If you were to ask three or four random people about the subject of salvation, you might hear three or four different answers. Since salvation is the most important subject of all, this is both amazing and frightening.
In regards to this vital subject, some actually teach that God never intended for some people to be saved. This doctrine, known as “limited atonement”, is associated with the teachings of John Calvin. It essentially asserts that Christ only died for the “elect of God”, not for all men. But is this what the Bible says?
First, the Bible clearly states that ALL men are in need of salvation. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:23, 10). That being true, would God intentionally offer salvation to a select few, while unconditionally condemning all others to hell?
Second, the Bible affirms that God wants ALL men to be saved. The apostle Paul made this crystal clear in 1 Tim. 2:4, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”. The apostle Peter added, “The Lord…is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). God desires for everyone to be saved.
Third, the Bible reveals that Jesus died in order that ALL men might be saved. The New Testament reveals that, “God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16). Moreover, “He died for all”(2 Cor. 5:15; 1 Tim. 2:6), that He “might taste death for everyone”(Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2), and “draw all peoples to” Himself (John 12:32). By Jesus “the free gift came to all men” (Rom. 5:18).. There is no doubt about it – Jesus died for everyone.
Fourth, the Bible states that Jesus invites ALL men to be saved. “Come to Me, ALL you who labor and are heavy laden” (Matt. 11:28). The invitation to be saved is for “WHOEVER desires” (Rev. 22:17).
As we continue to study the most important subject of all – salvation, we must ignore man-made doctrines, and rely on the Bible exclusively to determine the truth – John 17:17.
Jesus, always Jesus,