2nd Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Question: Paul says, “I have fought the good fight,” finished the course and kept the faith. However, why would he say that if he was just a passive keeper of the gift of faith which was none of his own, as per Calvinism?
1st Corinthians 9:16-18: “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.”
Calvinists say that by virtue of Irresistible Grace, in having been “made willing, they come most freely.”
However, if that was the case, then being “under compulsion” as Calvinism’s elect, who do not choose to become elect, but are involuntarily regenerated against their totally depraved will, then they actually would seem to have what Paul describes as a “stewardship.”
If true, then the question is why does Paul speak of Christians who have “loved His appearing,” receive a “reward” (1st Corinthians 9:17) or “award” (2nd Timothy 4:8) of the “crown of righteousness,” which is based upon the principle of something being “voluntary” and not “under compulsion”? It would seem that Calvinism’s elect would not be entitled to it.