For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
Calvinist, Erwin Lutzer: “If God wills the damnation of the ungodly, he may use Satan in whatever capacity he chooses to fulfill his purposes.” (The Doctrines That Divide, p.221, emphasis mine)
Realize that Jesus “died” for the ungodly (Romans 5:6), “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9) The Calvinist argues that God is indeed willing that many should perish, and that’s precisely why so many are in Hell already. However, God, for His part, is not willing that any should perish, and not go to Hell. For God’s part, where He leads, He enables. People go to Hell, not because of what God did or did not do, but for how they trampled over His desire for them.
Question: Who is the most “ungodly” person that you can think of? I couldn’t think of anyone worse than Adolf Hitler, but since Jesus died for the ungodly, did Jesus die for Hitler too, so that if he had repented, he would have been covered by the blood?
Answer: Before his conversion, the Apostle Paul (then known as Saul), murdered Christians, to which Jesus responded: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4) Paul considered himself the worst of the worst. (1st Corinthians 15:9)
Question: Are you as ungodly as Adolf Hitler?
Answer: “God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.” (Romans 11:32) All it takes is one sin, and you, “Mr._I’m_a_good_person,” might as well be Adolf Hitler in the presence of a holy God: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” (James 2:10) Salvation is not about saying that you are not as bad as someone else, but about saying to God, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” (Luke 18:13)
Question: Did Jesus die for Adolf Hitler?
David Allen answers: “He died for all, including Adolf Hitler. He satisified the penalty for the sins of all men. That is what we mean by His atonement is a sufficient atonement. It is extrinsically sufficient.” (The John 3:16 Conference: Q&A)
If Jesus didn’t die for everyone, then those in Hell cannot be told that they didn’t have to be there, and no one in Hell could be told, “You didn’t have to be here; you could have believed in Jesus.” Once you take that away (through the Calvinist doctrine of a Limited Atonement), then the whole basis for being punished in Hell is undermined, because Jesus said that the measure of judgment is based increasingly by the measure of grace that is spurned: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.” (Luke 12:48) “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” (John 9:41)
Adrian Rogers: “...salvation is not a reward for the righteous. Salvation is a gift to the guilty.” (Salvation: Romans 10:1-13)
Pick whichever monster you choose, because you are in his family. Sin and death runs in your family.
Question: For whom did Christ die? The “ungodly.” (v.6) Whom does Christ seek? The “lost.” (Luke 19:10) Wouldn’t this have been a perfect opportunity for Paul to say, “He died for a certain group only,” if it were true? But he didn’t. Why?
Answer: Although this is an Argument from Silence, it nevertheless warrants asking.
Question: Are we justified by Election or justified by Christ’s blood?
Answer: You cannot stand justified by God apart from the basis of faith in Christ’s blood. That’s Justification By Faith, and that is true Reformation Theology, regardless of how Calvinists try to spin the Protestant Reformation. Romans 5:18 states: “So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.” That’s why Paul talks so much about the riches in Christ.
Calvinist, John MacArthur: “A true sense of self-worth comes from understanding our position in Christ. We have been chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world. Knowing this gives us a sense of our significance and value to God. We were so important to God that He gave up His Son to die on our behalf. ... Thank God for considering you valuable enough to bestow such riches upon you. ... If you’re struggling with a lack of self-worth, remember that you were important enough for God to give you to Jesus as an inheritance.” (The Believer’s Life in Christ, MacArthur Bible Study Guide, Eph. 1:1-2:10, Word of Grace Communications: 1989/1995, pp.27, 36, & 69-70, emphases mine)
First of all, note the accurate quote of Ephesians 1:4. Calvinists often misquote the verse by leaving off in Christ. However, according to Calvinism, all of this talk about “importance” would have nothing to do with your position in Christ, but your alleged, eternal position in the Father. Furthermore, if Jesus died for us because of our “importance,” what then is left to mercy?