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Thread: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Life?

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    Time in the next life is simply an extension of time in THIS life. Eternal life means to have life in CHRIST (who is the ETERNAL God). When I use the word eternal, I mean DIVINE CREATOR who is TRANSCENDENT of time and space as God is the very definition of ETERNITY.

    The elect already have ETERNAL life. The elect start to experience ETERNAL life when they are regenerated. If one were to be only regenerated in the next life when they pass away, they would only then begin to experience eternal life. It is my opinion that it is God's purpose to bring the elect to knowledge of eternal life PRIOR to passing away into the next. I suppose it may be God's plan to regenerate some of His elect prior to passing away or in other words reveal knowledge of salvation and eternal life at the time of glorification. But I honestly cannot think of any passage in Scripture where that is revealed. THEREFORE, any further pursuit of this topic in my opinion is SPECULATIVE and not doctrinal.

    HOWEVER, it is EQUALLY speculative to assume that ALL who pass away in this life without experiencing eternal life are hell bound. It gives me great comfort to know that I really do not know the eternal destiny of those who pass away not believing the Gospel. I COULD assume these people are hell bound. I COULD just as equally assume they are not. In my opinion there really is NO NEED to speculate. I'm more content to rest at peace knowing that WHATEVER destiny God has for that individual is the RIGHT THING, and that WE WILL REJOICE one day when it is revealed to us. There will be no weeping in heaven for former loved ones who are in hell.
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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    Time in the next life is simply an extension of time in THIS life. Eternal life means to have life in CHRIST (who is the ETERNAL God). When I use the word eternal, I mean DIVINE CREATOR who is TRANSCENDENT of time and space as God is the very definition of ETERNITY.

    The elect already have ETERNAL life. The elect start to experience ETERNAL life when they are regenerated. If one were to be only regenerated in the next life when they pass away, they would only then begin to experience eternal life. It is my opinion that it is God's purpose to bring the elect to knowledge of eternal life PRIOR to passing away into the next. I suppose it may be God's plan to regenerate some of His elect prior to passing away or in other words reveal knowledge of salvation and eternal life at the time of glorification. But I honestly cannot think of any passage in Scripture where that is revealed. THEREFORE, any further pursuit of this topic in my opinion is SPECULATIVE and not doctrinal.

    HOWEVER, it is EQUALLY speculative to assume that ALL who pass away in this life without experiencing eternal life are hell bound. It gives me great comfort to know that I really do not know the eternal destiny of those who pass away not believing the Gospel. I COULD assume these people are hell bound. I COULD just as equally assume they are not. In my opinion there really is NO NEED to speculate. I'm more content to rest at peace knowing that WHATEVER destiny God has for that individual is the RIGHT THING, and that WE WILL REJOICE one day when it is revealed to us. There will be no weeping in heaven for former loved ones who are in hell.
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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill View Post
    Time in the next life is simply an extension of time in THIS life. Eternal life means to have life in CHRIST (who is the ETERNAL God). When I use the word eternal, I mean DIVINE CREATOR who is TRANSCENDENT of time and space as God is the very definition of ETERNITY.

    The elect already have ETERNAL life. The elect start to experience ETERNAL life when they are regenerated. If one were to be only regenerated in the next life when they pass away, they would only then begin to experience eternal life. It is my opinion that it is God's purpose to bring the elect to knowledge of eternal life PRIOR to passing away into the next. I suppose it may be God's plan to regenerate some of His elect prior to passing away or in other words reveal knowledge of salvation and eternal life at the time of glorification. But I honestly cannot think of any passage in Scripture where that is revealed. THEREFORE, any further pursuit of this topic in my opinion is SPECULATIVE and not doctrinal.

    HOWEVER, it is EQUALLY speculative to assume that ALL who pass away in this life without experiencing eternal life are hell bound. It gives me great comfort to know that I really do not know the eternal destiny of those who pass away not believing the Gospel. I COULD assume these people are hell bound. I COULD just as equally assume they are not. In my opinion there really is NO NEED to speculate. I'm more content to rest at peace knowing that WHATEVER destiny God has for that individual is the RIGHT THING, and that WE WILL REJOICE one day when it is revealed to us. There will be no weeping in heaven for former loved ones who are in hell.

    Iíve always thought it was interesting that the majority of Christendom (not speaking of anyone here) fully believe and embrace that infants who die go to heaven, basing their belief on emotions and not Scripture. Most leave it there and donít even think about what they actually believe by embracing that thought; that is one of the reasons I found the conversation interesting.

    I donít believe that anyone is promoting doctrine, simply giving an opinion and certainly opinions can be and are speculative. Certainly it raises many questions to which we donít find easy answers and maybe are never intended to find an answer, but then many truths are hard to come by. I donít believe it is wrong to ask the questions.

    I seriously doubt that ANYONE is more comforted than I am that the destiny of every soul is in the hand of our Creator God, they are His souls. Iíve buried my parents, all my aunts and uncles, recently my brother in law AND my husband without the comfort of their confession of the Gospel and I trust Him fully for their souls, there is no greater comfort in this life, nor in the life to come.
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    I’ve always thought it was interesting that the majority of Christendom (not speaking of anyone here) fully believe and embrace that infants who die go to heaven, basing their belief on emotions and not Scripture. Most leave it there and don’t even think about what they actually believe by embracing that thought; that is one of the reasons I found the conversation interesting.

    I don’t believe that anyone is promoting doctrine, simply giving an opinion and certainly opinions can be and are speculative. Certainly it raises many questions to which we don’t find easy answers and maybe are never intended to find an answer, but then many truths are hard to come by. I don’t believe it is wrong to ask the questions.

    I seriously doubt that ANYONE is more comforted than I am that the destiny of every soul is in the hand of our Creator God, they are His souls. I’ve buried my parents, all my aunts and uncles, recently my brother in law AND my husband without the comfort of their confession of the Gospel and I trust Him fully for their souls, there is no greater comfort in this life, nor in the life to come.
    Amen Eileen!
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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill View Post
    Well I don't believe in praying for ANYONE's salvation since it is a past event.
    So, you only pray that the future will of the Father be done? Even using that restrictive definition of prayer, you should definitely pray for the salvation of all men, including the dead, as Paul commands in 1 Tim. 2:1-6.

    The salvation of God, in its broad sense, encompasses eternal election, calling, justification, and glorification (Romans 8:29-30). Some of the Elect have been called and justified. However, most of the called and justified Elect have not yet been conformed to the image of the Son who is the firstborn among many brethren. It is meet, right, and salutary that we pray for a future salvation of the Lord in which the Elect will be glorified.

    "Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Life?" Scripture tells us the Elect will hear the Gospel at some time (Rom. 10:13-17). Scripture does not tell us when they will hear the Gospel. We should, therefore, pray for the hearing of the Gospel by all men, including the dead.

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    I pray for God's will to be done of course. With that, I pray that all of God's people will be regenerated and glorified in God's time. But I do not pray for any one particular person.

    Dan, you won't find much support for your beliefs on this forum - and I don't want this thread to go down this road. If you get a few more replies to this post, we'll break this discussion out into another thread.

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    Though it is related to the topic at hand, I believe that a separate thread indeed SHOULD be started on the issue of who all among humanity (living or dead) should be prayed for (specifically regarding salvation). It would be worth discussing.

    On the issue of this thread, I have some definite conclusions:

    1. The notion of many theologians that all souls who die in infancy are elect, whereas there are no elect among those who survive infancy but do not hear and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ in this life, is patently absurd. The assumption is that there is some 'age of accountability' that divides these 2 groups--a concept entirely absent from God's revelation. So I completely reject these doctrines of Reformed teachers (Hodge, Pink are examples--though Pink includes idiots along with infants as all elect).

    2. There is no definite, precise, and final word from God on this question. Paul's statement that faith comes by hearing the announced word of God only evidences the typical manner of the Holy Spirit's working, not every possible manner.

    3. There is no purgatory after death. Whatever the situation of their earthly lives, all elect souls enter glory immediately upon their departure.

    4. Discerning the typical manner in which the Lord works to save in connection with the gospel witness, I conclude that this is the likely reality of how He saves transcendent of the taught or read scriptures (those who never experience either teaching or scriptures provided by man):

    a) There are elect and non-elect from every age (infancy on up), time period, and diverse places on earth.
    b) Generally speaking, those who die in infancy or in the early years (or those with severe mental handicap) experience regeneration immediately in connection with their entry into the next life--when they are given instant maturity of mind and instant agreement with the gospel reality that confronts them. I know there can be exceptions to this, since we are told that John the Baptist experienced the Holy Spirit even in the womb.
    c) Generally speaking, those of a mature age and mind are confronted with regeneration and SOME gospel light/information before death. This regeneration and light is always AGAINST the religion of their peers and causes an immediate rejection of the tenets of such religion. I can't precisely define what the content of this light always is--except that it certainly includes the beliefs of monotheism, God's sovereignty in general, a conviction that man is universally in rebellion against God, and that salvation is totally and completely of God's gracious provision with no human merit.

    So there is my conclusion on the issue.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    1. Agree

    2. Do you have an example from scripture where faith, in this life or the one to come, did not come by hearing (outward means)?

    3. Do you have a scriptural text for "all elect souls enter glory immediately upon their departure"?

    4. What gives you the authority to make book for God? He elects whomever He pleases. He calls, regenerates, enlightens, and glorifies the Elect wherever and whenever He pleases.

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    I wish to revise my previous answer as follows because it was unresponsive, argumentative, and uncharitable.

    1. Agree

    2. Rom. 10:17 is literally correct in all times and in all places. Scientists have proven that hearing does not occur in the ear. The deaf can hear (Is. 29:18). Faith never come to men through their own works, prayers, or strivings but always through the outward word of God.

    3. Purgatory and Limbo are founded on the false doctrine that salvation is a work of men rather than solely of God; therefore, certain works must be performed by men to secure heaven. Protestants err in the other direction by stating that all the elect immediately enter heaven whether they believe or not or have been baptized or not (Mark 16:16). The unbelieving and unbaptized elect must be born of water and of the Spirit before they enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:5). However, contrary to both Papist and Protestant doctrine, faith and baptism unto Christ are solely works of God not of men that occur whenever and wherever God pleases.

    4. Although there are instances where scripture does reveal odds for salvation, we should be careful not go beyond revealed scripture.

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    Dan,

    Along with many who post here, I do not believe that water baptism communicates any intelligent gospel message to the recipient at the time it occurs. Unless the recipient already knows the gospel, the act of water baptism (at the moment it occurs, at least) holds no significance for the person receiving it.

    This fact alone would explain the difference in our positions. I have reasoned according to biblical principles; no one has absolute statements for their position that can't be disputed.

    Paul is specific on the type of HEARING he is referring to, that which occurs in PREACHING. Enough said.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    A couple of quick points:
    If it is true that one must “hear” as part of the salvific process, then God will see to it that all his elect will hear in some way or in some manner.
    It is possible that in God’s ability to control all events that happen, all that die in infancy (of course we would have to define what that word means) are his elect. In other words, no matter how long they lived they would still end up in heaven.
    For The Truth Shall Set You Free

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    Jim: It is possible that in God’s ability to control all events that happen, all that die in infancy (of course we would have to define what that word means) are his elect.

    My only question is: why do so many conclude that those who die before a certain age are in a different class of election than those who reach maturity of age? We know that among those who reach a place in this earthly life where they can comprehend human language, there are elect and non-elect. Why does this same distinction not apply to those who do not?

    As I stated before, to me it is clear that no one is an 'infant' in the realm of God's communication without human agency--which means that no one enters an existence beyond this temporal life as an infant.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    [QUOTE=Robert R. Higby;65745]Jim: It is possible that in Godís ability to control all events that happen, all that die in infancy (of course we would have to define what that word means) are his elect.

    My only question is: why do so many conclude that those who die before a certain age are in a different class of election than those who reach maturity of age?

    Probably that is what they have been told and never checked out what the truth is for themselves.

    We know that among those who reach a place in this earthly life where they can comprehend human language, there are elect and non-elect. Why does this same distinction not apply to those who do not?

    I would say the same distinction would apply
    For The Truth Shall Set You Free

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    Jim {re: those who don't have the maturity of mind to comprehend earthly human teaching} I would say the same distinction would apply

    Great! I believe that the argument regarding 'all dying in infancy are elect' is based on an attempt to defend God as infinite in mercy toward the deceased infant seed of parents. But it doesn't hold up. What about parents who have lost a mischievous child whose gospel confession is uncertain at 4, 6, 8, or 10 years old? The same exact grief exists. What about a child who dies at 11 or 12 or as a teenager? Suppose it is one who DOES confess the gospel in all apparent sincerity. We all know how many teens go into apostasy away from their earlier child excitements over Jesus later in life. No, this 'safe in the arms of God' doctrine REALLY provides no genuine comfort to parents.

    We can have far more confidence in knowing that the Lord does right in all of His works and will not lose one of His elect of whatever age they exit this life!

    --Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    We can have far more confidence in knowing that the Lord does right in all of His works and will not lose one of His elect of whatever age they exit this life!
    That's the money quote right there.
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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    I agree. The infancy argument (ostensibly) is founded on a scientific idea of physical maturation of the brain and its (theoretical) ability to comprehend sensory input in a rational manner. Since the Gospel is comprised of spiritual truth--and only God can convey the reality of this truth to the personality--on what basis should the communication of this truth be solely based on the particular "age" of a physical organ?

    Again, (like the supra/infra debate in another thread) it is another attempt to define the spiritual by the physical (like defining the eternal by the temporal); instead of the other way around--which is as it should be. The spiritual defines the physical and the eternal defines the temporal.

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Life ?

    No!

    The whole of the question lies in the word "hear"

    There are levels and types of hearing that cannot be easily confined to just oneís own idea or prejudice of hearing.

    Dogs and other animals can hear (audibly that is) sounds that humankind do not hear. However the sound still resinates to those animals able and fitted to hear.

    On the spiritual level it works the same way. When Jesus stated "he who has ears to hear let him hear" He was not talking about literal physical ears and audible understanding, rather He was addressing the spiritual element that resides with the Holy Spirit affirmation to the soul of His elect people. That is what true hearing is. It is a hearing that burns deep within the spiritual constitution of Man.

    1 Corinthians develops this idea when addressing the different languages of Angels and Men. John the Baptist in the womb of His mother heard the Word and leaped in the womb. This spiritual hearing may not have been fully understandable to the Baptist at that age however the seed was planted and later in his life when reasoning faculties took shape, he thundered the way for His Christ.

    Spiritual hearing in the mentally challenged , deaf and dumb, and others who cannot communicate their thoughts on our rational level non the less hear and understand in ways that nourish the soul and are understood by them. We cannot assume that one who is unable to share and communicate in a rational way due to physical and or sensual limitations, the Gospel, the five points of Calvinism, and other ideas are lost and or un-regenerate. However they spiritually hear. God the Holy Spirit communicates to them on a spiritual level.

    We cannot see the wind but feel the effects. In like manner those elect who are effected with the Holy Spirit do hear to the saving of their soul.

    If we ponder the notion that regeneration and faith can occur apart from this life, and into the next, we are no better than pagans, Papists, and universalists.

    Christ came to redeem the lost in this life to give hope of the future life in the New Heaven and earth to come where righteousness dwells.

    "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God"

    Nicholas
    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand..........John 10:27,28

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    Nicholas: If we ponder the notion that regeneration and faith can occur apart from this life, and into the next, we are no better than pagans, Papists, and universalists.

    I do not see how this life is a 'means of grace'. I guess I would need to have scriptural evidence for this.

    When Paul asks 'how shall they hear without a preacher', he obviously does not exclude those who hear apart from a preacher (i.e., for example, one who receives a Bible given to one of his children and learns the gospel of grace from reading it). So where is the scripture that teaches 'how shall God regenerate someone upon their entry to the next life?'

    I know there is no didactic scripture one way or the other. Based on all the principles of scripture, I tend to believe that God regenerates some upon their entrance to the next world. I have no problem with the notion that God regenerates all in this world that He receives into salvation in the next, however, I have no didactic scripture that teaches this. If an infant immediately graduates to maturity of mind and person upon entrance into the next life, it is more logical to conclude that most elect infants are regenerated immediately after death. But that is my thinking; I don't care if others accept it.

    Of course, there is no 'progressive' salvation in the next life ala purgatory, etc. This would be a doctrine of justification by personal righteousness.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    I do not see how this life is a 'means of grace'. I guess I would need to have scriptural evidence for this.
    Hello Robert. I have not stated that THIS life (our personal life) is a "means of grace" God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the ultimate means of Grace. But I do believe that God (the means) communicates regeneration within our temporal/historical existence.

    I am not of those who believe that those who die to and in this life and die unsaved/unregenerated, and without faith shall enter the kingdom of Heaven.

    But I do agree with you that our personal life is not a means of grace but rather the recipient of this grace. Christ is life and all who believe (have been given the gift of faith) live in him.

    Great thread,

    Nicholas
    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand..........John 10:27,28

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    Re: Has God Predestined Any Humans to Salvation Who Don't Hear the Gospel in this Lif

    I probably should have explained the 'means of grace' example more. I was stating that God regenerates in conjunction with, in the arena of, this earthly life ordinarily but not necessarily exclusively (for instance, in the case of an elect 6 week old fetus that is miscarried). For me, proposing that God has limited Himself to regenerating condemned sinners exclusively within the confines of this life is similar to a 'means of grace' notion of sorts, i.e., God gives grace EXCLUSIVELY tied to the realm of this life.

    I remain convinced that God regenerates all elect who reach a certain level of mental maturity in this life. I cannot define that level in terms of an age, IQ, etc.

    My reasoning is that almost all regenerate believers come to a knowledge of Christ after infancy and early childhood. So the principle is that God does not typically regenerate sinners early in life (with some exceptions). Hence, I do not believe that those elect who die in that state are generally regenerated until their entrance into the life to come.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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