Second Chances

Bill Brinkworth

“His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone.” Job 41:24

“Oh, I’ve heard that before,” replied Gail.

“You did? When was that?” I had just spent 45 minutes telling her how to get saved; how she must know that the she was a sinner; how she needed to believe that Jesus died on the Cross for her sins, and that she needed to ask Him to save her from a deserved hell.

“Well, let’s see. I’m 38 years old now, so I was about 30 when someone else told me I must ask Jesus to save me. There just wasn’t time then, with raising the family and all. When I was 25, I heard on the radio how I needed to trust the Lord for my salvation. I felt that I really needed to ask Jesus to save me, but I guess I just put it off.

“Oh, yes,” she continued, “when I was about 12, someone took me to Sunday School. I remember the teacher showed me how I could be saved. Other kids got saved; but, well, I guess I felt I could do it some other time.”

“Well, Gail, you’ve heard the message before. God loves you so much that He hasn’t given up on you. He keeps trying. How about right now asking the Lord to save you?” I pleaded.

“I, I … just can’t. Maybe some other time. I’m just not ready yet!” She again evaded the invitation.

That evening, I learned quite a bit about how God works in people’s lives. It was clear He keeps trying, again and again. Most people have heard the Gospel message many times, and each time they tell God “No,” by not obeying, their heart gets harder and colder to the things of God.

Probably, when Gail first heard the Good News, she was tempted to make the most important decision for eternity. For whatever the reason, she had said, “No.”

Her heart stiffened against the calling of the Holy Spirit in her life. It got hardened even more the second time. By the time she heard the message the third time, it was rock hard; and by all appearances, it looked like it would never be softened again. She had said “No” to God, just one time too many.

Since that night, I have observed that most of the people I have talked to about the Lord have also “heard it before.” Maybe they heard it from their grandmother, parent, friend, Sunday school teacher, or even read it from a Bible tract left in a public bathroom. Many that have put their salvation off in the past will still make excuses to put it off again.

I marvel at the way God keeps on trying. He never quits on us – if there is an interest on our part. What matchless love and compassion God has for us. How sad it is to hear one, who has heard the story before, say “No,” one more time.

One time, it will be their last opportunity. They will not have that “next chance.” Many hope that they can be saved on their deathbed. It has happened. However, there is no guarantee that they will have that opportunity. Even if they have that last chance, there is no telling if their hardened heart may say “some other time” to God’s invitation.

This article was featured in The Bible View #535.

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