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Did Jesus die for the whole world's sin?

Answer

Thank you for your interesting question about Jesus and sin. 

The simple answer is that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was sufficient to pay the price the whole of human sin, but in light of God's justice, it would be unfair for Christ to be punished for a person who would ultimately reject him.

Let us look at this in more detail. 

First is to identify and recognise that the work of Jesus Christ on the cross was sufficient for all of human sin, past, present and future. 

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). 

He entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12). 

From this, and many others that we could mention, we can see that Jesus' work on the cross was enough to be for the whole world. As Jesus is God, there is nothing that is too hard for him or that gets past his knowledge. The sacrifice of Jesus was sufficient for the whole of mankind. 

However, this does not mean that everyone will be saved. Jesus makes it clear that you must believe in him and his work on the cross to be saved.

"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,that whoever believes in him may have eternal life" (John 3:14-15).

"For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6:40). 

It is clear however that not everyone will believe in Jesus. We also know from Abraham that God's justice is perfect. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?" (Genesis 18:28). Therefore, it would be unfair for Jesus to be punished for someone's sin, and for the sinner to be punished for their sin. 

So what do we say about this? We are not able to know whether or not a person's sin was paid for by Christ. It would be very useful to have a tool or device by which Christians could use to witness only to those who were, but this is not the case. Rather, Christians are told by Jesus to "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:15-16).

The preaching of God's word happens every day throughout the world, with many receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. 

In summary, the work of Jesus Christ on the cross was sufficient to pay for everyone's sin, but because of God's justice, it cannot be that both Jesus and a sinner are punished for the same sins. Similarly, it is also not true that everyone will be saved. Therefore, we come to the conclusion that Jesus' death on the cross paid for those who would ultimately accept him. 

It is the Christian's responsibility to witness to everyone and be encouraged when people respond positively to the gospel.

You may be asking this question for yourself, wondering if your sin has paid for by Jesus Christ, but you are not sure. I want to encourage you to ask Jesus for the forgiveness of your sin and to live your life for him alone. With the gift of the Holy Spirit inside of you, this will be a sign that you are saved and that Jesus has paid the price for your sin. 

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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