“And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Gen. 3:13)
Eve was deceived, by her own free will she decided though, and by breaking the commandment, by disobeying the Lord, she was punished, and a curse was laid upon all women who would ever live because of that decision.
Many who will not accept the punishment upon her cry “Foul!” for they say that the curse was unjust, for she was deceived. Courts of law use this supposed excuse millions of times to gain freedom for those who should be punished, extenuating circumstances they call it.
“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Rom. 3:26)
I pose a question here that was briefly touched upon in a previous letter to you, what is the difference between being deceived and given over to a reprobate mind? Can one who has been the recipient of the latter ever come to the knowledge of salvation, can one who has been given over to that reprobate mind still be saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? Can one have a reprobate mind that has not first been deceived?
One could say that Eve knew the truth, the Lord God laid only one law, if you will, upon them, do not eat of the fruit of this tree. Satan, in the guise of the serpent, taking over the body of a creature that our first parents were familiar with we could presume, forced nothing upon them. Statements and questions were all that were offered. The deception, the lies were considered by Eve, and the Lord did not interfere. The decision was hers, but grace was offered to the both of them. Skins, clothing was prepared for them, and then that same grace drove them out of the garden so that they would not eat of the tree of life.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Rom. 3:23)
Yet we are not born with reprobate minds, but natures that openly rebel against the Almighty even at a young age. How long must one continue in sin before all hope is gone, before that reprobate mind is instilled in them, for the Scriptures stand as truth, the Lord “gave them over,” He stopped calling, He stopped knocking, and He left them to their demise. Is there hope of salvation for such as these? Can they hear the truth in that state, or have their ears been closed to His love, and if so, by them or the Lord?
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9)
If we knew the words spoken to Lucifer by his fellow angels who remained in the service of the Almighty, even perhaps those of God Himself to him. If we knew the words of Eve that she spoke to Adam. “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;” (Gen. 3:17) If we knew the private conversations between the Lord Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot we might be able to come up with a definitive answer.
Whether it is self-deception or deception from an outside source, a reprobate mind does not happen unless it is over a period of time, and being deceived, rejecting the truth must come first.
How long must the prodigal son stay away before we realize they were not saved in the first place?
I have no answer for you, I do not know if one whom the Lord has given over to a reprobate mind can be brought back, or if He will. If I did, I could know with full assurance who I should not cast His pearls before.