There’s a really great song by Carlos Whittaker called God of Second Chances. I love this song, but I’m not sure I entirely agree with it. You see this song declares that God is a God of second chances. However, from what I read I don’t find this to be true.
But Jesus came to give us a second chance. No he didn’t. Jesus came to save us. We were completely in capable of saving ourselves. Jesus came to give us A CHANCE, it a second chance. Jesus is the only chance we have. To say that Jesus’ death and resurrection was so that we could have a second chance would be to say that we had a first chance. It would be to say that somehow we had a ticket to heaven that we lost somewhere along the way and Jesus came to give us a new one. This is not true. We were born into sin. We were born sinful by nature and, therefore, incapable of saving ourselves. Jesus came to give the only chance we had.
But Jesus forgives me when I mess up. This I actually agree with. However, to say that Jesus was the God of second chances would be to say that we could only mess up once. I don’t know about you, but I have messed up a bunch of times. My life is dotted with sins. If Jesus only gave me a second chance, then I would be in big trouble. I don’t need a second chance, I need MANY chances.
Seventy times seven. I love Peter. Of all the people in the bible Peter is my favorite. Why, because he reminds me so much of myself. Peter wanted so badly to please God. Peter was impulsive. He was slow to think and quick to take action. In Matthew 18:21 Peter does what he thinks is a good thing, “Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Peter thought he was being very generous. I can almost see him standing there with his chest puffed out just waiting for Jesus to pour out praises on him because of his generosity. Rather Jesus looked at Peter and said, “I tell you, not as many as seven, but 70 time seven.” Jesus was not pointing to a magic number of 490 times that we should forgive. He was not suggesting that we keep a ledger of the wrongs that people do to us and that we are only required to forgive them the first 490 times, after which we could stop forgiving them. It would be ridiculous to try and keep track of 490 times that someone has sinned agains us. What Jesus was saying was that we should just continue to forgive our brother. What Jesus was doing was setting up the pattern that He lives by.
Jesus doesn’t give second chances. Rather He gives us as many chances as we need. Peter denied Christ 3 times and Jesus restored him. Moses was a murderer and still God used him. Saul, who became Paul, hunted down, imprisoned and even killed Christians, but Jesus used him to write most of the New Testament. Each of these people needed more than simply a second chance. They needed a God who gave them mane chances. Some like the idea of a God that gives second chances. I prefer a God who forgives me over and over again.
Ask and you shall receive. So, how do we receive this over and over again forgiveness that Jesus is talking about. It’s simply a matter of asking for it. In Luke 11:9 Jesus says, “…Ask and it will be given to you.” Jesus didn’t come to give us a second chance. He came to save us. Perhaps you are reading this and feel that you need and are ready for this forgiveness that Jesus offers. The Bible tells us that if we believe in our heart and profess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, then we shall be saved. If you would like to learn more about this feel free to use the email button at the top of the page and I would love to talk with you more about this.