(Article for publication week of 8-25-2010 AD)
“(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth;) It was said unto her, ‘ the elder shall serve the younger.’ As it is written, ‘Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.’” (Romans 9:11-13).
As long as Romans chapter nine is in the Bible, no one has any excuse for being an Arminian, or a Pelagian, or a humanist or a free-willer of any kind. Romans chapter nine presents a sovereign God Who does what He will with Hs Own. This chapter presents us with a God Who sovereignly chose a remnant of the Adamic race for salvation, and at the same time sovereignly left the rest of mankind as they were. This rejection of the unsaved, we call the doctrine of reprobation.
This is not the only text in the Bible that speaks of the doctrine of reprobation. In Romans 11:7 we read, “the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” In I Peter 2:8 we read of those who “stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto they also were appointed.” Jude 4 tells us of those “who were of old ordained to this condemnation.” Just as God in His sovereignty loved His elect from before the foundation of the world and chose them in His Son, so in His sovereignty, He rejected the rest.
Our text plainly tells us that God rejected Esau before he was ever born. God decreed form all eternity to save a definite number of the human race, and their number is so certain that they can neither be diminished or increased. God also decreed to leave the rest of mankind to fall in Adam and act in their sins to their own destruction. God chose His people for salvation to the praise of His glorious mercy, and He rejected all others to the praise of His glorious justice. God will get eternal glory for Himself in both cases.
God was not obligated to choose any of the race of man for salvation. He would have been perfectly good and holy and righteous and just had he rejected the whole human race. So none may say unto Him, “what doest Thou?” God is the potter, and we are the clay, and He may justly form some clay into vessels of mercy, and form others into vessels of wrath.
What do you do with this great doctrine of reprobation? Does it make you mad to know that God is everything and you are nothing? Or does it humble you down to know that? Does this truth make you fear such a great God? Here is the application of this truth: cry unto Christ for mercy! He has promised that He will not reject any who come to Him! If you will believe in Christ, you are certainly not reprobate. But if you persist in rebellion and reject Christ, you will find that you have been rejected by Him. May God have mercy on your poor soul.