Elder O. B. Mink
Now In Glory
“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me; for they are Thine” (John 17:9).
It is unequivocally clear from the words of Christ in the above text and context that there is a people for whom He did not and would not pray. John seventeen (17) is the priestly or mediatorial prayer of Jesus whereby He intercedes for the “many” whom the Father had given Him in the covenant of eternal redemption (verse 2).
In His sinless humanity or as the perfect man, Jesus prayed for His enemies, but all the functions of His mediatorial office were restricted to only those whom He substitutively represented on the cross. Speaking of His redemptive blood, Christ said: It “... is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28).
Quantitatively, the “many” whose sins Jesus bore in His body on the tree is not the Adamic family, and only by forcing the term (“many”) and obliterating its restrictive significance can it be made to accommodate the general atonement theory.
Christ said, “...The scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). However, He did not say they could not be wrested, twisted, or distorted. Peter said, the “unlearned and unstable wrest” the scriptures to “their own destruction” (II Peter 3:16). The natural man, to whom all scripture is utter foolishness (I Corinthians 2:14), has not only perverted God’s word in making the sacrificial blood of Christ to be the indiscriminate offering for all mankind, but from his desperately wicked heart he has compounded his foolishness by teaching that mans’ eternal destiny is determined by his own volitional power.
The salvational efficacy theory of the will of fallen man is exceedingly pleasing to his intellectual palate, yea, it is his most relished doctrine, but in the end it will be more bitter than gall, and he will in vain try to spew it out of his mouth. “Bread of deceit is sweet to a man, but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel” (Proverbs 20:17).
The unrestricted redemptionists are long on believeism, but are fatally short on Bible. Their error is Satan’s dye by which he attempts to bedim the color of God’s plenary and inspired fabric of truth, and thereby keep his dupes confused and use them to confound others and compound their own guilt. Yet, the word of God remains untainted, and that inerrent and immutable word, says: “... The good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
Metephorically speaking, Christ died for His sheep and for His wheat. Realistically speaking, Christ died for His “many sons”. Goats never become sheep, tares never become wheat, and the children of the devil never become the children of God (John 8:44; 10:11; Hebrews 2:10). Christ said to the self salvationists of His day: “Ye believe not because ye are not of My sheep” (John 10:26). They were perfectly content with their supposed scheme of redemption, and Christ knowing the irreconcilable and absolute depravity of their hearts said unto them: “Ye will not come to Me that ye might have life” (John 5:40).
THE UNRESTRICTIONISTS CHARGE GOD
WITH JUDICIAL DISPARITY
They who have cast off the restrictive character of Christ’s atonement teach that Christ died for all the sins of all men, and at the same time own the truth that some people are already in hell and that others are going there daily. This is not merely a glaring inconsistency on their part, but it is to charge the infinitely holy God with injustice. God does not exact payment for sin twice, once at the bleeding hand of His beloved Son, and then again at the hands of those for whom Christ paid the full ransom price.
God does not punish sin twice, once in Christ, and then again in the burning woes of hell: “Payment God cannot twice demand, first at my bleeding Surety’s hand, and then again at mine” (Toplady).
All for whom Christ vicariously suffered are no longer under the condemning power of sin or the curse of the law (Romans 8:1), and Christ stands as their sin scarred and eternal Surety in the perjureless court of the just and almighty God.
The infinite counsel of God in the salvation of His elect has never been less than absolutely sure, and it is gross ignorance for man to try and arraign Omniscience before the bar of human reason. God did not give His Son, in Whom He is eternally well pleased, to make salvation possible, nor even probable, nor did He give Him to put mankind in a redeemable state, but He gave Him to make salvation sure in the experience of all whom He had become Bondsman in the covenant of redemption (Hebrews 7:22). It would be the ultimate violation of justice for God to exact payment for sin from a person whom God Himself had made Christ that person’s sin bearer. Perish the thought!
TWO DIVERSE COMPANIES OF PEOPLE
Regarding mans everlasting destiny it is declared in holy writ that there are two distinct classes of people, and two diverse destinies. From the very onset of time the redemptive and reprobative distinctions are clearly delineated and manifested in God’s word. In Genesis 3:15, God, the sovereign pre-determiner of all beginnings and endings, not only sets the two companies within the family of man in juxtaposition, but emphasizes the distinction and alienation between them. Speaking to the serpent and indirectly to the devil, God says: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it (He) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” In these words we see two distinct and variant seeds.
Speaking of the “works of the devil” the apostle John writes, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil...” (I John 3:8-10). Those to whom the righteousness of Christ has been imputed cry out: “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). Contrariwise, those who hate the Divine nobleman’s cross bearing Son, cry out: “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14). From the early dawn of human history the world has had its Cains and its Ables, its Esaus and its Jacobs, its Pharaohs and its Moseses, its Judas Iscariots and its Pauls, its Popes and its God fearing martyrs. In this the children of light and the children of darkness are manifest. Notwithstanding, it is the glorious gospel of Christ that separates between the wheat and the tares, and shall succeed in making the distinction between them apparent in spite of the devil’s loathsome birds sent forth to pluck it up (Matthew 13:4, 8; Romans 1:16; 10:16, 17; II Thessalonians 2:13, 14).
It is incontrovertible, if Christ died, as the Arminians claim for all men unrestrictively, then all men would be reconciled to God, for their penal judgment was suffered by Christ, in their room and in their stead. Then too, Christ’s death being the cause in the removal of the sin of mankind, the effect following the cause would be universal salvation, for where there is no sin, there is no condemnation, and hell is left without a reason for existing. The general atonement argument is an impossible hypothesis, glaringly absurd, void of intellectual merit, and can never be a part of the faith of God’s elect. It is a satanic device to rob God of His glory in the salvation of His people, and to stir up the spiritual idiocy inherent in the natural heart. But thank God, His blood bought people are not ignorant of this God dishonoring and soul damning device (II Corinthians 2:11).
In the final and awesome separation of the vessels of mercy from the vessels of wrath, the elect stand on the right hand of Christ, the place of infinite mercy and favor, and He says to them: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). In the final and fearful assize, Christ will say to that “world which knew Him not” in the days of His humiliation: “... I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23). Christ never knew them as His elect, and consequently, He never knew them with covenant love.
The natural man sees no merit or value in the blood of Christ, and in his incessant rebellion against God, tramples that precious blood underfoot. Without the sovereign intervention of God in the life of the natural man he will go on and on in the way that seemeth right unto him, and will at last enter the wide gates that leadeth to everlasting destruction. But the beneficiaries of atoning and restrictive grace are pilgrims on the straight and narrow way, from whence there is nothing to turn back to, and which leads through the shining and everlasting gates of Glory.
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished.” A merited damnation and a merciful deliverance (II Peter 2:9).
(The Baptist Herald - February, 1990)
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