Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Esau & Apostacy

QUESTION: Is Esau as described in Heb. 12:17 a type of the hopeless apostates who have committed the unpardonable sin?

Hebrews 12:17 (KJV): "For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected:for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears."

ANSWER: Some scholars say "Yes," but others say "No." I agree with the latter. Those who say that because Esau, faint with hunger, sold to his hard-hearted, selfish, grasping twin brother his birthright for a mess of pottage, he was forever afterwards incapable of that true repentance necessary to eternal salvation, are mistaken in their exegesis of Heb. 12:17. The repentance which Esau found no place for was not a change in his own mind, but a change in his father's decision, by which he might regain a double portion of Isaac's estate and the headship of the tribe which he had foolishly sold. For this he repented with tears, but they did not secure the earthly blessings which he desired. But the favor of God in the forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life were still attainable. Another mistake is found in answering the question, "By whom was Esau rejected?" Some say, "By God." The true answer is "by his father Isaac," when he refused to reverse his decision about the birthright. When Esau got through "sowing wild oats" he seems to have become quite a respectable man, kind and forgiving toward his brother. I hope he died in peace with God and attained eternal life.

— from Steele's Answers pp. 42, 43.