Arminianism teaches that the atonement of Christ is unlimited, where Christ died for all and salvation is available to all. However, in the strict meaning of the word, there is no such thing as unlimited atonement. That would only be true if everyone got saved. The fact is, only a small fringe group of people believe in universal salvation. Orthodox, historical Christians reject such a notion, because the Bible does not support such a notion. This is something both Arminian and Calvinist Christians agree on. Both agree that salvation is limited to those who hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and receive Him as Savior.
Therefore, the use of the phrase unlimited atonement is not only inaccurate, but misleading. It presents the wrong picture of the atonement and creates unnecessary confusion. Therefore, it shouldn’t be used to describe the atonement. Thus, a more precise designation for the Arminian Christian to use would be: “atonement limited to those who hear and receive in faith.” That’s a long phrase to use, but it’s at least accurate. Perhaps the shorter phrase “conditional unlimited atonement” would be more appropriate. However, it’s not as plainly stated or as accurate as the longer version, but it’s at least more accurate than “unlimited atonement.”
Since we can all agree that salvation is limited to those who hear the message of Christ and receive Him as Savior, that means there’s a group of people throughout history who have never heard the message of Christ, and thus, never had the opportunity to receive Him as Savior. I make the case in the following article that these two facts point to Divine appointments, which points to unconditional Sovereign election. Arminian theology simply has no reasonable answer for the facts and arguments presented in this article. Every Christian should consider the implications of these things and come to an honest conclusion about the extent of the atonement.
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