by Charles Spurgeon
"Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her!" Ephesians 5:25
"I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." John 10:11
If Christ on His cross intended to save every man--then He intended to save those who were eternally lost before He died! If the doctrine of universal atonement is true, that He died for all men--then He died for some who were in Hell before He came into this world, for doubtless there were even then myriads there who had been cast away because of their sins.
Once again, if it was Christ's intention to save all men--then how deplorably has He been disappointed, for we have His own testimony that there is a lake which burns with fire and brimstone, and into that pit of woe have been cast some of the very persons who, according to the theory of universal redemption, were bought with His blood! That seems to me a conception a thousand times more repulsive than any of those consequences which are said to be associated with the Christian doctrine of special and particular redemption.
To think that my Savior died for men who were or are in Hell, seems a supposition too horrible for me to entertain. To imagine for a moment that He was the Substitute for all people, and that God, having first punished the Substitute, afterwards punished the sinners themselves--seems to conflict with all my ideas of divine justice. That Christ should offer an atonement and satisfaction for the sins of all men, and that afterwards some of those very men should be punished for the sins for which Christ had already atoned--appears to me to be the most monstrous iniquity that could ever have been imputed to Saturn, to Janus, to the goddess of the Thugs, or to the most diabolical heathen deities. God forbid that we should ever think thus of Jehovah, the just and wise and good!
We do not believe that Christ redeemed the damned. We do not believe that He poured out His life blood for souls already in Hell. We never can imagine that Christ suffered in the room and stead of all men, and that then afterwards these same men have to suffer for themselves.
We hold to this--that Christ laid down His life for His sheep, and secured the salvation of every one of them.