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Old 01-24-2011, 01:44 PM
 
20,324 posts, read 15,687,589 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bright Hope for Tomorrow View Post
Regarding the comments above, what would you say to an atheist who says they have tried desperating to believe, but can't? I have seen posts from two or three unbelievers on this forum who have said that. I never thought of it that way until I read their comments.

As an analogy, let's say someone told you that you had to believe in aliens from outer space or you would die. Maybe you would want desperately to believe it just because you thought there was a chance they were right. Maybe you were afraid of not believing it and didn't want to die. Now, let's say in your mind and your heart you really did not believe in aliens from outer space, but you tried and tried to start believing it just so you wouldn't die, but no matter how hard you tried to believe it, your mind and heart just kept telling you different.

So, can you really "choose" to believe something that in your mind and/or heart you simply do not believe?

If an extra-terrestrial being suddenly beamed down in a spaceship in your front yard, or appeared by your bed and talked to you, then you wouldn't have any trouble believing it because your eyes would be opened.

This analogy shows that it takes more than just a CHOICE to believe something. Some people actually WANT to believe, but somehow just can't get there.
You either believe what John 16:8-11 tells you about the Holy Spirit convicting the world (the unbeliever) of the sin of unbelief or you don't.

A person who is persuaded by the gospel message under the common grace ministry of the Holy Spirit can respond to the gospel. The Holy Spirit always convicts the hearer of the gospel message of the sin of unbelief, of righteousness, and of judgment. In so doing, He tries to persuade the hearer of the gospel concerning the truth of it. But whether the person responds to that conviction is up to him. Those who say they have tried to believe but can't, just could not bring themselves to trust that the gospel is true despite having been convicted of the sin of unbelief. Many people will not believe in anything they can't see with their own eyes. Many people have ...'issues' that they must deal with. God gives each person a sufficient amount of time on this earth to respond to the gospel. But when their time is up, it's up. And with that I will again refer you to the following passages.

Romans 1:18 'For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19] because that which is known about God is evident within them. 20] For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21] For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened. 22] Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23] And exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures'.


Even before gospel hearing, all are without excuse. Man can suppress the truth concerning God in unrighteousness. God's power and eternal nature have been clearly seen and understood through what has been made. But man can suppress the truth. Do you believe what the Bible says about that or do you reject it?



1 Corinthians 1:18 'For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God, 19] For it is written, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.'' 20' Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21] For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.


2 Corinthians 4:3 'And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4] in whose case the god of this world had blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

God will not reach down and forceably turn anyone from negative to positive. But He tries to get through to everyone through the Gospel. Yet people can suppress the truth.

But if you will not understand or believe what these passages say, neither then will you believe me.
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,965 posts, read 5,578,671 times
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Mike555 Wrote:
Quote:
Romans 1:18 'For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19] because that which is known about God is evident within them. 20] For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21] For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened. 22] Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23] And exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures'.
It seems to me that the above is exactly what the teaching of the doctrine of ET does - changing the true image of God into something really corruptible. In doing so, people become fools and their hearts are darkened - they cannot see the Light of Christ because they hold a false image of God in their minds.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Italy
6,387 posts, read 5,116,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
Refer to John 16:8-11. That's the common grace ministry of the Holy Spirit. He makes the issue of salvation understandable. Whether you choose to listen is your choice. Of course whoever is presenting the gospel message has to be giving correct information.



No it is not His faith. God gave you the ability to have faith in whatever it is you have faith in. The exercise of that faith is your responsibility. It is YOUR faith.

The condition of salvation is personal non-meritorious faith directed toward Jesus Christ who is the object of that faith. Acts 16:31 'Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved...'

John 3:36 ''He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey (believe) the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.'' And that's in spite of the fact that God desires that all men be saved. (1 Tim 2:4.)


The work of salvatioin was done by Christ on the Christ. The means of appropriating what Christ did on the cross is through faith directed toward Christ.
So Mike, it sounds like you are saying that Adam succeeded 100 percent in condemning mankind; but Christ is much less successful, since so many people "reject" Him...

This conclusion, aisi, is not at all the Good News of the Gospel.
In fact, if it is "good news" that most of mankind is unsaveable, then it is really bad news. It means that Christ has failed, and that Adam 1 has won. Condemnation and death are the victors.


But Jesus Christ is the Last Adam. Everything that the first Adam lost, Christ is regaining. Whether we "choose" Him or not. Salvation is of the Jews.

That is my understanding of "Good News," my friend!

Blessings,
brian
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:32 PM
 
1,897 posts, read 1,723,747 times
Reputation: 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
You either believe what John 16:8-11 tells you about the Holy Spirit convicting the world (the unbeliever) of the sin of unbelief or you don't.

A person who is persuaded by the gospel message under the common grace ministry of the Holy Spirit can respond to the gospel. The Holy Spirit always convicts the hearer of the gospel message of the sin of unbelief, of righteousness, and of judgment. In so doing, He tries to persuade the hearer of the gospel concerning the truth of it. But whether the person responds to that conviction is up to him. Those who say they have tried to believe but can't, just could not bring themselves to trust that the gospel is true despite having been convicted of the sin of unbelief. Many people will not believe in anything they can't see with their own eyes. Many people have ...'issues' that they must deal with. God gives each person a sufficient amount of time on this earth to respond to the gospel. But when their time is up, it's up. And with that I will again refer you to the following passages.

Romans 1:18 'For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19] because that which is known about God is evident within them. 20] For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21] For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened. 22] Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23] And exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures'.


Even before gospel hearing, all are without excuse. Man can suppress the truth concerning God in unrighteousness. God's power and eternal nature have been clearly seen and understood through what has been made. But man can suppress the truth. Do you believe what the Bible says about that or do you reject it?



1 Corinthians 1:18 'For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God, 19] For it is written, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.'' 20' Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21] For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.


2 Corinthians 4:3 'And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4] in whose case the god of this world had blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

God will not reach down and forceably turn anyone from negative to positive. But He tries to get through to everyone through the Gospel. Yet people can suppress the truth.

But if you will not understand or believe what these passages say, neither then will you believe me.
See the words in purple above. If a person "tries" to believe and can't, you say they just could not bring themselves to trust that the gospel is true. So, when the Holy Spirit "tries," (as you put it) to persuade someone, and He fails, what's His excuse? In both situations, they "try" but you don't seem to have a problem with God trying to do something, yet remaining unable to do what He wants.

The "without excuse" scripture is talking to people who already knew God. These people could look around and see the rebirth and regeneration of everything in nature. They could see the master plan that God had when he planned the whole world. They could see that nothing He created goes to waste because it all has a purpose and is useful in some way. Yet they did not choose to believe in God's divine character. They were without excuse because God's creation paints for us the beauty of Himself and his plan for mankind. It was right in front of their eyes, but they closed their eyes, minds, and hearts to God's goodness and holiness, and chose to believe false things about Him that were not revealed in nature or by the Holy Spirit.

P.S. I never said anything about not believing any biblical passages. Maybe you should read my previous post again.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:49 PM
 
20,324 posts, read 15,687,589 times
Reputation: 7441
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bright Hope for Tomorrow View Post
See the words in purple above. If a person "tries" to believe and can't, you say they just could not bring themselves to trust that the gospel is true. So, when the Holy Spirit "tries," (as you put it) to persuade someone, and He fails, what's His excuse? In both situations, they "try" but you don't seem to have a problem with God trying to do something, yet remaining unable to do what He wants.

The "without excuse" scripture is talking to people who already knew God. These people could look around and see the rebirth and regeneration of everything in nature. They could see the master plan that God had when he planned the whole world. They could see that nothing He created goes to waste because it all has a purpose and is useful in some way. Yet they did not choose to believe in God's divine character. They were without excuse because God's creation paints for us the beauty of Himself and his plan for mankind. It was right in front of their eyes, but they closed their eyes, minds, and hearts to God's goodness and holiness, and chose to believe false things about Him that were not revealed in nature or by the Holy Spirit.

P.S. I never said anything about not believing any biblical passages. Maybe you should read my previous post again.
I'm just saying in general that you or anyone either believes what the Bible says about something or you don't.

Everybody knows in their heart that God exists. That is because God has made himself known through His creation. That is why no one has any excuse for denying Him.

God will only provide evidence through the gospel message concerning who Christ is and what He did on the cross. He will not flip a switch and turn someone from negative to positive. If a person is not persuaded by the Gospel evidence, then he will not believe. It's that simple.

On a jury every juror listens to the same evidence. Based on the exact same evidence, some jurors may find the defendent guilty while other jurors may find the defendent not guilty. They may not all be persuaded by the evidence given to them that the defendent is guilty.

So it is with the gospel. Some people are persuaded by the message of the gospel and others are not.

A person must make his decision based on that evidence. The Holy Spirit convicts of the sin of unbelief, and of righteousness and of judgment, but the Holy Spirit can be resisted. Acts 7:51 ''You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.''


But there is another side to this as well. The more a person rejects the truth, the more open to deception he is. God does hand those who continue to reject the truth over to deception. There does come a point when because of continued rejection of the truth, a person can't believe. He becomes locked in to negative volition. 2 Thess 2:10 'And with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11] And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, 12] in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

God will hand a person over to their desires. If a person rejects the truth, then he will believe anything but the truth. He will be deceived by all manner of cosmic doctrine.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:45 PM
 
1,897 posts, read 1,723,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
I'm just saying in general that you or anyone either believes what the Bible says about something or you don't.

Everybody knows in their heart that God exists. That is because God has made himself known through His creation. That is why no one has any excuse for denying Him.

God will only provide evidence through the gospel message concerning who Christ is and what He did on the cross. He will not flip a switch and turn someone from negative to positive. If a person is not persuaded by the Gospel evidence, then he will not believe. It's that simple.

On a jury every juror listens to the same evidence. Based on the exact same evidence, some jurors may find the defendent guilty while other jurors may find the defendent not guilty. They may not all be persuaded by the evidence given to them that the defendent is guilty.

So it is with the gospel. Some people are persuaded by the message of the gospel and others are not.

A person must make his decision based on that evidence. The Holy Spirit convicts of the sin of unbelief, and of righteousness and of judgment, but the Holy Spirit can be resisted. Acts 7:51 ''You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.''


But there is another side to this as well. The more a person rejects the truth, the more open to deception he is. God does hand those who continue to reject the truth over to deception. There does come a point when because of continued rejection of the truth, a person can't believe. He becomes locked in to negative volition. 2 Thess 2:10 'And with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11] And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, 12] in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

God will hand a person over to their desires. If a person rejects the truth, then he will believe anything but the truth. He will be deceived by all manner of cosmic doctrine.
If God won't "flip a switch and turn someone from negative to positive," why would He "hand those who continue to reject the truth over to deception?" All of the scriptures need to be interpreted through the filter of God's divine character. There's "no excuse" not to do so! You can believe in God's divine character or not.
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:18 PM
 
697 posts, read 502,346 times
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To piggyback on you all statements, I too would like say that ‘faith’ is from ‘god’. Being given 'faith' is a sovereign work of ‘god’. Looking at Romans 8:7 –
Man is not able choose to love or obey ‘God’ with his carnal mind. So how, pray tell, can the natural, carnal mind of man even have 'faith' in ‘him’?

<<shrugs>>
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,067,270 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWings View Post
True. But each in his own order...

1Cor 15
23 and each in his proper order, a first-fruit Christ, afterwards those who are the Christ's, in his presence,
24 then--the end, when he may deliver up the reign to God, even the Father, when he may have made useless all rule, and all authority and power--

Look at the Jewish festivals. They are a mirror of the Bible. Like the Jewish farmers have several harvests, God has several harvests too...

The KJV renders it this way, which is an entirely different meaning:

1Cr 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

24 Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

Christ is the first fruit. All others who are His are harvested at His coming.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:36 PM
 
2,526 posts, read 2,316,838 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike555 View Post
You either believe what John 16:8-11 tells you about the Holy Spirit convicting the world (the unbeliever) of the sin of unbelief or you don't.

A person who is persuaded by the gospel message under the common grace ministry of the Holy Spirit can respond to the gospel. The Holy Spirit always convicts the hearer of the gospel message of the sin of unbelief, of righteousness, and of judgment. In so doing, He tries to persuade the hearer of the gospel concerning the truth of it. But whether the person responds to that conviction is up to him. Those who say they have tried to believe but can't, just could not bring themselves to trust that the gospel is true despite having been convicted of the sin of unbelief. Many people will not believe in anything they can't see with their own eyes. Many people have ...'issues' that they must deal with. God gives each person a sufficient amount of time on this earth to respond to the gospel. But when their time is up, it's up. And with that I will again refer you to the following passages.

Romans 1:18 'For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19] because that which is known about God is evident within them. 20] For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21] For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened. 22] Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23] And exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures'.

Even before gospel hearing, all are without excuse. Man can suppress the truth concerning God in unrighteousness. God's power and eternal nature have been clearly seen and understood through what has been made. But man can suppress the truth. Do you believe what the Bible says about that or do you reject it?

1 Corinthians 1:18 'For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God, 19] For it is written, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.'' 20' Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21] For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

2 Corinthians 4:3 'And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4] in whose case the god of this world had blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

God will not reach down and forceably turn anyone from negative to positive. But He tries to get through to everyone through the Gospel. Yet people can suppress the truth.

But if you will not understand or believe what these passages say, neither then will you believe me.
I believe the scriptures, however I do not believe your commentary regarding them. And neither should anyone else.

The Spirit's convicting of sin (unbelief) is not the same as giving the sinner assurance. You're confusing the scriptures regarding the natural man's ability to hear, understand and receive Christ, and the necessary work of the Spirit that first bestows a new nature within. The natural man (the flesh) has no ability whatsoever to receive Christ and it never will. The sinner must first be regenerated (given a new nature) by the Spirit. The sinner has to have a new nature to hear, understand and believe the Gospel and things of the Spirit. Here is what the scriptures tell us concerning a person born of the Spirit who hears the Gospel:

1Th 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

Those regenerated by the Spirit, hear the Gospel with much assurance. They hear the Gospel with the fruit of the Spirit, faith. They know their sins are forgiven with full assurance.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:59 AM
 
Location: Florida
5,965 posts, read 5,578,671 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bright Hope for Tomorrow View Post
See the words in purple above. If a person "tries" to believe and can't, you say they just could not bring themselves to trust that the gospel is true. So, when the Holy Spirit "tries," (as you put it) to persuade someone, and He fails, what's His excuse? In both situations, they "try" but you don't seem to have a problem with God trying to do something, yet remaining unable to do what He wants.

The "without excuse" scripture is talking to people who already knew God. These people could look around and see the rebirth and regeneration of everything in nature. They could see the master plan that God had when he planned the whole world. They could see that nothing He created goes to waste because it all has a purpose and is useful in some way. Yet they did not choose to believe in God's divine character. They were without excuse because God's creation paints for us the beauty of Himself and his plan for mankind. It was right in front of their eyes, but they closed their eyes, minds, and hearts to God's goodness and holiness, and chose to believe false things about Him that were not revealed in nature or by the Holy Spirit.
Wow, and amen. Those who continue to paint God's character as that of an ungracious, angry and austere task master are without excuse. They have corrupted the incorruptible image of God! And in so doing, have done great harm to humanity down through the ages. Sheesh!
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