This question is addressed to those who believe in the doctrine of Total Depravity.

In Exodus 10:3 God asks the Pharaoh for how long will he remain proud. Why does God ask such a question if the Pharaoh can't repent?

And why does God tell all people to repent/or to not sin if they don't have the choice to do so? It's like telling a blind person to see.

"So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said to him, "This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, so that they may worship me." (Exodus 10:3 (NIV))


This is a good question and usually the misunderstanding of people who are curious of the doctrine.

I am going to address the second question first. When asking this question you are making a mistake in terms of what total depravity is. You are assuming that the individuals who are not called don't have a choice to repent. This is not what is believed. The person who typically believes in total depravity believes that by birth the individual is sinful (Psalm 51:5) and hates God and therefore will not look for God (Romans 3:10-11). Total depravity is not a choice that is given or not given, it is the state of a mans heart at birth. That his heart hates God because he loves sin (Romans 1:21). Nobody says that they do not have the option to repent. Rather that the individual DOES have the option to repent but they lack the desire to repent. Therefore because they don't want to repent they wont repent.

What happens to the individual that does repent is that God gives some a heart as a new gift (Ezekial 36:26). He makes the individual a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). God gives them a new desire for him. A longing to be with him. So because they have a desire for God they repent and turn to him. God never restricts anyone's repentance. Simply put they don't want to repent, because they don't want God. The people who do repent want God. God is not under any obligation to change a mans heart. Although He can and does. Typically they appeal to the many instances when God changes a man in scriptures or sets them apart from birth.

In the example of pharaoh, they do believe pharaoh has the option to repent. In fact it is clear that God tells him to. So he has the option to, and God demonstrates to him that he should over and over. But pharaoh hates God and doesn't want to repent and God is under no obligation to change his heart to make him want to repent. Even if God calls him to repent, because pharaoh has the option to repent. God gave him that option, and calls him to repent but pharaoh simply does not want God, and does not want to repent.

Hope this helps!

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    But if I don't have the ability to 'walk on water', I really don't have the option to 'walk on water'. – Beestocks Jul 3 '17 at 2:07
  • You misunderstood what was said in the answer. The individual has the ability and the option to "walk on water". What the person does not have is the desire to be like Jesus and get out of the boat. The individual is in bondage to their nature (Total Depravity) which is a condition of the heart. It is where a mans desire comes from. Again their is no lack of ability or a lack of option. They are always available. The individual simply does not have the desire, their will (desire) is in bondage to their nature. To doubt the availability of the option is a straw-man argument. – Matthew Jul 3 '17 at 22:41
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    But repentance is from God. 2 Timothy 2:25 "in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth" – Beestocks Jul 3 '17 at 23:24
  • I'm sorry I don't understand the assertion. Based off of my understanding this verse affirms the position. That repentance is from the Lord. It is granted by means of his regenerating power. – Matthew Jul 4 '17 at 0:34

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