Monday, January 28, 2013

How in the World does World mean the Elect?

One of the clearest passages in scripture teaching Christ came to save each and every person is John 12:46-48:

I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.  And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.  He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

Notice a few things about world.  First, Christ comes "into" the world. You go into a place, in this case Christ went into the planet earth. And who on earth will be judged one day?  Each and every person who ever lived on earth.  So who did Christ come to save?  Every person who has ever lived on the earth,  including those who rejected Him and will be judged on the last day.  One of the key issues in the limited/unlimited atonement debate is God's intention, plan and design in sending Christ into the world and  according to Christ, He came to save the world.  This isn't some overly simple all means all folks- we have strong reason to believe in unlimited atonement.


Mr. Mcgranor said...

I think that, there is a third side to the story.

Godismyjudge said...

Mr. Mcgranor,

What did you have in mind? Some third category besides limited/unlimited atonement?

God be with you,

Robert said...

Hello Dan,

Good post I appreciate your observations here. The text says that Jesus did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. This is a succinct description of the two comings of Christ. The first coming primarily to judge, the second coming to primarily judge. In both instances "world" has to have a larger referent than just the elect/believers. When Jesus returns he does not come back and merely judge the believers. The biblical texts are clear that when he returns he judges all people. As the same term is used in the verse the judging of the world at the second coming must be matched by the coming to save the world in the first coming. This is really a strong argument against both limited atonement and the calvinist system.


Godismyjudge said...

Thanks Robert!

God be with you,

Russ said...

Excellent post Dan!


Godismyjudge said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Russ!

God be with you,

Isaac H said...

So are you arguing for a potential judgment as well? I mean, if Jesus came to save the world in the exact same way he is coming to judge it, why should we think the first is potential and the second in definite? Obviously I am being facetious, but I think it reveals the inherent problem with your eisegesis here. We shouldn't appeal to passages like this to understand either the nature or extent of the atonement when it's clearly not in view.

Also, if Jesus came into the world as a light (and world means all people in all times), then how can men still live in darkness?

credulo said...

In fact we are all in a potential judgement! Or, like Pink, do you maybe think that the 'elect individuals before foundation' were always sons of God?

The `Potential Judgement' you are saying in fact is occurring just now :)

Also, if Jesus came into the world as a light (and world means all people in all times), then how can men still live in darkness?

Freedom of Choice. maybe? :)
As always, the old canard: 'Saviour saves effectually, never potentially'...