I don’t presume that I have all of the correct answers to bible questions. But the following is the best of my understanding.
Here’s the answer regarding Christ’s atonement… God loves all of us, and wants all of us to be adopted into His family as His beloved children. But one must be born again to see the kingdom of God, (John 3.3).
You see, we are all sinful, and God’s righteousness & justice can’t and won’t overlook our sins. We must be clean and perfect to enter into His family, (something that we’re not capable of being). So that’s why God sent Jesus, to shed His blood for our sin atonement; He was punished & killed (for our sins), to satisfy God’s justice regarding our sins. And we get Jesus’ perfection imputed unto us, making us clean & righteous children of God. It’s one fantastic trade. And all of this…forgiveness, sanctification, justification, righteousness, etc. Is given as an entire package, all at once, when anyone believes on the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Trusting solely in His death, burial, and resurrection as their own, having fully delivered forgiveness and justification for everyone who believes on Him. And we bring NO merit or contributions on our part to be right with God.
But, there are a couple of false doctrines out there to be wary of that misrepresent His atonement…Calvinism and universalism.
These are two opposite-extremes of doctrine regarding Christ’s atonement. Beware of Calvinism and universalism, they are very dangerous. There are variations on both of these doctrines of course, but the following examples are what I’ve encountered most often:
Calvinism (a damning false doctrine) says…Everything that man does, (good or bad) happens because in the sovereign will of God, God pre purposed for it to happen. And that Jesus’ atonement for humanity’s sins was never for everyone, but only for the people that God had already pre chosen to save in eternity-past. (You were born with your eternal fate of heaven or hell already decided by God). And if you weren’t one of the fortunate ones to have been pre chosen…That’s just your tuff lot. Christ never died for your sins. Hell was always your pre determined destiny. This doctrine is satanic. It limits Christ’s atonement, and makes God out to be a sadistic puppetmaster.
Universalism says…that Jesus’ atonement for sins was automatically applied to everyone. And since everyone’s behavioral sins are already forgiven…the only sin remaining to be accounted for, would be the sin of not believing on Christ.
(That is clearly not the case). As you will see in the upcoming verses: People are dead in their sins, prior to their salvation. And the forgiveness of sins, is received upon belief in Christ.
“And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.” Jeremiah 32.35
“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6. Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 1 Timothy 2.4-6
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Hebrews 2.9
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” John 8.24
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” Acts 3.19
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins” Ephesians 2.1
“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Acts 10.43
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Acts 26.18
God wants none to perish, and He gave His Son as a sacrifice for all of humanity. And everyone is equally invited to partake in His offer of salvation. But the choice to believe or not believe is up to each person individually. And those who believe have the remission of sins, and those who reject the Son have no forgiveness.