What is the one determining factor when an unbeliever comes to faith in Christ?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by canadyjd, May 29, 2011.

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What is the one determining factor when an unbeliever comes to faith in Christ?

  1. God's intervention in the unbelievers life

    30 vote(s)
    90.9%
  2. The unbelievers own natural ability to choose God

    3 vote(s)
    9.1%
  1. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    What is the one factor that made the difference. Was it God's intervention? Or was it man's own ability?

    peace to you:praying:
     
  2. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    To those who voted, thank you.

    I find it bewildering that some affirm that God must intervene in a person's life for that person to come to Christ, and then deny that God's intervention is effective 100% of the time.

    How can God fail to accomplish what He has purposed?

    peace to you:praying:
     
  3. convicted1

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    The "only" difference that can happen is God's intervention, plain and simple. I'd go to church once in a while, just because someone wanted me to, but I'd get nothing out of it. However, when God showed me how vile, how detestable, how lost I really was, and that I needed Him more than my next breath, then I had something to "work" with....not "work" as in earning salvation, but that I could read the bible and learn more about Him. I cried, begged, even pleaded for His mercy, and then one night, May 24, 2007 at approx 1:30 AM God saved a sinner from His sins!! I couldn't do this on my own, but I did have to repent before He would save me.

    i am I AM's!!

    Willis
     
  4. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    Willis

    Thank you for the testimony, brother. I had a similar experience.

    I thank God He didn't leave me to work it out on my own, but intervened and brought me to faith in Jesus Christ.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  5. webdog

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    How has He failed to accomplish anything when He has decreed those who reject Him are punished and those who don't inherit eternal life? Acts 17:26-27 states He has inserted each person into time, culture and geography that they would seek Him and "perhaps" find Him although He is not far from each one of us. Has He failed since the majority of mankind do not fall into the "perhaps" group?
     
    #5 webdog, Jun 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2011
  6. mandym

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    It is this type of question that really lacks charity and a sense of honesty on the part of those you disagree with. While that may be how you understand it, why can you not, in charity, give room that it is understood in a different way?
     
  7. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    We might have a discussion over just how God intervenes, and to what extent,or even if, but here's one way: He put me under heavy conviction. In looking back, I see this as a unilateral intervention by God. That's because up to then, I had no concept of being lost. I had heard a bunch of sermons about Hell, but did not apply any of them to myself or my condition.

    When the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to my sin and its consequences, conviction set in.

    Solely from God, not from within me.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    But it is 100% effective to accomplish the purpose for which it was sent.

    One could make the argument that with Calvinism God's intervention (the gospel appeal, the work of the church etc) is only effective for the elect and thus is NOT effective for most of humanity.

    But within "Arminianism" God's intervention is 100% effective to accomplish the purpose of providing the means for all to be saved and thus to be without excuse on the day of judgement.

    So, yes, I suppose Calvinism's view has God being 100% effective for a small group of people, but Arminianism has God's work being 100% effective for every single person leaving no one with a single excuse.
     
  9. convicted1

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    I concur with this post, Bro. Tom. In fact, even after my eyes were opened to my sinfulness, I still went years doing things my way. I loved to talk to people about the bible, but once they started trying to "convert" me, I'd get away from them thisquick. Then one morning, I was coming home from work, hearing a sermon on the radio from Daniel chapter 3, and then I thought this would be me if I didn't do "something". I don't mean that I worked for it, but unless I called out, I would die lost. God set me on the road of repentance, and then on May 24,2007, he saved my soul from hell!! Praise His sweet name. Y'all may get sick and tired of reading about May 24, 2007, but I sure don't get tired of telling people about that glorious day!!!
     
  10. JesusFan

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    actually...

    BOTH cals/arms would affirm that no one is without excuse, as the general revelation of God in creation makes it that all can see and know that God exists...

    Basically, cals say that god decided to take a 'gands on" approach in salvation process, by making SURE those who will be saved DO get saved...
    God will be ultimate basis of salvation...

    Arms basically say that one will still be the determinitive factor if one gets saved or not...
    As God so values real "free will' allows you the ultimate final choice on getting saved or staying lost!
     
  11. revmwc

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    The Holy Spirit brings conviction, would that be God intervening or just issuing the call, and man must answer the call.
     
  12. Skandelon

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    If a man was standing in a road and unaware of the oncoming truck and you pushed him out of the way, you would certainly be credited as the the factor that made the difference; would you not?

    What if the next week another man standing in the same path is pushed equally hard but he resists your push and thus was struck and killed. Does the second incident negate the first incident? Do you now lose credit for the first push as being "the factor that made the difference?"

    If so, why? Why can't the hero be given the full credit for a successful rescue and full blame be put on the one who resists the rescuer's efforts?
     
  13. Andy T.

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    In your analogy - I'd say the first guy made a wise and good choice not to resist, while the second guy didn't.
     
  14. webdog

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    Are you implying it's unwise to trust Christ for salvation?
     
  15. MB

    MB
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    Salvation is a work of God. Man only needs to surrender. Man's surrender is not a work. It is giving up.
    MB
     
  16. Andy T.

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    No, not at all.
     
  17. Winman

    Winman
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    I agree with this too. This is how I was saved. I heard the preaching of God's word and came under conviction that I was a sinner in danger of hell fire. I also heard that Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead, and that if I call on him he will save me. I believed this to be true, so I prayed and asked Jesus to forgive me.

    But I would not call this conviction regeneration. Regeneration means to be alive again. How can you have life while you are still dead in sins? Only after trusting Jesus are our sins forgiven and we receive the Holy Spirit.

    That man can be convicted and not saved is shown in scripture.

    John 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
    8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
    9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

    Jesus' words caused these men to be deeply convicted, but they were not saved. So conviction is not regeneration.

    2 Cor 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

    It is conviction or sorrow that leads to repentance, which leads to salvation, but conviction itself is not salvation. There must be repentance, a turning to God. A person can be convicted, be sorrowful, but not turn to Christ.

    Luke 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
    23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

    This young man was convicted, he knew what he must do to be saved, but he chose not to trust Christ.
     
    #17 Winman, Jun 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2011
  18. Tom Butler

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    In hindsight, I guess we can have a debate over conviction/regeneration. I was nine years old when the Lord saved me. I knew nothing of conviction, regeneration, drawing, any of that stuff. All I knew was when he opened my eyes to my sin, it scared the daylights out of me.

    That's when all those sermons I had heard, all those invitations I had been through that I paid little attention to, now came crashing in on me.

    I didn't know what conviction was, I just knew I was scared.
    I didn't know if it was regeneration or not. All I heard was my pastor asking, "do you trust Christ for your salvation." and my answer was yes.

    I did not know to ask "I wonder if I'm one of the elect." I didn't know what elect was.

    And Winman, I'm guessing all that election/regeneration stuff didn't cross your mind at the time of your conversion.

    So, we can have a pleasant conversation about conviction/regeneration in a different thread, but not here.

    BTW, I really appreciated your conversion testimony. I love hearing such testimonies.
     
  19. Winman

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    No, none of this crossed my mind. I was only 10 or 11 myself, I cannot remember the exact date, although I do remember the year. I too was scared, but I also believed that Jesus died for me. I remember the pastor asking me if I wanted to pray and ask Jesus to save me. I did, and that was the greatest day in my life.

    It was simple then, and in a way, very much better. I didn't feel the need to know everything, I simply believed God's word.
     
  20. allinall

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    Press the question.

    I'm sure that there is more than one person here who believes in prevenient grace. Anyone who believes in prevenient grace must always come back to themselves as the deciding factor, 'themselves' being the flesh. Yet the poll would not reveal this.

    There go I but for...
     

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