Refuting the Unbiblical Reprobate Doctrine
By David J. Stewart | July 2017 | Updated August 2019
Mark 3:28-30, “Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.”
One of the most common topics, that my many dear web visitors who've e-mailed me have brought up in the past months, is the “Reprobate Doctrine” that has been popularized in recent years by Pastor Steven Anderson. It is not my intent in this article to refute Pastor Anderson; but rather, to address this important matter and lay it to rest from the Holy Bible. I need to explain several things, to help you grasp this doctrine. There are several aspects that need to be explained, to lay a foundation. I have prayed for God to give me His wisdom, so I give the Lord any due credit, for it is His Holy Spirit working through me, and not my own wisdom by which I write this article.
The “Reprobate Doctrine” itself teaches that there is a line an unbeliever can cross, where God no longer deals with that person's heart about getting saved, and they are beyond hope. Although it is true that a person who rejects the Gospel runs the risk of never hearing the truth again, I do not believe that God deliberately wants anybody to perish in their sins and go to Hell forever. Pastor Anderson defines a “reprobate” as someone who is incapable of believing the Gospel. Although I agree that an unbeliever's heart can become so hardened that the truth is no longer effective, I do not believe it is because God has willingly hardened their heart because He hates them. The Lord wants all men to be saved (2nd Peter 3:9). The problem is not that homosexuals are incapable of believing the Gospel to be saved; but rather, Jesus said, “ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” (Matthew 5:40).
The Holy Spirit Draws All Men to Christ to Be Saved
Jesus said in John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” The Lord further said...
John 16:7-11, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”
The blessed Holy Spirit convicts the lost world of sin, BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE NOT ON JESUS CHRIST. The Holy Spirit convicts lost men that they need to get saved, by submitting to God's righteousness, which is through faith (Philippians 3:9). The Holy Spirit convicts the world that Judgment Day is coming!!! A person CAN be saved at any time by simply believing the Gospel, but a person WON'T want to be saved unless the Holy Spirit is dealing with their heart. This is the woeful risk and danger of rejecting the call to believe the Gospel when you hear it, because you may never heard the truth of the Gospel again. Romans 10:17, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” If faith comes from HEARING the Word of God, and you reject so great a salvation, then you may never have another chance to get saved if you don't fall under the conviction of the Holy Spirit again. It is a very dangerous thing to postpone getting saved!!! You may never come under the fiery conviction of the Holy Spirit again, unless you are blessed enough to hear the saving truth of the Gospel down the road. Having explained this truth, that leads me to my next point.
Speaking Evil of the Holy Spirit Effectively Means Rejecting Christ as One's Savior
There are two very important truths that I want you to see in the following passage...
Mark 3:28-30, “Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.”
Many people quote this same Scripture passage from Matthew 12:31-32 and Luke 12:10, but there is a truth that we find in Mark 3:28-30 that is not found in the other passages. Please notice two things:
- The Holy Bible says that a person who blasphemes the Holy Spirit “IS IN DANGER OF ETERNAL DAMNATION.” Carefully notice that the Bible doesn't say they are damned and beyond hope, as the unscriptural Reprobate Doctrine claims. They are IN DANGER of eternal damnation because they have rejected the conviction of the Holy Spirit, thus, they are still lost in their sinful state.
- The Holy Bible tells us why they are in danger of eternal damnation, BECAUSE THEY SAID, HE [JESUS] HATH AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT. That is, they accused Jesus of being of the Devil, thus, rejecting the truth of the Gospel.
Those are two very important truths, that I hope you understood. The Bible doesn't say that they were automatically going to Hell for blaspheming (speaking evil of) the Holy Spirit. The Bible says they were “IN DANGER” of going to Hell. That means they can still be saved. The only unpardonable sin is rejecting Jesus as one's Savior. And since it is the Holy Spirit Who first has to convict a man and deal with his heart to be saved, if you speak evil of Him, you have fallen from grace, throwing away the ONLY hope of getting saved.
The Heresy of Dr. Harold Smith's Sermon, “God's Three Deadlines”
I read about a popular sermon today, preached in 1992, which is being promoted online in lame defense of the Reprobate Doctrine, called “God's Three Deadlines” (available to listen to here), by Dr. Harold J. Smith (1910-2001). I listened to the entire MP3 sermon today, and I don't agree with numerous doctrinal things taught by Dr. Smith. For example: In the sermon he says that people who speak evil of the Holy Spirit have crossed the line and God will kill them. That's simply not true. The devout atheists at The Blasphemy Challenge organization (known commonly as the Rational Response Squad), have openly recorded thousands of people (including themselves) saying, “I deny the Holy Spirit!” The atheist activist group shake their fists in defiance at God, proudly blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Yet, God has NOT killed them!
Clearly, Dr. Smith's sermon doesn't apply. I'm tired of preachers exploiting the misfortune of a few to superstitiously scare people into getting saved. I believe in THE TRUTH. You ought to get saved, because as Jesus said, you're “IN DANGER OF ETERNAL DAMNATION” (Mark 3:30). But for any preacher to tell stories about people who challenged God or the preacher, and then drove into a tree later that day and died, is not a proper way to teach the Word of God.
In the sermon “God's Three Deadlines,” Harold Smith even says during the invitation, that if anyone doesn't get saved at that time, but later changes their mind out in the parking lot, and comes back into the churches to get saved, God won't save them because it will be too late and they've crossed the line. Folks, that is junk theology and scare tactics. I am a fundamentalist, not a nut! If you don't respond to the invitation at the end of a sermon, but afterwards change your mind in the parking lot and come back into the church to find out how to be saved, GOD WILL MOST ASSUREDLY SAVE YOU if you place your trust in the Good News of Christ crucified on the cross for your sins, buried and risen three days later. That is “THE GOSPEL” (1st Corinthians 15:1-4)!!!
Dr. Smith also says in his bad sermon, that God will kill Christians who continue in sin. He uses 1st Corinthians 5:5 as his reference passage. Folks, we all know of horrible professed believers who live in continuous sin. The Bible says Demas forsook Paul, having loved this present world. Noah got drunk. Samson went with harlots. David stole a man's wife, impregnated her and then murdered her husband. Moses murdered a man. Isaiah was a man of unclean lips. Jacob betrayed his brother and deceived his father. Sarah laughed at the promise of God. Abraham lied. Jonah forsook God's will. When Jesus raised from the dead and found Peter, the apostle was butt naked in public. These are God's best and brightest! God DIDN'T kill any of them!!! Sorry Mr. Smith, but you're WRONG! God doesn't go around killing sinners, and a good thing, or we'd ALL be dead!
Granted, we have a few accounts in the Bible of people that God killed. Herod (an unsaved man) was killed for his hubris, because he failed to give glory to God. Ananias and Sapphira (saved believers) were killed, for lying to the Holy Ghost. So, yes, God can and does sometimes prematurely (by human wisdom) take a person's life for various reasons, but it is not the norm.
You can say bad things about the Lord, and God the Father will overlook that if you're a blood-washed child of God (e.g., Peter cursed the Lord's name and denied Him three times). But if you reject the Holy Spirit, you are in trouble, because He is your only ticket to receiving Christ to be saved. But again, the Scriptures tell us that people who blaspheme the Holy Spirit are only “IN DANGER OF ETERNAL DAMNATION,” it doesn't say that they cannot be saved. Of course, we know from John 3:18 that all unbelievers are damned (condemned) already, because they have not believed on the only begotten name of the Son of God. This simply means that unless they get saved at some future point, they'll go straight to Hell the second they enter into eternity.
What About Jeremiah 6:30 Where Men Call the Wicked Jews “Reprobate Silver”?
The Old Testament says...
Jeremiah 6:28-30, “They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.”
First of all, men didn't call them “REPROBATES,” they called them “REPROBATE SILVER.” That is, the silver was so full of alloy that it had no significant value. It needed to be purified first. The Bible is comparing the rebellious Jews to something of inferior value. I am reminded of “fools gold.“ During the California Gold Rush, many settlers thought they had found gold, because of the brilliant metallic sparkle, but it was actually the inexpensive metal tungsten, not gold. My point being, men called them reprobate silver, because the Jews had lost their peculiarity as God's holy people, because of their habitual idolatry and sin. God rejected Israel. Again, the Bible doesn't say that men called them reprobates, it says they called them reprobate silver. There's a big difference. This is the ONLY mention of the word “reprobate” in the Old Testament.
Secondly, God didn't reject the Jews from getting saved; but rather, He rejected them as a nation. The Holy Bible never teaches that when God divorced Israel, He gave up on them ever getting saved. In sharp contrast to the claim that God rejects the worst of sinners, we read in the New Testament that there has always been a remnant of believing Jews...
Romans 11:5 and 23, “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. ... And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.”
Any Jew, still today, can and will be graffed back into the olive tree (the seed of Abraham) by faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26). The Jews murdered the prophets which God sent to help them. They desecrated God's alters. But there has always been a small remnant of Jews, who have believed on the Messiah. The lie of Calvinism says that we believe because God chose us, but the truth of the Holy Bible says that God chose us because we believe.
It is true that the Old Testament Jews waxed rebellious against the Lord, committing all manner of evil and provoking the Lord. God had finally tolerated enough and gave Israel into the hands of the cruel Assyrians and the Babylonians. In 586 BC, Jerusalem fell to ruin and captivity into Babylon. This was God's judgment upon them! The Jews had become worthless as far as fulfilling their duty for God. But for anyone to attempt to use this passage of Scripture from Jeremiah 6:30, to say that the Jews were beyond the hope of getting saved, is junk theology. Romans chapter 11 evidences this truth. I am totally against the notion that our great God, Who gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross for the sins of the whole world, ever gives up on anyone getting saved.
Carefully notice that the Bible teaches God's hand is not shortened that it cannot save, but men's SINS have separated them from an omnibenevolent (all-loving) God. Isaiah 59:1-2, “Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” God always honors repentance, whether it be an individual or a nation. 2nd Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” That is, to change one's mind and believe the Gospel.
What About Pastor Jack Hyles' Teaching On Romans Chapter One
The Reprobate Doctrine crowd rally behind a sermon clip by Dr. Jack Hyles, which Pastor Steven Anderson has titled, “Jack Hyles Explains Reprobate Doctrine.” In the sermon clip Brother Hyles simply teaches that there is a line which an unsaved person can cross, beyond which they cannot be saved.
First, Brother Hyles was just an imperfect man, so his sermons are NOT our authority on doctrine. I love Brother Hyles and he is my hero of the Christian faith, but I am not a Hylesite. I only follow Dr. Hyles when he follows the Lord. The apostle Paul said in 1st Corinthians 11:1, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” I like what General George Patton said, “Either lead me, follow me, or get out of my way!” Dr. Hyles was a leader, and no one was a better follower of the truth and servant of Christ than Brother Hyles. Still, he was only a flawed human being, as are we ALL!
Second, I agree with Dr. Hyles that there is a line that a person can cross, but it is a line that God does not set. Dr. Hyles never said that homosexuals are the reprobates. He plainly says in the YouTube sermon clip that he DOESN'T KNOW what that point is, nor WHO crosses it. Whereas Pastor Anderson has set a specific point, ostracizing all homosexuals from the Gospel. Brother Anderson is very WRONG!!! I say that kindly, but truthfully. Dr. Hyles never applied Romans chapter one to homosexuals, but Pastor Anderson did! Brother Anderson is teaching something very different than what Dr. Hyles taught.
Dr. Hyles clearly said that he DIDN'T KNOW who has crossed the line with God, nor WHAT THAT POINT IS. If you listen carefully to what Dr. Hyles is teaching, he is saying that there comes a point in a Christ-rejecter's life where they'll never hear the Gospel again. That is VERY DIFFERENT than God banning someone from getting saved. Brother Hyles is just saying that you'd better get saved now, while you can, and don't take a chance that you'll never hear the saving-truth of the Gospel again. Dr. Hyles also mentions a lost lady that he met, who said she couldn't get saved because she had crossed a line in her life. But if you listen to the story, it was her own lack of feelings and interest in the Gospel that cursed her, not something that God did to her. She decided that she had crossed a line, not God.
Dr. Hyles simply teaches that one day you'll hear your last invitation to be saved, and there won't be another, so you'd better get saved NOW! That is common sense folks! That is very different than saying that someone CANNOT be saved because God hates them, which is what Pastor Anderson is errantly saying publicly.
Respectfully, Dr. Hyles does teach some heresy in his video clip. He says that Esau couldn't get saved, but he takes the Scripture out of context. Here is the Scripture from Hebrews 12:17, “For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” What was Esau seeking? The Bible plainly tells us... to inherit “THE BLESSING” from his father Isaac! His wicked brother, Jacob, had deceived his father (pretending to be Esau) and cheated Esau out of THE BLESSING. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with salvation. I love Brother Hyles, but I won't defend him when he is wrong. So this passage has nothing to do with salvation.
Why Did God Harden Pharaoh's Heart in the Time of Moses?
And furthermore, concerning Pharaoh in Moses' time, the Bible says that God hardened his heart not to let the Hebrews go. The Bible doesn't say that God hardened Pharaoh's heart not to get saved. Do you know why God hardened Pharaoh's heart? It was becausee God wanted to show off His muscles to His people. By hardening Pharaoh's heart, who refused to let the Hebrews go free to serve God in the Wilderness, it gave God the opportunity to work miraculous wonders, and blow everyone's mind...
Psalms:106:7-12, “Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea. Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known. He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left. Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.”
God created mankind in His own image. Just as humans love to be praised, so does God. That is why the Lord's Prayer (it's really the disciple's prayer, because they said, “TEACH US TO PRAY”) in Luke 11:2 begins with bragging on God... “HALLOWED BE THY NAME”! God loves to be bragged on. I learned a long time ago from Brother Hyles to regularly brag on God to get things from Him. Sometimes I just pause during the day, whether I be working, resting or walking, and I simply say, “God, I love you so much!” The Lord needs that adoration from His children, just as earthly parents need to hear their children say “I love you mom!” or “I love you dad!” How real is God to you friend? Do you talk to Him throughout the day? I talk out loud when I go walking, speaking to the Lord. I don't care if people think I'm crazy (although I am...lol). If they ask I will tell them, “I am talking to God, my best Friend.” The Lord loves to receive praise, and HE IS WORTHY! The Lord's Prayer begins with bragging on God, please don't forget that important truth!
So we see from the Psalms, that God only hardened Pharaoh's heart so that He could flex His divine muscles and impress His people. God did it so “THAT HE MIGHT MAKE HIS MIGHTY POWER TO BE KNOWN” (Psalms 106:8). It had NOTHING to do with salvation.
The Reprobate Doctrine Crowd Have it All Backwards
Also, in the clip Brother Hyles refers to the following passage of Scripture...
Ephesians 4:17-19, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”
This is what Romans chapter one is talking about, in the downward progression of an unrepentant sinner. First, they are unthankful and fail to glory (acknowledge) God their Creator. Their foolish hearts become darkened in the vanity of their minds. They worship the creature more than the Creator. They indulge in fleshly lusts and sins. The Holy Bible says that God gives them up to UNCLEANLINESS! It doesn't say that they can never be saved. The Holy Scriptures say that God gives them over to VILE AFFECTIONS! The Bible doesn't say that God gives up on them ever getting saved.
The Holy Bible plainly tells us WHY God gives them over to their vile affections in Romans 1:25, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” They were already committing IDOLATRY! They had already rejected the Gospel. You see, the Reprobate Doctrine folks have it all backwards. They say that because of gross sin (like homosexuality) God gives up on people ever getting saved; whereas, the Holy Bible teaches that because unbelievers reject the Gospel, God gives them up unto their filthy sins to allow them to treasure up wrath against them on judgment day (which I'll explain further in a moment). Romans chapter one is not saying that vile sinners can never be saved. Anybody can still be saved! Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Romans Chapter One is All About Accepting Or Rejecting the Gospel
Do you know what Romans chapter one is saying? The Bible is saying that God lets people be people. I can prove it, with the chapter that everyone overlooks in Romans two! Romans 2:4-6, “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds.” God is incredibly patient. We learn in Romans 1:18 that the unrighteous “HOLD THE TRUTH IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.”
So God says, fine, have it your way, but judgment day is coming. God is so ethical that He won't force Himself on anyone. The wicked fully KNOW what they are doing. They CHOOSE to live without God, hating even the knowledge of God (Romans 1:28). So, God never gives up on anyone getting saved. But He knows when someone rejects Him, and only then does He give them over to their vile affections and lusts, to dishonor themselves with one another, laying up God's wrath against themselves on the DAY OF WRATH (which is what the Word of God calls it) when all unbelievers will face the inexplicable horrifying judgment of God. Hebrews 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
The alternative is to get saved, by trusting the Good News (Gospel) of Christ Jesus, and then the blood of Jesus washes away all your sins, and you are under grace instead of the curse of the law. Carefully notice that everything said in Romans chapter 1:17-32 follows Romans 1:16 about “THE GOSPEL,” “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans chapter one is all about THE GOSPEL my friend. Either you believe the Gospel and are safe in Jesus Christ, or else you are an idolatrous Christ-rejecter and God gives you over to your sins to lay up wrath against yourself on judgment day. That is what Romans one is about.
People error in doctrine when they attempt to make the issue about homosexuality. Whether an adulterer, murderer, gossiper, drunkard, pedophile, feminist, coveter, thief, kidnapper, whoremonger or filthy homosexual, one sinner is no different than the next as far as God's judgment is concerned. All sin is black! All sin brings the harsh judgment of God! There are only two categories of sinners in God's sight: redeemed and condemned.
Respectfully, I totally disagree with Pastor Steven Anderson's teaching that homosexuals are reprobates that cannot be saved. New Hope Ministry is living proof that homosexuals CAN BE SAVED. The man who started and runs the ministry was himself an unsaved homosexual, but the Gospel of grace found him, and he got saved, and has been delivered by the power of God from that horrible sin. Homosexuals are not a separate class of sinners. They are no different than adulterers, drunkards, liars or thieves. The works of the flesh apply to all sinners. We all struggle with different areas of weakness (Romans 7:14-25), but we are all equally sinful in God's sight (James 2:10), as far as our desperate need for redemption and cleansing by the precious blood of Jesus (1st Corinthians 6:9-11; 1st John 1:7; Revelation 1:5; 1st Peter 1:18-19). There is hope for homosexuals. No one has passed beyond the point of being reached by God's loving mercy and grace through the truth of the Gospel.
I made this little chart today, comparing the different ways that Dr. Jack Hyles views the Reprobate Doctrine verses how Pastor Steven Anderson teaches it, which are quite different from one another. If is clear that Dr. Hyles DIDN'T believe that homosexuals cannot be saved. Kindly, I wish brother Anderson would stop misrepresenting Brother Hyles...
Major “Reprobate Doctrine” Comparison
Dr. Jack Hyles[***]
Pastor Steven Anderson[***]
|NOTE: As you can clearly see above, there is a drastic world of difference between what Dr. Jack Hyles is teaching, versus what Brother Anderson is teaching. Please understand that the Bible never says God makes homosexuals, which is what Pastor Anderson errantly teaches. The Scriptures say that GOD GAVE THEM OVER TO VILE AFFECTIONS!!! Dr. Hyles didn't give specifics on WHO, WHAT, WHERE or WHEN. In sharp contrast, Brother Anderson is saying that homosexuals have passed a line, so that they are not able to be saved anymore, and the Lord hates them immensely. I disagree wholeheartedly with that philosophy. The reason WHY God gave them up is clearly stated in Romans 1:25-26, because of IDOLATRY! Since they have ALREADY made their decision to reject Christ, God lets them do as they please to treasure up wrath against themselves for the day of judgment (Romans 2:4-6). Although God very much hates all sin, He loves the sinner, because sinners are people!!! God loves people!!! If God hates sinners, then He would have to hate all of us (Romans 3:10-23). God wrath abides on all unbelievers (Psalm 7:11; John 3:36), but does that means God also HATES them too? I think not! John 3:16 reveals the great heart of God toward all humanity... “For God so loved THE WORLD, that He gave His only begotten son...”|
God is Not Willing That Any Should Perish, But That All Should Come to Repentance
God wants ALL men to be saved. “Repentance” simply means to think differently, so that you'll trust Christ for salvation. Repentance does NOT mean to stop sinning, nor to try to stop sinning, nor to be willing to try to stop sinning. I think Dr. Harry Ironside (1876-1951) said it best...
“Which comes first, repentance or faith? In Scripture we read, 'Repent ye, and believe the gospel.' Yet we find true believers exhorted to 'repent, and do the first works.' So intimately are the two related that you cannot have one without the other. The man who believes God repents; the repentant soul puts his trust in the Lord when the Gospel is revealed to him. Theologians may wrangle over this, but the fact is, no man repents until the Holy Spirit produces repentance in his soul through the truth. No man believes the Gospel and rests in it for his own salvation until he has judged himself as a needy sinner before God. And this is repentance.” (Except Ye Repent, p. 16)
Beware of a false meaning of repentance, which has crept into at least HALF of all Baptist churches today, corrupting the Gospel of grace, which says that you must forsake sinful behavior to be saved. That is NOT the Gospel of grace. That is NOT the free gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life. You don't have to turn from anything to be saved. We are saved simply by turning TO Jesus in faith, accepting His sacrifice on the cross as payment for our sins, believing that He raised up three days later from the dead. Whatever it is that a person turns FROM to be saved, happens automatically when they turn TO the Gospel through faith.
You need to understand that God has placed the great responsibility of proclaiming the Gospel upon the New Testament Church. If we as born-again believer fail to obey The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), multitudes WILL GO TO HELL forever. We have a God-given duty to preach the Gospel, to be witnesses for Christ to all the world (Acts 1:8). That command wasn't just for the apostles, but for every true believer. We ought to bear “MUCH FRUIT” abiding in Christ (John 15:1-5). That means getting people saved with the saving-truth of the Gospel of grace. Nothing is as dear to the great heart of God than soul-winning.
With this precious truth in mind, it becomes very clear that an omnibenevolent (all-loving) God doesn't just write sinners off, condemning them to Hell, when there's even the slightest hope that they'll ever be saved. 2nd Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” In the Greek “all” means “all,” that is, EVERYONE!!! God wants everyone, everywhere, to repent (think differently) and BE SAVED!!!
Did God Harden People's Hearts So They Couldn't Believe?
In this YouTube video, “How To Know If You Are A Reprobate,” Pastor Steven Anderson errantly teaches that God hardens unbeliever's hearts, so that they cannot be saved. He uses this passage in an attempt to justify the Reprobate Heresy. What does the Bible mean here? It is quite simple, God knew that THE TRUTH would harden some people's hearts. The same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay! Let's examine the Scripture passage...
John 12:37-40, “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”
In the video sermon clip, Pastor Anderson uses the illustration of a cellphone. He presents a hypothetical situation where the Lord calls you 37 times on your cellphone, but you keep pressing “ignore.” And then all of a sudden you have an emergency and try to get call Jesus, but then He clicks “ignore” and won't talk to you. Folks, that is junk theology! At 8:43 time in the video Pastor Anderson states, and I quote: “God's saying, I'm to the point with these people, where I no longer want them to be converted or healed, I'm to the point with them now where I'm just blinding them, cause I'm through with them!” Folks, that is wrong! I say that kindly, but truthfully. I consider Brother Anderson a friend in the Lord, but just as I respect his right to disagree, I must speak against teachings that I believe are unbiblical and hurtful to the cause of Christ. I think it is dangerous to teach that a certain class of sinners cannot be saved, because God has given up on them. This is NOT what Jesus is saying in John 12:39-40.
The Lord is referring to an Old Testament passage in the book of Isaiah...
Isaiah 6:8-10, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. 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.”
God told Isaiah to go proclaim THE TRUTH, which would result in blinding their eyes. The same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay! In the case of the stiffnecked Jews, most of their hearts were hardened as clay. And the more they heard the truth preached, the harder their hearts waxed. But this is NOT because God wanted to harden their hearts; but rather, God knew that they wouldn't believe the truth. So in John 12:37-40, Jesus is simply saying that the Jews couldn't believe on Him because of the hardness of their own hearts, which was the indirect result of God sending them THE TRUTH! We see this today in America. We tell people THE TRUTH, but they don't want to believe it. We wonder in amazement how naive, ignorant and foolish people are. Author Mark Twain wisely said, “It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
Case in point, please read my article, THE LUCIFERIAN CREED, which contains some fascinating quotes by Commander William Guy Carr (1895-1959). Why don't people listen to THE TRUTH? And even more horrifying is that churches are the biggest culprits today. The average knuckleheaded pastor (who has been duped by the Devil to embrace the modern Bible perversions) is indifferent, complacent and more stubborn than a mule. They just won't listen to reason. Despite solid evidence of THE TRUTH, they couldn't care less, choosing instead to go along to get along. This is why Satan is winning the victory, because of pastors who just don't care about truth. They don't care about the accuracy of the Scriptures. They don't care about the true meaning of repentance. They don't care about the purity of the Gospel. Nothing is more deadly to our nation than shallow-minded pastors who don't think for themselves. When we tell people the truth, they cannot believe it, because of the spiritually decadent condition of their fat heart, calloused over with sinful pride, arrogance and selfishness. That why we read in Luke 8:15, “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”
The very nature of God is an eager willingness to forgive. The Lord is “not willing that any should perish” (2nd Peter 3:9). God loves to “abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). Proverbs 1:26 says that wisdom will laugh at you when your calamity comes, because you didn't listen. That simply means that if you don't heed wise counsel and godly instruction, there will come a time when it can no longer help you. This has nothing to do with the Reprobate Heresy. Certainly, we all learn some lessons the hard way in life. That is what Solomon is saying. Let no man claim that God ever gives up on anyone believing the truth of the Gospel to be redeemed.
God Justifies the Heathen By Faith
I felt compelled to write this article, since so many people have complained to me about Pastor Steven Anderson's rejection of homosexuals, and teaching that since they cannot be saved, we ought not even try to witness to them. Kindly, I certainly don't agree with any of those claims. I believe that God's grace is limitless, available to dirtiest and rottenest sinner upon the earth. I was listening to Alexander Scourby yesterday and heard the following beautiful truth from Galatians 3:8, “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” Isn't that beautiful... “THAT GOD WOULD JUSTIFY THE HEATHEN THROUGH FAITH”!!! Amen! God justifies THE HEATHEN (and that definitely includes homosexuals and every form of degenerate).
Pastor Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) teaches this same awesome truth in his book, “All Of Grace.” Dishonest preachers cherry pick the sermons of great men, misrepresenting them, in a futile attempt to bolster up a straw man to support their heresy. God only justifies “THE HEATHEN.” And as Romans 4:5 tells us... “THE UNGODLY”!!! The very idea that a person must be willing to reform their life of sin as a requirement to be saved is wickedness!!! This is false repentance, and it has plagued more than HALF of the Baptist churches in America. Woe unto the churches! True repentance is simply the admission that one is a guilty sinner in God's sight, which accompanies faith in the Son of God. Remember, you don't have to ask God for forgiveness. It is a gift, which has already been paid for by Jesus' precious blood. All you need to do is receive the gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins, by trusting the Gospel.
Earnestly Contend for the Faith Which Was Once Delivered Unto the Saints
Jude 1:3, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” It is a joy to contend for the Christian faith. I thank God and give Him all due credit for any good that is accomplished through my humble ministry labors. I am just a worm, as said Job (Job 25:6) and David (Psalms 22:6). I feel as Jacob who said in Genesis 32:10, “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.” To God be the glory, great things hath He done!!!
Again, I didn't write this article to attack Pastor Anderson. I DO support his ministry, although many people don't like that I do. How can I not support the work of a guy who is leading thousands of souls to Jesus Christ? I have a heart for souls, which any believer who walks with God has, and I love a soul-winner!!! Moreover, Brother Anderson is reproducing himself, generating preachers and soul-winners worldwide, and that is The Great Commission my friend. I wrote this article mainly so that now I can just send this link to my web visitors who ask me about this matter, instead of having to explain it a hundred times. I think this is wise and will benefit many people from learning THE TRUTH.
We Ought to Love the Person, But Hate their Sin
Oh my friend, the great heart of God loves sinners, because He loves every human being. Many people don't understand that the Bible mentions two types of love. One is fondness (Greek: phileo), which a person feels toward their wife, children and loved ones. The other is God's unconditional love (Greek: agape). The first is based upon others. That is, we love them because of WHO THEY ARE. The latter is based upon our self. That is, we love them because of WHO WE ARE. Hence, God is not fond of homosexuals. When David said that he hated those who hate God, he meant that he is not fond of sinners. Psalms 139:21-22, “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.” Christians ought to hate the wicked with a perfect hatred, not being fond of them; while at the same time loving them unconditionally with God's amazing love, “because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5). If you will grasp this truth, it will transform your life. This is where it comes in handy to know some Greek, which I think is perfectly acceptable to use in studying the Bible. I know that Brother Anderson critiques consulting the Greek, but it is perfectly proper. Granted, there has been much tampering with the Greek texts, so you need to be careful.
For example: William E. Vine and Merrill F. Unger, denied that Jesus' blood is sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in Heaven. Praise God for Dr. Gail Riplinger (to whom Dr. Jack Hyles presented a well-deserved honorary doctorates degree at Pastor's School). She has been a great defender of the inspiration of the King James Bible and the very pure Word of God. You can freely read her awesome book titled, “HAZARDOUS MATERIALS” (all glorious 1220 pages in .pdf format) if you'd like, to learn exactly what is wrong with the Greek study aids available today. Alexandrian theology has crept into everything, as a consequence of the corrupt Alexandrian Bible texts.
Some people have even suggested that Brother Anderson has corrupted the Gospel. I do not agree with that claim. Pastor Anderson is not corrupting the Gospel by limiting grace to homosexuals, but he is teaching a strange doctrine. 2nd Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” It is improper Bible study to base a doctrine on one particular passage of Scripture, failing to take into consideration the whole of Scripture. If a person just looks at Romans chapter one, you might come away thinking that homosexuals cannot be saved.
Ah, but if you take into consideration 2nd Peter 3:9, then it becomes clear that God desires for ALL MEN to repent (think differently) and believe the Gospel to be saved. God's saving grace extends to ALL sinners, even the vilest and most despicable of human creatures. Galatians 3:8a, “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith...” That includes every human being. The only difference between me and the vilest sinner upon the face of the earth is the precious blood of Jesus that washed my sins away (1st Peter 1:18-19). No one is beyond the reach of God's saving grace through faith in the Gospel. The ONLY unpardonable sin is rejecting Jesus as one's Savior. The only sin which can keep a man out of Heaven is unbelief.
If you are a homosexual, God still loves you, and so do I friend. Committing the sin of homosexuality is no different than committing the awful sins of adultery, murder, gossiping, stealing, hating others or any other sin. All sin is horrible to God! Admit that you have sinned against a holy God and place your trust in the precious blood of Jesus that cleanseth away all sins (Revelation 1:5). God saves anyone who receives Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for their sins, believing that He was buried, but miraculously raised up three days later. This is “THE GOSPEL” (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”
God Only Rejects Those Who Reject Him
In summary, there is no such thing in the Bible as “THE REPROBATE DOCTRINE” which is a popular term heard today. The word “reprobate” in the Bible simply refers to an unsaved person. Where God rejected evildoers in the Bible, He was always willing to restore the fallen to favor if they repented. ...
Isaiah 1:18-19, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”
1st Timothy 5:12, “Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.” Biblically, men refuse and rebel against the Lord, making themselves reprobates (heathens), but there is no Scriptural idea of God banning a sinner from returning to God if they so choose. John 6:36-37, “But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” So here we plainly learn that a person willfully chooses to BELIEVE NOT, but at the same time, Jesus gave His Word that He would never cast out anyone who comes to Him by faith. I don't care how far gone in sin a person may be, if they desire to come to Christ, He will receive that person. The only “reprobate” is someone who intentionally rejects the Son of God, refusing the precious Savior. The Lord plainly stated in John 5:40, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Carefully notice that the Lord said: “YE WILL NOT COME,” He didn't say “YE CANNOT COME”! That truth applies to all humanity.
There is no such thing as a “reprobate” in the sense of someone who has been rejected by God, who is beyond the hope of the Gospel, impossible to be redeemed by the great Savior. The following passage of Scripture is commonly misinterpreted. It simply means that if you reject the Gospel, it is impossible to be saved any other way. ...
Hebrews 6:4-6, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost. And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”
Hebrews 6:4-6 refers to someone who flat-out rejects Jesus Christ as their Savior. They have experienced the conviction of the Holy Spirit. They have tasted of the gift of eternal life, but didn't receive it. There is a big difference between tasting something versus eating it. We know that this verse is about Christ-rejecters because it plainly says so: SEEING THEY CRUCIFY TO THEMSELVES THE SON OF GOD AFRESH! By rejecting the Savior, they might as well have driven the nails into His hands and feet themselves!
A similar truth is taught in Galatians 5:4, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” The phrase “fallen from grace” doesn't refer to losing the gift of salvation, which is utterly impossible for the believer. The phrase “fallen from grace” simple means that if you don't get saved by faith alone, you don't get saved. You have fallen short of God's grace! If you attempt to “turn from sinful ways” to be saved (which is effectively the same thing as keeping the Mosaic law), you have missed the only bus going to Heaven! You have fallen from the safety of grace, thrown under the bus by the false prophets. The purpose of the Old Testament Mosaic LAW (including the Ten Commandments) is to bring you to GRACE (Romans 3:19-20). But if you fall short of grace, by instead trying to keep the law to be saved, then you get thrown under the bus and go to Hell forever!
In either case of Hebrews 6:4-6 or Galatians 5:4, the Bible is speaking about those who wilfully reject Christ or corrupt the Gospel. These are reprobates by their own hand, and not by the choice or doing of God!
Ex-Generals Make Good Sergeants (Dr. Jack Hyles, a wonderful MP3 sermon for messed-up saints)
THRU THE BIBLE (awesome 5-year MP3 Bible study, by Pastor J. Vernon McGee, 1904-1988)
“Salvation is not a bargain, it is a gift... Sin is not accepting the gift!”
“In flaming fire
taking vengeance on them that know not God,
and that obey not THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ.” —2nd Thessalonians 1:8
Ye Must Be Born Again! | How to Be Saved
You Need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!