Scripturally pinpointing the extent and reach of Jesus' ransom
Every Christian adheres to and celebrates the belief that Jesus died to pay for our sins. In the spirit of Jesus’ own words saying "there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved," we go about preaching the good news of the salvation made available through the life, death and resurrection of our Master. It is here that the questions and differences come into play. What does it mean that Jesus died for all? Does that imply an equal opportunity for each and every human being who ever lived to come to salvation? If so, then how does it work for the billions who have never had Jesus presented to them as a viable option for belief? If there is NOT an equal opportunity for all, then why not? What would possibly keep God from presenting a choice to every human being?
You would think we would be in agreement on a subject as important as this. One of the primary reasons we are not is that the Bible itself seems to send mixed messages on the matter. It specifically tells us Jesus came to save those who believe. He said in Matthew 7:14 (paraphrased) that the gate is small and the way to life is narrow, and few there be that find it. This would seem to indicate that salvation is specific - you need to believe in Jesus and walk a difficult path. Anyone outside of that is simply out of the picture. For many, this approach ends the argument. Or not…
The Bible also says (and I will paraphrase and add emphasis 1 John 2:2) that Jesus did come to redeem us from our sins, but he also came for the sins of the whole world. Additionally it says in 1 Tim. 2:6 that Jesus gave himself a ransom for ALL. When we look at these texts and several others in light of the “narrow way” teaching, we come upon what might be viewed as a full-blown debate...or at least a legitimate contradiction. How can both ways possibly be true? How could Jesus have died for just the chosen and still have redeemed the entire race of humanity? Can we show Jesus died for all?
Actually, the beauty of this whole thing is that both ideas can be entirely true. If we step back from the details for a moment and review the big picture context in which these things are spoken, a whole new level of meaning begins to emerge. Check out our August 13, 2018 podcast, “Did Jesus REALLY Die for Everyone?” and see for yourself. We lay out original sin and how it was planned on being atoned for from the very beginning. We look at the iconic promise given to Abraham of "blessing all the families of the earth" and the role Moses played in sharpening our understanding of this promise. We then observe how Jesus pulls every single detail together and becomes the pivot point of eternity for the entire human race. This is a journey you do not want to miss!
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