Universal atonement is the belief that Christ’s vicarious death was on behalf of all men without exception. The problem with this belief is legion, but let’s see a few of them:
1. First and foremost, it contradicts the testimony we have in the Scriptures (Matthew 1:21; John 6:37-40; John 10:11,27; 17:2).
2. It contradicts the nature and character of the God of the Bible by portraying a wicked and unjust God who punished the Surety on behalf of the debtor, and then turns around and punishes the same debtor for whom the Surety was punished. Such a god is no longer righteous, holy and just but wicked, cruel and unjust. Jesus stood as a Surety for his people(Hebrews 7:22) and bore the punishment due them by his death on the cross. If God raised him up as a seal of his satisfaction with his work on my behalf, and later turns around to demand such work from me, then he is monster.
3. It portrays a defeated and frustrated Saviour. No wonder when the Charismatics see Jesus in their visions he is always crying and gloating over the lost souls in hell whom his blood was UNABLE to save.
4. It denies the fall of man in the garden of Eden. God told Adam that in the day he eats of the forbidden fruit he would die. We know Adam lived on for 930 years after which he died physically. The physical death was not the death promised on the day he ate of the forbidden fruit. The death promised Adam on the very day he ate of the forbidden fruit is spiritual death. Death involves the total cessation of all energy and activity. Most of those who propagate universal atonement merely believe the fall as history but they do not believe spiritual death to be a total cessation of all spiritual energy towards God.
5. It is opposed to the historic Christian faith.
6. It corrupts the true grace of God in salvation so that salvation is no longer all of grace, but of grace plus work.
7. It destroys the believer’s assurance of eternal salvation. If the atonement was made for all and some still perish, you can be sure you MIGHT perish at last.
8. It makes God a mere spectator and fills him with surprises as more and more souls are saved daily by their own freewill. Suddenly, heaven is more populated than God had planned it! Wonderful!
9. It is the belief of all the religions and cults that has ever existed on earth in the name of Christianity. The Mormons, Jehovah witnesses, Sabbatharians, Catholics, etc., have it as their belief.
10. If taken to its logical conclusion, Universalism becomes the truth.
There is also a brand of (modern) Calvinists with their slogan “sufficient for all, efficient for the elect”. This is nothing but polished heresy.
Conclusion: May we detest this God dishonouring doctrine.