Doran refutes sentiment that: “Atonement is a process that never ends”

JP: An excellent read by Dave Doran (on True Compass: A Memoir where Kennedy writes: “Atonement is a process that never ends”)

A Savor of Death and of Life


Atonement is a process that never ends. Those words pressed on me a mixture of sadness and joy. Sadness because of the hopelessness of such thinking and at the deceptive destruction they inflict on the soul. Wrapped in those words is the foolish idea that we somehow can atone for our sins. Think about it—Kennedy still thought, apparently, he was in the process of atoning for this sin four decades after it happened. How can anybody ever hope to atone for a life of sins if atonement is like this? How sad that people live in such bondage and blindness.

But reading it also caused my heart to fill with joy precisely because Kennedy was completely wrong. Atonement for my sins isn’t a process that never ends; it happened at Calvary once and for all! This is a central part of Hebrews’ message—“but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb 9:26) and “so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many….” Here is real hope. Christ did for us what we could not do for ourselves. Because He was God’s infinite Son, He could bear the full penalty for all our sins, satisfying God’s wrath against sin and making a full atonement for sin. A sinner cannot atone for his own sins, but a sinless One can! That’s why I love to sing this line from “Hallelujah! What a Savior:”

Guilty, vile, and helpless we, Spotless Lamb of God was He; Full atonement! Can it be? Hallelujah, what a Savior!

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