Q. If God commands all people every where to repent (Acts 17:30). Does He also regenerate all people everywhere?
A. Paul builds his case for repentance in this setting first on natural revelation. He maintains that a person cannot say they are ignorant of God due to lack of evidence. Then he refers to special revelation of the Scriptures and the salvation available through Jesus the Messiah. He does include all people, especially those in his hearing. Does God regenerate all people everywhere? I personally do not think so. In Romans 10 Paul says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ. So evidence would have that regeneration does take place in hearing the gospel. Does it always occur in everyone who hears the gospel? I do not know. What about those who do not here the gospel, is there no regeneration possible? I do not know that either. Paul in this Acts 17 passage and in Romans 1:18-21 seem to give, while not an open door, at least the door is not locked. The bottom line is that repentance is required of everyone because everyone has some knowledge of God. It is the grace of God and further, His mercy that He gives anyone the ability to turn and display faith in him. "For by grace you have been saved through faith" (Ephesians 2:8).
Q. If there is no visible evidence of the change in disposition then there is no regeneration?
A. Regeneration is not conversion and Regeneration is not the new birth either. Regeneration leads to conversion which results in the new birth. If there is no, none whatsoever, evidence of a person being born again, I'd certainly say that there is no regeneration.
Wed, April 25, 2012
by Jimmy Kinnaird