Why Does One Believe and Another Doesn't?
Why doesn’t everyone believe and receive when they hear the gospel? Certain people like to say that the reason lies with God’s sovereignty. His answer is very simple: because God doesn't give them faith ... because He has not elected them. God does not choose the person to have faith and therefore he does not believe. These have tried to stump others who don’t believe this way by asking the question, “Why does one believe and another doesn’t?”
This question comes up a lot! If a non-Calvinist doesn't have an answer to this question, then it is implied that we have had our legs cut out from under us. Well, I have an answer: There are many reasons and I don't know them all. What a concept!
I say the reasons are as complex and various as the snowflakes. Each person is made up many experiences, many passions, many sins, different family backgrounds, etc… To understand why one responds to the gospel and another doesn’t, you would have to be able to analyze a person’s whole life and soul. I believe it is just that complex. When a lost person won’t receive Christ, the “Doctrines of Grace” advocate likes to simplify it and blame it on God. He has just one reason … but … there are many reasons. To be able to answer this question, I would have to be God Himself!
Here are some other thoughts on this question:
Why do some people choose to keep to the speed limit and others do not?Why are some men faithful to their wives and others not?Why are some people willing to listen to the opinions of others and others preferring to be ignorant and obstinate?I think we can safely put the question of why some believe along with those questions.There are many factors at work that result in some people choosing certain actions over others. There are many reasons why a person may become open to the message of the Gospel (dissatisfaction with life, uncertainty about death, guilt over behaviour, breakdown of relationships etc).
We agree the scripture is the only authoritative source for finding our answer and that our understanding is invalid if it fails to satisfy the scripture but unfortunately it is philosophy that frames both our approach and our interpretation. A prime example is in the approach we each use to answer this question. Presupposing that God determines all things you would search to see what God would add in a man that he might believe. My presupposition being that, though God has established our boundaries, He created each of us in accordance with His will that all men be saved having all we would need to obey His command and that it is not God who adds rebellion in a man but man himself. While God most surely created the vessel, He did not ordain that it be filled with wrath and fit for destruction. I would then find that it is not a thing God adds that allows a man to believe, but a thing a man adds that would cause him to reject the truth, namely pride in its various forms. Does God move that we might be saved? Absolutely ... and it is He alone who can save us, but as you already pointed out, there is no record where He saved anyone who rejected His Christ, His salvation.
So Why Does One Believe and Another Doesn't? The reasons are various, but they lie within each person. God searches the hearts and minds, He knows. I don't need to know. It is OK not to know.