BibleAsk Team

Does Proverbs 14:4 teach the doctrine of reprobation?

Solomon the wise wrote: “The LORD has a reason for everything he does, and he lets evil people live only to be punished” (Proverbs 16:4). Some have used this text to support the doctrine of reprobation. This doctrine is an upshot to the Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election which states that since some of mankind (the elect) are predestined by God for salvation, the rest are pre-ordained to condemnation, i.e. reprobation.

In Calvinist terminology, the non-elect are referred to as the reprobate. Those that believe in reprobation claim that in God’s plan He created wicked men upon this earth for the purpose of eventually punishing and destroying them. And that He deliberately created some men to suffer eternal punishment.

The Bible doesn’t support the doctrine of reprobation?

God does not arbitrarily make men His sons. He enables all to become such if they so choose (Joshua 24:14). Christ said, “I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts” (Revelation 21:6). The Bible declares that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2). And He “will have all men to be saved” (1 Timothy 2:4). For He is “not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9 also Ezekiel 33:11). Christ called everyone without exception saying, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden” (Matthew 11:28). And “whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).

God gave man freedom to choose his own destiny

God made man perfect (Genesis 1:27), but when man sinned, he brought upon himself death and judgement (Romans 6:23). However, those who use their freedom of choice and choose to be saved (John 3:3, 7), become suited for eternal life and will ultimately inherit the world to come. For “God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth, where justice will rule” (2 Peter 3:13).

Thus, God made everything to receive the fate for which it had become suited—in the case of man, by his own free will, and the rest of earthly creation by its innocent participation in the destruction that man has brought. God comforts His children that He has foreknown and prepared against every possibility. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

And the Scriptures assure the believers that there will never be an immortal sinner, grieving heaven by his endless suffering. The Bible specifically teaches that hellfire will go out—that there will not be left “a coal to be warmed by, nor a fire to sit before” (Isaiah 47:14). It also says that in God’s new kingdom all “former things” will have passed away (Revelation 21:1, 4). Hell, being one of the former things, is included. So, hell will be abolished after it finishes its cleansing work.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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