The word "reprobate(s)" appears six times in the New Testament. In 2 Cor. 13:5-8 it means "unapproved", "rejected", "worthless". The same word in a different context can also mean, "castaway". A person who has rejected Christ and His saving grace (through the offering of Himself for sin) has been rejected by God. Because they have rejected Godís Son, Jesus Christ, God has stamped them eternally "unapproved", "worthless" and "rejected". They are at that point eternally, hopelessly lost forever.
As a believer, I have prayed for Osama ben laden to be saved, yet I know that he has all the marks of a reprobate. If he is a reprobate, he is "past feeling" and cannot be saved, because he will never have a desire to be saved. There are reprobates all around us. There are at least 4 marks of a reprobate:
1. A reprobate has rejected the Faith: The body of truth about Jesus and His saving grace. 2 Cor. 13:5. Look at 2 Tim. 3: 1-8 and notice, "men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith." A reprobate is one who has rejected the body of doctrines essential to salvation.
2. A reprobate is a person who has gone so far in rejection and sin that he or she is unmoved by the Holy Spirit. Look at Rom. 1:18-32 and notice vs.. 24, 26 and 28 where "God also gave them up..." "God gave them up" and "God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient." Notice that they live unrestrained lives and that they "did not like to retain God in their knowledge." A reprobate doesnít want to be bothered by God and he accommodates them by turning them over to a reprobate mind.
3. A reprobate is a person who has no hope. See 2 Tim. 3:8-9 again and notice they are without hope. They may have a social life, a domestic life, a religious life, and an intellectual life, but they die without hope. Verse 9 calls it "their folly."
4. A reprobate has no head, no hunger and no heart for God and His work or will in life. They do not necessarily hate the Gospel. They are simply dead to it; they are insensitive and unmoved by it. It is as if their heart is numbed with spiritual Novocain.
"Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith." 2 Cor. 13:5. If the thought of being reprobate bothers you, you are not one! There is still hope. Why not humble your heart and accept Christ today?