Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A hard question

If you believe that Christ died to make possible the salvation of all men, what is your answer to the following?

If God equally loves all men, and Christ's atonement does as much for them that perish as for them that receive everlasting life -- then what is the difference that brings about the salvation of one and not the other?


Billy Howard said...

God created us to love Him. He demonstrated His love to us through Jesus and desires that we demonstrate our love for Him by following Christ (which begins at the moment of trust).

Anonymous said...

The scriptures say plainly that the difference between one person becoming a Christian and another is that one believes and the other doesn't

R. L. Vaughn said...

That being the case, what is the difference that causes some to believe and not the others?

Billy Howard said...

My point in the first comment is that God clearly has created us with the ability to accept or reject Him even as his Spirit draws.

I Cor 10:13- After one is saved God always provides a way of escape from sin, but even with the prompting of his Spirit we sometimes choose to reject his door out.

What causes us to reject his way of escape as believers? We chose what seems to be best for us at the moment. We allow our sin nature to control rather than the Spirit of God.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Thanks, Billy. My question was mainly directed at the comment of the anonymous poster, but I am glad for anyone to answer.

One person drawn by the Spirit of God trusts/believes/accepts, while another person, for whom the Lord has done just as much, doesn't believe/denies/rejects. Why? I understand that both answers are indicating it is something within man himself that makes the difference. Is that correct?

Billy Howard said...

Yes. It is certainly not God's fault!

R. L. Vaughn said...

Billy, sorry to be so long in getting back to this thread. I almost forgot about it.

There are a couple of things this "hard question" was designed for (whether it accomplished them or not) -- to make one think about the following:

1. Many people who hold a general atonement believe that unconditional election and particular atonement are reducible to favoritism on the part of God. Yet, those who hold general atonement are not free from their own system's possible charge of favoritism on the part of God. When it is personal belief/faith that "makes the difference" in the salvation of one person and not another, and personal belief/faith comes by hearing the word of God, what about those who never hear and therefore never "have a chance"?

2. Is there a "works element" in the general atonement position? It is without a doubt (unless we charge favoritism) that God has done JUST AS MUCH for the salvation of those who remain lost as He has for those who are born again. SO, the element that makes the difference must be in man himself and not in God.