Why do you believe what you believe? Can you back it up from Scripture?
So, let’s get this straight; if Jesus’ death on the cross of Calvary according to God’s plan was sufficient to pay off the debt for the sin of every person that ever lived or that ever will live, why then would there be anyone in hell?
Someone once said, “Atonement not appropriated is not atonement.” Think about that for a minute. At times, we may hear that Jesus certainly died and paid the price for the sins of every person that will ever exist. But it’s up to each person to believe so that His payment will be “appropriated” or handed out to them. To this, we must ask for the chapter & verse that this assertion is built upon. (I’m still waiting for those verses, by the way.)
If Jesus literally paid for all of your sin, and you proceed not to believe in Him for your salvation and you go to hell, what exactly will you be doing there? What debt are you paying off? The debt for your sins against God? Are you paying the debt that Jesus already paid in full? If so, how does that work? Wouldn’t hell be empty if that were true? Why does Matthew 7:13-14 talk about hell being more populated than Heaven?
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Will anyone be in hell for eternity? (Yes.) If so, why? Does God require a double payment for the debt of sin; one paid by Jesus, and once more paid by unbelievers? That’s not just. And we serve a perfectly just God. So what does that mean for how we should view Jesus’ atoning work on the cross? For whom (exactly) did Christ die?
The Bible says that He died for His sheep; all believers, everywhere, throughout all time. That is, all those who believe in Him alone for salvation by grace through faith.
As for those who would say that Jesus dies for the sins of the whole “world,” there is a legitimate question we should ask. Which of the ten different meanings of the Greek word “world” are they using? I lost them here:
1. The Entire Universe - John 1:10; 1:3; 17:5
2. The Physical Earth - John 13:1; 16:33; 21:25
3. The World System - John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11 (see also similar usage in Gal 1:4 â€“ Paul)
4. All humanity minus believers - John 7:7; 15:18
5. A Big Group but less than all people everywhere - John 12:19
6. The Elect Only - John 3:17
7. The Non-Elect Only - John 17:9
8. The Realm of Mankind - John 1:10; (this is very probably the best understanding of the word "world" in John 3:16 also)
9. Jews and Gentiles (not just Israel but many Gentiles too) - John 4:42
10. The General Public (as distinguished from a private group) not those in small private groups - John 7:4
Pastor Steve Lawson preaches a great message about this here. Please take a listen.