In reply to:[color:"blue"]I compare it to a lifeboat sent to drowning men
Did you happen to see the movie "Titanic?" There was a scene after the ship had sunk where there were hundreds and hundreds of bodies in the ocean, dead, frozen, still floating in their life jackets. One lifeboat, after much debate among the passengers and crew, finally decided to go back and try to "save some." The scene was eery as the boat went back in the dark of night and pushed through the lifeless (necros) frozen bodies that bobbed up and down like ice cubes in a punch bowl. There was nothing but silence, darkness, and cold, lifeless, necrotic bodies. The rescuers called and called, to no avail; no response, dead, lifeless.
Question: If the rescuers had, with the best intentions, thrown out a lifeline to those dead, frozen people floating in the ocean could they have grasp it, the lifeline, and saved themselves?
Of course you know the answer. This necrotic condition, deadness, is the condition of all men since the fall of our first parents. We cannot grasp the lifeline unless we are first made alive. We cannot come out of the tomb, like Lazarus, until the Lord effectually calls us through regeneration. We, like those poor, dead, necrotic bodies in "Titanic," cannot respond to the lifeline of the gospel unless we are vivified, made alive.
This appears to be the key to the argument that has been going on between you and other members of this board. The point that we Calvinists wish to stress is that you cannot, we cannot, no man can "decide" for Christ, obey him, or perform any other evangelical obedience until we are resurrected from death to life.
We believe that the Bible teaches that salvation is of the Lord from beginning to end. And so,