June 30 – God of Second Chances – The Day Is Coming…

Read Luke 13:22-30

In this brief devotional series over the last few days, we have been emphasizing the fact that God is a God of second chances. There is no doubt about it! By His grace, He offers to us reconciliation, redemption, and relationship in spite of our past. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences for sinful decisions. But even where sin abounds, grace is available in even greater supply to all who humbly repent (Rom. 5:20; 1 Jn. 1:9). Thank you, God!

While we revel in this amazing grace and love of God, we must also understand that this second chance is like a “limited time offer.” Jesus described it in today’s reading as a narrow, open door through which few will enter. Eventually, the time came when the home owner closes the door. After that, no others are permitted entrance.

When will that door close? For you and for those you know, love, work with, and live near, the opportunity to experience God’s forgiving grace is now in this life. Just as the thief on the cross next to Jesus realized, it is available to all who reach out in faith to Jesus, up to the time they draw their final breath (Lk. 23:39-43).

What will happen to those left outside? There is no second chance. Their eternal future is one of punishment and regret. For those who were even around the things of Christ and His followers, if they failed to make a personal response, they will have no second chance after their life is over.

Who will enter the door? It is not the highly respected or even the ones predictable based on their external religiosity, who will live in God’s eternal presence. Jesus was careful to point out that His religious listeners might be excluded while those from the Gentile nations might enter. That wasn’t what they expected to hear. But, at the end of the day, entry into the Kingdom of God is not random. Based on a personal relationship with Christ, a person can be confident of his/her future (1 Jn. 5:11-13).

What are the implications? If you have not yet embraced the personal implications of Christ’s life, death, burial, and resurrection for your sin by faith, don’t hesitate. If you have done so, share that message boldly and joyfully with others. After all, they will not have a second chance once this life is over.

Steve Kern

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