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I believe that regeneration, or the new birth, precedes and is the cause/source of saving faith. In other words, we are born again in order that we may believe, not the other way around.  

by Dr. Sam Storms  Enjoying God Ministries (EGM) What's Your Theology? Dec 06, 2007

 

This seems to say that one can only beleve if one is regenerated (by God?)

Why then is not everyone regenerated?

At least to the extant that they may choose to believe or not?

 

How does one hold both to the idea that the christian god is all loving or perfectly loving and yet hold to the idea that the christian god chooses only to elect some?

 

Illustration:

 

Person A is a grievous sinner. God elects Person A.

Person A “believes” and is thus saved.

Person B is a grievous sinner. God does not elect Person B.

Person B never believes (and in fact cannot) and thus is condemned to hell.

 

Sinking ship analogy:

 

Two people are lost at sea and a rescue ship arrives.

Person A cannot swim but God reaches down grabs ahold of Person A  and thus deliverance is at hand.

Person B cannot swim but God does not reach down to Person B and thus destruction is at hand.

 

Imagine if one could visit Person B in Hell.

(God allows a small time-out from the torment that Person B is experiencing)

 

Person B: I know that I’m a sinner and deserve this but all those people in heaven they are sinners as well. They deserve to be here too.

 

What did they do to be in heaven? Nothing. God just chose them.

 

So it didn’t really matter if I lived a life that was full of caring, love, sacrifice, humility, and etc. As much as I could in any case. None of that mattered. God did not chose me.

And those in heaven, some were just as bad of sinners as I was. Some were worse, some not so much. But none of that matters. God chose them.

 

How can Person B (or anyone) not look at this as anything but bad luck if ones eternal destination is simply a matter of choice. And that choice is out of his hands and in the hands of God?

Tags: Fairness, God, God o' Love, Hell, Hellfire, Lake o' Fire, Love, Problematic theological statement, election, predestination

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Dear Joe,
The doctrine of fatalism is either positive or negative. Storm's conjecture is a derivative of that doctrine on the positive side, but only for himself. Others who accept the conjecture as truth can only conceptualize and articulate statements of salvation as "I am so glad God has chosen me" and therefore must disregard that obedience to a particular and objectionable standard to them is the requirement of God for salvation. They instinctively must reject any required obedience of God to hold the house of cards together. We can see the work of Storm's conjecture in regard to Maurer's response to the question I have asked him. He refuses to answer even though it is commanded.
For person B if he believes that Storm's conjecture is true he has the same response, but on the negative side of the conjecture.
Suppose a group decided to construct a huge modern factory and for identifying the factories purpose a huge lighted sign is placed on the front of the factory stating "Worlds Greatest Auto Factory." However a pragmatic curmudgeon truck driver shows up at this factory to pick up load 2397-604 and is directed around back to the loading docks that are not in the public's view. This curmudgeon who has been around the block a few times notices something strange. There should be ramps for loading automobiles but all the docks are equipped with chutes. The pragmatic curmudgeon becomes instantly suspicious that whatever is going on inside this factory isn't the production of cars. So he waits a while after backing into a dock space and loading begins. But something feels funny to him and he gets out of the cab of his truck walks to the back of his trailer and sees that there a live squealing pigs coming out of the chutes into his trailer. "Hold up there!" he shouts to the factories loaders." "What you nuts are putting in my trailer is not what's on this bill of laden nor you sign out front. I can't haul anything like these things. You have to get an authorized livestock hauler to haul this b/s you nuts are producing. My company is not authorized to haul live stock in the first place!" But they kindly retort "Things are not like you think they are sir. Besides our social custom does not allow for questions. Why don't you go speak with or supervisor about your concerns?" By this time the driver is not a happy camper. "Get those G-d pigs out'a my trailer and I mean Right NOW!" "Sir we assure you while these products we have produced in our modern up to date factory are riding down the road in your trailer they will transform into the most beautiful cars you've ever seen."
The operators of contemporary church factories have this same intellect as the factories employees. But the test drive is whether the products that are produced by churches will obey God or not. Only one one piece of fruit has to fail the test. For the good tree cannot produce a bad piece of fruit. "Save yourselves from this untoward generation" for it is your reasonable responsibility to obey God. But the believer of Storm's conjecture A or B cannot obey God. So then the conjecture is false and needs to be classified as such. It is without merit when the outcome is truthfully considered. A and B remain in the same boat if Storm's conjecture is considered as truth.
Huh?

Theodore A. Jones said:
Dear Joe,
The doctrine of fatalism is either positive or negative. Storm's conjecture is a derivative of that doctrine on the positive side, but only for himself. Others who accept the conjecture as truth can only conceptualize and articulate statements of salvation as "I am so glad God has chosen me" and therefore must disregard that obedience to a particular and objectionable standard to them is the requirement of God for salvation. They instinctively must reject any required obedience of God to hold the house of cards together. We can see the work of Storm's conjecture in regard to Maurer's response to the question I have asked him. He refuses to answer even though it is commanded.
For person B if he believes that Storm's conjecture is true he has the same response, but on the negative side of the conjecture.
Suppose a group decided to construct a huge modern factory and for identifying the factories purpose a huge lighted sign is placed on the front of the factory stating "Worlds Greatest Auto Factory." However a pragmatic curmudgeon truck driver shows up at this factory to pick up load 2397-604 and is directed around back to the loading docks that are not in the public's view. This curmudgeon who has been around the block a few times notices something strange. There should be ramps for loading automobiles but all the docks are equipped with chutes. The pragmatic curmudgeon becomes instantly suspicious that whatever is going on inside this factory isn't the production of cars. So he waits a while after backing into a dock space and loading begins. But something feels funny to him and he gets out of the cab of his truck walks to the back of his trailer and sees that there a live squealing pigs coming out of the chutes into his trailer. "Hold up there!" he shouts to the factories loaders." "What you nuts are putting in my trailer is not what's on this bill of laden nor you sign out front. I can't haul anything like these things. You have to get an authorized livestock hauler to haul this b/s you nuts are producing. My company is not authorized to haul live stock in the first place!" But they kindly retort "Things are not like you think they are sir. Besides our social custom does not allow for questions. Why don't you go speak with or supervisor about your concerns?" By this time the driver is not a happy camper. "Get those G-d pigs out'a my trailer and I mean Right NOW!" "Sir we assure you while these products we have produced in our modern up to date factory are riding down the road in your trailer they will transform into the most beautiful cars you've ever seen."
The operators of contemporary church factories have this same intellect as the factories employees. But the test drive is whether the products that are produced by churches will obey God or not. Only one one piece of fruit has to fail the test. For the good tree cannot produce a bad piece of fruit. "Save yourselves from this untoward generation" for it is your reasonable responsibility to obey God. But the believer of Storm's conjecture A or B cannot obey God. So then the conjecture is false and needs to be classified as such. It is without merit when the outcome is truthfully considered. A and B remain in the same boat if Storm's conjecture is considered as truth.

Joe,

LOL, I think it has something to do with me, but I don't know what he is talking about either.


Joe said:

Huh?

Theodore A. Jones said:
Dear Joe,
The doctrine of fatalism is either positive or negative. Storm's conjecture is a derivative of that doctrine on the positive side, but only for himself. Others who accept the conjecture as truth can only conceptualize and articulate statements of salvation as "I am so glad God has chosen me" and therefore must disregard that obedience to a particular and objectionable standard to them is the requirement of God for salvation. They instinctively must reject any required obedience of God to hold the house of cards together. We can see the work of Storm's conjecture in regard to Maurer's response to the question I have asked him. He refuses to answer even though it is commanded.
He is saying almost every church is in error, and he is one of the few that has found the "narrow" way.
Excellent observation Mr. Grove, but it is all of them not most. Every articulation that concludes the crucifixion of Jesus as being a direct benefit is an error. To my knowledge there is no current church's proposal of salvation that does not teach that he has taken your place, died in your place, paid the penalty for your sins, became sin in place of you etc. However when the production of these places is loaded with the burden of obedience of a command of God they LOL at the thought. Even thought Jesus teaches "If you love keep my commandments". LOL is the response to that too. Perhaps the lawless man proves himself by LOL.
But no man has or will be born again of God by not first having the faith to obey what he says in regard to Jesus crucifixion. Storms' conjecture is the polar opposite. Those who follow the conjecture of Storms, "The Lord shall laugh at him, for he seeth that his day is comming." The last laugh is reserved only for Him.

So what is the only correct church?

 

If there is one.

Theodore A. Jones said:

Excellent observation Mr. Grove, but it is all of them not most. Every articulation that concludes the crucifixion of Jesus as being a direct benefit is an error. To my knowledge there is no current church's proposal of salvation that does not teach that he has taken your place, died in your place, paid the penalty for your sins, became sin in place of you etc. However when the production of these places is loaded with the burden of obedience of a command of God they LOL at the thought. Even thought Jesus teaches "If you love keep my commandments". LOL is the response to that too. Perhaps the lawless man proves himself by LOL.
But no man has or will be born again of God by not first having the faith to obey what he says in regard to Jesus crucifixion. Storms' conjecture is the polar opposite. Those who follow the conjecture of Storms, "The Lord shall laugh at him, for he seeth that his day is comming." The last laugh is reserved only for Him.
Is this Harold Camping stuff?

 

Hi Joe,

Here are a couple scriptures that illustrate unregenerate or natural man's inability to truly repent and respond to the preaching of the gospel.

 

What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one(Rom 3:9-12)

 

“But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me(Rom 10:20)

 

  “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given (gifts) to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1Co 2:12-14)

 

  "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." (1Cor 1:18-29)
  

Man in the natural state (i.e. fallen, unregenerate) cannot by his own natural wisdom or understanding believe. This is by God's design so that he might destroy these things. The preaching of the cross is foolishness to the natural man. As an act of mercy he chose to deliver a remnant from this condition by calling them to new life in his Son by his Spirit.

 

"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.  And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been given unto him of my Father." As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore.”  (JN 6:63-66)

 

The realization that salvation is a merciful undeserved gift of faith, not a obligated reward that natural men earn is no less offensive now than it was then.

God will never reject someone who desires to come to him. The problem is that the natural or unregenerate man does not truly desire to come to him. In his mercy he has sent his Spirit to wash us by regeneration.

 

“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;   That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Tit 3:3-7) 

 

 

Notice that Gods’ mercy “saves us”, it does not manifest as an opportunity to be saved. His grace “justifies us”; it does not just make it possible for us to justify ourselves.

 

I hope this helps you to understand why I am a Monergist and agree with Sam Storms on this doctrine.

 

I don't have a problem with the doctrine per se.

 

What disturbes me about the doctrine is that if salvation is due to God's choice then why isn't everyone saved?

 

Everyone who is on this thread trying to prove that savation is by God's sovereign choice [or trying to dis-prove it] is really missing the point of the OP.

 

RE Joe,
There isn't. Remember there are two trees, friend. Also remember that a false explanation about Jesus' crucifixion was accepted as truth in Galatia, but what is it? Regard that Apollos was corrected from something to something more excellent. Based on the fact that he knew only John's baptism what was he corrected to or entrusted with? In other words the system of faith taught by John the Baptist is entirely different from what Jesus has perfected by being crucified.

Maurer,
No this isn't Harold Camping stuff. Camping is as much of a crack pot as your guru Storms. Camping's conjecture is that within the tree/church that is visible there is also an invisible tree. But the trees as Jesus describes them as separate items. The good tree lacks the capability of producing bad fruit. Camping,s conjecture is poppycock and is not fruit from the good tree since the author of salvation has already compromised Camping's conjecture before he came up with it. A teacher's students can only teach what their teacher has taught them. For no student can ever be greater than his teacher. Both trees should be visible as the Teacher states, but only one is.

Hi Joe,

It is not his Sovereign Will to save everyone.

God has a Sovereign Will and a Moral Will.


For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, (Rom 9:15-23)

From the link you posted:

 

1. God does all things according to his will (sovereign will).

“He does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand” (Daniel 4:35).

“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalms 115:3).

2. Some things happen that are not God’s will (moral will).

“Whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17)—implying some don’t.

“The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9)—yet some do perish.

 


This makes no sense to me.

 

If all things are according to His will then those who are not saved are damned because it is His will.

 

You can’t have it both ways.

 

You can’t on one hand say “God is sovereign in all things” and then say that some “thwarted God’s will” by not repenting and turning to him

 

The concept of a God who is portrayed as absolutely sovereign and yet there are some who are damned to hell cannot be a God who can also be called all-loving or perfectly loving.

 

How some Christians reconcile this is beyond me.


Brian Leffert said:

Hi Joe,

It is not his Sovereign Will to save everyone.

God has a Sovereign Will and a Moral Will.


For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, (Rom 9:15-23)

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