What does the Bible say about second chances?
We should rejoice in the fact that we serve a God of multiple chances. One thing that is true for everyone is that we’ve all failed God. We have all fallen short. God is not obligated to forgive us.
In fact, He shouldn’t forgive us because of how short we fall compared to His perfect holiness. Out of His grace and mercy He has sent His perfect Son as the propitiation for our sins.
When is the last time that you thanked God for the gospel of Jesus Christ? Every day that you wake up is another chance graciously given to you through the pain, the suffering, and the powerful blood of Christ!
Christian quotes about second chances
“[When it comes to God] We can’t run out of second chances…only time.”
“Every moment of your life is a second chance.”
“I was born again and feel as if [God] has granted me a second chance in life.”
“If God gave you a second chance…don’t waste it.”
“You’ve never gone too far that God can’t redeem you, restore you, forgive you, and give you a second chance.”
Jonah is given a second chance
We all remember the story of Jonah. Jonah tried to run from God’s will. We try to do this as well when we desire our will over God’s will. Jonah ran. He backslid. God could have let Jonah go his own way, but He loved Jonah too much to allow him to remain on the wrong path. It’s so awesome that God loves us so much and desires to use us. He doesn’t need us, which makes His love even greater.
God went out of His way and caused a storm to get His child back. Jonah was eventually thrown overboard and swallowed by a huge fish. From inside the fish Jonah repented. By God’s command, the fish spit Jonah out. At this moment, God could have just forgiven Jonah and that could have been the end of the story. However, this is obviously not what happened. God gave Jonah another opportunity to preach repentance to the city of Nineveh. This time Jonah obeyed the Lord.
1. Jonah 1:1-4 “The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.”
2. Jonah 2:1-9 “From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit. “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.”
3. Jonah 3:1-4 “Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.” 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days’ walk. 4 Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”
Samson is given a second chance
Sometimes we are given second chances, but we have to live with the consequences of our previous failures. We see this in the story of Samson. Samson’s life was filled with second chances. Although he was greatly used by God, Samson was flawed as we all are. The sin of Samson that we all point to is when he told Delilah that his hair was the secret to his strength, which she later used to betray Samson.
Eventually Samson’s hair was cut while he was sleeping and for the first time he became powerless to the Philistines. Samson was subdued, shackled, and his eyes were gouged out. Samson found himself in a place that he has never been before. While the Philistines were celebrating Samson prayed to God. He said, “Please, God, strengthen me just once more.” Samson was basically saying, “work through me again. Give me a second chance to do your will.” Samson wasn’t trying to get out of his situation. He just wanted to walk with the Lord.
In Judges 16 verse 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” God in His mercy answered Samson. Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood and he pushed upon them. The temple came down and Samson killed more Philistines than he did in his death than he did when he was alive. God accomplished His will through Samson. Notice that by his death Samson overcame his enemies. We overcome worldliness and sin by dying to self. Mark 8:35 “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.”
4. Judges 16:17-20 “So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” 18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. 19 After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him. 20 Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you! He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.”
5. Judges 16:28-30 “Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.”
When we are given another chance by God
I’ve noticed that we are sometimes put in similar situations. I am not saying that God puts us in temptation. What I am saying is this, we are given opportunities to bear fruit in an area we have failed in before. There have been situations in my life where I feel like I failed. However, down the line I’ve been put into similar situations. Although I might have failed the first time, the second time I bore better fruit showing maturity in Christ.
Second chances reveal a God who is sanctifying us and conforming us into the image of Christ. He loves us too much to allow us to remain infants in Christ. He is faithful to mold you and build you up. The question is, are you growing?
There are so many great saints who failed the Lord in the Bible, but they got back up. When you sin, use that as an opportunity to grow in the Lord. Pray for God to conform you into the image of Christ. You might be put in the same situation down the line. Just like Jonah, you are going to be given a choice. Obey or disobey!
6. Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
7. Matthew 3:8 “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”
8. 1 Peter 2:1-3 “So rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, desire the pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it for your salvation, since you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
9. Colossians 3:10 “And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
Second chances are not a license to sin
Real Christians struggle with sin. Sometimes you might fail more than 3 times. However, do you remain down? If you’re using God’s grace as an excuse to indulge in a sinful lifestyle that is remaining down. Evidence that you have truly put your trust in Christ for salvation is that you will have new desires for Christ and His Word. Once again, some believers struggle more than others, but there is a desire to be more and there is a fight.
A true believer should see more and more progress against sin. Over the years there should be growth in your walk with Christ. We will never be able to comprehend God’s love. His love is too deep. If you are a Christian, then you have been forgiven by the blood of Christ! Do not live in condemnation. His blood covers all of your sins past, present, and future. You are free! Run to Christ and enjoy Him, but what you should never do, is take advantage of His love.
10. Proverbs 24:16 “For though a righteous man falls seven times, he will rise again, but the wicked stumble into calamity.”
11. 1 John 1:5-9 “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
12. 1 John 2:1 “My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the Righteous One.”
13. Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”
14. 1 John 3:8-9 “The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”
Salvation is a second chance from the Lord.
Before Christ I was broken and living in sin. I was hopeless and on my way to hell. Christ gave me hope and He gave me a purpose. As I was reading the Book of 1 Kings I realized how patient God is. King after king did evil in the sight of the Lord. Why did God put up with continuous evil? Why does God put up with continuous evil now?
He is holy. There is a huge gap between God and man. It is incomprehensible how holy God truly is. In spite of all the evil that’s going on He came down in the form of man for people who wanted nothing to do with Him. He walked among us. God was spit on and beaten! His bones were broken. He bled in an unfathomable way. At any moment He could have called down an army of angels to destroy everything!
Don’t you get it? Jesus died for you and me when we wanted nothing to do with Him. We were in sin when Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” In spite of our evil, Jesus died, was buried, and resurrected for our sins. Through His atonement on the cross we were given a second chance. He took away our sin and now we can begin to experience Him.
God has given us the right to become His children. We deserve nothing, but He’s given us everything. He has given us life. Before this all we knew was death. Why is God so patient? God is patient with us because God (so) loved us. Don’t reject the gospel. Put your trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
15. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
16. Romans 2:4 “Or do you disregard the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?”
17. Micah 7:18 “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.”
18. John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Giving others a second chance
Just as God is patient and forgiving, we are to be patient and forgiving as well. Sometimes forgiving is hard, but we have to understand that we have been forgiven much. Why can’t we forgive for small issues compared to the forgiveness that God bestowed upon us? When we pour out grace upon others we are becoming like the God that we worship.
Forgiveness does not mean the relationship is going to be the same. We should do all we can to seek reconciliation. We should forgive people, but sometimes the relationship should end especially if the person willfully keeps sinning against you.
For example, if you have a boyfriend who keeps cheating on you, this is not a healthy relationship that you should remain in. We should use godly discernment. This is something that we should diligently pray to the Lord about.
19. Matthew 6:15 “But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
20. Matthew 18:21-22 “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
21. Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
22. Matthew 18:17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
One day there will be no second chances for you.
There are people in hell who pray to God, but their prayers are never answered. There are people in hell who ask for water to quench their thirst, but their request always falls short. There is no hope for those in hell nor will there ever be hope. There is no way out because there are no exits.
Most people in hell thought that they would get right with God. They never thought that they would hear the words, “GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!” If you reject Christ He will reject you. Get right with God. Repent and put your trust in Christ alone for salvation. You don’t want to die without truly knowing the Lord.
23. Hebrews 9:27 “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.”
24. Hebrews 10:27 “but only a fearful expectation of judgment and raging fire that will consume all adversaries.”
25. Luke 13:25-27 “Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.” Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!”