Who Did Jesus Die For?

Q. I am having a discussion with friends, and they don’t believe that Christ died for everyone. I believe He did die for everyone, but it’s only good for those who accept it. Unless you believe and accept it, His death means nothing. His blood is of no effect to those who refuse it. Do you think that’s correct?

A. According to John 3:16, God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Jesus also said that everyone who asks receives, everyone who seeks will find, and to all who knock the door will be opened (Matt. 7:7-8). John the Baptist called Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). And Paul said that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13).

To me that means God has given each of us the choice of accepting or rejecting His salvation. Logic dictates that if anyone can ask to be saved, and if no one who asks will be refused, then Jesus died for everyone. Otherwise He couldn’t have extended an open offer of salvation to anyone willing to accept it.

The most horrible feeling I can think of would be to discover after it’s too late that Jesus gave his life to save me, and I failed to ask for His forgiveness. To discover that I’m being sent to hell would be bad enough, but to learn that He purchased a full pardon for my sins and if I had only claimed it I could be going to heaven instead would be about the worst thing imaginable.

“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7). For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God (1 Peter 3:18).

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