Listen: 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

It is true that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary for all mankind.  We read in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”  Let’s also read Hebrews 2:9, “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.”  It is quite clear that the Lord Jesus died for everyone.

Writing to believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle John writes in 1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”  Propitiation is a word that we probably don’t use very often.  To get a proper understanding of the meaning of the word, let’s read 1 John 2:2 in the NIV translation which says, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”  Christ is the atoning sacrifice or payment for the sins of the whole world.

Are we to understand, then, that everyone is saved and going to Heaven?  Not at all!  The scriptures are very clear that, sadly enough, many will spend their eternity in the lake of fire, or Hell.  Revelation 20:11-15 clearly shows that many will cast into the lake of fire at the Great White Throne judgment.  It says, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Since Christ died for us all, then why don’t we all go to Heaven?  Let’s look at the words of the Lord Jesus in John 5:39-40 where He says, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”  Perhaps by reading some of the scriptures, you think that you have eternal life.  You read that Christ died for all, and assume that means that you have forgiveness of your sins.  The Lord pointed out that you must come to Him to have eternal life.  The Lord said in John 14:6, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  Eternal life is available to everyone, but you must, by faith, come to the Lord Jesus Christ to receive it.

The Philippian jailer in Acts, chapter 16 realized he was a sinner.  He wanted to be saved and asked the Apostle Paul what he had to do to be saved.  Let’s read Acts 16:29-32, “Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.”  Paul’s simple answer to this man who desired to be saved was to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.  Paul wrote in Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

So, while Christ died for all men, it is only those who put their faith in Him that have eternal life and will go to Heaven.  John 3:36 is very clear in its meaning.  It says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”  What about you?  Have you trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior?  The Lord died so that you might be saved.  His invitation and promise to you is simple.  The Lord says in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”