Second Chance

<<opportunity to try again>>

Rebelling against God’s directions has serious consequences as we know from Adam and Eve’s experience in the Garden of Eden. When God challenged them about their actions He did not say, ‘Whoops, you did that wrong, have another try’. There was no opportunity given them to learn from their mistake and do it right on the re-run. This should be a warning to us to obey the first time as we are not automatically given another chance, although God is abounding in love and pardons iniquity (Ps 86:15; Mic 7:18). Jonah was told to go and preach to the people of Nineveh. He knew what he was to do but blatantly disobeyed, yet after repenting he was given another chance (Jnh 1:2,3, 2:1-3:3). Many others in the Bible were also given more than one chance – Samson, David, Peter, and Mark, to name a few.

As our creator God requires we obey Him. King Saul repeatedly failed to follow God’s specific instructions, and thought he could make amends  for his disobedience by a sacrifice, however God declared you have run out of chances (1 Sam 13:13, 15:1-31). The warning is there – if there is a continual refusal to repent and go God’s way He will let people go their own way. As Paul put it,

Prompt obedience is the best option

“God turned them over” to a reprobate mind that no longer seeks Him (Rom 1:18-32). He wants all to repent yet after death there are no more opportunities (2 Cor 6:2; 2 Pet 3:9).  Even in human relationships, sometimes one party refuses to repent and rejects all efforts to reconcile, so the only solution is end the relationship (Mt 18:17). 

Thank God, His Spirit often gives us repeated opportunities to respond and obey His voice. When we fail in an area and truly repent, He will forgive – our responsibility is to be disciplined by amending our ways (1 Jn 1:9, 3:6). However, there are consequences to actions, so why live with regret? It’s better not to disobey in the first place! It is also advisable not to make all the mistakes yourself – learn by the failure of others.

No one should presume on His grace, as there will come a time when His Spirit will not tolerate constant sinning then repenting (Gen 6:3). Deliberate sin is acting contrary to

Second chances are not guaranteed

known Bible commands, principles and the conscience within. Persisting in this lifestyle takes those who practice it further into sin and further from God and the truth (Rom 1:19-32; 1 Tim 1:19,20). The Bible declares, "Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Heb 9:27). Once a person dies there is not the opportunity to change their mind about their eternal destiny – if they are not a believer they are doomed to eternal death, and because they "die in their sins" will pay the price for this (Jn 8:24; Rom 6:23). Hence the message, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness” (2 Tim 2:19). Thank God, for those who have been delivered from an immoral way of life, and deception by Satan and be attentive to emotional scars or baggage that leave a mark and need to be addressed.

Even as God has been patient, forgiving and giving us another chance, we must do the same to others who have wronged us, so if someone is truly repentant we are obligated to forgive, even multiple times, otherwise we will not be forgiven (Prov 19:11; Mt 6:15, 18:21,22; Eph 4:32; Col 3:13). When we have wronged someone, we can’t demand another chance. We need first to regain trust which is only earned over time, by walking in humility and living a life that reflects change from the inside.

See also: chance, cheap gospel, conscience, consequences, forgive/forgiveness, obedience, opportunity, presumption, rebellion, repentance.