What is a Reprobate?


Reprobation is an essential aspect of Christian theology, primarily because salvation is entirely dependent on God’s free will. He may elect to save some but reject others. Many opponents of reprobation have argued that God’s choice to save some does not mean that he chooses to reject others. This argument fails because it ignores the clear teaching of scripture on the topic. Reprobation is the eternal condemnation of non-elect persons based on their actual sins.

The Augustinian/Reformed doctrine of reprobation is the source of intense debate among Christians. Many have described the doctrine of reprobation in two different ways: the negative and positive aspects. The negative term refers to God’s eternal decree not to act in saving grace. In contrast, the positive term, predamnation, refers to God’s eternal decree that he will not act in saving grace on his creatures.

The word reprobate has many definitions. One definition explains that it is used to refer to someone who is unworthy of the love of God. The word is also used to describe things that God rejects. For example, Romans 1:28, “God gave us to repentance,” refers to an unfit mind. When translated literally, reprobation is the state of being a sinner who has rejected the gospel.

The reverse is also true. Reprobate people know God but have no desire to obey His commandments. Their lives are characterized by impurity and corruption. They have little or no desire to live a life pleasing to the Lord and are rejected by Him. For this reason, their life experiences are often described as unholy. A Christian must not be a reprobate. This is not a word to be used lightly.