Question:

I was wondering how one would know they are reprobate? I turned to a life of homosexuality for nearly ten years, but recently had a couple ofnightmares that scared me into coming back to God. The time in which I lived in that lifestyle I attempted to convince myself with Scripture that it was okay to live that way. Attempted is the key word here. Even though I tried to interpret Scripturein ways to support my desires, I was never able to come to long-term contentment with that way of living. I always felt something tugging at me; telling me that what I was doing was wrong. My second nightmare involved being bitten by a snake and knowing I had only seconds on the clock left to live before I died and went somewhere terrible. I honestly feel God was asking me how I'm going to feel when I do reach death and haven't lived my life the way He desires of me.

A short time after that, I prayed to God telling him that I was ready for His truth, rather than my own. I wanted to seek Him, rather than my own desires. However, I didn't know how. I didn't know what church to join or where to start. I brought these concerns to Him in prayer, and was approached by someone on my school's campus to join a student ministry. It took me a while to reciprocate this invitation as I'm rather shy and have trouble being around people I don't know, but Ifinally gave in earlier this month.

Two guys from the ministry have been holdingBible studies with me in order to help me learn more about God and His word. I am very humbled by this kindness and was shocked to find out that Greg struggles with the same things Istruggle with. I have concluded that these events are clearly from God Himself. I am thankful that He would even consider drawing me to Him. However, I still struggle with some sins in my life. Masturbation and pornography being the recurring ones.

I recently went a little more than a week without masturbation, which is the longest I had gone, but I failed. I feel shame in myself, and I fear God has left me reprobate. I was praying today and once I finished my prayer, for some reason the word "reprobate" slowly popped into my head. I have an overactive imagination, but I've no clue why the word would appear to me. I'm afraid of what that could mean. I want to tell myself it is a trick of Satan, but I'm not convinced Satan can insert thoughts into people's heads. I desire to be right with God again. Is that possible for a reprobate? Can they still be saved or are they forever cast away?

Thank you for your time.


Answer:

It is not uncommon to find people who are convinced that their sins are so severe that God would never forgive them. Such a view point runs directly counter to what the Bible teaches.

"But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. "Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?"" (Ezekiel 18:21-23).

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9).

"Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts"" (Isaiah 55:6-9).

There are warnings in the Scriptures that individuals can become so deeply embedded in sin as to no longer desire to change (Matthew 12:31). But notice that this is the individual's choice and not God's. Nor does imply that a person can't change, only that no one outside of himself can convince him to change (Hebrews 6:4-6). The fact that you want to change indicates that you are not in such a state of mind.

Reprobate is used in the old King James Version. It means someone who refuses to see that something is morally wrong; in other words, an unprincipled person. Many of the more modern translations use words like "debased" or "depraved." A reprobate refuses to acknowledge that he is in sin, despite evidence to the contrary.

In regards to pornography, I would like you to read Lies Pornography Tells Men and A Look at Pornography. Unfortunately many men try to overcome pornography by taking the extreme position of no longer ejaculating. It doesn't work because the male body requires ejaculations, the result is that the man is fighting his own body and always loses in the end. See: Giving up pornography can't be that simple.