Let the Scriptures Speak

by Dr. Ken Matto

One of the most prevalent teachings in the modern church is the teaching that Christ died for the sins of the whole world and it is up to a person to "accept" the Lord to procure that forgiveness. Once you do that then you have become saved and you are God's elect.

Another method of rationalizing predestination and election which is universal in those churches who teach free will is that God looked down the corridor of time and saw who would accept Him and then He predestined them and at some time in their life, after hearing the gospel, would accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. There are 2 problems with this theory:

1. If God saw who was going to accept Christ, then it is still a person's choice, time does not matter because it is still man making the choice, not God.

2. If a person chooses something, they cannot be "elected." Choice is something a person does, election is something that happens to a person. The first is active, the second is passive, a major difference. If a General says to a soldier, "drive my jeep," that person is being elected. If a General stands before 10 soldiers and says, "I need a volunteer to drive my jeep," then one of those 10 will make a choice. A big difference!!!

One method of Satan we Christians must be cognizant of is that he gets us to twist Christianity to make it seem like it is our work and not the work of God.

Let us attend to what the Scriptures teach on Limited Atonement which contravenes Universal Atonement.

(Mat 1:21 KJV) And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Already at the beginning of His life, there was a biblical statement teaching us that Jesus would die for HIS people, not all the people in the world!

(Mat 13:10-15 KJV) And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? {11} He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. {12} For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. {13} Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. {14} And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: {15} For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

(Mark 4:10-12 KJV) And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. {11} And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: {12} That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

If Jesus came for the purpose of bringing salvation to the entire world, then why did He speak only in parables so those who heard Him would not understand? Is this a paradox of Scripture or limited atonement?

(Mat 20:28 KJV) Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

This verse tells us Christ gave His life a ransom for many not that He died for the whole world!

(Mat 22:14 KJV) For many are called, but few are chosen.

Here is the reason when a person preaches and gives an invitation, only a very small amount becomes saved. Only those who are chosen will respond.

(Mat 26:28 KJV) For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

The blood of Jesus is shed for "many" not the whole world.

(Mark 13:20 KJV) And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

Here we read of the "elect" that God chose. Where is free will in this one?

(Luke 13:23-28 KJV) Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, {24} Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. {25} When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: {26} Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. {27} But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. {28} There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

Here God teaches us plainly that there will be an end to His salvation plan. When the last one He has chosen becomes saved, then the end will come. It will not go on into some mythical 1,000 year reign. Once the end comes, that is it, there will be no more time.

(Luke 24:31 KJV) And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

Here the Bible teaches us that the two disciples on the road to Emmaus could not recognize Jesus until He opened their spiritual eyes. Remember what Jesus said in John 3:3? You must be born again to see the kingdom of God. Who is the kingdom of God personified?

(John 1:12-13 KJV) 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: {13} Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

These verses tell us that Man's will or flesh can do nothing to gain salvation, it is all of God.

(John 13:1 KJV) Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

Does Jesus love everyone in the world or just His own?


Let me just pause here for a moment to reflect. If you are reading this monograph, no doubt there is a desire in your heart to know more about this subject. As we can see, God has written the Bible in such a way that each word is so meticulously placed as to give true meaning to a passage or doctrine. When we ignore these small words or phrases to create a palatable doctrine, then we adulterate Scripture and, I believe, we are guilty of violating Revelation 22:18 & 19 where we are warned about taking away and adding to Scripture. Doctrinal distortion fits into that warning. (It is not only reserved for the modern versions where thousands of words are removed and added.) A good example of this is where John 1:12 is quoted but verse 13 is left off. If you look at these verses you will see there is a semi-colon at the end of verse 12, in both the English and Greek, which means verse 12 is not a complete thought without verse 13. When we ignore verse 13 which states salvation is of God and replace that truth with teaching that "we accept the Lord," we are taking away the truth of Scripture and adding false doctrine. It is as dangerous as adding and subtracting actual words.


(John 13:18 KJV) I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

The words here do not say , "I know who has accepted me."

(John 15:16 KJV) Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Here is a very plain statement that Christ chooses us, not the other way around.

(Acts 16:14 KJV) And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

Here is another plain statement that Christ opened the spiritual eyes of Lydia, even though she believed she was worshipping God. If Christ opens the heart, then it is clearly up to Him to choose the person.

(Acts 22:6-9 KJV) And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. {7} And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? {8} And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. {9} And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

Here is the account of Paul's conversion but if you notice, the voice from Heaven spoke to Paul and he heard and responded to the voice. Isn't it interesting how those around him saw the light but did not hear the voice. Let's transfer the principle to today. 2 people are sitting in church and the preacher preaches a sermon on Hell and then speaks of God's salvation plan. One person fears and trembles and seeks the salvation while the other one yawns and classifies the sermon as the same ole' fire and brimstone he has always heard. Both heard the same sermon, yet one heard it and the other did not. Why? Because God opened the spiritual ears of one and not the other. Just like on the road to Damascus, many saw the light but heard not the voice because at that time, Christ was calling Paul and not the others. The 2 sitting in church, Christ called one and qualified that person to hear and not the other.

(Rom 8:28-30 KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. {29} For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. {30} Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

I have heard many preachers use this verse to explain away predestination. They say we are predestined to be conformed to the image of God's Son, which is correct. However, the only way that can happen, is if we become saved. There is a progression in these verses which cannot be ignored:

1. God foreknew us, those He was planning to save, then:

2. God predestinated us to salvation, then:

3. God called us at a certain time during our life, then:

4. God justified us (declaring us not guilty), then:

5. God glorified us. (partially now and fully in heaven)

Did we see anywhere in these passages that it is my decision to accept Christ or is it all of God from the beginning to the end?

(Eph 1:3-11 KJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: {4} According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: {5} Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, {6} To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. {7} In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; {8} Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; {9} Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: {10} That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: {11} In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

If you look at every underlined phrase in these verses, can you find any phrase where a person can accept Christ at any time? We see it is all of the Lord.

(2 Th 2:13 KJV) But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

This verse shows us that God chose us from the beginning for salvation. This teaching is closely linked to the following verses which show that salvation is totally out of our hands and we can do nothing to accept Christ.

(Heb 4:3 KJV) For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

(Rev 13:8 KJV) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

(Rev 17:8 KJV) The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

The names of those who God planned to save were written in the Lambs Book of Life before the foundation of the world. The final questions I have are where were you before the foundations of the world and were you able to accept Christ before you were created?

(Rev 17:14 KJV) These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.


I mentioned before that God placed words in the Bible in a particular manner to specify doctrines and the majority of Christians do not pay attention to these words but rather change their meanings on a whim. Below are some examples which contain the phrase "for us."

(Rom 4:24 KJV) But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

(Rom 5:8 KJV) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

(Rom 8:26 KJV) Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

(Rom 8:32 KJV) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

(Rom 8:34 KJV) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

(1 Cor 5:7 KJV) Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

(2 Cor 5:21 KJV) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

(Gal 3:13 KJV) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

(Eph 5:2 KJV) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

(1 Th 5:10 KJV) Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

(Titus 2:14 KJV) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

(Heb 9:24 KJV) For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

(1 Pet 4:1 KJV) Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

(1 John 3:16 KJV) Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Consistently the term "for us" is used in the pulpit as a synonym for the universal atonement mindset. The verse which is the most abused is Romans 5:8:

(Rom 5:8 KJV) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The term "for us" designates a specific group of people. Do a study on the term in Scripture, "for us" and you will see in all of its 39 appearances, it never refers to the entire world, only to a select group of people which is God's elect.