Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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What Would It Take to Prove Election and Reprobation?

Rev. Angus Stewart


Some people wonder if the Bible teaches absolute predestination: God's unconditional election of some sinners to everlasting salvation in Jesus Christ and His unconditional reprobation of other sinners to eternal destruction in the way of their sins.

What would it take to prove this? What if God in His Word told us of twin boys in their mother's womb, and said that before they were even born—and therefore before they could believe or not believe, or do good works or bad works—one was the object of God's love and election while the other was hated?

What if an apostle, anticipating objections to this, emphatically denied that God is unrighteous in so doing, and quoted Old Testament Scripture to prove the absolute sovereignty of God's mercy and compassion, and asserted that salvation is not of man's free will or of man's exertions but solely of divine mercy?

What if the Holy Ghost, knowing full well the objections of fallen man to this teaching, proceeded to give a well-known Old Testament example of a man whom God hardened and destroyed in order to show the power of His glorious name? What if He then affirmed the absolute sovereignty of divine hardening and, rebuking those who find fault with God's ways, taught that God is the great potter who can do what He wills with the vessels He makes, destroying some and bringing others to glory?

This is exactly what we do have in Romans 9:10-24. If anyone wants to know if the Bible teaches unconditional election and unconditional reprobation, they should read this passage:

And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (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. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (Rom. 9:10-24)