Sermon Illustrations


Someone may ask, "Of what use then is the doctrine of reprobation?"

I am glad you asked! Let me suggest (from Dr. Boice) some useful aspects of the doctrine of reprobation.

First, reprobation assures us that God’s purpose has not failed. God has determined the outcome of all things from the beginning. His purpose does not fail either in regard to the elect or to the reprobate. God does not begin a work he cannot finish. God does not make promises he cannot keep. So if you have heard and believed his word, you can be sure that God will be faithful to you. If others are lost, it is because God has determined that they should be lost.

"But," you ask, "Am I one of the elect?"

It is easy to know if you are one of the elect. Repent of your sin and believe in Jesus Christ. If you repent and believe, you are one of God’s elect.

Second, reprobation helps us understand apostasy. All of us know of people who seem to have believed the gospel at one time, but then have fallen away. Does this mean that God has failed them? No. It simply means that if they continue in their unbelieving state, they are not among God’s elect. Apostasy does not prove that the plan of God has failed. Reprobation helps us understand apostasy.

Third, reprobation keeps before us the important truth that salvation is all of grace, and that no works contribute to our salvation at all. The Bible is clear that all are not saved. The Bible is also clear that not one of us is saved because of who we are or what we have done. All of us deserve hell. All of us deserve God’s justice. But, in his mercy, God elects some—-the elect-—to salvation, and passes over the rest—-the reprobate-—to eternal condemnation.

And fourth, reprobation glorifies God. As soon as we think that God owes us salvation or anything at all, we rob God of his glory. But election and reprobation glorify God, and remind us that God is absolutely free and sovereign. He owes us absolutely nothing.

So, when I get to heaven, I will never be able to say, "My goodness or my merit got me into heaven." I will instead say, "I got what I did not deserve. I received mercy. To God alone be all the glory!"

And the person in hell will say, "I got what I deserved. I received justice. To God alone be all the glory!" Amen.

(From a sermon by Freddy Fritz, "God’s Judgment" 1/23/2009)

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