A Series of Questions about Jesus with very short answers (non-scholarly, explaining -- not defending -- the positions)

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Date: Jan 27, 2017
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If he gave his life for the whole mankind, is all mankind saved? If yes how? Are their sins forgiven? And if the sins are forgiven, will all go to the heaven? 

 

 

No, all humans are not saved by Jesus' sacrifice for all of their sins--they must trust that sacrifice to be God's answer to their sin-problem. Then, and only then, will God give the gift of eternal life and spiritual rebirth to the person.

 

The judicial payment for all sins for all people for all time was made at the Cross by Jesus. There is no more 'debt' to be paid to God's law court by humans for our sinfulness and sinful deeds.

 

Legally, the world is forgiven because their crimes were transferred to Christ on the Cross:

 

"God was in Christ, making peace between the world and himself. In Christ, God did not hold the world guilty of its sins. And he gave us this message of peace. So we have been sent to speak for Christ. It is as if God is calling to you through us. We speak for Christ when we beg you to be at peace with God. Christ had no sin, but God made him become sin so that in Christ we could become right with God." (2 Co 5:19–21.)

 

God is at peace with us, but we are not at peace with God. And even though we are no longer guilty, we are still spiritually dead in our sinfulness. Only by connecting with the life of God in Christ and with the righteousness of God in Christ, will we then become righteous and become reborn with eternal life.

 

"When you were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self, God made you alive with Christ, and he forgave all our sins. He canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross" [Col 2:13–14]

 

Those who do not unite with Jesus through belief do not have His life--they only have a legal 'neutral' position--neither innocent nor guilty. Jesus took their sin and then took the legal punishment for that sin.

 

 

But if they do not trust or believe in Jesus, they will stay spiritually dead in this life, and then experience the next level of death at the judgement by God at the end of the world.

 

The after-death experience of Hell is not about the legal consequences of sin now (because of Jesus). It is now about the on-going consequences of death, corruption, decay, and misery. Those are natural consequences of sin and death and decay we have in our lives and bodies NOW.

 

Forgiveness of sin--granted to all because of the Cross--does not keep anyone out of Hell nor does it give a right to Heaven. Only eternal life can escape eternal decay, and only eternal life can live in an eternal Heaven with the eternal Living God.

 

Eternal life REQUIRES the forgiveness of sin, but it is not the same thing. Life is about the whole of experience; forgiveness of debt is about law courts and legal status.

 

In the New Testament, eternal life and all of the other descriptions of salvation are always tied to faith, and to faith alone--without good deeds. The gift of eternal life and a relationship with God is always expressed as requiring belief, acceptance, and faith. :

 

·         "You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. [Ga 3:26.]

·         "I tell you the truth, whoever hears what I say and believes in the One who sent me has eternal life. That person will not be judged guilty but has already left death and entered life. (Gospel of Jn 5:24.)

·         "Jesus did many other miracles in the presence of his followers that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Then, by believing, you may have life through his name. (Gospel of Jn 20:30–31.)

 

One Bible teacher said:

 

"Salvation is always through faith, not because of faith (Eph. 2:8). Faith is the channel through which we receive God’s gift of eternal life; it is not the cause. This is so man can never boast, even of his faith. But faith is the necessary and only channel (John 5:24; 17:3)…Perhaps one of the clearest statements of the necessary content to saving faith is found in the words of the Lord to the sinful Samaritan woman. He said, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10). Know about the gift and the Person, then ask and receive eternal life." [Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Basic Theology]

 

 

Obedience to rules, following Christ in His footsteps, religious acts, and giving your life to God is never stated to be a requirement. Only simple trust and faith:

 

So what can we say that Abraham, the father of our people, learned about faith? If Abraham was made right by the things he did, he had a reason to brag. But this is not God’s view, because the Scripture says, “Abraham believed God, and God accepted Abraham’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.”

When people work, their pay is not given as a gift, but as something earned. But people cannot do any work that will make them right with God. So they must trust in him, who makes even evil people right in his sight. Then God accepts their faith, and that makes them right with him. David said the same thing. He said that people are truly blessed when God, without paying attention to their deeds, makes people right with himself." [Ro 4:1–6.]

 

Here are a couple of examples/statements given by teachers as to how Christ could make the payment for sin without all of us humans taking advantage of it and approaching God for eternal life:

 

"If we say that a father provides sufficient food for his family, we do not exclude the possibility that some members of that family may refuse to eat what has been provided. But their refusal does not mean that the provision was made only for those who actually do eat the food. Likewise, the death of Christ provided the payment for the sins of all people—those who accept that payment and those who do not. Refusal to accept does not limit the provision made. Providing and possessing are not the same.

 

A hundred captives are in bondage to a foreign Emperor. A generous prince pays a certain sum to the Emperor for the ransom of all. If any of the captives afterwards prefer to remain longer in captivity rather than accept the freedom paid for and offered them, that is their choice--but the payment was still made for them.

 

One of my teachers had a great summary of this:

 

"When we sing, “Jesus paid it all,” we mean it. God does not exact from any man the judicial penalty that Jesus paid at the cross. Jesus Christ’s completely sufficient suffering on the cross for the sins of the world will never be repeated in the case of any human being whatsoever.

 

"Furthermore, as a result of the cross, every man or woman is eligible for the free gift of eternal life. All they need to do is believe in Jesus for that gift. But those who do not believe remain dead in their sins and subject to the corruption that sin always brings. Though eligible for life, they have remained in spiritual death. Hell is the consequence of remaining dead to God.

 

"In hell the law of sowing and reaping goes on and on and on. The fire is never put out and the worms of corruption never die. In hell, the superlative gift of life, paid for by our Savior’s blood, has been missed forever. But that splendid gift is for everybody, for the simple reason that Christ died for everybody equally. [Zane C. Hodges, “What Do We Mean By Propitiation? Does It Only Count If We Accept It?,” Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society Volume 19 19, no. 36 (2006): 42.]

 


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