Explaining Reprobation to the Reprobate
My dear reader, my purpose here is to explain a doctrine of the Bible that personally pertains to you if you do not belong to Jesus Christ, as one of God’s elect souls. Let me preface my explanation with the reality that you will reject what I am writing to you…guaranteed. The Bible assures me that you will scoff at my explanation and deem it foolishness (Ps 2:1–3; Is 53:1; 1 Cor 1:18). At the same time, God may have already determined to change your mind about these matters, ordained for some future date. In that case, you are not a reprobate.
Whether you are elect or reprobate, my primary purpose in writing to you is to glorify God for this doctrine revealed in the Bible. Therefore, I am not wasting my ink, my paper, or my time in presenting this material to you. Also, on a personal note, this doctrine humbles me to no end (Is 66:2b). Therefore, I write to you with zero pride and absolutely no malice. In fact, it is a warning to you, from God’s Word, that if this doctrine were to be withheld from you, I would be lacking love for you (Mt 5:44).
First, you are a creature made to be both a body (physical) and a soul (spirit), by God, the Maker of all things (Rom 11:36; Heb 3:4; 11:10).
Second, in eternity past, that is, before God created the physical universe, He determined to make you as a vessel of His wrath (Rom 9:22). His purpose in preparing you for destruction is to bring glory to Himself.
Third, in God’s just judgment of you as a depraved, guilty sinner, His attribute of perfect judgment unto justice glorifies Him (Gen 18:25; Ezek 39:21; Mt 25:31; Rev 14:7). Understand, the wicked were made by God for the day of evil (Prv 16:4). Yahweh said through the prophet Isaiah, “Thus, I will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud and abase the haughtiness of the ruthless (Is 13:11).” Elsewhere, God says, “So, I will choose their punishments and bring on them what they dread because I called, but no one answered; I spoke, but they did not listen and they did evil in My sight and chose that in which I did not delight (Is 66:4).”
Fourth, it is not appropriate for you to ask the God you hate (Jn 7:7; Rom 1:30), “Why did you make me like this (Rom 9:20)?” In truth, you do not believe you are bad, in the same way you do not believe God is good. My friend, God is good, and you are bad…very bad (Gen 6:5; Jer 17:9). In the Bible, sin is bad. It is lawlessness (1 Jn 3:4), and sinners earn death for their works done in the flesh (Is 64:6; Rom 6:23). Once a sinner dies in his or her body, God has arranged for their appointed judgment (Heb 9:27). This is true for you.
Fifth, as a reprobate sinner, you will be judged for your sins, which vary in degree and volume. Your eternal punishment in the fiery hell of the lake of fire is perfectly just (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:11). One problem with your objection to this sentence, by the just Judge, Jesus Christ (Acts 10:42; 2 tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5), is that you totally underestimate the holiness of God and the sinfulness of sin. One breach of God’s holy Law warrants eternal hell, so consider how many sins you compound for increased judgment and punishment…each day!
So, you have learned about sin, death, judgment, and eternal punishment. It is reasonable to presume you do not believe this scenario of doom. The reason you do not believe these truths of the Bible is that faith to believe God’s revelation is a gift of God, granted to His elect, redeemed people (Eph 2:9; Phil 1:29), by His authorial design (Rom 12:3; Heb 12:2).
Christians believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31), by God’s doing (1 Cor 1:30). God sent His Spirit to these predestined to adoption as sons (Jn 14:26; 15:26; Eph 1:4–5), and it is the Spirit of God who caused them to be born again of God (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3). You do not have the indwelling Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9) because you do not belong to Christ, who belongs to God (1 Cor 3:23). In other words, you are not one of the Good Shepherd’s (Jesus’) sheep (Jn 10:26) because God the Father did not give you to His only begotten Son before the foundation of the world (Jn 6:37; 17:2, 6, 24), when all His works were finished (Heb 4:3). Your name was never written in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev 13:8; 17:8; 21:27); but rather, it was blotted out of the book of life in the same decree of God from eternity.
In addition, Jesus Christ, the eternal and only begotten Son of God the Father (Ps 2:7; Jn 1:14, 18), was enfleshed to be the Savior of His people (given to Him by the Father) from the whole world, that is, from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Mt 1:21; Jn 3:16; Titus 3:5; Rev 5:9; 7:9).
Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Mt 1:20) and born of the Virgin girl, betrothed to Joseph, Mary of Nazareth (Lk 2:10–12), as was prophesied 700 years before by the prophet Isaiah (Is 7:14; 8:8; 9:6). Jesus Messiah lived a perfect sinless life (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15) and died as the Lamb of God (Jn 1:29; Rev 5:6, 12), a substitute sacrifice (Lev 16) in the stead of, on behalf of, and for the benefit of God’s elect, that is, Christ’s church, the Israel of God (Rom 5:8; Gal 6:16). Jesus bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Pet 2:24), shedding His precious blood (Heb 9:22; 1 Pet 1:19) for the forgiveness of the sins of His covenant people (Mt 26:28; Eph 1:7), for whom He laid down His life in love for them (Jn 10:11, 15; Eph 5:25).
This, of course, is good news for those who have been sent God’s Spirit and given the faith to believe the Gospel message (Jn 14:17; Rom 1:16). Jesus Christ is the only Savior of sinners (Titus 1:3; 2:13; 3:6) and the only way to God the Father (Jn 14:6). Not only did He come the first time to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21) and from God’s wrath (Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 Thess 1:10; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10), but He has gone to prepare a place for God’s holy nation of royal priests (Jn 14:2–3; 1 Pet 2:9), who love Him in the wisdom, power, and direction of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:16, 25). God’s elect, redeemed, regenerate, believing people have the life of God in their souls — new, abundant, and eternal (Jn 10:10; Rom 6:14; 1 Jn 5:12).
The soul of the born again is alive to God in Christ (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13), and nothing can separate God’s beloved saints from His everlasting love for them (Rom 8:31–39). Again, these doctrinal truths humble the Christian because it was not any work we did to gain favor with God (Rom 4:5) because no works of the flesh can do that (Is 64:6). Only God’s will (Jn 1:13) to have mercy (Rom 9:15–16) on those He graciously chose (Rom 11:5) to belong to Christ (2 Tim 2:19) explains our salvation that entirely belongs to Him (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1).
“Jacob I have loved, but Esau I hated (Mal 1:2; Rom 9:13),” is God’s simple way of distinguishing His elect from those He chose to reprobate for His purpose and His glory. So, let me summarize my explanation for you by listing some attributes of the reprobate. Again, I will address you in the second person, in order for you to examine yourself (2 Cor 13:5).
- You are a sinner, by nature (Eph 2:3) and by practice (Rom 3:23), who has broken God’s Law beyond measure (1 Jn 3:4).
- You are under God’s wrath, which is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness (Rom 1:18). As a guilty sinner without a Savior, you will soon die (Rom 6:23; Heb 9:27), be resurrected in the body, and face the just judgment of God (Jn 5:28–29; Rev 20:11).
- Your fear of death, judgment, sentencing, and assignment to eternal punishment in fiery hell, is perfectly justified. Yes, my friend, you should be very anxious and very afraid. If you are not, today, cowering in the fear of God’s eternal wrath then you have been deceived by your father, the devil (Jn 8:44; 1 Jn 3:10).
- There is no salvation for you because you have no place for God’s Word of truth in your heart (Jn 8:47). In fact, the more truth from God’s Word that you receive, the harder your heart becomes — increasing your hatred for God (Rom 1:30).
- You are without God (Eph 2:12), having not the Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9), and this is why you are void of true faith and hope (Eph 2:12).
- Faith is a product of grace from God (Eph 2:8–9), and you are not a recipient of grace (the work of God to save His elect), for grace is found in Christ, alone.
- Obviously, you hate Jesus Christ (Jn 7:7), which is why you hate me for writing the truth to you (Jn 15:18–25). Without truth, you prove you are void of the knowledge of God’s revelation, the Holy Scriptures (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20–21). Again, the Spirit of truth has not illumined you to the Word of truth (2 Cor 4:6).
- You have no love for God in you (Jn 5:42) because He has no love for you (1 Jn 3:1; 4:19); otherwise, God’s love would have been poured out in your heart (Rom 5:5), for you to see and know so great a salvation He has executed for His beloved.
- You have no witness to the love of Christ for you (Acts 1:8), nor do you have a testimony of how He came to you, as the one Mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5). Therefore, you have nothing to say of His blood redemption that issued His declaration “not guilty” and “forgiven.” If you were forgiven of all your sins and declared “not guilty” by His imputed righteousness, then you would not be ashamed to share the glories of His grace toward you with the people of the world.
- Finally, you are absent from the house of God because you do not belong to the family of God, having not been predestined to adoption (Eph 1:4–5). So, you do not worship in Spirit and truth (Jn 4:23–24), which is a good work prepared beforehand for those in union with Christ (Is 26:12; Eph 2:10; 1 Jn 4:13), who is the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24), which you do not understand…because you are outside the covenant of grace and a reprobate.
In conclusion, if you have failed the test of faith, please know that nothing can change God’s eternal decree for all things that shall come to pass. God is not unfair in the execution of all His holy will, and He will always do right. Because no man has the will or ability to facilitate his own salvation (e. g. free will decisions, works of the flesh, etc.), we trust that God will do right by you if you are a reprobate, and if by grace, He has a date for you in the future when His light will shine and He gives you life, then we will rejoice with you as you rejoice. Regardless, of whether you are reprobate or elect, we glorify God for His infinite wisdom in the execution of His eternal will, according to His eternal good pleasure.
Spokane Valley, Washington
May 15, 2022