I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. “But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.”
Question: If, according to Calvinism’s Westminster Confession of Faith, God “decreed whatsoever comes to pass,” then what does it mean that God “gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent”?
Answer: For the Calvinist, what would be the purpose of highlighting the grace of giving “time to repent” if it does not also accompany any real opportunity to do so? Calvinists will just say that God doesn’t owe it and ghost you, but clearly God is not denying being gracious but instead affirming being gracious, though in Calvinism it would be a deceptive lie, and even more so if they are also excluded from a Limited Atonement. Calvinism would otherwise turn God into a liar.
The fact that Calvinism is false is a comforting reassurance that God is truly gracious and truly good, giving these individuals meaningful time and opportunity to repent, which Ezekiel 33:11 clearly affirms: “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’”
Jesus describes accountability this way: “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” (John 9:41) Similarly, the logic follows that if people had no other choice, then they would have no sin, but where they have knowledge of sin, and a choice of whether not to sin, then they have accountability for their actions. Logically, Calvinism upends both divine permission and human accountability.