Is “Calvinism” Biblical? (pt 12)

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT REPROBATION:

Webster’s Dictionary of 1828 defines reprobation thusly;

REPROBA”TION, n.  [L. reprobatio.]

1.  The act of disallowing with detestation, or of expressing extreme dislike.

2.  The act of abandoning or state of being abandoned to eternal destruction.

When a sinner is so hardened as to feel no remorse or misgiving of conscience, it is considered as a sign of reprobation.

3.  A condemnatory sentence; rejection.

Set a brand of reprobation on clipped poetry and false coin.

Biblically speaking, reprobation should be understood as the justice of God toward the wicked, keeping in mind that all we are ever owed is justice. Salvation is a free gift to the undeserving sinner. The only acceptance we have with God is in Christ Jesus. Outside of Christ there is no salvation, no offering for our sin and no mediator between God and mankind. Those who God shows mercy to will be saved from their just penalty. 

God’s determination to destroy the wicked.

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. (Gen 6:5-7)

God’s justice toward wicked sinners due to their sin.

For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. (Gen 19:13)

God raised up Pharaoh with the purpose of destroying him, God showing His power over the wicked, so that it would be “declared throughout all the earth.”

And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. (Exo 9:16)

Without Christ the continued wickedness of sinners sparks God’s righteous anger toward them.

Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? (Deu 31:17)

God only forgives those who belong to Him through Jesus Christ our covenant head. Eli’s house was not to be forgiven even if they followed the Law.

And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. (1Sa 3:14)

Those in Christ, the “Lamb slain before the foundation of world,” are not viewed as wicked sinners. Their sins have been forgiven because of Jesus Christ who is our surety. Surety means our “security or safety.” (Websters 1828)

God is angry with the reprobate.

God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. (Psa 7:11)

Pharaoh was created with a purpose to “to show my power” that it would be declared all over the world. We see the “wicked” were “made” for the “day of evil.”

The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. (Pro 16:4)

The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. (Psa 11:5)

God owes us nothing. That is the foundation of Gospel grace. The best we can expect is justice and for those who the “Son chooses to reveal himself” will received grace because of Jesus Christ. Those who remain in the flesh will be “destroyed.”

Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up. (Psa 28:5)

We often forget how the Gospel, not only saves, but hardens the hearts of reprobate sinners. This is the case in Isaiah 6 where the Prophet is sent to “make the heart of this people fat” to condemn them “lest they see with their eyes, and hear” and be “converted and be healed.” Isaiah is preaching to them for their continued reprobation.

And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, (Isa 6:9-11)

The Lord lead Egypt astray. This is divine reprobation.

The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit. (Isa 19)

Those Lord actively set out to close the eye of those He rejected. The “Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes.”

Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. (Isa 29:9-12)

The Lord our God does in fact reject people for salvation.

Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them. (Jer 6:30)

The Prophet gives instructions not to pray for the reprobation. This supports my interpretation of 1 Tim 2 offered in a previous post and exposes the Arminian free will understanding. We are not to pray for “all men everywhere” as if God is hoping to save them, no, we are to pray for all kinds of people including those in authority

Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. (Jer 7:16)

Christ approves of the ministry of Isaiah and continues in the same vain, preaching the Gospel to call the elect while also reprobating and hardening the hearts of the rest of humanity.

And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Mat 13:14-15)

Not everyone who hears the Gospel is given the ability to understanding it. The result is a further hardening of the sinner against God.

And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. (Luk 8:10)

The reprobate will not understand the Gospel only Christ’s sheep will believe.

But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. (Joh 10:26)

God is described in the Old and New Testaments as the divine potter who does what He likes with His creation. The Bible teaches that God created “vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.” That is divine reprobation.

Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: (Rom 9:21-22)

The elect will obtain salvation in Christ by the power and work of the Holy Spirit. The rest will be “blinded.” Literally this means the “rest” were literally hardened against God.

What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (Rom 11:7)

The biblical text teaches that God will “send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” Believing this lie was to make sure they were “damned.” This echoes the events that took place in Isaiah 19 where God lead Egypt astray.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2Th 2:11-12)

 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jud 1:4) 

Divine reprobation is biblical doctrine, albeit, a difficult one. All doctrine should humble us and make us look to Jesus Christ alone for salvation bringing to light our helplessness and hopelessness without Him.

Yours it the Lord,

jm

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