Speaking of the incarnation of Jesus, Martin Luther said that there were three miracles involved. “The first, that God became man; the second, that a virgin was a mother; and the third, that the heart of man should believe this.” Many hearts do not believe this. While we evangelical Christians are celebrating the entry of divinity into the world through the miracle of the virgin birth of Christ, the world is filled with those who object to this classic Christian doctrine.
Even the idea of believing refers to individuals since only individuals can exercise faith; I do not see anything in the passage that would indicate that this “all” is restricted to something like all people groups, including some who can be saved. I do not think the passage even hints that this “all” is different from “all” including each person previously spoken of as under sin; of which “there is no distinction.” This understanding corresponds precisely with its usage before and in the following verses.
Is it possible that some of our church plants receive members in this fashion? Yes, it is altogether possible, especially when one considers that one of America’s leading church planting networks is led by a Pastor whose congregation is among those accepting members in this manner. Is it possible that the network is training their church planters to embrace non-immersed membership as normative?
Calvinism claims men are totally depraved in that they have no ability to respond to God unless and until God regenerates them or gives them spiritual life to THEN be able to repent and believe and be converted or saved. It is one thing to claim “no man come to God unless the Spirit draw him” and claim the necessity for regeneration for man’s response to God.