"To testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24
**PUBLISHED AS A MISSION PROJECT OF PILGRIMS HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH**
June 1, 2003
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WILL ANY TRUE BELIEVER IN CHRIST EVER BE CAST INTO THE TORMENTS OF HELL?
THE WHOSOEVER OF JOHN 3:16
THAILAND MISSIONS NEWS
WILL ANY TRUE BELIEVER IN CHRIST EVER BE CAST INTO THE TORMENTS OF HELL?
THE NATURE OF THE TORMENTS OF HELL
By Wayne Camp
TEXT: Luke 16:22-26 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
One of the questions that I frequently met during the first session of The Sovereign Grace Independent Baptist School of Theology in Thailand this past winter was the one that serves as the title for this series of articles—Will Any True Believer In Christ Ever Be Cast Into The Torments Of Hell? I dealt with it at the time but determined to write some material on it for use in the school this next year. Since this is a question that we often confront here in the U. S. A. also, I felt it would be good to let this material serve double duty—here and in Thailand and anywhere else any reader of it may find it useful.
For us to properly and scripturally answer this question, I feel we need to first look at the nature of the torments of hell. This will also include what the Bible teaches about who will be cast into that lake of tormenting fire.
THE TORMENTS OF HELL
Hell is a place of torment; of that there can be no doubt unless one denies the teaching of scripture. The Bible also gives us some terms that are very revealing about these torments.
The torments of hell are inescapable. This is clear from the words of Jesus concerning the request of the rich man about whom our text speaks. It was his request that Father Abraham send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool his tormented tongue. But, he learned that no one from heaven could ever pass into hell and no one from hell could ever ascend into heaven. Luke 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Of this verse, Matthew Henry said, “It is a pit in which there is no water, and out of which there is no redemption. The decree and counsel of God have fixed this gulf, which all the world cannot unfix.” The rich man had lost all his clout. He could prevail nothing with his request. Oh, the despair of those who die in unbelief and go into this place from which there is no escape. They must be forever tormented in its flames. It is impossible for a person, once he has entered into this place of torment, to ever hope for deliverance.
One who is sent to prison here on earth may hope for the day of release from that punishment. Even if he is given a sentence of life without parole, there is always that hope of a getting a new trial or getting his sentence revoked on the grounds of some technicality. But, when one hears that awful “Depart from me” he is without any hope of ever coming back into the favorable presence of God. Proverbs 11:7 When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.
The torments of hell are eternal. I realize some teach that hell is temporary but most of these teach that those in hell, after they are judged at the White Throne Judgment, will be cast into the lake of fire. Regardless of one’s position on this, it is unequivocally set forth in Scripture that the torments of those who go to hell will be eternal. Their torment is in everlasting burnings. Isaiah 33:14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
The torments of hell and of those who go there is everlasting fire and everlasting punishment. Matthew 25:41, 46 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Contrary to what Catholics teach, one’s sufferings, once he is cast into hell, are forever. Not only can they not leave that place once there, the inhabitants of hell will never know an easing of their suffering. It will be forever and ever and ever and ever. As long as the saved are in heaven, the unbelievers will suffer the torments of hell. The eternality of hell is exactly parallel with the eternality of heaven. Therefore, the torments of those who go to hell will be equivalent in time to the time of the joy and bliss of the saved in heaven. Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
In the verse above please notice that some of those awake to life. The life to which they awake is everlasting life. Note also that those who awake to shame and contempt awake to everlasting contempt. As I write this I keep thinking about those deluded souls who think that their stay in torment will be only temporary. There are those who believe that those who go to the torments of hell will only endure for a few moments and then they will be totally annihilated. Others, such as Roman Catholics, believe that one who dies with unconfessed sin go to a place called purgatory and if enough prayers and enough masses are said on their behalf they will eventually be able to leave the suffering of purgatory and ascend to heaven. How sad it will be when these folks learn that their suffering in the torments of hell is a permanent and eternal suffering from which there is no escape.
The same doctrine is taught elsewhere in Scripture. There are two resurrections. One is a resurrection unto life; the other a resurrection unto damnation. John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. In which resurrection will you be? Will you be in the resurrection of life or will you be in the resurrection of damnation? I pray that you know Christ as your Saviour and that you will be in the resurrection of life.
The torments of hell involve everlasting destruction of those who are there. From the pen of Matthew Henry come these dreadful but true words. “They shall be always dying, and yet never die. Their misery will run parallel with the line of eternity. The chains of darkness are everlasting chains, and the fire is everlasting fire. It must needs be so, since the punishment is inflicted by an eternal God, fastening upon an immortal soul, set out of the reach of divine mercy and grace.”
Commenting on this verse (2 Thes. 1:9) John Gill wrote,“With destruction both of soul and body, though not with the annihilation of either; their gnawing worm of conscience will never die, and the fire of divine wrath will never be quenched; the smoke of their torment will ascend for ever. Sin being committed against an infinite and eternal Being, will be infinite in its duration; nor will it cease to be in the persons punished, who will not be in the least reformed or purged from sin by punishment; which will make the continuance of it just and necessary.”
The torments of hell will be so terrible that those who are there will weep, wail, and gnash their teeth. Matthew 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Hell will be a place of intense darkness even though it is a place of tormenting flame. Some explain this by the fact that brimstone, which is like sulfur, burns with such intense smoke that whatever light may be there is smothered into darkness by the smoke. That may be but I would remind you that eternal darkness is part of the punishment for sin and God has not lost his sovereignty over hell and he can make it dark with flames by simply ordering it so. Moreover, the blackness of darkness is reserved for those in hell. Jude 13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. 2 Peter 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. Satan will be ultimately cast into the lake of fire and he and his angels are appointed to eternal darkness. Jude 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. In this intense darkness and torment the inhabitants of hell will weep, wail and gnash their teeth. Matthew 13:49-50 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The wicked will be cast into this furnace of fire where they will be tormented forever as they scream out their torments and gnash their teeth. Luke 13:27-28 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.
THE INHABITANTS OF HELL
Who are those who will inhabit hell? Regardless of what else may be said of them, there is one sin the characterizes all of those who shall inhabit the place of everlasting torments.
All who have never believed in Jesus Christ for salvation shall inhabit hell. John the Baptist made it very clear during his ministry. John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. According to this declaration of that man who was especially sent from God the person believing on Jesus Christ has everlasting life but the person who does not believe on Christ shall never see life but is under the abiding wrath of God.
Jesus made similar declarations during his ministry. He said that the unbeliever is condemned already. John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. All who die in unbelief are forever condemned to eternal torment.
The list of those who shall inhabit the eternal torments of everlasting fire is a gruesome roster. Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
The wicked shall be turned into hell. Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. This is the place where Satan, that old Serpent, and all his fallen angels will one day be cast. But, though they be ever so many, there will be room in hell for all the wicked. Isaiah 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
The sensuous will inhabit hell. Solomon describes a wicked woman of the world who lures men into her house to commit sin. He then warns that her guests who go in to her are in hell. Proverbs 9:13-18 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. 14 For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, 15 To call passengers who go right on their ways: 16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, 17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. 18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
This passage reminds us again of a verse we have already considered. Revelation 21:8 But the . . . whoremongers . . . shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
I am also reminded of a passage from the pen of the Apostle Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthian congregation. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Satan and all his cohorts will permanently inhabit hell and will suffer its torments with the human inhabitants of that place of everlasting destruction from the presence of God. Jesus declared that hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
Satan and his angels have long expected to be tormented in the flames of hell. This is evident from the cries of some demons whom Jesus was about to cast out of a man. Matthew 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? These demons knew that they were appointed for torment and were reserved for that torment. 2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. Jude 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
The anti-christ and false prophet will also be inhabitants of hell. Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
As I have said before, Satan will be cast into this place of torment. There he will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
The physical, mental and spiritual agony of that place called hell and the lake of fire is beyond the ability of expression of this writer. I do not know enough adjectives to describe it.
Father Abraham called on the rich man to remember his life and the opportunities he had but had squandered away in his love of his sumptuous life. The memories of wasted opportunities will be one of the torments of hell.
The bodies given to those in hell will be as sensitive to pain as they were on earth. In fact, they may very well be more sensitive. There is no pain like the pain of burning fire. Yet, for all eternity those who go to this place of torment will cry out because of its torments. They will weep; they will wail; they will gnash their teeth in torment.
The suffering will also be soul-suffering. The knowledge of their permanent banishment from the presence of God and his glory will torment them. But, sadly, they will continue to sin more against God even in their torments.
Thank God there will be no children of God who will ever enter this awful place. We are in Christ and he in us. There is a sense in which we have been in him since before the foundation of the world for we were chosen in him before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). There is a sense in which we have been in Christ since we believed on him as Lord and Saviour. And Dear Reader, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Rom. 8:1). Hell is a place for the condemned and there is no condemnation for the one who is in Christ. In fact, one who has believed on Christ has everlasting life and cannot come into condemnation (Jn. 5:24). We will look at these verses in more detail in future messages on this subject but must stop for now.
Our salvation is of the Lord. It is wholly of grace. It is not dependent in any manner upon our works, therefore, nothing we may do or fail to do can affect our salvation.
I am not saying that believers in Jesus Christ will not be chastened in this life. That is an evidence of our salvation. But chastening is in this life. When a child of God is absent from the body he will be immediately present with the Lord. Before the objector cries that this will encourage the saved to sin; I would remind you that the opposite is true. One who is truly a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ will have a persevering attachment to Jesus Christ. He will not be perfect but he will hold on his way and will be with the Lord when he departs this tabernacle of clay called his body. 2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Salvation from the penal punishment of sin, hell’s torments, is a gift of God and the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. Therefore I contend that there is no way a child of God can ever suffer the torments reserved for the wicked and the fallen angels. The very nature of the torments of hell should tell us that there is no way a child of God, a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ could ever be cast into that lake or tormenting fire.
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THAILAND MISSIONS NEWS
MAE PLAM DEDICATES NEW CHURCH BUILDING
In October of the year 2000 land was purchased in the village of Mae Plam for the church a building site. In October, 2001, Pastor Jack Duplechain left money given by the Raleigh Springs Baptist Church to purchase columns for the building.
The building is now finished and on Saturday, June 14, 2003, the building was dedicated to the service of the Lord. It is a Lahu stylebuilding constructed of bamboo and wood with a leaf roof.
Before the dedication service, the congregation prays outside before going into the new building for the service. Bro. Anond Phoothaptim, Missionary, leads the congregation in prayer.
Bro. Moses is the pastor at Mae Plam.
We rejoice that this congregation now has its own building. They have been meeting in the home of the pastor.
CHILDREN AT HILL TRIBES CHILDREN'S CENTER GET BICYCLES
The Bible Schoolers of Grace Baptist Church of Rose Mark, TN, have provided the money to purchase two bicycles for the children. Bro. Anond told me a couple of days ago that the children were very happy with the bicycles.
When he was here, the editor's daughter-in-law taught Bro. Anond to say "I love you" in sign language. He taught the children to do this and some are signing "I love you" in this picture. Sorry that you may not be able to see it in the picture.
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THE WHOSOEVER OF JOHN 3:16
By Wayne Camp
(Continued from last issue)
In the last issue we began a study of the word whosoever. We have seen thus far that the word is very weak unless it is qualified by some other word. We have examined several passages of Scripture in which the word appears and have seen that in every case the “whosoever” is always qualified by another word. Let us continue that study.
THE WHOSOEVER OF JN. 12:46
The same limitation that has been discussed is found in Jn. 12:46. “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” Who should not abide in darkness? If one should answer, “Whosoever will not abide in darkness,” most folk would immediately inquire: “Whosoever what?” It is obvious again that our word must be qualified for it to have any meaning. Whosoever just cannot operate alone. It is a most helpless, meaningless word unless it has some qualifying words to assist it. If the whosoever in Jn. 12:46 means you or means me we must be believers in Jesus Christ. We are excluded if we are in unbelief. We are not within a thousand miles of being included in that verse and its promise that those included should not walk in darkness unless we have trusted in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.
THE WHOSOEVER OF
ACTS 2:21 AND ROM. 10:13
Let us now consider another verse in which our word occurs. “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” It is clear that this whosoever is limited in its scope to those who call on the name of the Lord. If you were taking a test and I asked you this question: “In Acts 2:21 (which is the verse under consideration) to whom is salvation promised?” Would you answer: “Whosoever”? Or, would you answer: “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord”? Frankly, if you gave the first answer and I were the one giving the test I would mark your answer wrong and write at the end: “Whosoever WHAT?” If the correct answer were simply “Whosoever” then all men would be saved or no one would be saved. The truth is, whosoever is so meaningless without its qualifiers, we would not know who would be saved. The only possible answer that could be counted correct would be the last one.
The same would be true of the whosoever of Rom. 10:13. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The limitation and scope of this whosoever reaches only those who shall call on the name of the Lord. It goes not one person more. It is not universal, it is limited in its scope and the words “shall call upon the name of the Lord” define the scope of “whosoever.”
THE WHOSOEVER OF ACTS 10:43
Who receives the remission of their sins according to the preaching of Peter when at the house of Cornelius? Let Peter answer: “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). The ones receiving the remission of sins, according to the Apostle Peter, are only those who believe on Jesus Christ. The scope and limitation of the verse goes no further. The unbeliever is not included. One may protest: “He is included if he will only believe.” We grant that, we know that, we rejoice in that. But the scope has not changed. The verse has not changed. The limitation is not extended. It has always included any who believe on Christ. It has always excluded the unbeliever. So the “whosoever” of Acts 10:43 is as limited in scope as is the whosoever of Jn. 3:16. Neither is universal. Both are limited to believers.
THE WHOSOEVER OF ROM. 9:33 AND 10:11
“As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offense: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Rom. 9:33).
“For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Rom. 10:11).
The promise in both of these verses is that the persons included will not be ashamed or confounded. Is this promise to all men without exception? Is this promise to all men or is it to those who believe? The clear and unequivocal answer must be that the verses contain a promise that is limited to those who believe. There is nothing promised to the unbeliever in these verses.
THE WHOSOEVER OF I JN. 3:9 AND 5:18
In spite of the fact that some may feel that I am belaboring the point, I will ask the reader to look at four more verses before we move to the next point. In a discussion of the ways in which one can know that he has eternal life John deals with the matter of the habitual practice of sin. In the first verse that we consider he writes: “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (I Jn. 3:9). The idea in this verse is not the occasion of a single act of sin. Nor is it that the inner, regenerate man does not commit sin at all. John is saying that “whosoever is born of God” does not go on in the habitual practice of sin. To live a life of habitual sin is evidence that one is not born of God. The whosoever in this verse is limited to the ones born of God.
Again John writes: “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not” (I Jn. 5:18). Once again the idea is that the one who is born of God can know that he has experienced the new birth by the fact that he does not live a life of habitual sin. It has been said that a sheep may occasionally fall into the mud but he will not lie there and wallow like a hog. The person who makes a profession of faith and after a time returns to a life of habitual sin and perseveres in it is like a dog that returns to eat its own vomit and a sow that has been washed which returns to her wallowing in the mire. Her love of the mud indicates that her nature is still that of a hog and all the washing in the world will not change that.
One who has been made a partaker of the Divine nature, one who has been regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit, one who has been called by the grace of God and has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ can know that he has eternal life. One of the evidences is that his life is no longer a habitually sinful life. He is assured by a life that is governed by the law that God has written upon his heart that causes him to KEEP HIMSELF from a habitual life of sin. Yes, the verse did say that this one who is born of God “keepeth himself” and is not engaged in the constant life and love of sin.
THE WHOSOEVER OF I JN. 5:1
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” The lesson of this verse is that the believer in Jesus Christ is born of God. The new birth is the cause of faith and, therefore, the person who savingly believes on Jesus Christ can know that he has been regenerated. As a commonly accepted confession of faith, the New Hampshire Confession of Faith, states it: “Repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls in regeneration. . . .” It is not the purpose of this article to argue the order, but since some seemingly peruse the pages of the various periodicals to find things with which to take issue, I will assert that I believe that regeneration, repentance and faith are all part of one instantaneous experience, but for the sake of elucidation, explication, and interpretation, we consider them separately and in what is evidently their Biblical order, i. e., regeneration, repentance, and faith.
The purpose here is to show that the whosoever of I Jn. 5:1 is not universal in scope. Since regeneration is a work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the object of Divine saving grace and is not the result of the action of the person, there is no condition suggested that the whosoever must meet. The whosoever of the verse is limited to those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. The qualifying and scope-defining words in the verse are “believeth that Jesus is the Christ.” Those who believe in their hearts that Jesus is the Christ can have the assurance that they have been regenerated. They are not regenerated because they believe but they can know that they have been born of God because they have believed.
THE WHOSOEVER OF REV. 22:17
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
Before dealing with the whosoever of this verse it should be pointed out that it does not say, as it is often misquoted as saying: “Whosoever will may come.” As a matter of fact that expression is not to be found in all of Holy Writ. I did not say that the statement is not true, for it is. It is true that “whosoever wills to come may come.” But, I recall a lady who once protested an article written by this editor. She said: “I believe it just exactly like it is written in the last chapter of the Bible, ‘Whosoever will may come’.” The problem is that the last chapter of the Bible does not have it written “just exactly” that way. A thorough search of the chapter will not reveal that “exact” statement.
The statement is: “Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” It should be pointed out that “whosoever” is not found in the Greek text of this verse though the expression that is found means basically the same thing. The expression HO THELON that is found in the Greek literally translates “HE THAT WILLS” rather than “WHOSOEVER WILLS.” This is one of the favorite whosoevers of those who advocate a universal scope and the word is literally not there.
Even if the expression were exactly as it appears in the KJV, the whosoever is still limited to those who WILL TO TAKE OF THE WATER OF LIFE FREELY. Like the whosoever of Jn. 3:16, the whosoever of Rev. 22:17 is limited in its scope by the qualifying words which follow.
TO WHOM DOES WHOSOEVER REFER
Seeing the limitations of the word whosoever as set forth in the numerous verses that we have read we can say that the whosoever of Jn. 3:16 is limited to the elect for the following reasons:
First, it is the sheep of Christ who hear his voice and believe on him. Notice the words of Jesus in Jn. 10:26: “But, ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” Here Jesus clearly declares to some that the reason that they do not believe on him is that they are not of his sheep. He did not say that they were not of his sheep because they did not believe but rather that they did not believe because they were not of his sheep. Then he says: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (v-27). Whosoever is, in some places, qualified by the expression “heareth.” Now who are those who hear? It is the sheep of Christ which were given to him by the Father and whom he must bring into the fold who will surely and certainly hear his voice and come to him. John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
It is those whom the Father gave to Christ who will certainly come to him. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last. day” (Jn. 6:37-40).
There is an amazing note of certainty in these verses. The first verse clearly implies that there is a particular group of people whom the Father has given unto Christ. Jesus unequivocally declares that all those who were given to him will come to him. Whosoever comes to Jesus Christ in faith receives everlasting life. That whosoever is limited to those who come. There are those who will definitely come, i. e., those given to him by the Father.
Our text declares: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Is there a certain group of specific people who will savingly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? The answer is an unequivocal and resounding “YES!!!!” Read what Paul says to Titus about the faith of the elect. “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness” (Titus 1:1). Notice the expression: “the faith of God’s elect.” THE WHOSOEVER OF JOHN 3:16 is composed of those who have the faith of God’s elect.
The whosoever of Jn. 3:16 includes all of and only those who were chosen unto salvation before the foundation of the world for it is this group that will believe the saving truth of the gospel. “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” (II Thes. 2:13). In the epistle to Titus Paul refers to the faith of God’s elect. Now he tells us that it is those who were chosen to salvation before the foundation of the world who are saved through the sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. It is those who were chosen before the foundation of the world who have the faith of God’s elect and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for everlasting life. They are the ones who are included in the whosoever of Jn. 3:16. THE WHOSOEVER OF JOHN 3:16 is limited in scope to those who believe on Jesus Christ and those are the ones chosen to salvation before the foundation of the world.
THE WHOSOEVER OF JOHN 3:16 is limited to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. But once more, who are those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? It is that group of folk who were ordained to eternal life. “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48).
Paul goes to Antioch of Pisidia to preach the gospel. He, as was his custom, first preached to the Jews without much apparent success. The Gentiles of the city asked him to preach to them. When they heard that salvation was also come to the Gentiles they were very happy “and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” Keep in mind that the whosoever of Jn. 3:16 is limited to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and receive everlasting life. Who then is included in the whosoever of John 3:16, if not all men are included? The question calls for another question. Who are they who believe? We answer with the words AS MANY AS WERE ORDAINED TO ETERNAL LIFE BELIEVED. They are the ones who are included in the whosoever of Jn. 3:16. THE WHOSOEVER OF JOHN 3:16 is limited in scope to those who believe on Jesus Christ and those are the ones chosen to salvation before the foundation of the world.
THE WHOSOEVER OF JOHN 3:16 is limited to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. But once more, who are those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? It is that group of folk who were ordained to eternal life. “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). Paul goes to Antioch of Pisidia to preach the gospel. He, as was his custom, first preached to the Jews without much apparent success. The Gentiles of the city asked him to preach to them. When they heard that salvation was also come to the Gentiles they were very happy “and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”
Keep in mind that the whosoever of Jn. 3:16 is limited to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and receive everlasting life. Who then is included in the whosoever of Jn. 3:16, if not all men are included? The question calls for another question. Who are they who believe? We answer with the words AS MANY AS WERE ORDAINED TO ETERNAL LIFE BELIEVED. There is no indication that more will believe than those ordained to eternal life. There is no indication that more will come to Christ than those who were given unto him. There is no indication that more than those sheep of Christ who were given into his hand by the Father will hear his voice. There is no indication that more than those chosen unto salvation before the foundation of the world will believe the saving truth of the gospel. There is no indication that more than God’s elect will ever have the faith of God’s elect. Therefore we can safely say, and we do unequivocally and with absolute certainty proclaim that the whosoever of Jn. 3:16 is confined, limited, and restricted to those who were ordained, elected, and predestinated to eternal life and were given to Christ to save.
THE WHOSOEVER OF JOHN 3:16 ARE THE OBJECTS OF GOD’S GREAT LOVE AND THE BLESSINGS OF THE SALVATION SET FORTH IN THE VERSE.
The whosoevers of Jn. 3:16 are the ones who are the objects of God’s great and sovereign love. They compose the world of Jn. 3:16. They are the one’s who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ because they have the faith of God’s elect. They are the ones who will never perish. They will not come into condemnation for they have passed from death unto life. They have eternal life.
In our a future message in this study, we will consider The Faith Of John 3:16. At this time I would admonish you, dear reader, that if you have not believed on Jesus Christ, the only way that you can know that you are included in the whosoever of Jn. 3:16 is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. The great Spurgeon once preached a sermon on the doctrine of election. At the door after the message, a woman asked: “How may I know that I am one of the elect?” Spurgeon replied: “Hast thou believed?”
If you were to ask this editor: “Bro: Camp, how may I know that I am included in the whosoever of Jn. 3:16?” My reply would be very simple: “Have you believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation? Are you now believing on the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation? Are you now relying entirely upon him as your surety and Saviour?” If you are, then you may be assured that you are included in THE WHOSOEVER OF JOHN 3:16. And, if he has not already done so, I pray that God may grant you the faith to lay hold of Jesus Christ.
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