Larry Ray Hafley
Certainly, as the grand, old hymn says, "Jesus paid it all. All to Him I
owe." To his Father, the Son of God said, "I have finished the work which thou
gavest me to do" (Jn. 17:4). On the cross, he said, "It is finished" (Jn.
What more could God have done? What else could Jesus have suffered and
sacrificed for our salvation? Absolutely nothing is lacking in the work of God
for the salvation of man. If any one is lost, if any man dies in his sins, it
will not be because the Lord failed to complete his work in obtaining eternal
redemption for us (Heb. 9:12).
This Is True Because:
1) "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (Jn.
3:16). God's love and mercy is universal. No one is excluded. God is "not
willing that any should perish" (2 Pet. 3:9). He desires to "have all men to be
saved" (1 Tim. 2:4).
2) "There is no respect of persons with God" (Rom. 2:11; 1 Pet. 1:17). Men
may be partial and prejudiced toward their fellowman. Injustice occurs when some
are unfairly rewarded while others are discriminated against. This cannot happen
before God. He judges every man "in righteousness" (Acts 17:31; 2 Tim. 4:8).
3) Jesus shed his blood and tasted "death for every man" (Heb. 2:9; 1 Jn.
2:2). The Savior died for those who crucified him, for Adolf Hitler, and for you
and me. No one was excluded.
4) "The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men" (Titus
2:11). The infinite mercy of God neither ignores nor neglects any man. All have
access unto the healing, cleansing powers of heaven (Isa. 55:7; Acts 10:34, 35).
"Whosoever will" may come to the Lord and find grace to help in time of need
Since those facts are true, why are not all men saved? If God loves the
world, if God is impartial, if Christ died for all, if the grace of God is open
to all, why are some still lost in their sins while others are forgiven and
Here Is Why
Despite the fact that "Jesus paid it all," some are yet in their sins and
unsaved because they have not believed and obeyed the Lord (Lk. 6:46; Jn. 3:36).
Consider the following parallels from God's physical laws of nature.
First, God has given sunshine and "rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons,
filling our hearts with food and gladness" (Acts 14:17). Food and water preserve
our physical lives and provide nourishment for our bodies. However, if men
refuse to eat and drink, what will happen? Obviously, they will die. Even though
God has made every provision for man, if he will not obey the laws of nature and
eat, he will perish. So, our kind, loving Lord supplies us with food, but we
must accept it and appropriate it. We must eat and drink what he has fully and
freely supplied, or we will die.
Second, when our bodies become ill, they need medicine. God has furnished the
elements, the drugs, the healing, soothing salve, to cure our maladies. It
matters not how potent a pill may be, it must be accepted and taken before it
can do its work. Salve must be applied before it can bring its power to bear on
what afflicts us.
Likewise, all the powers of heaven have been expended and extended to bring
salvation to us. As God will not "force feed" the man who will not eat, neither
will he compel conversion upon a man who will not "take the water of life
freely." As our gracious God has distributed water unto man to sustain his life,
but will not make him drink it, so he has dispensed "living water" in the person
of his Son, but he will not drink it for him. In either the natural or the
spiritual realm, the individual must be willing to accept and appropriate the
water of life. To this agree the words of the prophet who said, "Thy people
shall be willing in the day of thy power" (Psa. 110:3).
Since one must willingly receive the free gift of eternal life from God, how
does he do so?
Here Is How
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on his name" (Jn. 1:12).
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom
of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matt.
"Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he
suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto
all them that obey him" (Heb. 5:8, 9).
"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the
tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Rev.
Eternal salvation is for all those who believe and obey the Son of God. Those
who do not believe and who "obey not obey the gospel," will be "punished with
everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his
power" (2 Thess. 1:8, 9; Cf. Rom. 2:8, 9).
A Case Study
The saints at Rome provide a case study, a divine demonstration, of how one
receives the blessings and benefits of the "finished work" of Christ. They had
received the free gift of God, eternal life (Rom. 6:23). They had been
"justified by" (a.) Grace, (b.) The Blood of Christ, and by (c.) Faith (Rom.
3:24, 5:1, 9). But when?
Here Is When
"But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed
from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made
free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Rom. 6:17, 18).
When the Romans were "baptized into Jesus Christ" and "baptized into his
death," they were then raised to "walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:3, 4). That
is when they were justified; that is when they received the free gift of God and
"became the servants of righteousness."
Jesus "paid it all." He "finished the work" God gave him to do. Still, the
Romans were not saved until they "obeyed" the word of the Lord, and so it is
with us today. The Savior has accomplished his work and made every provision for
salvation. Yet, we must accept it; we must obey the gospel in order to receive
the gift of life. Have you received and obeyed him? Do not be like a starving
man who refuses to eat. Do not be like a sick man who will not take the medicine
that will restore his health. Because Jesus has "paid it all," receive his free
gift of eternal life by obedient faith today (Rom. 1:5; 16:26).