Jer 13:23 “Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil.
The emphasis of this Scripture is, of course, not to somehow accuse the Ethiopian of being a worse sinner than other peoples (no doubt there have been wicked men in history who have tried to twist this verse to mean that). Rather, this is a declaration from the Lord that man cannot cook up his own remedy for sin. The sinner is a sinner. He can no more make himself pure and righteous than a leopard can decide not to have spots anymore.
John Bunyan illustrated this in part 2 of Pilgrim’s Progress where two fools named Fool and Want-Wit (ie, Witless) were trying to change the color of an Ethiopian’s skin by washing him. It reads like this:
They saw one Fool, and one Want-wit, washing an Ethiopian with intention to make him white, but the more they washed him, the blacker he was. Then they asked the Shepherds what this meant. So they told them, thus it is with the vile person; all means used to get such a one a good Name, shall in the end tend but to make him more wicked.
There are plenty of Fools and Want-wits around us today, and particularly in the local, visible church. Many professing Christians actually believe that by “loving” the wicked person, by “forgiving” the RASN, a fix can be effected. Filth washed away. Darth Vader becomes good once more because Luke just knew there was some island of goodness in him.
And notice – the more this kind of approach is taken, this business of human beings transforming the wicked into saints, the more evil the person becomes! A false gospel only produces counterfeits.
Have you ever had professing Christians get angry with you when you told them that RASNs never change? I have. Sometimes that anger has come from the actual victims of the RASN! One abuse victim told me angrily, “I don’t believe that! My God is bigger than that and He can save anyone.” I can assure you that her abuser has not become a saint.
God cannot save everyone. This is something God cannot do. Does this mean He is not omnipotent and sovereign? No. What it does mean is that God will never violate His holy being. He will not justify the unrepentant, unbelieving sinner. God cannot and will not and is not going to save Pharaoh.
I maintain that many local churches today are Fool and Witless. They are washing and washing and washing through all their self-invented methods, wicked people and the only result is that those wicked ones are just growing in their evil.