Summary: A look at the dangers that come with presuming on God giving a second chances. Thankfully, He is a God who loves giving second chances, but sometimes we get in trouble by expecting they'll always be available.
DOES GOD ALWAYS GIVE A SECOND CHANCE? Second chances are a gift, not a right.
- Jonah 3:1.
- We should not presume on God’s mercy.
- There are times when a window of opportunity on a second chance closes:
a. Timing issue with the opportunity.
- Example: my church plant getting started.
b. God’s intent shifts to judgment.
- Examples: death, discipline.
- It is dangerous and wrong to say, “God will always give a second chance.” He often will, and He loves to, but it does not always happen.
- Some err on the side of not believing that God can forgive their sin.
- Example: Dave.
- Some, on the other hand (and more to the point of this message), presume that God will never judge.
- That’s not true. He will and He must.
- We should use, but not abuse, second chances.
WHAT'S THE DANGER IN HAVING A GOD OF SECOND CHANCES? His generosity should not diminish our sense of urgency.
- Too often we let His mercy lead us to lose our sense of urgency.
- I’ve got more time. I can take care of this later.
- We know that this is something that some unsaved people think: “I’m going to get right with God someday, but I’ll do it later.” It’s putting God off because we presume that we will have another opportunity. Think of that: putting off a decision as important as where you will spend eternity! Anyone reasonable person would want that take care of as soon as possible. But we are often not logical with things like this – we think we our emotions or with our desires. We don’t want to give up our sinful habits or we perceive Christianity to be breathtaking boring, so we want to do it only as a last-ditch effort.
- As Christians, we can get so used to hearing sermons on God’s mercy that we come to presume upon it. Of course God will forgive me. Of course God will wash away this sin I fell into again.
- And because of that, we often don’t have the sense of urgency that we should have.
- I think of the passage where Jesus said that if plucking out your eye will get rid of sin in your life, you’re better going into eternity with only one eye than in your sin. There’s a sense of urgency there – do whatever it takes to get rid of that sin!
- As Christians, especially ones who’ve been walking with Jesus for decades, we can lose that sense of urgency and come to accommodate our sins. That’s especially easy when the culture of the church that we’re in is one where sin is not taken seriously. We look around and see that no one else has much urgency about getting rid of their sin, so we just kind of make peace with our’s as well.
TWO KEY APPLICATIONS:
1. In the Christian life, don’t delay obedience.
- The longer we go in our Christian life, it seems the easier it is to become complacent about the spot we find ourselves in.
- There tends to be a little more urgency and passion early on. As we walk for a while, often we become influenced by the fellow believers around us. Many of them – sad to say – are spiritually lazy. We look around and see what passes for “normal Christianity” and think that we’re trying to hard, so we pull back on the engines and take a rest.
- No – we need to maintain our passion.
- The goal of the Christian life is to become like Jesus.
- We will not achieve perfection in this life, but each step we fall short is consequential.
- It matters in:
a. Rewards at judgment.
b. Impact on those around us.
c. Honor and glory given to Christ by our lives.
d. Freedom from sin in our lives.
2. In evangelism, we do not have forever.
- Two issues to keep in mind:
a. The most obvious one with evangelism is death.
- We know that there is an end of the opportunity at death.
b. Another one is the open window of the heart.
- We might want to presume that if a heart is open today that it’ll be open in the future as well. That’s not true. Sometimes there is a limited opportunity for sharing the gospel.
- It may have to do with a tenderness because of something they’re going through (a time of needing God or a time of seeing their need for a Savior). It may have to do with life circumstances (a child’s birth or a death of a parent). It may have to do with the witness of a person (an emerging friendship with a vibrant disciple piques their interest).