I saw on My Facebook today that a Calvinist wrote, “But you must repent.. That is to change your mind about God and about your sin but God even grants that repentance. So you must cry out to Him to give you repentance and faith.”
The Bible tells men to repent, not to cry out and ask God to give them repentance. You never see that anywhere in Acts. The Apostles called men to repent and told them to do it right now, not to wait for God to give them repentance as if it was God’s responsibility instead of their own. God is now calling all men everywhere to repent and He blames them if they do not. Jesus rebuked entire cities for not repenting! Sinners remain under God’s wrath as long as they remain impenitent. It is God’s will that all men come to repentance and it is not His fault if they don’t because their repentance is their own free will choice.
To tell people to do this, instead of telling them to repent right now, is really to tell them to remain impenitent. They should not put off their repentance but do it right now.
Charles Finney said, “Instead of telling sinners to use the means of grace and pray for a new heart, we called on them to make themselves a new heart and a new spirit, and pressed the duty of instant surrender to God. We told them the Spirit was striving with them to induce them now to give Him their hearts, now to believe and to enter at once upon a life of devotion to Christ, of faith, and love, and Christian obedience; We taught them that while they were praying for the Holy Spirit, they were constantly resisting Him; and that if they would at once yield to their own convictions of duty, they would be Christians. We tried to show them that everything they did or said before they had submitted, believed, given their hearts to God, was all sin; was not that which God required them to do, but was simply deferring repentance and resisting the Holy Spirit. Such teaching as this was, of course, opposed by many; nevertheless it was greatly blessed by the Spirit of God”
And Finney said that in his revivals, “Sinners were not encouraged to expect the Holy Spirit to convert them while they were passive; and never told to wait God’s time, but were taught unequivocally that their first and immediate duty was to submit themselves to God, to renounce their own will, their own way, and themselves, and instantly to deliver up all that they were, and all that they had, to their rightful owner, the Lord Jesus Christ. They were taught here as everywhere in those revivals, that the only obstacle in the way was their own stubborn will; that God was trying to gain their unqualified consent to give up their sins, and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their righteousness and salvation. The point was frequently urged upon them to give their consent; and they were told that the only difficulty was to get their own honest and earnest consent to the terms upon which Christ would save them, and the lowest terms upon which they possibly could be saved”
Call sinners to repentance. Don’t tell them to “pray” and “wait” and thus put off their repentance and remain in impenitence. Don’t tell them that it is God’s responsibility for them to repent, but that it is their own responsibility for them to repent.