Did Christ Fail to Save Those He Intended to Save?
God knew what He was doing from the beginning of the world (Acts 15:18), all His works decreed in His predetermined plan (Acts 2:23). All things are from Him (Rom 11:36), who sits in the heavens and does as He pleases (Ps 115:3; 135:6). The all-knowing, all-wise God who created all things in heaven and on earth did so for His glory. It is right for us to praise and glorify Him for His mighty deeds. Blessed is His name above every other name (Eph 1:21; Phil 2:9).
Even more magnificent than the created Universe is God’s salvation of His chosen people (Rom 11:5; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 2:9). He saved us (Titus 3:5), in accord with the foreknowledge (forlove) of God the Father (1 Pet 1:2), who in love predestined us to adoption as His children (Eph 1:4–5). See how great the Father’s love for the children of God (1 Jn 3:1), in whose hearts He has poured out His love (Rom 5:5), by giving us His Spirit as a token of His love (2 Cor 5:5), a pledge of better things to come (2 Cor 1:22; Heb 6:9).
We learn the mysteries of God’s glorious grace from the Holy Spirit, who is our Teacher (Jn 14:26). With open Bibles, the Spirit guides us into all truth (Jn 16:13), as it is in Jesus (Eph 4:21), in whom the eternal purpose of God was carried out (Eph 3:11). Jesus came down from heaven to do the will of God the Father who sent Him (Jn 6:38). He came to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21). He came to destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn 3:8).
The Lord knows those who are His (2 Tim 2:19) because they were given to Him by God the Father (Jn 6:37; 17:2, 6, 24), who appointed them to eternal life (Acts 13:48), having written their names in the Lamb’s book of life before Creation (Rev 13:8; 17:8; 21:27).
It is by grace that God’s elect are saved (Eph 2:8), a grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity (2 Tim 1:9), for all His works were finished from the foundation of the world (Heb 4:3).
It is obvious to all, save the Universalists, that not all have faith in Jesus Christ (2 Thess 3:2). Considering that without this faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6), we are deeply impressed to learn that Jesus Himself is the author of each believer’s faith in Him (Heb 12:2). With the measure of faith allotted to him (Rom 12:3), granted by the Holy Spirit given to him as a gift (Acts 2:38; 10:45; Phil 1:29), the believer is justified under the righteous judgment of God against guilty sinners (Rom 3:28; 5:1).
We believe that Jesus Christ is justified by His own merits. He alone is the One in whom God is pleased, always doing the will of the Father and without sin (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15). Enfleshed as fully man, Jesus fulfilled the Law of God (Mt 5:17). In death, He was the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29), our Passover sacrifice (1 Cor 5:7), who suffered death on a Roman cross (Acts 5:30; 10:39; Phil 2:8), as the one and only acceptable atonement for sin (Lev 16:34), by His precious blood (1 Pet 1:19).
We believe we are forgiven of our sins, by the blood of Jesus shed in our stead and on our behalf (Mt 26:28; Eph 1:7; Heb 9:22). The slain Lamb of God (Rev 5:6, 12), is our unblemished substitute sacrifice, in accord with the covenant of grace, a better covenant than one that required works of the Law (Heb 7:22; 8:6; 12:24).
Salvation belongs to the Lord (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1), who does not require justification before Him to be by anything other than Christ’s blood (Rom 5:9), His own grace (Rom 3:24), which grants the necessary faith (Rom 3:28; 5:1). This is God’s way of salvation so that no man may boast (1 Cor 1:29; Eph 2:9). Those who God has saved boast in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:31) because it is by God’s doing that we are positioned in Christ (1 Cor 1:30) where there is now no condemnation (Rom 8:1) because of His justification.
Not everyone boasts in Jesus Christ, suggesting that not everyone believes in Him (2 Thess 3:2). Jesus told the unbelievers that they do not believe in Him because they do not belong to Him (Jn 10:26), which means they were not given to Him by the Father, nor did He purchase them for a price (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23), in order to set them free from bondage to sin and death (Is 61:1; Lk 4:18; Rom 6:6, 16–20, 23). Christ died for our sins (1 Cor 15:3), for He bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Pet 2:24). God poured out His wrath on Him who became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21). Why then does the wrath of God remain against sinners (Mt 3:7; Lk 3:7; Rom 1:18)?
The present wrath and future wrath of God remains because Jesus did not propitiate (absorb the wrath) the sins of all people (Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10). The vast majority of Jews and Gentiles continue in their sin and will die in their sin before their appointment after death, at the judgment seat of Christ, upon the great white throne of judgment (2 Cor 5:10; Heb 9:27; Rev 20:11). All people are condemned already in Adam (Jn 3:18; 1 Cor 15:22). Their sentence is the second death, the lake of fire where eternal punishment is meted out in perfect justice (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15).
When the current heavens and earth are destroyed in God’s judgment by fire (2 Pet 3:10–12), the bodies and souls of God’s glorified saints will be with Him in full number (Jn 5:28–29; Rom 8:30; 1 Cor 15:50–57). The damned bodies and souls of the reprobate sinners will also be in full number in fiery hell. Jesus Christ will have lost none of His own (Jn 10:28–29; Rom 8:35–39), who were given to Him by the Father in eternity past.
With His intention to seek and to save the lost remnant of His church, His bride (Eph 5:25), the Israel of God (Is 49:1–6; Gal 6:16) — Jesus Christ was 100% successful in His mission. He saved us and called us from every nation, tribe, and tongue (2 Tim 1:9; Rev 5:9; 7:9), in order to display the riches of His glorious grace (Eph 1:7; 2:7; 3:8). God had mercy on whom He willed in His eternal decree (Rom 9:15–16), and those He willed to receive Christ (Jn 1:12–13) did so through the Spirit’s demonstration of power (1 Cor 2:4) in the preaching of the Gospel, which is still, today, the power of God unto salvation for those who believe (Rom 1:16–17) the seed of of the Word implanted in their hearts (Mt 13:23; Jas 1:21) by which the Spirit gives life (Jn 6:63).
Through redemption Christ intended to save God’s elect, in order to give them life — new, abundant, and eternal. If God has given you the Spirit of His Son, then you have this life, forever. If God does not give you His Spirit and never intends to, then you do not have the life of God now or ever. So, whatever God’s intention is for you, salvation or damnation, it will come to pass either because of election or reprobation — and God is glorified in both.
Spokane Valley, Washington
July 12, 2022