The Reprobate’s Reaction to the Doctrine of Reprobation
A number of years ago, our small group studied and discussed the doctrine of reprobation. Of the twelve present, only one person was able to say affirmatively that he had heard reprobation preached from the pulpit at his local church.
Reprobation is the positive decree of God to pass by some souls in His work of salvation. Just as a coin has two different sides, while remaining intimately connected as one coin, so is God’s eternal good pleasure in salvation.
The doctrine of election occupies one side, and the doctrine of reprobation occupies the other side. They both perfectly represent God’s eternal will in eternal salvation.
Reactions to reprobation are different and sometimes ironic. An elect believer is often troubled at the terrible consequences to this aspect of God’s sovereign plan. Her right response is faith, humility, and gratitude for God’s mercy, grace, and sovereign choice to save her from eternal punishment in eternal hell.
The reprobate unbeliever dismisses the biblical doctrine of reprobation with unbelief, demonstrated by ignoring it, neglecting it, or counter-arguing that her God is not a God who reprobates people from eternity. In order to do so, the unbeliever must disregard chapters of the Bible like Romans 9 and Ephesians 1. Thematically, he must avoid Jesus’ teaching on unbelievers not belonging to Him (John 10:26), contrasted with those who do belong (Mk 9:41; Jn 15:16), complemented by Paul’s same emphasis (1 Cor 3:23).
Blatant twisting of the clear teaching of Holy Scripture is not as common as the easier path of neglect. For one to even breach the subject is to draw unwanted disdain from those who believe God loves everyone (John 3:16 — misused), and despite His desire to save everyone (1 Timothy 2:4 — misused), He fails to do so because He foolishly gave everyone free will to choose or reject Jesus as savior (false teaching).
In fact, the whole scheme of man-centered theology is to reconfigure the God of the Bible into a more controllable deity. Reprobates have little conflict with any configuration of Yahweh and Jesus Christ — -save for those ideas about God revealed on the pages of Holy Writ.
Today, in reading about the doctrine of reprobation, you have a sort of litmus test of reaction. Do you regard the biblical revelation with awe? Or, do you disregard it as ridiculous?
As with our small group, Christians need to contemplate the doctrine of God’s eternal, sovereign, unchanging, and willed decree of reprobation. To not believe it, or to ignore it, neglect it, twist it, or even condemn it is to react to reprobation in the manner of the reprobate.
Spokane Valley, Washington
February 24, 2022