Gospel Truth #1
Christ has already accomplished something for every human being. He died the second death for "every man," and thus elected "all men" to be saved. In that sense, it is true that "He saved the world." Appreciating what Christ accomplished by His sacrifice, lukewarm Laodiceans will learn the meaning of faith, and how to glory in the cross.
How A.T. Jones Understood This Truth
"Now [Christ] has done all that freely. For how many people did He do this? Every soul? [Congregation: 'Yes, sir.'] Gave all the blessings He has to every soul in this world; He chose every soul in the world; He chose him in Christ before the foundation of the world, predestinated him unto the adoption of children and made him accepted in the Beloved.
"Whether you or I let Him have us, that is not the question just now. Before the foundation of the world He bought me. Then whose are we? [Congregation: 'The Lord's.']
"How is it possible for one to get into doubt as to whether he is the Lord's or not? 'He that believeth not God has made him a liar.' He may not do that in so many words, but when he gets into doubt as to whether he is the Lord's, he has allowed unbelief to overthrow him and Satan to get the advantage and sweep everything away.
"But still the Lord will not take what He has bought without our permission. There is a line which God has set as fixing the freedom of every man and He Himself will never go over that line a hair's breadth without our permission, whether man or angel. But when the permission is given, then He will come for all that He is.
The practical value of this truth.
"Well, suppose you get up in the morning with a headache and your digestion has not worked very well and you don't feel just right. How do you know you are the Lord's? [Congregation: 'Because He says so.'] Sometimes people say when we ask them, ‘Have your sins been forgiven?' 'Yes, I was convinced that they were, for awhile.' 'What convinced you?' 'I felt as though they were forgiven.' They did not know anything about it. They did not, in that, have a particle of evidence that their sins were forgiven. The only evidence that we can have that these things are so is that God says so. Don't look to feelings. Feelings are as variable as the wind.
"We need not have any more doubt as to whether we are the Lord's. But there are some people who have not submitted themselves to the Lord and are not practically His. He has made them His by purchase; now how can they know that they are His? By His word.
Does this Good News give license to sin?
"But now we sometimes hear people talk as though that was going to sanction sin. No. It will not do that. It will save you from sinning. When a man's choice is to be the Lord's, then God works in him both to will and to do of his own good pleasure. The divine power is in this thing. There is no sanction of sin about it. In fact, it is the only way to keep from sanctioning sin.
"When was it that he bought us? [Congregation: 'Before the foundation of the world.'] What kind of folks were we before the foundation of the world? Sinners, just as we are? Evil beings and willing to go into evil ways? Making no profession of religion and not particularly wanting to? Did He buy us then? [Congregation: 'Yes.'] And He bought our sins. Isaiah describes it—wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; no soundness at all.
"Then the choice is forever with me as to whether I would rather have my sins than to have Him, isn't it? [Congregation: 'Yes.'] When sin is pointed out to you, say, 'I would rather have Christ than that'" (Jones, General Conference Bulletin, 1893, sermon No. 17, condensed).
Read about What Christ Accomplished (E. J. Waggoner)