Repentance, Peace, and Limited Atonement

Repentance, Peace, and Limited Atonement December 4, 2023

Repentance, Peace, and Limited Atonement

Vincent van Gogh | Irises | circa 1880-1890 | public domain

The other day, I was in the throes of a process of repentance. Repentance is nothing new for me, and it certainly is not uncommon. Repentance simply means turning direction, and I turn direction multiple times a day.

For some reason though on that day I felt a strong conviction, and was working through it in prayer. At a loss for words, I finally spoke in what I would call a Theological sense.

“Father, would you please deliver to me what you have already ontologically imparted.”

At once I felt the peace of God press against me in almost a literal sense. My nerves became calm as the peace coursed through my body. I knew the blood of Jesus had been applied.

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I do not believe in the doctrine of Limited Atonement. The philosophy postulates that Jesus’ blood was only shed for those who would become Christians. Why would we limit what God has not? This seems obtuse. Furthermore, how can we as finite humans ever really tell when the blood has been applied if we buy into the philosophy of Limited Atonement? What about people who become Christians, and then fall away? Was the blood not ever applied to them?

John 3.16 says God loved “the world.” John is very intentional in using salvific language. For John, the world never applies to the Earth. The world always applies to the wicked, dark lives that men and women live. Therefore, arguably the most popular verse in the Bible disputes Limited Atonement, because the salvation plan is set in motion for the world, not just for would-be believers.

Paul echoes the sentiment.

But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5.8, NRSV

Peter does as well.

The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3.9

Therefore, if the blood can be applied to anyone at any time, and if it is not limited, then who am I that God would regard me as unique? His forgiveness applies to someone who has been saved since he was 4 years old just as easily as it applies to the repentant sinner for the first time.

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