I am stepping away from my usual teaching to touch on something controversial yet also so very important in a true disciple of Christ’s life as we journey the paths the Lord sets before us, (Psalms 37:23). Because of the political climate in the world today and the hotbed of the political furor in the United States, I was inspired to address this subject due to an article I just happened to run across. As soon as I read it, I am sorry but the following Scripture came to mind which led me to the subject for which I want to teach:
“But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” – 2 Corinthians 11:12-15.
I feel so thankful that there are true Christians out there who do as the Apostle John warns and tests the spirits (1 John 4:1), as well as observe the fruits of those who CLAIM to be Christians, as Jesus forewarned (Matthew 7:15-23).
In an interview published in the New York Times Sunday Book Review*, Clinton opened up about her favorite books and authors, name-dropping famous literary names like John Grisham, Toni Morrison and Walter Isaacson. The possible 2016 presidential candidate said the Bible has had the biggest influence on her:
If you had to name one book that made you who you are today, what would it be?
“At the risk of appearing predictable, the Bible was and remains the biggest influence on my thinking. I was raised reading it, memorizing passages from it and being guided by it. I still find it a source of wisdom, comfort and encouragement.”
06/16/2014 01:29 pm ET | Updated Jun 16, 2014
Senior Politics Editor, The Huffington Post
*New York Times Sunday Book Review. A version of (The NY Times Sunday Book Review) this article appears in print on June 15, 2014, on page BR7 of the Sunday Book Review with the headline: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The following Definition is from Dictionary.com:
reprobate [ rep-ruh-beyt ]
a depraved, unprincipled, or wicked person:
a drunken reprobate.
a person rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation.
morally depraved; unprincipled; bad.
rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation.
verb (used with object), rep·ro·bat·ed, rep·ro·bat·ing.
to disapprove, condemn, or censure.
(of God) to reject (a person), as for sin; exclude from the number of the elect or from salvation.
Words related to reprobate
corrupt, depraved, bad, wanton, foul, degenerate, immoral, improper, incorrigible, lewd, rude, sinful, unprincipled, vile, wicked
A reprobate mind as the Bible describes it, is a mind that is given over to sinful passions and ungodly desires. It is a word used to describe a person who outright rejects God while apparently KNOWING the truth and yet, does what is vile and self-serving rather than obey the Word or commandments of God. Because of this outright rejection of God and His Character, Nature, etc., they are judged by God and are under condemnation, therefore their conscience, their moral compass as-it-were is seared beyond redemption.
The actual term “reprobate mind” in the English language is found only once in the King James Version in Romans 1:28 but is translated differently in various other versions.
“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;” (Romans 1:28, KJV).
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;” (Romans 1:28, NKJV).
“And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,” (Romans 1:28, NASB).
“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 1:28, NIV).
“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 1:28, ESV).
“And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a corrupt mind so that they do what is not right.” (Romans 1:28, CSB).
The Greek word for reprobate, depraved, debased literally means:
“Unapproved, unworthy, spurious, worthless, disapproved, rejected, cast away.”
The Greek word for reprobate occurs 8 times in the New Testament but is translated into the English using the various words as indicated in the examples above. There is a variety of meanings in the English for what reprobation is. But generally speaking, the word means to test and find lacking.
In Romans 1:28, the main reference we are analyzing, at the end of the passage documenting human ungodliness and depravity (verses 18–27), Paul uses a play on words to sum up his allegation. Since humanity tested and rejected the knowledge of GOD, God gave THEM over to an a way of thinking that, having been tested and found wanting, is rejected as base and worthless.
Therefore REPROBATE IS — that which is rejected on account of its own worthlessness and ungodliness. (Jeremiah 6:30, Hebrews 6:8).
Now in Christian theology, reprobation is a doctrine of the Bible found in many passages of scripture (see below) which teaches that a person can reject the gospel to a point where God in turn rejects them and causes their conscience to be seared or numb, allowing them to do unnatural and abominable things. The English word reprobate is from the Latin root probare meaning to prove, to test, and thus derived from the Latin word reprobatus, again meaning reproved and/or condemned.
When a sinner is so hardened as to feel no remorse or misgiving of conscience, it is considered a sign of reprobation. This isn’t teaching that because of their wicked actions that God will NOT save them, but rather, because of their outright rejection of that which they know to be right before God, God then, in His judgement, gives them over to a seared conscience and now they can do vile actions. The vile actions, depravity and the many corrupt things they accomplish without remorse are evidence of a reprobate mind.
What can we surmise about someone who has what the Bible calls a reprobate mind? We do know from the chapter in Romans that we used to analyze this subject that the people under discussion did not like to retain the Lord in their knowledge; they knew of Him and His Character, Nature and Attributes, but did not want to dwell on thoughts of Him or follow His precepts. As a result, He (God) gave them over to this reprobate, defiled mindset and virtually worthless state of reasoning. God didn’t cause it, He let their choices lead them to this state of mental unbalance! The people the Apostle Paul is discussing in Romans and elsewhere in his writings are godless and wicked people who suppress the truth (they lie as a way of life) by their wickedness and deceitfulness.
Let’s go to some of those Scriptures we promised we would cover concerning this state of mind:
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” – Romans 1:20-32.
Notice that the Apostle Paul is railing against some of these vile people who crept into the early church and began to teach other things, other doctrines, other gospels, and were successful at leading many astray. It was a problem right from the start, and it has continued to be a problem down to this very day! REMEMBER, Paul is addressing THE CHURCH, and those who CLAIM to know God! He’s not writing to those outside the Church who haven’t had their spiritual eyes opened as yet!
Now notice what this same Apostle writes to Timothy and to Titus:
“Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.” – 2 Timothy 3:8-9.
“To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” – Titus 1:15-16.
This was something that the Apostles were very well aware of in the early church; yet as time has progressed, for some reason, this has become a teaching we avoid like the plague!
The beloved Apostle John recorded this interaction with Jesus in his Gospel;
“Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.”
“But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”
“Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.” – John 12:35-41.
The writer of Hebrews warned of this in his letter:
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briars, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.” – Hebrews 6:4-8.
Solomon, considered the wisest man ever to have lived, inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote of wisdom in relation to the reprobate, sometimes referred to as the simple-minded and foolish:
“Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words:
“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge. Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you.”
“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD, They would have none of my counsel And despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil.” – Proverbs 1:20-33.
Okay, after reading these Scriptures and analyzing the verses, I know many beg the question as to whether Christians can be of a reprobate mind. The simple answer is NO!
Christians are indwelt by God and abide IN God. “Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” – 1 John 3:24.
Also Christians are born again and have become new creations in Christ Jesus (John 3:3-8). “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17.
As a changed and new creation, the reborn spirit does not rely solely upon the corruptible conscience but rather upon the leading and convincing of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, unlike the conscience cannot nor will ever be seared. His purpose and mission is to be the Spirit of Christ within you, leading, teaching, guiding, admonishing and convincing us of actually putting aside our fleshly, self-serving desires and to surrender our wills to the will of God. When we abide in the Spirit and He abides in us, we have the best assurances and guarantees there is.
We are watching the Bible and even Biblical prophecy unfold before our very eyes in the world and in the halls of our government and it is heading towards a culmination of historical events as man has not seen since his very beginning. If you truly are a disciple of Christ Jesus, following the examples He has spoken of AND demonstrated by example, this is no time to fear, but it is a time to be vigilant and fervent in prayer! Ask the Holy Spirit to allow you to see more clearly and focused with spiritual eyes and hear more precisely with spiritual ears. He WILL answer that prayer!