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There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
(John 10:19-29 KJV)
THE CAUSE OF REPROBATION
I know that God predestined all things that come to pass. There are in this world vessels of mercy and vessels of wrath, sheep and goats, elect sinners and reprobate sinners. I know that all the vessels of mercy shall obtain mercy; vessels of wrath never shall. All the Lord’s sheep shall be saved; goats will never be saved. All the elect will enter glory; the reprobate never shall. However, none of the elect will ever be saved apart from redemption, grace, and faith; and no one will ever be damned without first filling up the measure of wrath by their own willful transgressions. In other words, if anyone goes to heaven it will be God’s fault. If anyone goes to hell it will be his own fault (Pro. 1:22-33).
Reprobation is a judicial matter. Just as God turned from Israel and sent blindness and hardness of heart to that nation, so he does today with individuals, churches, and nations who will not receive the love of the truth. Nothing on this earth can explain what is going on in the world around us, except this – We are living in a reprobate age, in a generation under the judgment of God (Rom.1:25-28; II Thess. 2:10-12). Here are five reasons why God took the gospel from the Jews and sent it to the Gentiles, five reasons why he will yet in this day turn from sinners in his wrath and seal them up to destruction in reprobation:
1. PERSISTENT REBELLION (v.2). If you insist on doing things your own way and walking in the way of your own thoughts, God will let you have your way.
2. IDOLATRY (v. 2). In its essence, idolatry is looking to yourself for salvation. It is an attempt to worship God on an altar you have made. You cannot approach God and be accepted by him upon an altar of bricks that you have made (Ex. 20:24-26). God will not accept incense from any altar other than his altar, which is Christ the Lord (Ex. 30:1, 3; Heb. 13:10). Note: The idolatry spoken of in this verse must have particular reference to the idolatry of this perverse, religious age in which we now live. Israel was never guilty of idolatry after their return from the Babylonian captivity.
3. SPIRITISM, MYSTICISM, AND NECROMANCY (v. 4). The so called “new age” religions are not new at all. Pagans who refuse to bow to God and his revelation have always tried to communicate with the dead, sought to find out about the spirit world, and endeavored to find out their fortunes by communicating with witches, sorcerers, and astrologers.
4. LAWLESSNESS (v. 4). The eating of swine’s flesh was strictly forbidden in the law of God (Lev. 11:7). But rebels have no regard for God’s law. They dare presume that they are free to worship God any way they wish! I know we are not under the law in any sense whatsoever; but the text is applicable to us. Anyone who snubs his nose at God can expect eternal damnation as a result.
5. SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS (v. 5). If you care for your soul, beware of ignoring, rebelling against, despising, and snubbing your nose at God almighty. He will not trifle with you! He will recompense your iniquity to you. He will pay you your wages. “The wages of sin is death.” And God will pay it in exactly the proportion that you deserve. Read verses six and seven.