Pristine Grace

Universal Conditional Redemption
by Jim Byrd
Universal Conditional Redemption

    Universal redemption is the belief that Christ laid down His life and paid the sin debt of all mankind making salvation a possibility for everyone, but an accomplishment for no one. According to this Christ-dishonoring theory, His blood is sufficient to save all, but efficient to save only those who believe. The success of the redeeming work of the Son of God is therefore dependent upon the willingness of man to receive the gift of salvation. Never was there a greater lie concocted by Satan than this heresy and yet the natural man readily embraces this foolish, nonsensical, anti-Scriptural drivel. Universal redemption makes man his own savior. It says that Christ died equally for all men, and the reason some perish while others are saved is because the saved chose to avail themselves of the benefits of His death while the others did not. This would make the will of man, not the death of Christ, the deciding factor in salvation, which is contrary to Scripture.

    Universal redemption is a denial of the righteousness of God and the justice of God in the death of Christ, which truths get to the very heart of the gospel. His substitutionary sacrifice fulfilled every legal requirement of God for the salvation of the people He came to save. The question of the ages has been, "how can man be justified with God" (Job 25:4), and the answer is to be found in the sufferings, death and resurrection of Christ. He laid down His life for His sheep and thereby established righteousness for them. God is right and just to forgive, give life to and accept every sinner in whose stead Christ died because justice has been honored, sin has been put away and redemption’s price has been fully paid. It would be a horrible miscarriage of justice if any of those in whose stead Christ suffered the wrath of God were to perish in their sins since Christ has already endured the full penalty of the law’s curse in their place.

    I lay this charge at the feet of those who embrace universal redemption: they do not know the true gospel of Christ which is the good news that "by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Heb 10:14). He made reconciliation for, put away the sins of and brought in everlasting righteousness for all of His people (Daniel 9:24). Those who believe and rejoice in the gospel realize that the satisfied justice of God gives us as much hope and peace as does the grace of God because none can be condemned for whom Christ has already borne the full penalty of the law.