Tuesday, September 07, 2004a case for the L in TULIP...
Most Christians today hate the system of theology called Calvinism (or TULIP theology). And the "L" in TULIP is THE section of the doctrine that is the most detested. The "L" stands for "Limited Atonement" and the doctrine can be defined this way: Jesus didn't die on the Cross to atone for the sins of everyone, rather, He died for the sins of His people (Christians).
I believe in this doctrine, as I believe in TULIP theology as a whole. Here is why I believe the Lord Jesus died for His elect, and not for everyone in general (for more information on Calvinism as a whole doctrine, read this).
1. When were you saved?
The answer to this question will vary from one person to another, as long as we are speaking in time. In time you ask? Yes, in time! Remember God isn't bound by time. To God there is no yesterday, no today, no tomorrow...he is eternal and infinite (I know...it gives me a headache too!).
For example, God saved me 18 years ago. But I read in my Bible that I was CHOSEN SINCE BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD (Ephesians 1:4 ; Acts 13: 48; Romans 8:28-30). Being "in time", I speak of my salvation as having taken place 18 years ago, but as far as God is concerned, my election was an established fact in eternity past.
2. When did Jesus die?
Through the study of Biblical history, we know that our Lord was crucified approximately 2000 years ago. It was then that he carried away "our" sins. But again here, we are speaking "in time", for as far as God is concerned, the Lamb of God was SLAIN SINCE BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD (Revelation 13:8 ; Acts 2:23; Acts 4:27-28). The Crucifixion was a done deal in eternity past
3. What does this mean: Jesus died for you?
We throw this phrase around alot, and I'm afraid that most of the time, it is used frivolously. To say that Jesus dies for someone is to say that he took the penalty of their sin (which is death, Romans 6:23) away. Romans chapter 5 and 6 really make the point. Jesus died FOR sinners and AS sinners. He didn't just die FOR me, He died AS me!!! (Romans 6:5-11). The righteous for the unrighteous. I stand holy and without blame before God today, because Jesus took upon himself the penalty of my sin. There is no punishment for my sin, the punishment was already given out to Jesus.
4. Putting it all together:
The Lord chose me before the foundation of the world. He chose me in Christ Jesus, upon the merits of the Cross work which was also for-ordained before the world. Because of this, I presently stand holy and without blame before God.
So the question:
When was any of this ever accomplished for a soul that is presently or going to the Lake of Fire? When did Jesus die for the sins of someone who is in Hell or who is going to Hell (one who has/will reject Christ his whole life)? When did Christ die as someone who has and will never believe? And if Christ did die for such a person, why is he condemned? Did not the Lord take away the guilt of sin? What we have here folks, is a serious logic problem.
The answer my friends: The Lord Jesus Christ died for His people; "the good shepherd giveth His life for the SHEEP." (John 10:11) . Satan's people are and are going to Hell to pay for their sins; they will die the second death because Jesus didn't take their penalty, they are bearing their own penalty.
Now I can hear the objections already: some of you will say that it all hinges on believing. Well there is a problem here. Unbelief is a sin. A sin covered by the atonement of Christ. Even believers sin in unbelief all the time. You know that from your own experience. We even have an example of this in the Bible: "And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (Mark 9:24)
Ok...this post is already too long, and I believe it makes a pretty solid case for Limited Atonement, so I'll stop here. Again, for more information on the five points of Calvinism, click here.
Hope this will get some of you, my dear readers, thinking about the deep things of God.