Jim, don't you think its a bit silly to claim Johns Pentecostal relatives are lost, having never met them. I don't agree with a lot of what the Pentecostal church teaches, but I would never assume everyone who goes there is lost. They are not all charismatic lunatics you know.
Quite true Shane, with God all things are possible, glad God saved you out of Mormonism. I hope I didn't come off as saying that he couldn't never become a Christian because he was raised in a Mormon church, because that's not what I meant. God can save anybody out of any false religion. I was saying his view of Christianity may have been a Mormon perspective, and as such would not have been truly Christian.
Judging by the reprobate movies he was in, I'm a little skeptical of him being a true Christian, especially reading that he grew up in the Mormon church. Perhaps he just recently got saved before his death, I certainly hope so.
Didactually, I can't help but notice in your last posy you never referenced the Bible for evidence of your position. Any thing other than Scripture for proof of doctrine is shaky ground, and not proof at all. I don't care what history or tradition says, "What saith the Scriptures?"
I wasn't using that verse as proof of the Holy Spirits conviction, but as an example of God having predestinated his saints for salvation before the foundation of the world. Now if it is those chosen by God who get saved, how can it be of ones own ability to have faith? I don't fully understand all these things like predestination, and then contrasting verses that command everybody to believe. Or verses that say "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" compared to verses like Ephesians 1:4-5, 1Peter 1:2, Romans 9:11,13, 16-23 which speak of unconditional election. I simply know that the Bible in the infallible word of God, and these verses that seemingly contradict each other, do make sense together in a way I have not figured out yet, as I am a man of finite knowledge. I do know however that salvation is not possible without the conviction of the Holy Spirit as I've demonstrated before, and wicked man would never of his own accord repent and believe the Gospel.
Well J4J, we will just have to agree to disagree as we are not going to change each others mind. At least you never replied with immature insults at those who don't agree with you(which seems to be everybody), so in that respect I commend you. Ill withdraw myself from this conversation and leave you in the hands of more Biblically astute brethren such as John UK, US, 1517, CV, and others I may have forgot to mention. Still like to see your opinion on the verse in 2 Thessalonians I posted.
Continued: Galatians 5:21"Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in times past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
Though one may dead spiritually, he/she is still alive physically and quite capable of sin.
2Thessalonians 2:13 "But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you for salvation through the sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth."
Now if God chose the saints in the beginning for salvation, like this verse teaches, where does that leave your belief that anyone of his own power can believe and get saved without the conviction of the Holy Spirit?
J4J wrote: Why do you think sinners are such good people that if they could just understand they would automatically believe?
I'm not sure why you think that I believe that seeing as the point I've been trying to make is that salvation is the work of God, and not the result of mans understanding or own ability. I don't agree with your interpretation of John 6:44,55 as I see nothing about ascending to heaven in those verses, but in context seems to me to be drawing one unto salvation.
To say someone is dead spiritually means they do not have eternal life. It doesn't mean a person has an inability to believe like a corpse. That would mean they would be unable to sin also because they would be "dead" to act one way or another toward God, either in obedience or disobedience.
Being spiritually dead and unable to believe in God does not mean they would be unable to sin, because sin reigns in the flesh: Romans 7:5 "For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." Galatians 5:19-21 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyin
J4j, I never we need to stop preaching. If one never heard the true Gospel, they would never be saved. The point I'm making is that its not hearing the Gospel with your ears that leads to salvation, but hearing with your heart so to speak. The Holy Spirit must convict the sinner after hearing the Gospel, its not just hearing the Gospel that convicts the sinner, because then he would convict himself, and the Bible is clear man in too wicked to convict himself (John 3:19-20). Its through the work of the Holy Spirit that the Gospel message resonates in the heart, leading to salvation. If just hearing the Gospel like you say leads one to salvation, why hasn't everyone who has heard the Gospel embraced it and got saved? And why do you keep ignoring john 6:44, and 6:65 that clearly states that "No man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father." That clearly shows that Holy Spirit must lead one to salvation, not mans own conviction.
By the way I am not a Calvinist, for that would make me a follower of a man. I just happen to believe some if the things he taught are Biblical, like in this instance total depravity.
CV wrote: Why is it that Sam won't believe? This is the question that needs to be answered.
Sam wont believe because he can't believe, unless "The Father who hath sent me (Jesus Christ) draw him." Only the Holy Spirit can convict a man to forsake his sins and put his faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I suspect you knew that already CV, but lets see j4j's answer to your question, which is basically the same as the question I asked him.
The verses i posted are quite relevent, as you even said that they show that man left to himself wont seek God. Hearing the Gospel wont save anyone. I've explained the Gospel to people as crystal clear as possible, and it had absolutely no effect. Why is that in your opinion j4j? You keep missing the point:
John 6:44 "No man can come to me, EXCEPT THE FATHER WHICH HATH SENT ME DRAW HIM: and I will raise him up at the last day "
Salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit: no man is going to convict himself of his sins and put his faith in God of his own power.
Ephesians 4:18 "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because if the BLINDNESS OF THEIR HEARTS."
2 Thessalonians 3:6 "Now we COMMAND you, brethren in the name of the lord Jesus Christ, that ye WIRHDRAW YOURSELVES from every brother that walketh disorderly, and NOT AFTER THE TRADITION WHICH HE RECEIVED OF US."
Roman Catholicism does not follow the tradition revealed in the Pauline epistles, but the tradition of satan. Paul or God rather, commands you to withdraw yourself.