==The elect are saved because of what God does, not because of what they do. In this case the act of "believing" is left out. I am of the opinion that "believing" is a response to God's regeneration. When we are regenerated, we believe, we exercise faith which is part of God's grace. Does an elect infant have to "believe" as part of the process, I tend to doubt that, since "believing" involves knowledge of certain facts. For instance in Romans 10: 14 the question is asked "How shall they believe One of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without preaching?" Then in a few verses we read "Then faith is of hearing, and hearing through the Word of God". So to me the question is do elect babies hear the preaching of the word? If they do not hear it, they cannot respond to it with "belief". Hearing involves "cognition". Do elect babies who die in infancy or in a pre natal state, have "cognition"? I have to say no they do not. ... If you have ears to hear, then faith enters in. If you have no such cognition then it is a different case. When Jesus saved the demoniac, and cast out a legion of devils from him in Mark 5, there is no evidence that Jesus required him to believe. He was not in his right mind, and he had no cognition. It say's Jesus had mercy upon him. It was a sovereign act. Later after the man was in his right mind, then Jesus told him to go unto his own, and publish what Christ had done for him. When you have no ears to hear, and eyes to see, you have no cognition, and it takes a sovereign act to save you. I believe that God can and does save through his sovereign disposition when and whom He chooses. Is it the norm? No. Normally "faith" is the inevitable fruit of regeneration. But can God save without faith? Absolutely.==
So you believe that there are some unbelievers who go to heaven. You believe that God makes an exception for some people. You believe that Romans 10:14 is not true for everyone. As is always the case with those who think that some unbelievers go to heaven, you don't stop at babies. You then go to people who are "not in their right mind." The Bible makes no such exceptions. Your exceptions are just a figment of your imagination. The "hearing" in Romans 10:14-17 does not have to include the physical ear sensing physical vibrations. It can include things such as reading the Bible with the eyes or with the touch of the fingers (e.g., Braille) or any way of receiving the Word. Every single human being has cognition. If they do not have cognition they are not human.
==You seem to be saying that God cannot save anyone without putting a condition of "belief" on the gospel. "Belief" is not a condition. The conditions are all met in the atonement. "Belief" is a fruit. In heaven certainly everyone has belief. But God in His sovereignty can and does save elect babies without belief! God can always make exceptions to any of His rules, because He is God. In 1Cor 15: 1-4, Paul describes the gospel which he preached to the Corinthians, and He say's they stand in it. It contains not one word about 'Belief" as a condition for salvation. You want to judge people based on their belief of the gospel. There is nothing wrong with that. That's why you are always condemning the false gospel of Arminianism, but you would have to condemn Paul, because His gospel wherein they were saved consisted basically of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. He does indicate that they might have believed "in vain". But that does not make "belief" a condition for salvation, especially if one can "believe" in vain! That reminds me of the seed which fell by the wayside, that sprung up out of stony and thorny soil. Was there a problem with the seed? or the soil? or their belief? Many will say Lord,Lord, (obviously an indication that they believe), yet they will be cast into the lake of fire! Even the devils "believe" and tremble (James 2:19), but they are not saved. Clearly "belief" is not a condition of salvation. Yet all the saved truly believe, especially the ones in heaven!==
I do not believe that belief is a condition of salvation. If I believed that, I would be unregenerate. Belief is an immediate and necessary fruit of salvation. You do not believe this is true for every saved person without exception. You think that there are some saved people who do not believe until they get to heaven. So you might as well put some Muslims in there. God can save them, they can remain in unbelief, even believing a false gospel as they breathe their last breath, and they can believe when they get to heaven. God is sovereign and can do anything He wants, right? So He can save a Muslim, have that person stay a Muslim until he dies, bring that person to heaven, and then make him believe in heaven. Disgusting. The truth is that the Sovereign God acts according to the truth He reveals in His Word. He says that those who do not believe will be damned. No exceptions.
Also, there is no one who truly believes who will go to hell. The ones who believe in vain do not truly believe the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. The ones symbolized in the stony and thorny soil did not truly believe the true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. The ones who say "Lord, Lord" on judgment day who are damned do not truly believe true gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. Your statement about the devils who believe and tremble is common among those who say, "Even the devils are orthodox." This is not the case. James 2:19 says that the devils believe that there is one God. It does not say they believe the gospel.
The Bible talks of belief and unbelief in many places. Notice that the BELIEVERS are the ones who are SAVED, and the UNBELIEVERS are the ones who are LOST. Yet, contrary to these Scriptures, you think that some UNBELIEVERS are SAVED (because you believe that God can make exceptions to any of His rules, including the rules put forth in these verses; more on this below).
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."
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." 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."
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."
John 6:47: "Truly, truly, I say to you, The [one] believing into Me has everlasting life."
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."
Acts 10:43: "To this One all the Prophets witness, [so that] through His name everyone believing into Him [will] receive 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."
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." Acts 16:31: "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."
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;"
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."
Romans 11:20: "Well! For unbelief they were broken off. And you stand by faith. Do not [be] highminded, but fear."
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."
2 Thessalonians 2:12: "that all may be judged, those not believing the truth, but who have delighted in unrighteousness."
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."
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."
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."
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."2 Thessalonians 2:12: "that all may be judged, those not believing the truth, but who have delighted in unrighteousness."
You wrote, "God can always make exceptions to any of His rules, because He is God." Really, Earl? God can ALWAYS make exceptions to ANY of His rules? That says a lot. You believe that God can act against His own Word. You believe that when God says something, He can always make an exception to anything He says, because He is God. This makes His Word meaningless. You believe that God does not have to be faithful to keep His promises, because He is God. Yet God says just the opposite. It is BECAUSE God is the sovereign God of the universe that He ALWAYS keeps His promises and makes NO exceptions to ANY of His rules: "But God [is] faithful, that our word to you did not become yes and no. For Jesus Christ the Son of God, the [One] proclaimed among you by us, through me and Silvanus and Timothy, did not become Yes and No, but has been Yes in Him. For as many promises as [are] of God, in Him [they are] yes, and in Him [are] Amen, for glory to God through us" (2 Corinthians 1:18-20). You believe in a "yes and no" god. I believe in a "yes and Amen" God. You believe in a god who can lie because he is god. I believe in a God who CANNOT lie because He is God. You believe in a god who can be in fellowship with an unbeliever because he is god. I believe in a God who CANNOT be in fellowship with an unbeliever because He is God. Because God is God, God CANNOT do anything that is against His character. You do NOT believe in the same God I do.
Some examples: God says this: "Or do you not know that unjust ones will not inherit [the] kingdom of God? Do not be led astray, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous ones, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor plunderers shall inherit [the] kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)" Yet, to you, "God can always make exceptions to any of His rules, because He is God." Thus, to you, God can make exceptions to this rule that these kinds of people shall not inherit the kingdom of God. You think that, since God is God, He can make an exception and save a homosexual, have that saved homosexual continue practicing homosexuality until the time of his death, and bring him to heaven. God says this: "But without faith [it is] impossible to please [God.] For it is right [that] the [one] drawing near to God should believe that He is, and [that] He becomes a rewarder to the [ones] seeking Him out" (Hebrews 11:6). Yet to you, "God can always make exceptions to any of His rules, because He is God." Thus, to you, God can make exceptions to this rule that without faith it is impossible to please God. You think that, since God is God, He can make an exception and be pleased with someone without faith. In fact, you do so in your heresy about babies and people "who are not in their right mind." God says this: "All that the Father gives to Me shall come to Me, and the [one] coming to Me I will in no way cast out" (John 6:37). Yet, to you, "God can always make exceptions to any of His rules, because He is God." Thus, to you, God can make exceptions to these rules that all that God the Father gives to Jesus Christ will come to Jesus Christ and that all who come to Jesus Christ will not be cast out. You think that, since God is God, He can make an exception so not everyone whom God gives to Jesus Christ will come to Jesus Christ in faith. In fact, you do just that in your heresy about babies and people "who are not in their right mind." You think that, since God is God, He can make an exception so not everyone who comes to Christ in faith will not be cast out. Thus, to you, there could be some people who come to Christ in faith who will be cast out, since God could make an exception to this rule. And, according to you, God can make an exception to any other rule in His Word. He could make an exception to the rule that He will preserve His people to the end and that once His people are saved, they cannot lose their salvation. Since "God can always make exceptions to any of His rules, because He is God," he could make an exception and have some people whom he saved fall away and go to hell. What utter blasphemy.
You wrote, "you would have to condemn Paul, because His gospel wherein they were saved consisted basically of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ." This is a serious accusation. This is accusing me of believing and preaching a different gospel than Paul believed and preached. This is a blatantly false accusation. Of course I would not condemn Paul, because he believed and preached the same gospel I believe and preach. And the gospel both Paul and I have believed and preached is not just the historical facts of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The true gospel does include these historical facts, but if you stop there, you do not have the true gospel. The true gospel proclaims what the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ ACCOMPLISHED. The true gospel contains the doctrine of the person and work of Jesus Christ.
==Where do you find Christ or an Apostle calling anyone a "God-hater"? You do it all the time, but they never did it even once! How can you then say you are following their examples? ... What about "love"? what about compassion? what about the fruits of the Spirit? Love, Joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, temperance? Don't you have any room in your heart for these Christ-like graces? These things are important, especially in a servant of Christ, a man of God! You should pray about your deficiency in these matters. "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord". Holiness always produces the fruit of the Spirit.==
"Never did it even once," eh? Let me call your attention to a particular word in Romans 1:30. In Greek, it is theostuges. It comes from two words: theos, meaning "God," and stugnetos, meaning "hateful." So what do you think theostuges means, Earl? You're a preacher who claims to know your Bible. What does that word mean? In the KJV, it is translated "haters of God." In the LITV, it is translated "God-haters." And who would it be who wrote the book of Romans, Earl? You're a preacher who claims to know your Bible. Is the author of Romans an apostle? Why, of course. You said that Christ or an Apostle never once called anyone a "God-hater." Well, God's Word proves you wrong. There are other places in the Bible that talk of those who hate God, such as Exodus 20:5, Numbers 10:35, Deuteronomy 5:9, Deuteronomy 32:41, Psalm 21:8, Psalm 83:2, and Psalm 139:21. Of course, since you didn't know about Romans 1:30, I wouldn't expect you to know about the other passages. You must just use your Bible as a paperweight.
But it's not just the term "God-hater" that exists in the Bible to describe the wicked. The prophets and apostles and Christ called people other things as well that would sound "unloving" to you. If you were consistent, you would have to ask the same questions to them: "What about love? what about compassion? what about the fruits of the Spirit? Love, Joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, temperance? Don't you have any room in your heart for these Christ-like graces?" See the following web page: "Answering Those Who Would Accuse Us of Not Manifesting the Fruit of the Spirit." Your form of "love" is different than the Bible's true love.
You wrote, "'Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.' Holiness always produces the fruit of the Spirit." Wait a minute, Earl! Just because the Bible says, "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord," does that mean that this is an absolute rule? Isn't it true that "God can always make exceptions to any of His rules, because He is God"? Why is this rule any different? Can't God make an exception to His rule that "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord"? According to you, if God cannot make an exception to this rule, then He is not God. Thus, God can make an exception in which there are some people who shall see the Lord without holiness. And thus, you cannot apply this absolutely to me by saying that I shall not see the Lord if I do not have holiness, since God might be making an exception in my case. Is it an absolute rule that "Holiness always produces the fruit of the Spirit"? It cannot be an absolute unchanging rule with no exceptions, according to your scheme. Thus, God can make an exception in which holiness does not produce the fruit of the Spirit. And thus, if you think I am not producing the fruit of the Spirit, you cannot say for certain that I am unregenerate, because God might be making an exception in my case. After all, God is sovereign, right? He can do whatever He wants, right? You are shown to be a fool.
Finally, I want to quote Romans 1:16-17: "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; for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; even as it has been written, But the just shall live by faith." MY Bible says that the gospel is the power of God to salvation to everyone believing. What does yours say? You do not believe that this is true for every saved person without exception. You believe that God makes an exception to this rule, making the gospel irrelevant in these cases. You believe that "God can always make exceptions to any of His rules, because He is God." Contrary to this blasphemy, I believe that God, because He is God, NEVER makes an exception to this rule. When God saves a person, no matter if that person is an infant or a person with mental retardation or any other person whom you would say "have no cognition," He sovereignly gives that person a KNOWLEDGE and a BELIEF of all essential gospel doctrines. He NEVER does it any other way, because He is GOD who NEVER does ANYTHING against His own glory. God glorifies Himself in the hearts of His people when He causes them to believe the gospel of salvation conditioned on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. He NEVER does it ANY other way. That's MY God. Repent of believing in your false, changeable, unreliable, "yes and no" god who does not keep all his promises, and believe in the TRUE God of the Bible whose promises are YES and AMEN.
To God alone be the glory,
Marc D. Carpenter
E-mails, Forums, and Letters