EPROBATION, as a Christian doctrine, is when a sinner’s heart is so hardened they feel no remorse for what is vile and unnatural. The English word reprobate comes from the Latin reprobatus (“reproved” or “condemned”), which is the opposite of approbatus (“approved” or “commended”). Reprobation is mentioned several times in Scripture (Romans 1:20-28; Proverbs 1:22-33; John 12:37-40; Hebrews 6:4-8).
Let’s be clear: “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”(Romans 3:23). God calls everybody to repentance—no exceptions (Acts17:30). All sinfulness is offensive to our holy God (Isaiah 59:2). Some sins, however, are so heinous that God goes beyond calling them “sins” and labels them “abominations.”
An act of sin is when we yield to the temptation to engage in normal, natural desires outside the boundaries of God’s law. The desire for money is normal, but becomes sin when we steal money from others. The desire for food is normal, but becomes sin when we eat to excess and become a glutton. The desire for leisure is normal, but becomes sin when it keeps us from living a productive life. The desire for sex is normal, but becomes sin when we ignore the sanctified boundaries of marriage.
On the other hand, an abomination is when we engage in that which clearly defies God’s natural order of creation. Apostle Paul called this patheatimias—“vile passions” (see Romans1:24-26). The Old Testament Hebrew word is towebah, which means “a disgusting thing,” or an “abomination” (Leviticus 18:22).
On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court, in Obergefell v. Hodges, struck down all state laws requiring that a legal marriage be between a man and a woman. On March 31, 2022, President Joe Biden’s administration released a series of papers endorsing gender reassignment surgery and hormone treatment for minors. This action encourages the mutilation of underage children including facial-feature changes, eliminating or enhancing breasts, and surgery on genitals and reproductive organs. Biden told the parents of transgender children, “Affirming your child’s identity is one of the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe.” Biden also indicated his administration would fight state laws that limit how transgender athletes may compete, stating such laws are “simply wrong” and “hateful.”
What does God’s Word say?
“He created them male and female, and blessed them” (Genesis 5:2 NKJV).
Jesus affirmed the Genesis account when He said, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female?” (Matthew 19:4 NKJV). Jesus further stated, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (v. 5NKJV).
Some say Jesus never addressed homosexuality, but He certainly addressed His exclusive view of heterosexual marriage; for He did not suggest a man be “joined to his husband,” or a woman be “joined to her wife.” Rather, He made an unmistakable reference to the conjugal union of a man and woman as “the two shall become one flesh.” One flesh is an anatomical impossibility apart from a heterosexual union.
What about the claim an anatomical mistake was made during gestation or at birth? This argument states a transgender (or so-called “nonbinary” person) is born with the personage of one gender but the body of another—a male in a female body, or vice versa. And there is the insistence of many who practice homosexuality that they were “born this way.” Neither of these views can be reconciled through genuine physical science or through the inspired Word of God.
Adam was created distinctly male, and Eve distinctly female with emotional, anatomical, and sexual differences. When someone seeks to alter the gender with which they were born or to engage in sexual deviation with the same sex, or to say although God made them one way they think and feel another, they need to hear Romans 9:20: “No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’” (NLT).
Ancient Babylon fell because it was “weighed in the balances, and found wanting” (Daniel 5:27 NKJV).Babylon worshiped gods who neither saw, heard, nor knew. They did not acknowledge the “God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways” (v. 23 NKJV). Same-sex relationships and rampant immorality were prominent and even celebrated in ancient Babylon, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome—all fallen empires. Just a short time ago, these debased practices were disdained by most of American culture, yet now they are enshrined by some so-called churches and celebrated on the Capitol steps by national leaders.
“Because they would not keep God in their thoughts anymore, He gave them up. Their minds were sinful, and they wanted only to do things they should not do. They are full of everything that is sinful. . . . They know God has said that all who do such things should die. But they keep on doing these things and are happy when others do them also (Romans 1:28, 32 NLT).”
God raised up America because of a people desiring the free exercise of religion. While not all our founders were Christians (and some who claimed Christianity practiced less than a Biblical lifestyle), the fabric of Judeo-Christian ethics and morality is woven into the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. That includes the right to practice our faith in God, and it includes the right to ignore Him and His laws if we so desire.
Beginning with the top leadership, it appears much of our nation has sadly made the latter choice. The Bible calls it reprobation—to live in “strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12).
Believers are called to love all people (1 John 4:7-8) and treat everyone with dignity (see Romans 12:18). That does not mean, however, we endorse sinful practices or lifestyles. God loves everybody, but He will not ignore our sin.
Some people say God loves unconditionally, but does He? Can He? Then why does He call us to repentance? Why does He require that we kneel at the Cross and be transformed? He does not simply ask us to “invite Jesus into our heart”; He requires that we “repent” (turn from our sins) and “be converted, that [our] sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19).
Here is the dangerous place America stands today: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17).
Our only hope is to call on the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance:
“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NLT).”
James Edwin Cossey served as a lead pastor for 25 years, and 20 years as a church administrator. The author of Back to Acts (Pathway Press, 2021), James and his wife, Myrlene, live in Russellville, Arkansas.