Cork Free Presbyterian Church, 10 Briarscourt (Annex) Shanakiel, Cork, Ireland Pastor: Colin Maxwell. Email: cfpc@esatclear.ie

SOBER QUESTIONS FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION OR UNLIMITED ATONEMENT:

These questions are not designed to gender strife among the people of God, but are rather an attempt to get those same people thinking through their theological positions. These are not foolish questions to be avoided (Titus 3:9) They concern that most momentous and glorious fact of all…that Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3) Many of the evangelical and fundamentalist camp hold to the alternative doctrine to General Redemption i.e. that Christ died only with the intention of saving His elect and so did not die for the sins of Pharaoh or Judas etc., or any man who is now in hell.

None of these questions are "trick questions" or "loaded" in any way. The attempt is to show the inherent weaknesses of the non Calvinist view as opposed to scoring a few points due to the otherwise delightful intricacies of the English language. I believe these questions are watertight and cannot be logically used or reversed to cast any shadow of doubt upon the Calvinist position. If you can show me otherwise, you are hereby invited to email me with your argument.

SOBER QUESTIONS

1) Do you believe that Christ died for the sins of the fallen angels who are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day (Jude 6) when they will be cast as cursed into everlasting fire (Matthew 25:41) to be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Revelation 20:10) OR do you believe that the atonement was limited to a particular group of sinners?

2) Did Christ come and die to effectually save men or just make salvation possible? Was it then theoretically possible that Christ could have died for sinners and no one been saved?

3) Did Christ ultimately fail in His purpose of dying? Will He really see the travail of His soul and be SATISFIED? (Isaiah 53:11) Is Christ really satisfied in the travail of His soul when He views Judas Iscariot, (for whom, you insist, He died just as much as for John and Peter etc.) as one gone to his own place where it would have been better for him never to have born? (Mark 14:21)

4) Do you link the death of Christ - surely the most important matter ever - into verses like Isaiah 14:24/14:27/46:10/Psalm 115:3/Proverbs 19:21 etc., which teach that the purposes of God are certain and cannot be overthrown?

5) Do you believe that Christ died for those who were already in hell i.e. Cain, Pharaoh etc., when He came into the world? Did He willingly die for them, bearing away all their sins, even though He knew not one ounce of His suffering would ever avail them?

6)Where did Christ actually bear away the sins of those either already or now in hell or will be in hell when He died for them? Is it to the same place as that of the believer i.e. God's forgetfulness (Hebrews 10:17) If so, why are they being remembered now? If not, to what extent is the difference you are introducing?

7) If Christ suffered and died for those in hell who are now suffering and dying for their sins…is this not God exacting punishment for the same sins twice? Is this just?

8) Did Christ suffer for the sin of unbelief? If so, why should that sin hinder the sinner more than any other sin for which Christ died?

9) Do you believe that in the Bible, words like "all" and "world" and "every man" always mean every last single thing or person unless specifically limited (e.g. 1 John 3:3) OR do you recognise that sometimes in the Bible, words like "all" means "all kinds of" (1 Timothy 6:10) and "world" means Gentiles as opposed to Jews only (John 12:19-20) and "every man" means "every kind of man" (Acts 4:35/1 Corinthians 7:2) without any specific mention of a limitation?

10) Do you recognise the distinct advantage of believing in Particular Redemption - that it actually will accomplish what it set out to achieve i.e. the certain, infallible salvation of those for whom it was intended? Do you recognise the distinct disadvantage of believing in a General Redemption which resides in a kind of vagueness and cannot claim 100% success?

11) Do you view Particular Redemption as being at a disadvantage when it comes to the free offer of the gospel? Since both Calvinists and non Calvinists believe that the priceless sacrifice of the Son of God is sufficient to save the world, both of elect and non elect - should this not remove any sense of disadvantage?

Click here to see how Calvinists do believe in the free offer of the gospel.

12) Do you recognise that some of the greatest evangelists who ever lived, believed and preached Particular Redemption e.g. George Whitefield and C.H. Spurgeon without it being detrimental to their extensive soulwinning ministries?

13) Apart possibly from an odd hyper Calvinist - a dying breed - have you ever heard a Calvinist state that he doesn't need to evangelise since Christ's sacrifice guarantees the salvation of the elect, whether he evangelises or not?

14) Are you kept back from believing in Particular Redemption by any other reason other than the fear of man? If the fear of man is the only reason, do you not recognise that this in the end will prove to be a snare? Can you not talk over or through the differences with those whom you fear, pointing to the success of Calvinist preaching in Church History etc., (Proverbs 29:25)

THE END

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