We are not into particular love or limited atonement.In fact, Falwell goes on to drop the "h-bomb" (heresy), which has already received comment elsewhere. Now normally I would have no idea what Jerry Falwell's most recent announcement might contain, but I got news of it through Thor's reaction:
Is he really suggesting that Jesus Christ was a substitutionary sacrifice for the all the sins of all those who will ultimately reject Jesus as Lord and Savior?Well, Thor, it may be bait but I'll bite. Christ died for all: he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, not only ours but for those of the whole world. God is not willing that any should be lost, but wants all to come to repentance.
I suspect that we can place where the disconnect happens here: where the original quote (Falwell) discusses atonement and the reply (Thor) discusses substitutionary sacrifice.
In the Sinai Covenant, the Day of Atonement included a sacrifice that could be understood as a substitutionary sacrifice. This sacrifice was made for the whole people, but it was understood that the unrepentant received no benefit from a substitutionary sacrifice, even one offered on their behalf. That's because substitutionary sacrifice is not the whole of atonement. The objection that is usually raised against Christ being the atoning sacrifice not only for us, but also for the whole world, is an objection that sees forgiveness as forensic (in this case, a decree of acquittal or pardon), and assumes that therefore the whole of atonement is forensic, assumes that everything happens because the Judge decreed it.
If you assume a "reunion with God" view of atonement, then Christ being the atoning sacrifice not only for us, but also for the whole world doesn't pose a problem at all. We can confidently announce Christ's redemption not just to some subset of the world but to anyone we meet: Christ is for the whole world, and they belong to the world, therefore Christ is for them in particular.
I am going to take one of the classic prooftexts of substitutionary sacrifice and quote it in context. Notice how the apostle Paul assumes a framework of reconciliation with God -- and non-compulsory grace -- for his announcement of substitutionary sacrifice: "All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain." (2 Cor 5:18-6:1)
Take care & God bless