Do some people who are lost, unsaved, unregenerate, believe the true gospel? It sounds like a simple question, doesn't it? Yet there are some, such as Jim Kirby (otherwise known as James Jay), who say that some unregenerate people actually BELIEVE the TRUE GOSPEL! And not only this, he goes so far as to call them believers! Check out what he has said (spelling and grammatical errors intact):

"The stoney-ground hearer in Luke 8:13... et al was a BELIEVER.. NOT an UNBELIEVER. ... True he was UNREGENERATE but he was still a BELIEVER, not an UNBELIEVER."

Wow - an unregenerate believer! Will wonders never cease!

The Bible (especially 1 John) divides the world into believers and unbelievers. Those who believe are saved, and those who do not believe are lost. The following are some verses that show that belief of the gospel is only performed by regenerate people and unbelief is only performed by unregenerate people:

John 12:37-40: "But [though] He had done so many miracles before them, they did not believe into Him, so that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he said, 'Lord, who has believed our report? And the arm of the Lord, to whom was it revealed?' Because of this they could not believe, because Isaiah said again, 'He has blinded their eyes and has hardened their heart, that they might not see with the eyes and understand with the heart, and be converted, and I should heal them."

All those whose eyes are blinded and whose hearts are hardened cannot believe.

[Kirby's response to this: "False! Rocky believed."]

2 Corinthians 4:4: "in whom the god of this age has blinded the thoughts of the unbelieving, so that the brightness of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn on them."

All the unregenerate have their thoughts blinded so that they should not believe the gospel.

2 Thessalonians 2:12: "that all may be judged, those not believing the truth, but who have delighted in unrighteousness."

All unregenerate people do not believe the truth.

Mark 16:16: "The [one] believing and being baptized will be saved, And the [one] not believing will be condemned."

Everyone who believes will be saved, and everyone who does not believed will be damned.

John 3:18: "The [one] believing into Him is not condemned; but the one not believing has already been condemned, for he has not believed into the name of the only begotten Son of God."

Everyone who believes is not condemned, and everyone who does not believed is condemned.

John 3:15-16: "that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Everyone who believes will not perish but have everlasting life.

John 5:24: Truly, truly, I say to you, The [one] who hears My Word, and believes the [One] who has sent Me, has everlasting life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Everyone who believes has everlasting life and does not come into judgment and has passed out of death into life.

John 6:40: And this is the will of the [One] sending Me, that everyone seeing the Son and believing into Him should have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Everyone who believes has everlasting life and will be raised up at the last day.

John 6:47: Truly, truly, I say to you, The [one] believing into Me has everlasting life.

Everyone who believes has everlasting life.

Acts 10:43: "To this One all the Prophets witness, [so that] through His name everyone believing into Him [will] receive remission of sins."

Everyone who believes receives the remission of sins.

Acts 13:39: "And everyone believing in this One is justified from all things which you could not be justified by the Law of Moses."

Everyone who believes is justified.

Acts 13:48: "And hearing, the nations rejoiced and glorified the Word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed."

Everyone who believes shows that he has been appointed to eternal life.

Romans 1:16: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to everyone believing, both to Jew first, and to Greek;"

To everyone believing, the gospel is the power of God to salvation.

Romans 9:33: "as it has been written, 'Behold I place in Zion a Stone-of-stumbling, and a Rock-of-offense, and everyone believing on Him will not be put to shame."

Everyone who believes will not be put to shame.

1 Thessalonians 2:13: "And because of this we give thanks to God without ceasing, that having received [the] Word of hearing from us, you welcomed [it as] of God, not [as] a word of men, but as it is, truly [the] Word of God, which also works in you, the [ones] believing."

The Word of God works in the ones believing.

1 John 5:1: "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. And everyone who loves Him who begets also loves the [one] who has been born of Him."

Everyone who believes has been born of God.

1 John 5:10: "The [one] believing in the Son of God has the witness in himself. The [one] not believing God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness which God has witnessed concerning His Son."

Everyone believes has the witness in himself.

1 John 5:13: "I wrote these things to you, the ones believing in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have everlasting life, and that you may believe in the name of the Son of God."

Everyone who believes has everlasting life.

[Jim Kirby disagreed with the conclusions of every single one of these verses.]

It's quite simple, is it not? Everyone who believes is saved, is justified, has everlasting life, is not condemned, receives the remission of sins, and has been born of God. Unregenerate people do not believe the gospel because their minds are blinded. A major part of the doctrine of total depravity is the truth that unregenerate people are unable and unwilling to believe the truth. To say that an unregenerate person is able to believe the truth of the gospel - the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone - is to deny total depravity.

To say that an unregenerate person is able to believe the truth of the gospel is also to deny that everyone who believes is saved, is justified, has everlasting life, is not condemned, receives the remission of sins, and has been born of God. It is to deny the very Word of God.

To say that an unregenerate person is able to believe the truth of the gospel is to say that belief of the gospel is not a distinguishing mark between the regenerate and unregenerate.

[Kirby responded to this: "This is CORRECT. Belief of the gospel is NO PROOF that a person is regenerate!"]

But what about the passages in Scripture that use the word "believe" in reference to unregenerate people? The most common one is the parable of the sower. In Luke 8:13, Jesus says:

"And those on the rock [are] those who, when they hear, receive the Word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a time, and in time of trial draw back."

Jesus said they believe for a time, yet they turn out to be unbelievers. Does this prove that there are some unbelievers who believe the gospel, at least for a time? Absolutely not. Jesus never said that they ever believed the gospel. There are different kinds of beliefs. One can believe in the historical facts of Christ's Messiahship, perfect life, death, and resurrection, and yet not be a regenerate person. Obviously, the stony ground hearer did not believe the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone.

[Kirby responded to this: "The stony ground hearer believe that which was salvific, which is the gospel. Nowhere is it stated that Abraham 'believe the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone' yet it IS stated that Abraham believed the gospel."]

Other verses that do not use the word "believe" that are used by these heretics to try to justify their heresy are 2 Peter 2:20-21 and Hebrews 6:4-6:

"For if by a recognition of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, [they] have escaped the defilements of the world, and again being entangled [they] have been overcome by these, [then their] last things have become worse [than] the first. For it was better for them not to have recognized the way of righteousness than having recognized [it] to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them." (2 Peter 2:20-21)

Where does it say that these people believed the true gospel? Is a recognition of Christ and the way of righteousness the same as believing the true gospel?

"For [it is] impossible for those once having been enlightened, and having tasted of the heavenly gift, and becoming sharers of [the] Holy Spirit, and tasting [the] good Word of God, and [the] works of power of a coming age, and having fallen away, [it is impossible for them] again to renew to repentance, crucifying again for themselves the Son of God, and putting [Him] to open shame." (Hebrews 6:4-6)

Where does it say that these people believed the gospel? Is being enlightened and tasting the heavenly gift and becoming sharers of the Holy Spirit and tasting the good Word of God and the works of power of a coming age the same as believing the true gospel?

Scripture does not contradict itself. Luke 8:13, 2 Peter 2:20-21, and Hebrews 6:4-6 are in total harmony with the rest of Scripture, including the Scripture verses that I previously mentioned. Taking all the Scripture together, if those in Luke 8:13, 2 Peter 2:20-21, and Hebrews 6:4-6 believed in the true gospel, what logical conclusion must be reached? It must be concluded that these people were saved, were justified, had everlasting life, were not condemned, received the remission of sins, and had been born of God - FOR A TIME! Now you won't hear Kirby saying this, but this is what he would believe if he were consistent with the rest of Scripture. Instead, Kirby decides to believe, in blatant contradiction to the list of Scriptures I gave, that NOT ALL who believe the true gospel are saved, are justified, have everlasting life, are not condemned, receive the remission of sins, and have been born of God. He says that there are SOME who believe the true gospel who are unsaved, unjustified, do not have everlasting life, are condemned, do not receive the remission of sins, and have not been born of God! This is serious heresy.

Consider the foolish and heretical logic if these beliefs are taken to their logical, consistent conclusion:

Acts 13:39: "And everyone believing in this One is justified from all things which you could not be justified by the Law of Moses."

Heretical logic: Everyone who believes is justified. Some unregenerate people believe. Thus, some unregenerate people are justified.

1 John 5:1: "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. And everyone who loves Him who begets also loves the [one] who has been born of Him."

Heretical logic: Everyone who believes has been born of God. Some unregenerate people believe. Thus, some unregenerate people have been born of God.

You can see where this leads.

The truth is that, because every single unregenerate person is totally depraved, there is not a single unregenerate person who believes the gospel. The truth is that belief of the gospel is a distinguishing mark between believers and unbelievers.

The Bible says that EVERYONE who BELIEVES the gospel has been born of God. Not SOME -- EVERYONE. Thus, it is IMPOSSIBLE for one not born of God to BELIEVE the gospel.

"And this is everlasting life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent." (John 17:3)


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