This is a short dialog that discusses our fallen condition as human beings and our responsibility to God.
The following quote was the original post which is followed by a short discussion:
"It is the duty and responsibility of all people everywhere to repent and believe the gospel. But all men, in their willful blindness, plunge themselves into darkness and perdition. In other words, so-called "free will" is man's problem, not his solution... only Divine mercy can save him (Rom 9:16, John 6:63, 65, 37)."
Visitor: This statement is ridiculous. It can't be a duty and a responsibility if it is ONLY divine intervention and mercy. Totally self defeating and contradictory. Bro, its either God picks randomly, or everyone has a chance at salvation. If you never had a chance from the beginning and ONLY God gives the ABILITY to repent, then how can true justice be served? So you have a DUTY and a RESPONSIBILITY to do something you do not have the power to do? If you cant see how ridiculous that is, I really don't know what else to say.
Response: After the fall, God called you to obey the Ten Commandments? Do you? Given your reasoning then it is not our responsibility to obey the 10 commandments because we are not able to? Not only does this defy reason, but it defies the Bible. Paul declares the the purpose of God's commands are not to show our ability but to reveal sin (our inability).. .
"...whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin." Rom 3:19-20
Visitor: I'm not talking about keeping all the commandments of God, I'm speaking of repentance specifically.
Response: But you were arguing based on the logic that unless someone has the ability to do something then they cannot have the responsibility... and called it ridiculous. I was challenging your assumptions about that line of reasoning.
But to be certain, repentance and faith are also commands of God
"Truly these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent." -Acts 17:30
"And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ..." - 1 John 3:23
Are you saying that a person can come to faith in Jesus Christ APART from the work of the Holy Spirit? Simply obey the command in our own strength and wisdom?
"the Spirit gives life [quickens], the flesh counts for nothing ...that is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me grants it." John 6:63, 65
So apart form the Father granting and the Spirit quickening, Jesus declares, no one can come to faith in Him
"It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Cor 1:30-31
"no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit." 1 Cor 12:3
Visitor: There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” Acts 10:1-3 NKJV
Response: Cornelius was a devout man who feared God because he was a Gentile convert to Judaism ... There was regeneration before the time of Jesus as well. Example....
"But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear...And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Deuteronomy 29:4, 30:6
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.Ezekiel 36:26-27
Are you trying to declare somehow that there are some people out there whose eyes, ears and hearts God did not open that still came to faith in Jesus? You go against everything taught in Scripture.
When you have a heart of stone, you cannot make it into a heart of flesh on your own or it would not longer be stone. Only God can change our heart of stone, only God can disarm our native resistance to him. Jesus provides EVERYTHING we need for salvation, including a new heart to believe ... not just some things. If it were left to us we would have no hope.
Finally, it is important that you ask yourself ... Are you more wise and humble than your neighbor? is that why you believed and he did not? Or was it because Christ opened your eyes in mercy.