Today’s post might be your more provocative post, depending on where you land in the theological spectrum as what I’m about to say may make some edgy, or at the least, a little uncomfortable.
“He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”
~1st John 2:2
While all the liberals say “Amen!” to those last two words I’d ask you to back up, take your eyes off that one verse, and look at what your reading. Namely, a verse. A verse, meaning uno, un, een, one. What you’ve just read is what many in the more liberal “christian” spectrum have used to defend one of there tightly held doctrines.
Many will probably understand the (false) doctrine in which I’m writing of, it’s the idea that when they say Christ died for “the whole world” then that must mean everyone, even those who aren’t believers, are saved from the wrath of God. The real question is not whether we should discard this verse (2nd Tim 3:16), but rather what does this mean in its context?
Well, we know from previous writings of John, even in his most famous verse, (3:16) that God does in fact love the world, and because of that He gave His son so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. The key words we would want to look at are “whosoever” and “perish”. When John writes these words he makes it very clear that Gods saving love is not all-inclusive as many liberal “theologians” (aka bad theologians) have said. He also makes abundantly clear that those who are not believers in Christ (denoting a genuine born-again Christian) will perish, and not inherit eternal life.
So, for all those who believe in universalism, why does John supposedly contradict himself? If you hold to the innerency of The Bible then I guess God made a mistake. But He doesn’t do that, does He?
So some will come to a cross-road, either:
-Pick one, and have contradictions.
-Pick both and look at the context.
(I’d highly suggest the latter)
Have you ever thought to read around those verses that you hold up so highly? Have those “God is love” verses ever prompted you to wonder what biblical “love” really is? Or when we see John speaking of God propitiating (or, paying) for the “whole world” do we look at the surrounding verses? I would challenge you to read 1st John in its context, and honestly ask yourself whether John could ever have meant an all-inclusive Gospel. I personally think there’s absolutely no room for that assumption just from reading 1st John and all his other writings. (and the whole Bible for that matter!)
But you have to decide for yourself, God gave you a brain, so use it! Take some time to read, study, and come to an (honest) conclusion. I know this post was more of a rant than a typical Thursday post, I was particularly burdened about this and wanted to get it out in writing. I hope you appreciate it in some way!
Thanks so much for reading!