Does God always give us a second chance? I hear this preached a lot, especially at the rescue mission where I serve as a part time chaplain. There is a great and wonderful truth to it, but there is also a very big BUT.
First the truth: If you are able to turn to God and start calling on His Name in repentance for going the wrong way, you have just been given the second chance! If you want to get your life right with God, but don’t even know how, you have just been given the second chance. Even the desire to return to God and get right with Him, comes from Him (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
As long as you want His salvation, you have a God who always will be loving you, desiring to save you and covering you with mercy. He never tires of coming to the rescue. He wants everyone to be saved. And Jesus’ Blood has already paid every sin debt. God doesn’t want the sacrifice of His Son wasted! He is eager to apply the Blood anywhere and to anyone.
There are unlimited “second chances” available to the one who calls on the Name of the Lord, wanting to be saved, rescued, forgiven, restored, helped, healed—whatever the need might be. Take this to your everlasting encouragement: “All who call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved!” (Romans 10:13).
Now here is the BUT. But there are plenty whom the Lord gives over to a “reprobate mind” (please read Romans 1:24-31). These benighted people never again are beckoned by God to repent—He has “given up” on calling them to return, apparently because He sees that there is nothing He can do to get them to want to return. And they want it that way!
They want to be “left alone” by God and not be bothered by His goodness (the loving conviction of the Holy Spirit) which is calling them to repentance (Romans 2:4). They want their sin instead of God and God lets them have it. This frame of mind is unthinkable to the redeemed, because we are the ones who want God to save us—even if it is from ourselves. Apparently, not everyone is like us.
These are things beyond our knowing, but they are real. For instance, we will never have the spiritual eyes to see who God “has given over” to being forever lost. Right at the very last moment some of the most incorrigible God-hating, sin-loving people will turn and call on Him. We are to hold out hope to everyone! But may it not be false hope: “don’t worry, keep sinning, God will always give you a second chance.” No, don’t encourage anyone to “bet” on that!
Some never return from their sins, never want to turn from them, never again want to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved from their sins. There is definitely a mystery here: As long as I need and desire a “second chance,” I can be absolutely sure that God will give it to me; but if I never again want that “second chance,” it may be because I have already lost it.
But that is not you! We are the ones who want to get free of sin, who want to be close to the Lord, but who keep getting snared and turned aside and have to be called to return in countless ways. Our loving Father never gets tired of calling us to return—or of having to give us so many “second” chances. He is completely reconciled to all that it will take of His grace and mercy and truth and patience and saving help to get us fully restored (2 Corinthians 5:19-20).
Go here to learn more about the goodness of Our Father in Heaven.
Go here to understand more about the question: Can I Lose My Salvation?