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Best of Vol 2 - Promo

Question and Answer

I was told that Jesus died on the cross only for the elect, just a few chosen people. Does Scripture support this claim?
Christians have thought, fought, and wrote about this point of doctrine for centuries. Some claim that Jesus died only for the elect. Others assert with equal confidence that Jesus died for all people. It seems to me that the Bible teaches both: Jesus died for the elect and for the entire human family (1 John 2:1–2).

In 1 Timothy 2:1–8, we are exhorted to pray for all people. The use of the word all stands out in the passage: prayer for all people in verse 1, prayer for all who are in authority in verse 2, God wants all people to be saved in verse 4, and Jesus gave Himself as a ransom for all people in verse 6. The context makes clear that “all” encompasses the entire human race. Of course, this passage does not teach that all will come to Christ, but it does imply that all could potentially come, due to the fact that Jesus died on the cross for all people, making salvation possible for anyone who trusts Christ as Lord and Savior (see Rom. 10:13). Based on the work of Christ on the cross, salvation is offered to all people (Titus 2:11). I conclude that, based on this emphasis on all in this text, it is a mistake to limit the death of Christ on the cross as being only for the elect, or only for a few people. That is reductionist and a misrepresentation of God and the New Testament. Christ died for all.

By Dr. Winfred O. Neely, Professor of Pastoral Studies

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