Reprobation: For So It Seemed Good in Thy Sight

At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Matthew 11:25-27, KJV

Reprobation. I can scarcely think of anything more difficult to accept than the doctrine of reprobation, but the instant I accepted that God — and God alone — chooses who will be saved, I had to also come to terms with the opposite:

In choosing only certain men to grant saving grace, God is necessarily & actively choosing certain men to whom He will not grant the same grace. If I may, here’s a simple illustration: You’re a child out on Halloween evening, and you approach the door of an elaborately decorated home and are presented with a bowl. Within this bowl are hundreds of candies — all of them the same, none better or worse than any of the others. And you choose some.

I admit I’m not a great illustration-creator; indeed, my illustration falls apart at this point (why didn’t the child choose all the candies?), but let’s assume the illustration makes sense, can we? If we can, then we will notice that the child did not base his decisions on anything inherent in the candies themselves — none were more or less likely to taste good than any of the others. And we can also see that by taking only some of the candies, the remaining are left as they are, unchanged.

And while the illustration may not have been ideal, that is how I understand election — and necessarily, reprobation — works. God has looked down on this planet — once spotless and new but now elaborately decorated with the sin-cursed devices of man — and hand-picked only certain men. Make no mistake, these men are no more or less worthy than any other.

But in choosing those men, God shows His mercy, for indeed He is a merciful God. On the flip side of the coin, we see that even though God chose Jacob, He does not choose Esau. While Jacob, through no fault of his own, is transformed into a new creature, beautiful & spotless in Christ, Esau is left alone… Alone in his own sins willfully committed. Alone in his own unbelief and willful blindness. He, like so many, is in a state deserving of punishment, and God leaves him in that state in order to show His wrath, for indeed He is a wrathful God.

As difficult as it is to accept that, we must bow our heads in submission to that truth which Paul so explicitly lays out for us in Romans 9. We, like our Lord, must pray, “Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.”

Hard though it may be to swallow, Jesus Christ — the Savior — is actively hidden from certain men. I can’t fully explain that. Thankfully, I don’t have to. “Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.”

But watch this. Immediately after declaring election & reprobation in Matthew 11:25-27, Jesus has this to say:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28, KJV

That is the invitation. Come unto Christ, all who are heavy laden. Jesus has already spoken of the “behind-the-scenes” details; He now gives us what the hearers need: “Come unto me,” He calls.

Have you gone to Jesus? Have you believed in Him, accepting His sacrifice for your sins? It doesn’t take a magical prayer, an emotional outpouring, a song with a forty-times repeated chorus, or a preacher pleading you to kneel at an altar. Your eternity depends on Jesus and how you perceive Him. Trust in Him for salvation and repent of your sins.

This is the only difference between election or reprobation that you need to worry about: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18).

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God (John 3:19-21).

Choose you today who you will serve.

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