The following was written by Marc Carpenter:
Spurgeon does such a great job in putting forth the position of conditional reprobation, I’ll just give you an extended quote from him, which is from his sermon on January 16, 1859, entitled “Jacob and Esau.” His text is Romans 9:13…Now I will go to what Spurgeon says about the reprobation of Esau:
“Now, the next question is a different one: Why did God hate Esau? I am not going to mix this question up with the other, they are entirely distinct, and I intend to keep them so, one answer will not do for two questions, they must be taken separately, and then can be answered satisfactorily. Why does God hate any man? I defy anyone to give any answer but this, because that man deserves it; no reply but that can ever be true. There are some who answer, divine sovereignty; but I challenge them to look that doctrine in the face. Do you believe that God created man and arbitrarily, sovereignly–it is the same thing–created that man, with no other intention, than that of damning him? Made him, and yet, for no other reason than that of destroying him for ever? Well, if you can believe it, I pity you, that is all I can say: you deserve pity, that you should think so meanly of God, whose mercy endureth for ever. You are quite right when you say the reason why God loves a man, is because God does do so; there is no reason in the man. But do not give the same answer as to why God hates a man. If God deals with any man severely, it is because that man deserves all he gets. In hell there will not be a solitary soul that will say to God, O Lord, thou hast treated me worse than I deserve! But every lost spirit will be made to feel that he has got his deserts, that his destruction lies at his own door and not at the door of God; that God had nothing to do with his condemnation, except as the Judge condemns the criminal, but that he himself brought damnation upon his own head, as the result of his own evil works. Justice is that which damns a man; it is mercy, it is free grace, that saves; sovereignty holds the scale of love; it is justice holds the other scale. Who can put that into the hand of sovereignty? That were to libel God and to dishonour him;
“Now, let us look at Esau’s character, says one, ‘did he deserve that God should cast him away?’ I answer, he did. What we know of Esau’s character, clearly proves it. Esau lost his birthright. Do not sit down and weep about that, and blame God. Esau sold it himself; he sold it for a mess of pottage. Oh, Esau, it is in vain for thee to say, ‘I lost my birthright by decree.’ No, no. Jacob got it by decree, but you lost it because you sold it yourself–didn’t you? Was it not your own bargain? Did you not take the mess of red pottage of your own voluntary will, in lieu of the birthright? Your destruction lies at your own door, because you sold your own soul at your own bargain, and you did it yourself. Did God influence Esau to do that? God forbid, God is not the author of sin. Esau voluntarily gave up his own birthright. And the doctrine is, that every man who loses heaven gives it up himself. Every man who loses everlasting life rejects it himself. God denies it not to him–he will not come that he may have life. Why is it that a man remains ungodly and does not fear God? It is because he says, ‘I like this drink, I like this pleasure, I like this sabbath-breaking, better than I do the things of God.’ No man is saved by his own free-will, but every man is damned by it that is damned. He does it of his own will; no one constrains him.”
Really, Mr. Spurgeon? So, according to you, Mr. Spurgeon, Esau was damned based on his own character, deserving that God should cast him away because of what he did during his life. But what about verse 11? You used verse 11 to show that Jacob was loved before he had done anything good or evil, but where is verse 11 when it comes to Esau? You conveniently fail to mention verse 11 when speaking of Esau. Verse 11 is talking about BOTH CHILDREN, Mr. Spurgeon. Before Jacob OR ESAU had done anything good OR EVIL, God loved Jacob and hated Esau! Mr. Spurgeon, you try to say that God loved Jacob not based on anything good in Jacob, and you use verse 11 to do so. Then you go and say that God hated Esau based on the evil that Esau had done during his life! What a fool you are! And what a fool any other Calvinist is who swallows this nonsense. How plain can it be? Before the children had done anything good or evil, God loved Jacob and hated Esau. The truth is simpler than the heresy! People like Spurgeon have to go through theological contortions to wriggle out of what the Bible plainly says! And if Spurgeon and his ilk were correct in their interpretation, why would there even be a need for a verse 14 answering the objection that there is unrighteousness with God? But that is for another time, the Lord willing…Is the sovereign God of unconditional election and unconditional reprobation the one you worship? Do you worship the God who chooses to save and damn not based on anything in the person or on anything the person does? Or do you worship Spurgeon’s god? The truth is that before the twins had done anything good or bad, God chose one and rejected the other. And instead of choosing the first-born and rejecting the second-born, He chose the second-born and rejected the first-born, to show us that His choosing is not based on tradition or works or man’s sense of fairness or anything else but HIS OWN PERFECT WILL, so there is NO ROOM FOR FLESH TO GLORY. It is ALL FOR GOD’S GLORY. It shows, once again, that God’s actions are UNCONDITIONAL. God does not accept or reject, love or hate, show mercy or harden, based on ANYTHING that man does. He does everything to the praise of His glory, and His glory alone. Amen.