As far as I know the word reprobate is only mentioned three times in scripture. Most people that read God’s word would relate it to:
AND EVEN AS THEY DID NOT LIKE TO RETAIN GOD IN THEIR KNOWLEDGE, GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO A REPROBATE MIND, TO DO THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE NOT CONVENIENT;
Now, let’s see what it says in the next four verses:
BEING FILLED WITH ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, FORNICATION, WICKEDNESS, FULL OF ENVY, MURDER, DEBATE, MALIGNITY; WHISPERERS, (30) BACKBITERS, HATERS OF GOD, DESPITEFUL, PROUD, BOASTERS, INVENTERS OF EVIL THINGS, DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS, (31) WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING, COVENANTBREAKERS, WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION, INPLACABLE: (32) WHO KNOWING THE JUDGMENT OF GOD, THAT THEY WHICH COMMIT SUCH THINGS ARE WORTHY OF DEATH, NOT ONLY DO THE SAME, BUT HAVE PLEASURE IN THEM THAT DO THEM.
I’d like to make a point here that I feel is very important. As we read here in Romans, the Apostle Paul is speaking to people that call themselves saints.
TO ALL THAT BE IN ROME, BELOVED OF GOD, CALLED TO BE SAINTS, GRACE TO YOU AND PEACE FROM GOD OUR FRATHER, AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Therefore, let’s look at a man’s life as respect to that man being born and, in the process, of time being born again. No man is ever born a reprobate. Personally, I believe that there are reprobates that are lost as well as people that are born again. Have you ever considered what the only sin is that a person repents from the very minute they are born-again? If a preacher is preaching a message of salvation to a congregation of people that has within it those that are not saved, it’s very possible that he will not even mention any specific sin that a person might be guilty of.
The message could be a general message proving that all people are sinners and, desperately in need of salvation. It’s very possible that a person can feel the convicting hand of God as far as their nonbelief in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That person can come to an altar, confessing their belief in Jesus Christ, never even realizing that a certain lifestyle they live is sin.
I’ll give you an example. As a young believer I went to Church one Sunday just as I would on a normal Sunday. There was also another young man there, a friend of mine that had gotten saved a few weeks after I did. That particular Sunday morning our pastor preached a message that revealed a sin that he and I both were guilty of. After the service as we were leaving the other young man came out of Church and found me. As we stood and talked one to another, he asked me; did you hear what the preacher said about that sin that we are both very guilty of? I replied, yes, I did! It brought about great conviction on me. He told me that it did him as well however, I don’t think I can quit living like I live. To that, I replied, I know but I’m going to ask the Lord to help me with it, you should do the same.
We left Church that day, he never came back. However, I’ll confess, I still struggle with that sin in my life! I’m still seeking daily to walk in the light of the gospel of Christ, I’m also maturing spiritually in Christ, always asking him to allow himself to be seen in me and not, me, myself.
Here, we can argue whether this young man was saved or not. However, there are also those that will doubt whether I am saved or not! We are speaking about being a reprobate. It doesn’t matter whether or not a person is saved. What matters is whether a person is willing to hear God’s Spirit and yield to the very voice of God.
I want you to notice these three verses, all in different books:
LUKE, THE BELOVED PHYSICIAN, AND DEMAS, GREET YOU.
MARCUS, ARISTARCHUS, DEMAS, LUCAS, MY FELLOWLABOURRERS.
2 Timothy 4:10
FOR DEMAS HATH FORSAKEN ME, HAVING LOVED THIS PRESENT WORLD, AND IS DEPARTED UNTO THESSALONICA, CRESCENS TO GALATIA, TITUS UNTO DALMATIA.
The man Demas we see here, was he saved? Look at this verse:
YE DID RUN WELL, WHO DID HINDER YOU THAT YE SHOULD NOT OBEY THE TRUTH?
The Apostle Paul here is again speaking to a whole Church. Were they saved?
In Romans, the first chapter it appears that the Apostle Paul is speaking to people that are living a homosexual lifestyle, that is, at least some of the people are. I’d like for us to consider something here. At the time the Apostle Paul was writing this letter to the Romans, the whole concept of the Church, even the New Testament was a brand-new concept. The Apostle Paul is also preaching, teaching Gentiles that have no concept of anything spiritual concerning the true and living God.
So, let’s say that the Apostle Paul went to Rome simply preaching a salvation message. Sharing that we all are sinners, we all have fallen short of God’s glory. However, Jesus Christ died on a Cross for our sins and, God desires to save ever man. As you read the verses in (Romans 1:28-32) we see a picture of the type sins were present on the day he preached that message of salvation. These people, hearing the gospel message came forth and asked Jesus Christ to become their savior!
Before we go any farther, let’s look at another verse:
MY LITTLE CHILDREN, OF WHOM I TRAVAIL IN BIRTH AGAIN UNTIL CHRIST BE FORMED IN YOU, (20) I DESIRE TO BE PRESENT WITH YOU NOW, AND TO CHANGE MY VOICE, FOR I STAND IN DOUBT OF YOU.
What is salvation by definition? It’s being born again! It is the act of excepting Jesus Christ into your heart. Therefore, who is Jesus Christ?
FOR IN HIM DWELLETH THE FULNESS OF THE GODHEAD BODILY.
If we look at salvation from the perspective of God, the Father, we can define it this way. We can say that salvation is the express desire for any person to show a will to die to self and, allow God to be form in their body.
Salvation has nothing to do with being perfect but, a desire to become as much as possible like the body of Jesus Christ which was perfect. (I believe) that what we see today, and call abortion is a perfect picture of what happens in the hearts of many people. If abortion occurs, then that means that two people have gone through a motion of bringing life into this world. However, a choice has been made not to accept that life.
When any person goes to a Church for instance. On the morning that they are at Church the preacher preaches a message that draws great conviction on their heart as a sinner. If we stop here, no matter what they do from that point, wasn’t the conviction on their heart? That fact cannot be changed! God’s Spirit has done his job. Here we see two people, a preacher yielding to God’s Spirit and a sinner. The seed has been planted.
So, let’s say that this sinner goes down to the alter. The sinner says, they desire Jesus Christ to be their savior. Well, no matter what they say or do, hasn’t the seed been planted? Without saying a word. What they do from that moment on will become their life! Let’s get a little closer. The very fact that you are under conviction proves that the Holy Spirit has convinced you that you are a sinner. The fact that you go down to an alter is confessing that fact. Even though you might say you desire for Jesus Christ to be your savior, you actually don’t know Jesus Christ at all!
Hebrews 6 puts it this way:
THEREFORE LEAVING THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, LET US GO ON UNTO PERFECTION; NOT LAYING AGAIN THE FOUNDATION OF REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD. (2) OF THE DOCTRINE OF BAPTISMS, AND OF LAYING ON OF HANDS, AND OF RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, AND OF ETERNAL JUDGMENT. (3) AND THIS WE WILL DO, IF GOD PERMIT.
I mentioned that the New Testament was just being written, the Apostle Paul is one of the writers. Consider this: as Apostle Paul left the Church of Rome, he left someone in charge. In the case we read about in Acts, it was a group of men call Elders. These men had the responsibility of seeking to hear the Spirit of God, the very same Spirit that spoke to the Apostle Paul.
Were they willing, not only to hear that Spirit but, yield to what he was saying? The Apostle Paul is writing this letter to people that say they are saved but, they are allowing things to take place that is unbecoming to a born-again believer. I showed you a verse where he says (I stand in doubt of you)! It’s not his place to say whether any person is actually born-again or not. Neither he nor the people, like me can be a judge. However, just like the picture of baptism being an outward picture of an inward transformation, our lives should also show that transformation.
Becoming a reprobate can occur in at least two ways. One way is that the word of God is preached to us but, we reject the truth we hear. We could argue that this is the only way it can take place. However, what happens when the man that is preaching doesn’t preach complete truth. Let’s say he convinces you that you are a sinner, you ask Christ to be your savoir but, you never understand what sin is. You are left to believe that you are fine just as you are. Maybe we can’t call that person a reprobate but, isn’t he still living an unprincipled life, just in ignorance?
My whole point is this. Salvation means more than you just saying (you believe) in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul says (he travails) until Christ be formed in you! I’ll use a metaphor to make my point. Let’ say you are about to drown. Just before that you do, a person comes by, throws you a rope and, pulls you to safety. Yor are very excited, very thankful for what that person did for you. Therefore, you asked, do you mind if I walk along with you? The person that just saved you, says, yes you can, I’ll be glad to have you.
As you two walks along and fellowship he begins to share who he is, what he expects of those that desire to be a part of his life. Yor begin to reconsider whether you like walking with him or not. He’s actually asking you to give up things in your life you would rather stay the same. In just a little while, although you are thankful for being saved by him, you decide to walk another way, more pleasing to the way you think.
Doesn’t the fact that you are saved still remain? I realize that this is just a metaphor. However, in a spiritual sense I can see it both ways. While I can’t say whether you are saved or not, I can see how both lost sinners and saved sinners can become reprobate being not willing to submit themselves to the very will of Jesus Christ.
In (Hebrews 6) the Apostle Paul is making this point. In a true spiritual setting, we can’t just simply preach a salvation message and expect our members to grow to a mature spiritual level. That’s why I say that it’s possible to be unprincipled in your spiritual walk but not know it. The people teaching you have let you down spiritually.
As you read the list of things that the Apostle Paul mentions in (Romans 1) often we like to point out the homosexual lifestyle here but neglect to mention all the other things he says.
I feel compelled to use this scripture here;
AND HE SPAKE MANY THINGS UNTO THEM IN PARABLES, SAYING, BEHOLD, A SOWER WENT FORTH TO SOW; (4) AND WHEN HE SOWED, SOME SEEDS FELL BY THE WAY SIDE, AND THE FOWLS CAME AND DEVOURED THEM UP: (5) SOME FELL UPON STONY PLACES, WHERE THEY HAD NOT MUCH EARTH; AND FORTHWITH THEY SPRANG UP, BECAUSE THEY HAD NO DEEPNESS OF EARTH: (6) AND WHEN THE SUN WAS UP, THEY WRE SCORCHED; AND BECAUUSE THEY HAD NO ROOT, THEY WITHERED AWAY. (7) AND SOME FELL AMONG THORNS; AND THE THORNS SRUNG UP, AND CHOCKED THEM: (8) BUT OTHER FELL INTO GOOD GROUND, AND BROUGHT FORTH FRUIT, SOME AND HUNDREDFOLD, SOME SIXTYFOLD, SOME THIRTYFOLD. (9) WHO HATH EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR.
This is a picture of what I’m saying. The difference is we are the people that actually make the choice whether the seed falls on good ground or not. The question is (do you desire to hear? In a Church setting, if the man of God is preaching under the power of the Holy Ghost; the same truth goes out to every person under the sound of that preacher’s voice. What we do with what we have the ability to hear is up to us! Now, let’s move on:
AND EVEN AS THEY DID NOT LIKE TO RETAIN GOD IN THEIR KNOWLEDGE, GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO A REPROBATE MIND, TO DO THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE NOT CONVENIENT:
I believe we could write a book on this alone! Look at the very first one: (unrighteousness). When we consider all the things mentioned below this one word being unrighteous, why would he mention this word? There is a very good reason for it. There are many people, this world is filled with the unrighteous They are not guilty of any of the things he mentions here however, they still never even consider seeking God’s will. As a matter of fact, there are possibly more people like this than any other sinner that we can name!
In other words, they are righteous in their own minds. The pastor is always speaking to some else, not them! Let’s look at a couple of verses here:
FOR THEY BEING IGNORANT OF GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS, ARE GOING ABOUT TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUS, NOT HAVING SUBMITTED THEMSELVES UNTO THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD.
2 Corinthians 5:21
FOR HE HATH MADE HIM TO BE SIN FOR US, WHO KNEW NO SIN; THAT WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM.
God’s righteousness is Jesus Christ! Do you remember (until Christ be formed in you)? Let’s consider what we are seeing often today. Our Churches are seeking to teach us how to live righteous. They call out sin we might say and seek to get you to refrain from living in those sinful ways. Most people might appear to be living that righteous life to those that see them. What does Jesus Christ say about that?
AND THE LORD SAID UNTO HIM, NOW DO YE PHARISEES MAKE CLEAN THE OUTSIDE OF THE CUP AND THE PLATTER, BUT YOUR INWARD PART IS FULL OF RAVENING AND WICKEDNESS.
let’s look at another verse:
THEN HE SAITH, I WILL RETURN INTO MY HOUSE FROM WHENCE I CAME OUT, AND WHEN HE IS COME IN, HE FINDETH IT EMPTY, SWEPT AND GARNISHED. (45) THEN GOETH HE, AND TAKETH WITH HIMSELF SEVEN OTHER SPIRITS MORE WICKED THAN HIMSELF, AND THEY ENTER IN AND DWELL THERE: AND THE LAST STATE OF THAT MAN IS WORSE THAN THE FIRST. EVEN SO SHALL IT BE ALSO UNTO THIS WICKED GENERATION.
We’re speaking about being reprobate, unprincipled. When we decide to clean up our lives, even say we asked Jusus Christ to come into our lives; we can say we empty ourselves, our hearts from evil. So, what do we fill it back up with? Our own righteousness? The righteousness of a Church or some religion?
If we go back to abortion, the act of two people, through that process something is happening inside a body that we don’t like. Therefore, we stop its growth. Isn’t it the very same way spiritually? The Holy spirit has moved on your heart. He is attempting to place something in you. His desire is to transform you into the very will of Christ. However, you refuse that transformation!
As we consider the word (reprobate) (unprincipled) I might have already mentioned this but, it’s worth saying again. The very principles we are speaking of is (as defined) by God the Father. We, as the people of this world don’t get to define that word. (I believe) there are whole Churches, religions and spiritual organizations that are completely reprobate. Look at this verse:
2 Corinthians 6:17
WHEREFORE COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, AN BE YE SEPERATE, SAITH THE LORD, AND TOUCH NOT THE UNCLEAN THING, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU.
Now, why did he say that? You can read this whole chapter but, I’ll only write one verse to make my point.
2 Corinthians 6:12
YE ARE NOT STRAITENED IN US, BUT YE ARE STRAITENED IN YOUR OWN BOWELS.
I’m going to say something here that I believe God’s Spirit laid on my heart. As I go about my days, I often will ask people, members of Churches if they are saved. In most cases they will reply (yes)). Then, I will change the term and say (are you going to heaven when you die)? There reply (I hope so)! Is that not a contradiction in terms? How do we define salvation if it’s not going to heaven?
Can you imagine going to Church your whole basic life and still being unprincipled as far as God is concerned? Your whole life you listened to what some Church taught and missed the true meaning of being born-again! All you know is what some Church taught you to know. In many cases, in situations such as this, even if you attempt to show them truth, they are so engrained in what they have been taught, they will not hear truth!
Since we started this in (Roman 1) and many people relate that to a homosexual lifestyle; let’s consider something here. There are many people that are very guilty of some of the other sins mentioned in (Roman 1). However, they view a homosexual as being unprincipled as taught by the Church they attend. Let’s say that in a local Church there’s a lesbian that desires to be a member of that Church. In her heart, she has asked Jesus Christ to be her savior, she truly desires for her heart to be transformed into all God desires her to be. The members of that Church, they know her lifestyle and reject her on that very principle. She is truly trying to turn from her sin but, she is rejected by the very place that God designed to help her.
In that Church, among the membership there are (whisperers)! They are talking among themselves, making sure the deacons, the pastor and other members know this woman’s lifestyle. While the lesbian is truly seeking to turn her life to Christ, be transformed into what God would have her be, the whisperers hadn’t even considered themselves as (her equal). Who would you say is the most spiritual?
These people have been (straitened in their own bowels)! They are a (law unto themselves)! I know and completely realize that there are homosexuals that have become reprobate, that’s their choice. That doesn’t mean they all have! And, I might add, I don’t know of any whole Church with that mindset! However, there are whole Churches that are reprobate having (been straitened in their own bowels)!
Isn’t it very possible that if I ask a homosexual if they are saved, their reply would be an instantaneous (yes, I know I’m going to heaven when I die)? At the very same time there are those that will not say that but, judge them when they do, all because of being straitened in their own bowels!
Are you reprobate, not having the principles of God governing your walk? Have you been convinced in your own bowels that you are going to be alright? I’m not the justifier of any sin. I’m simply saying that we all are sinners in need of Jesus Christ as our Savior. Any of us, no matter what our sin might be can become reprobate meaning that will can no longer hear God as he seeks to speak to us and direct our paths.
(I believe) that the greatest reprobate of all times believed in Jesus Christ! His name was and is Lucifer, we call him Satan. He is also the (prince of the power of the air). (Ephesians 2:2) He, right at this moment is working in the children of disobedience. He appears as (an angel of Light) (2 Corinthians 11:4). Every person that is a reprobate is controlled by his spirit. He teaches in our universities, our colleges, our Christian schools. He teaches in Sunday School; he stands behind pulpits. He holds the office of deacon. You can always expect him to mix some truth with the lies he tells!
One of his greatest lies of all times is that you are fine just as you are! Just come to the alter and confess your belief in Christ, get baptized and join our Church! (In my opinion), that means you don’t have to agree with me! People that allow themselves to be taught by reprobates, become reprobates by default. What do I mean by that statement? I stated that I believe that both people that are born-again and those that are lost can become reprobate in their mindset. If I teach you a falsehood, even if you are saved. You allow yourself to be led by that same spirit, won’t you stand before God accountable for the same things the people that are teaching you will? If you are lost and you allow yourself to fall for false teaching; won’t you go to the same hell your teacher does?
The Apostle Paul made this statement: (I am the least of all Apostles). (1 Corinthians 15:9) As you consider this; also consider that the Apostle Paul was a man that had started Churches and was now seeking to help these same Churches see the truth we now find in God’s word.
The people that might read this are very special to me. Each of you have an appointment with Jesus Christ our Lord. You have no reason to listen to me! I, like the Apostle Paul am the least of all men! However, I know this; the truth is very hard to come by! There are very few people, pastors and teachers today that truly seek to hear the very voice of God. I like this verse:
WHO, WHEN HE HAD FOUND ONE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE, WENT AND SOLD ALL THAT HE HAD, AND BOUGHT IT.
If you’ll look around the city, the village, the town you live in you will see many Churches that you might have the opportunity to visit. If you make a choice to visit one or, are already a member of one it still boils down to this. You are an individual that is very loved by Jesus Christ. Far beyond any Church you might attend, he desires to speak directly to you! If you’re lost without him, he desires to save you. If you are already born-again, his desire is to share truth with you, lead you through this troubled world, fellowship with you on a daily basis.
Reaching reprobate status means that you can no longer hear the spirit of God as he speaks to you. You have rejected his call and you now only hear what you choose to. If you are reading this, is God still dealing with your heart? Can you feel the nudge of God’s spirit seeking to lead you into his divine will? If so, you’re not a reprobate! You might be lost, you might be a Church member confused, you might even be born-again but haven’t been shared the truth of God’s word. God’s Spirit is right there in your midst! His love for you goes far beyond all that you might think and, no person’s love will ever come close to just how much he loves you!
Forgetting all that I might say or teach, seek to hear truth from him! Learn to pray, listen to him, read his word. Allow His Spirit to be your teacher! In every person that might teach you, including me, always weigh what is taught in light of God’s word as directed by his Spirit!
One day, you will be glad you did!
2 Timothy 1:7