FOR WHOM CHRIST DIED
By Ferrell Griswold
"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28.
The Bible teaches that when Jesus Christ came into the world, He came to fulfill a purpose, and this purpose was accomplished by His death on the cross. Isaiah said,
"He shall see the travail of His soul, and be SATISFIED."
Therefore, it is error to teach that Christ died for all without exception, in that all are not being saved by His death. It is nothing short of blasphemy to say that He failed to accomplish His purpose, and cannot save those for whom He suffered. It is absolute atheism to say that God the Father required payment for offended justice at the hands of Christ, and then at the hands of those who perish in hell. It is to know nothing of justice, or the holy nature of God. If He was satisfied in Christ, He is not looking for satisfaction in those whom Christ represented I say Christ as the Surety of a people made certain their salvation through His obedience. He did not fail in His death, but is calling into life those for whom He died on the cross. For clear elucidation of this subject, and to show that Christ's atonement is of power to save all for whom it was intended, I quote in full the prince of Baptist preachers, Charles Spurgeon:
"Now, you are aware that there are different theories of Redemption. All Christians hold that Christ died to redeem, but all Christians do not teach the same redemption. For instance, the Arminian holds that Christ, when He died, did not die with an intent to save any particular person; and they teach that Christ's death does not in itself secure, beyond doubt, the salvation of any one man, living. They believe that Christ died to make the Salvation of all men possible, or that by the doing of something else, any man, who pleases may attain unto eternal life; consequently, they are obliged to hold that if man's will would not give way and voluntarily surrender to grace, then Christ's atonement would be unavailing. They hold that there was no particularity and no specialty in the death of Christ. Christ died, according to them, as much for Judas in hell as for Peter who mounted to heaven. They believe that for those who are consigned to eternal fire, there was as true and real a redemption made as for those who now stand before the throne of the most High. Now WE believe no such thing! We hold that Christ; when He died, had an object in view, and that object will most assuredly, and beyond a doubt, be accomplished. We measure the design of Christ's death by the effect of it. If anyone asks us, 'What did Christ design to do by His death?' We answer that question by asking him another – 'What has Christ done, or what will Christ do by His death?' For we declare that the measure of the effect of Christ's love, is the measure of the design of it. We cannot so belie our reason as to think that the intention of Almighty God could be frustrated, so that the design of so great a thing as the atonement, can by any way whatever, be missed of. We hold – we are not afraid to say what we believe – that Christ came into this world with the intention of saving 'a multitude which no man can number;' and we believe that as the result of this, every person for whom He died must, beyond the shadow of a doubt, be cleansed from sin, and stand, washed in blood, before the Father's throne. We do not believe that Christ made any effectual atonement for those who are forever damned; we dare not think that the blood of Christ was ever shed with the intention of saving those whom God foreknew never could be saved, and some of whom were even in hell when Christ, according to some men's account died to save them...
"The greatness of Christ's redemption may be measured by the EXTENT OF THE DESIGN OF IT. He gave His life a 'ransom for many.' We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made a satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is, that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it; we do not. The arminians say, Christ died for all men. Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say. 'No, certainly not.' We ask them the next question – Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They answer 'No.' They are obliged to admit this, if they are consistent. They say 'No; Christ has died that any man may be saved if – and then following certain conditions of salvation. We say, then, we will just go back to the old testament – Christ did not die so as beyond a doubt to secure the salvation of anybody, did He? You must say 'No;' you are obliged to say, for you believe that even after a man has been pardoned, he may yet fall from grace, and perish. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why, you! You say that Christ did not die so as to infallibly secure the salvation of anybody. We beg your pardon, when you say we limit Christ's death; we say, 'No, my dear sir, it is you that do it.' We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ's death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved, and cannot by any possible run or hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it...
"Leaving controversy, however, I will now answer a question. Tell me then, sir, who did Christ die for? Will you answer me a question or two? and I will tell you whether He died for YOU. Do you want a Saviour? Do you feel that you need a Saviour? Are you this morning conscious of sin? Has the Holy Spirit taught you that you are lost? Then Christ died for you, and you will be saved. Are you this morning conscious that you have no hope in the world but Christ? Do you feel that you of yourself cannot offer an atonement that can satisfy God's justice? Have you given up all confidence in yourselves? And can you say upon bended knees, 'Lord, save, or I perish?' Christ died for you! If you are saying this morning, 'I am as good as I ought to be; I can get to heaven by my own good works,' then, remember, the scripture says of Jesus, 'I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.' So long as you are in that state, I have no atonement to preach to you. But this morning if you feel guilty, wretched, conscious of your guilt, and are ready to take Christ to be your only Saviour, I cannot only say to you that you may be saved, but what is better still, that you will be saved! When you are stripped of everything but hope in Christ, when you are prepared to come empty-handed and take Christ to be your all, and to be yourself nothing at all, then you may look up to Christ, and you may say, 'Thou dear, Thou bleeding Lamb of God! Thy griefs were endured for me; by Thy stripes I am healed, and by Thy sufferings I am pardoned.' And then see what peace of mind you will have; for if Christ has died for you, you cannot be lost. God will not punish twice for one thing. If God punished Christ for your sin, He will never punish you. 'Payment, God's justice cannot twice demand, first, at the bleeding Surety's hand, and then again at mine.' We can today, if we believe in Christ, march to the very throne of God, stand there, and if it is said, 'Art thou guilty?' we can say, 'Yes, guilty. . .'We can answer,'Great God, Thy justice and Thy love are both guarantees that Thou wilt not punish us for sin; for Thou didst punish Christ for sin for us."
ERRORS OF MODERN EVANGELISTS
The fundamental errors of modern evangelists are:
(1) They teach neither the SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD nor the TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF MEN.
(2) They do not teach God's UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION of a people in Christ to be redeemed by His faithful obedience and death. Instead they preach an impotent god who waits to see who will and who will not believe.
(3) They do not teach an EFFECTUAL ATONEMENT accomplished by our Redeemer, but rather make His precious blood to be as much as He was able to do, merely an offer, not a sin offering!
(4) They do not teach the OMNIPOTENT SPIRIT of Christ who quickens whom He will and gives life to His sheep, convicts of sin, gives the ability to repent and believe, and calls men to Christ.
(5) They do not teach the PRESERVATION NOR PERSEVERANCE OF BELIEVERS. Instead they tell men they may be saved today and lost again tomorrow, or they can accept Jesus as their personal saviour today and live all their lives without worship, commitment, or stewardship of grace, and nevertheless, end up in heaven! Modern preachers do not know nor Preach THE GOSPEL!