By Jack Weaver and our friend/contributor, John
We recently received a comment (which we did not publish) from a gentlemen who stated:
I am so glad you and your generation are retired! Yours is the generation that brought us the damnable practice of decisional regeneration. I thank God for these men [Washer and Platt] and their stance for the truth.
This was the first I had heard of the accusation, the pejorative called “decisional regeneration.” As I searched the Internet for the phrase, the accusation abounds… almost exclusively from Calvinists and Lordship Salvation advocates (usually one and the same) aimed at those who preach God’s Free Grace.
The false idea and straw-man of “decisional regeneration” is built upon the error perpetrated by many Baptists (and other) religionists who preach that one can be saved or regenerated by “coming forward to the altar,” saying a “sinners prayer” or praying a “prayer of commitment.” They then presume the person is “saved” and “regenerated.”
It must be clearly understood that regeneration does not occur because of an altar call, the sinner’s prayer or a “commitment.”
The Biblical truth is that one must willingly believe or have faith that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is all sufficient and has completely paid his sin debt (which is eternal death – separation from God) and that his faith in Jesus will save him – give him eternal life and thereby he is regenerated.
It is not an individual’s “decision” that regenerates but it is God’s Holy Spirit Who regenerates the individual the instant he freely and by his own will places his faith in Jesus Christ to save him.
However, most Calvinists, and many Lordship “salvationists,” reject outright man’s free will in responding to the Gospel by either believing in Christ as Savior or rejecting Him.
The Calvinists say no one can make a decision to trust Jesus Christ as Savior because of their belief in the first two false and ridiculous points of their Calvinist TULIP doctrine:
(1) “T” Total Depravity (or better stated, Total inability) that man is so “depraved” that he has no ability to make a decision to trust Christ as Savior under any circumstances.
This false belief is soundly refuted by J.O. Hosler in his book entitled “The Baptismal Regeneration/Believer’s Baptism Debate”:
“Lost man’s capacity to see the truth, comprehend it, and desire deliverance from condemnation, is not a saving virtue. But Jesus was presenting Himself to this capacity in man when He preached, performed miracles, rose from the dead, and instituted miraculous gifts in the apostles. Fulfilled prophecy is an appeal to this capacity. Satan is fully aware of this capacity and knows that he must work to prevent lost souls from seeing the light—In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (II Corinthians 4:4; cf. John 1:7; 12:36).”
(2) “U” Unconditional Election — that God has determined from the foundation of the world whom He would “elect” to be saved.
The Bible clearly states that God’s salvation is available to anyone and all (John 3:16) who believes in Jesus and that God has not elected anyone to salvation and likewise none to hell.
Clear Gospel Campaign explains it as follows:
We reject the doctrine of “sovereign grace,” that God infuses in certain elect persons some divine empowering substance that will “irresistibly” impel them to faith in Christ, and that apart from this infusion, men are incapable of faith. Faith is an act of the creature, not an imposition of the Creator. And the drawing of men to faith Christ is an act of the personal Triune God, not a product of an impersonal Aristotelian substance…
The fact that not all men respond to Christ is evidence that they are endowed with a free will to resist the drawing of the Father, and to reject the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit, thereby calling the Holy Spirit a liar.
The Bible is very clear on the terms of salvation.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou SHALT be saved.” Acts 16:31
That is not something that we or our generation brought. It is Biblical salvation.
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