Summary: A look at four reasons that God grants second chances.
WHY DOES GOD GIVE SECOND CHANCES? He is a God of justice and love.
- Jonah 3:1.
- There are other options than second chances:
a. He could offer no second chance.
- The first offense could be sufficient to end our chances.
- He doesn’t want to do that, though, because He loves us and doesn’t want to see us lost.
b. He could be indifferent to our sin.
- The opposite end of offering no second chance (which implies a level of behavior that He requires) would be to just say that we can stay in our sin and that our behavior doesn’t matter.
- God can’t do this, though, because He is a God of justice. He cannot wink at sin or pretend like it’s not a big deal. It is. It separates us from Him.
- So both those options are bad.
- How do you bring together the fact that God is a God of justice and a God of love? One way that it comes together is in the second chance.
- God gives us another opportunity for obedience.
- We should revel in the fact that we serve a God of second chances.
- We tend to presume that this is the way that things have to be, but there are lots of ways people have understood God that don’t bring a second chance.
- Of course, the idea of second chances makes me think of Peter and Judas.
- Both betrayed the Lord. Both were guilty as sin.
- One found a second chance; one didn’t. One is a hero of the faith; one the greatest traitor.
- The difference is not that one was righteous and one sinful. Both were sinful. It was that one grabbed onto the second chance.
WHY IS GOD GIVING SECOND CHANCES SO WONDERFUL?
1. Few of us are quick enough to grab on the first time.
- 2 Peter 3:9.
- It would be great if everyone saw their need for salvation the first time the gospel was presented. That rarely happens, though (thankfully it does sometimes).
- So even with something as central as our salvation, we need a God of second chances.
- 2 Peter 3:9 reminds us that God is patient, not wanting any to come to judgment.
- Sometimes we look at people in their sin with disgust. God sees someone worth redeeming.
- Like we talked about last week, God sees beyond the vomit to the value.
- Few of us stick with people all the way through their sin to salvation. In fact, often we give up on people being saved – we don’t continue to pray with hope and expectation. We shouldn’t. After all, most of us took many more than a second chance.
2. Few of us make it through life without getting off track along the way.
- Jonah 3:1.
- Of course, Jonah’s situation wasn’t a salvation situation. He was already a prophet of God who got off-track.
- Thankfully, the Lord gives second chances along the way as well.
- We all mess up from time to time and none of us walk the straight path all the time. We don’t just need forgiven once – we need second chances along the way.
- Think of the times in our lives where God has called you to do something and you put Him off.
- I know in my life I can look both to my call into ministry as well as my call to be a church planter as both situations where I put God off.
3. We don’t have to tell people, “You’re too far gone.”
- Romans 10:13.
- People make huge mistakes in their lives. How terrible would it be to have to tell them that they’ve crossed a line and there’s no chance for them now?
- The Bible tells us that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
- It’s so good to not have to discourage anyone who is desperate for mercy that they’re too far gone for mercy.
4. There are few things more beautiful than redemption.
- Luke 7:36-50.
- When you think of the idea of redemption – the one who has sinned seeking forgiveness and change – there are few things more beautiful than that.
- It’s a perennial theme of movies and books because it is such a powerful image.
- In Luke 7 we see a dramatic picture of the self-righteous and the one with nothing to claim but mercy.
- Within that, we need to never tire of the beauty of what we proclaim: redemption is available! Sometimes we come to take it for granted. We shouldn’t – it’s an amazing thing.