Steven Anderson and his followers believe and teach that there are people in this world today that, no matter what they profess they are not saved and they CANNOT be saved. They refer to this teaching as the Doctrine of Reprobation. There are certain heresies that tend to get under my skin more than others. Anderson’s heresy about Reprobation is something that really irks me for two reasons.
First, it is an open door to cult like thinking. Whether the Andersonites are really a cult or not is open to discussion. But after studying this doctrine, I can say beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt that this particular doctrine demonstrates how they are THINKING like a cult. I will get into this more later but for the sake of introduction, it means that they teach that if you don’t agree with them, it is because you are lost and that in many circumstances, you CANNOT get saved.
Second, it is personal. I have a good friend who received the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour about three years ago and is married and serving in a Bible believing Baptist Church and he was a homosexual before he got saved. He is as saved as you or I.
Ultimately, my personal issues are of no value. As always, the real question is, “what saith the Scripture?” We will begin by quoting some verses that go against their doctrine and then we will get into their verses. If you were to give these verses to an Andersonite, they will attempt to get out of them the same way that a Calvinist or a Lordship salvation teacher will. Mark that down and take notice.
Romans 5:20 – “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:”
- There is more grace than sin. No matter what sin…
I John 1:7 – “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.“
- Not just “most” sin… ALL SIN!
I John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.“
- Not just “most” unrighteousness… ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS!
I Tim 1:15 – “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.“
- If Paul is the chief of sinners. He believed that he was worse than any Blasphemy challenging, Bible Correcting, homosexual. If God can save the head of the Jewish Inquisition, he can save anyone. That is the point of God specifically using Paul.
As per usual, none of these verses are brought up when Anderson or his followers are teaching about Reprobation, but they should come up. All sins, unless they are dispensational sins, can be forgiven and if they are sins that cannot be committed in this dispensation, then all that does is prove that salvation is different in other time periods.
As Anderson said, few would disagree that after death, no one has an opportunity to get saved. No one is getting saved in hell or at the Great White Throne Judgment because it is too late. But Anderson teaches that you can lose your chance to get saved before death as well.
I’ll admit that the word “reprobate” and “reprobates” are not easily defined in the Bible. Nevertheless, there is no reason to force a meaning onto the word. Heretics like to take unclear words or verses and build huge, foundational doctrines on them. We won’t do so, and we’ll examine their errors when they do. By the dictionary, the word means, “Not enduring proof or trial; not of standard purity or fineness; disallowed; rejected.” and “Abandoned in sin or error; lost to virtue or grace.” I make a simple definition of “useless”. Notice the first occurence in Jer 6:30, which talks of “reprobate silver”. Notice that it is still silver, it just can’t be made into anything useful. It never means, “Lost and cannot get saved.” What is “lost and cannot get saved” silver anyways?
Just about all of his verses and examples are easy to handle by asking simple and basic questions like,
- “Who is talking?”
- “Who is being addressed?”
- “What are we talking about?”
- “When is this taking place?”
Anderson’s crowd has to be careful with asking these questions, because the answers will lead to a teaching called DISPENSATIONALISM. Something they cannot allow. A Bible believer will ask these basic questions and we will in this article. In so doing, we will realize that although there seems to be a time in personal work, when a man misses his chance to get saved, there is nothing in the Bible that hints that he can’t get saved. We will also address all the times that “Reprobate” appear in the King James Bible.
Luke 13:22-30 – “And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.“
Now, if you don’t deal with the fact that Jesus (minister to the circumcision, Rom 15:8) is dealing with and talking to Jews in Israel (vs 22) before the Cross, then you are not just going to come up with a heresy, you are going to come up with an outright CONTRADICTION. Rom 10:13 – “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The passage has people calling on the name of the Lord and they are getting rejected. And not only that, you have people getting cast out of the kingdom. They are not just not allowed entrance, they are taken out of the kingdom. This is Israelites being lost. Look at the cross reference. Matt 8:11,12 – “And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” This isn’t a sinner calling on God and God ignores him. It is the generation of Jews at the time of Christ, losing their kingdom and going to Hell. Not a Church Age sinner calling on God to saved his poor dirty soul. But Anderson refuses to admit that there is such a thing as a “Church Age”.
Once we address the setting of the text, we see that there are no contradictions in the King James Bible. When Andersonites fail to do this, they end up with a contradiction and are therefore not able to bring it up.
From there Anderson moves on to two more places that require right division. This will be obvious from the context. He starts in Rev 22:18,19 –
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.“
If Anderson really believes that changing the text of the Bible means that you are reprobate and that you were never saved and never can be saved, then he has some problems if he really thinks about it. This “thinking” is ANATHEMA among the Andersonite crowd.
Through much observation, it is easy to see that Jack Hyles, Pastor of some big church in Hammond, IN is the personal hero of Anderson and his group of like minded pastors. But if Anderson really believed in the doctrine of Reprobation as he claims, then his personal hero is burning in hell right now. It is not hard to find information on the internet that Hyles corrected the Book. According to the way Anderson teaches it. Hyles must be lost…
I ask if Anderson really believes that the translators of the King James were lost when they wrote, “Except I know the power of the voice, I shall be to him that speaketh, a Barbarian, and he that speaketh, shall be a Barbarian to me.” in The Translators to the Reader instead of the actual quotation of I Cor 14:11, “Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.“? I do not believe that the King James translators were very doctrinally sound, but I think it’s a stretch to say that they were lost. But if Anderson is right about Reprobation, then the translators were lost.
As Bible believers, we operate on a well tested principle that we get our doctrine from the Pauline Epistles, if something in the rest of the Bible agrees with what Paul wrote, then we accept it. If it contradicts Paul, then we recognize that it will fit somewhere besides the Church age. Rev 22:18,19 doesn’t fit Pauline eternal security or the offer of salvation to “whosoever.” I don’t see any reason to think that it wouldn’t fit EVERYWHERE except the Church age. But it doesn’t fit the doctrine found in the Pauline Epistles.
This truth fits facts and it allows men like Frank Logsdon, who helped translate the NASV and later repented, to be saved. It also allows men like the King James Translators and even men with worse issues, like Jack Hyles, to be saved. How? By the blood of Jesus Christ.
From there we run into two more “Dispensational Sins”. By that, I mean we run into two sins that no one is able to commit today. The first is Taking the Mark of the Beast the second is the Blasphemy of the Holy Ghost . No person, lost or saved, in 2018 needs to worry about committing either of those sins. Since Anderson is not dispensational, he just has to resort to the idea that, “no Christian would do those things and if they did, then they would be reprobate and couldn’t be or get saved.” When we look at where these verses occur in the Scriptures, we will notice that they are impossible today.
The verses for the Mark of the Beast occur in Rev 13 and 14.
Rev 13:15-18 – “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.“
Rev 14:9-11 – “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.“
The purpose of this article is not to show that the Church does NOT go through the “time of JACOB’S sorrow” or the last part of Daniel’s 70 weeks which are determined upon Daniel’s people (Israel, not the Church. See Dan 9:24). But just take note that if the Church is not involved in the Tribulation and has been gone since Rev 4, then no one today has to worry about taking the mark until after the Rapture of the Church. If you want more information about the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church, see this article or see the videos about it by Gene Kim.
So we now know where we are at with the Mark of the Beast, this is a sin that can only be committed after the start of the Tribulation. On the other side of the coin, the Blasphemy of the Holy Ghost is a sin that you could ONLY commit during the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. This will become more clear after we look at the verses.
Mark 3:28-30 – “Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.“
For years, Charismatics have claimed that if a Bible believer rejected the phony “miracles” at their pathetic revival circuses, then we have committed the Blasphemy of the Holy Ghost. This is no different than the private interpretation of Anderson. He thinks it is just saying “I blaspheme the Holy Ghost.” But the text tells us what the blasphemy is; it is viewing a miracle of Jesus Christ that is done by the Holy Ghost and claiming that a devil performed the miracle and not the Lord. Obviously, the Lord Jesus Christ is not physically on the earth now, so this sin cannot be committed now.
Anderson notes the popular push by many atheists for young people in the “Blasphemy Challenge” and thinks that all those young kids are now lost and can never be saved. Where is the forgiveness from “all sin“? Where is the “whosoever” shall call upon the name of the Lord? Anderson has found sins that cannot be forgiven. He has made a contradiction. Dispensationalism is the only way of dealing with both of these verses, where they are both true. Anderson CANNOT believe both.
So we have dealt with three “dispensational sins” in a row and before this article gets too long, we will address Romans 1 and the sin of Sodomy.
The average Baptist preacher in America is not advocating for summary execution of all homosexuals. They would want the opportunity to preach to them that they are under the judgment of God and that they need to get saved. After a homosexual gets saved, they will continue to be a mess, but they’ll be just as saved as you and me.
Anderson does not believe that. He believes that they cannot be saved and that they should be killed. This is based on his doctrine of reprobation and the act of leaving out just one word in Romans 1.
Romans 1:21-28 – “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;”
Notice immediately what the verse does NOT say. It does not say they have a reprobate SOUL. It says that they have a reprobate MIND. Those are two different things. It also proves that the definition of “reprobate” cannot mean “lost and can never be saved”, because who ever heard of a “lost and can never be saved” mind? Their proposed meaning does not fit.
Therefore, if it is the mind of a homosexual is reprobate, then we will realize the practical application of the text. It is extremely hard for a homosexual to get saved. But it is not impossible. After a homosexual gets saved, then it’s really hard to help them think right, because their minds are all messed up, as per Romans 1. But they’re still saved.
Yes, modern society is trying to push the cause of the homosexuals and in response most conservative Christians have reacted by refusing to call them anything except Sodomites and Queers, etc. This is understandable. We as Bible believers understand that what they are doing is a sin that makes God want to destroy not only the people doing the sin, but the city or nation that allows it. For proof, see: II Pet 2:6, Gen 19, and Judges 20 and 21. We understand that, but to believe that they CANNOT be saved is to reject the fact that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.
Although the wording is somewhat vague, we can safely say that there were some former homosexuals in the church at Corinth. I Cor 6:9 says, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,” You could argue about the definition of “effeminate” but I see no reason to think that there was not a few former “fruits” in that church. At the very least, no one can say for sure that no homosexual got saved in the New Testament.
There is also another interesting application place where we will apply the “Law of First Mention.” The first time the word “sinners” shows up is in Gen 13:13, “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” So the Law would make “sinner” in the Bible connected to the sin of Sodom. But look who applies this word to himself in the New Testament. None other than Paul the Apostle in I Tim 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” Here, we have Paul calling himself worse than homosexuals. I hope you are familiar enough with the basics of logics so that you can see how that works. But what a thing to say! If that’s true of him, how much more so of us? YOU BETTER HOPE HOMOSEXUALS CAN GET SAVED BECAUSE YOU AND I AND PAUL ARE WORSE! Maybe you think differently, but that’s Bible…
Let me conclude. In practical application, this doctrine has resulted in claiming that some of his former best buddies at FWBC are, always have been lost and will never even be able to get saved. All because they disagree with Anderson about his description of the Godhead. He has applied his doctrine of Reprobation to people who he disagrees with because “if they were really saved, they would agree with me… because… the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God….” He applied these ideas just like Jim Jones and Muhammad taught.
In so doing, he stifles dissent. He teaches that if you follow him, then you should not talk to anyone too much who disagrees with your doctrines because they are lost anyways. This is nothing more than a form of isolating your followers LIKE a cult. Anderson and his friends have also applied the doctrine of Reprobation to people who teach Dispensationalism, such as yours truly. Although they were kind enough to let me know that there was a chance I could get saved… Gee, thanks. From my position, it looks as if Anderson is scared that his people might see that he has lied about what dispensationalists teach.
Here’s the lesson: Don’t disagree with Anderson if you are concerned about him thinking you are saved or not. But this is not the attitude of a Bible believer. He will believe that no matter what happens, he is eternally secure in Christ and if Anderson or his friends believe differently, then he’ll just go get some Luca Polare ice cream or something…. It matters not. A Bible believer only cares about what the Bible says.
I know that we have not gotten into all the verses in the New Testament that actually use the words “reprobate” but maybe I can do this in the future. Needless to say, my definition of “worthless” or “useless” will fit each of these verse better than Anderson’s definition of “lost and can never be saved”. I will list them all for you.
2Co 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
2Co 13:6 “But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.”
2Co 13:7 “Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.”
2Ti 3:8 “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.”
Tit 1:16 “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”