from Hell. They will arrogantly rest content with an indefinite atonement that requires human works to make it effectual. Because they do not really believe the true, biblical record that God has given of His Son:
“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son” (1 Jn. 5:10).
Only by the merits of Jesus’ own blood was He Himself consecrated into the office of eternal priesthood (Heb. 9:11-12). But, if His atonement could only be made effectual by the “freewill permission” of unregenerate sinners, then there would have been the possibility that He would have never become the High Priest of a better covenant, or had anyone to intercede for (Heb. 7:25), which would be a philosophical construct found nowhere in Scripture. Yet, these are only a few of the heretical ramifications of Arminianism!
No wonder consistently staunch Arminians end up fearing that they are predestined for Hell, because the hypothetical, universal atonement that they try so hard to self-generate faith in, is not really trustable at all. But they don’t realize that their lack of faith and fruits is partially due to cognitive dissonance. Because even common sense and the common light of conscience demands that one cannot reasonably trust in an atonement that doesn’t actually atone and save everyone that it was allegedly designed for.
Again, it cannot be stressed enough, that the only way a universal atonement would be good news, is if there was also a universal redemption, but there is NOT. So we must all ask ourselves if we would rather place our trust in a hypothetical, universal atonement that’s only effective if we make it so, or if we would rather place our trust in an actual atonement that actually saves, based solely upon the power of Jesus’ blood, rather than upon our own “worthiness.”
We must all seriously ask ourselves if we’d rather place our trust in a hypothetical deliverer who has never secured the salvation of anyone, or if we’d rather place our trust in the true, biblical Deliverer Who actually saves actual people, rather than just opening a mere “provision of potentiality” that someone might make His atonement effective somehow by their own worthiness and authorization.
Finally, dear reader, don’t be deceived by Arminians who want to turn you against the true Jesus of the Bible, by making you think that His truths would require you to put the cart before the horse. Because you do NOT have to try to figure out if you’re one of God’s elect before you trust in Him! Nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus even tested a Canaanite woman by insinuating that she was NOT one of the chosen!! But did that discourage her from trusting in Him? NO, it did not. Did it cause her to get offended, give up or stop pursuing Him? Absolutely NOT! She kept pursuing Him and pleaded that even dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the masters table. And Jesus commended her faith, for He was the One drawing out her confession in the first place, so that He could minister to her (Mt. 15:22-28).
Many such scenarios reveal that Jesus provides the spiritual conditions necessary for receiving Him; including the instrumental graces of faith and repentance. Believing and receiving are not “cooperative” works that we do in our own strength to make Jesus’ atonement effectual, but are rather the effects and fruits of Jesus’ definite atonement, which is effectual for ALL that it was intended and designed for; ALL who desperately desire a definite Deliverer, Who offers a definite atonement. Faith is NOT what makes it effectual, but is rather the fruit of Christ’s effectual atonement, for we can only believe, according to the working of His mighty power, Which He wrought in Christ (Eph. 1:19-20).
“A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven” (Jn. 3:27).
We can only be saved, not by God looking at a faith that we self-generate that merits salvation, but by God’s unmerited favor (grace); based not on what we do, say, believe, or anything else that originates in us, but on God who has mercy. We receive salvation through a faith that Jesus is said to be the author and finisher of, NOT man (Heb. 12: 2). It is the work of God (Jn. 6: 29). Even in Ephesians one, there is no mention of man doing anything to merit salvation. It is all God’s work. But Arminians teach the opposite, for they read man into passages that speak of what God does.
So hear the welcome call now dear sinner; repent and trust in Jesus Christ alone before it is forever too late, and you will find that He provides what He commands. “God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34, Mt. 22:16), which is why the vilest of the vile are invited to come for the eternally cleansing power of this free fountain of love; by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus’ blood and righteousness ALONE.
Copyright ©2021 by Lee Anne Ferguson.