Free grace wrote: let me ask you about the Pharisees in CHRIST'S time. Why would they not beleive?
Mark 4: 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
"This ought to be the care of all who profess the Christian faith, that they be new creatures; not only that they have a new name, and wear a new livery, but they have a new heart and new nature. And so great is the change the grace of God makes in the soul, that, as it follows, old things are passed away - old thoughts, old principles, and old practices are passed away; and all these things must be come new. Note, regenerating grace creates a new world in the soul; all things are new. The renewed man acts from new principles, by new rules, with new ends, and in new company."
Never said it was fleshly regeneration, but that the spiritual regeration initiates a desire to live a holy life.
Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Saying that you believe and actually believing are separate things. Many have professed Christ yet not had an ounce of true faith. Please read Thomas Watson's Doctrine of Repentance. The Lord has greatly blessed many wicked men, such as myself, with the reading of the Puritans.
General, you said 'Point being, they're are many who bare good fruit who aren't even saved.' According to the bible, this just isn't so - Mat_7:17 "So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. Mat_7:18 "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Mat_12:33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. Luk_6:43 "For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit.
What we can't see are the motives of those who may do some decent 'works', for example, those who give to charities then boast of their giving and how much they contributed. Such boasting cancels out the good work, for they took credit and gave no glory to God.
2) it is not hard to believe, for "what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them." Yet, "by their unrighteousness they suppress the truth". Additionally, "even the demons believe and they shudder". The scriptures are clear as day on this. Please start by reading Romans 1.
I posted those verses to show that if there is no sanctification in ones life, there was never any regeneration, thats all. Of course, sanctification is not immediate and is an on going process like you said. I see you have many people to respond to, so Ill leave you alone.
I know we should bare good fruit. It's a good way of identifying the brethren but I don't know about anybody else but I have ran into some who were barring some awesome fruit and thought surely this is my brethren. Come to find out he was far from being my brethren. Point being, they're are many who bare good fruit who aren't even saved.