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THE GOD OF THE SECOND CHANCE

(Jonah 3:1)

"the word of the Lord came unto Jonah a second time"

Dr. Don Jasmin, Editor

Introduction: "Opportunity" would probably be a better word, as "chance" is frequently associated with gambling and luck. As we view the inerrant Scriptures, we note numerous instances where God provided second opportunities after initial disappointments, discouragements, failures and rejections.

1. GOD GAVE A PATRIARCH (JACOB) A SECOND OPPORTUNITY TO RENEW HIS COVENANT—Gen. 35:1. Though Jacob had long since forsaken the agreements he made with God at Bethel in Gen. 28, with tragic spiritual consequences to his family who had committed infamy and became idolaters, God graciously provided another opportunity for this backslider to renew his sacred vows.

2. GOD GAVE A PRINCE (DAVID) A SECOND OPPORTUNITY TO RECAPTURE HIS CAPITAL—II Samuel 17-18. Wrongly coveting his father's crown, Absalom temporarily captivated the heart of the king's subjects, causing David to briefly abandon his home and throne.

God, however, turned the tables upon the king's opposers, causing the rebels to flee, giving David an opportunity to return in triumph. Rather then exulting in his victory, in tender compassion, David wept over his son's demise.

3. GOD GAVE A PROPHET (JONAH) A SECOND OPPORTUNITY TO RETURN TO HIS ORIGINAL CALL—Jonah 3:1. In Jonah 1:1, God commissioned Jonah to go and preach to Ninevah. In stark disobedience, Jonah fled from God's will and wound up in a whale's belly. God graciously granted the now submissive prophet a second opportunity to proclaim His message of repentance to a needy metropolis.

4. GOD GAVE A PRINCIPALITY (NINEVAH) A SECOND OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT OF ITS CORRUPTION—Jonah 3:5-10. Seeping with evil and wickedness, this Assyrian municipality was swiftly headed towards oblivion apart from an act of God's mercy. As the prophet faithfully proclaimed the necessity of genuine repentance, God granted this iniquitous city a reprieve from His judgment as the citizens turned to Him in humble contrition.

5. GOD GAVE A PRODIGAL (THE PRODIGAL SON) A SECOND OPPORTUNITY TO RETURN TO HIS COUNTRY—Luke 15:17-24. After leaving his father's household and wasting his inheritance in a sinful spree, the prodigal son wound up in a hog's pen with an empty pocketbook and a starving stomach. The loving arms of a compassionate father were opened with a warm welcome and a tender embrace, as the repentant son returned home.

6. GOD GAVE A PREACHER (PETER) A SECOND OPPORUNITY TO REPUDIATE HIS COWARDICE—Acts 2:17-40. Despite his earlier rash pronouncements that he would always faithfully stand by His Lord, in rapid succession on three occasions in Pilate's judgment hall, Peter blatantly denied identification with his divine Master, manifesting a coward's intimidation-Jn. 18: 17, 25, 27. Granted a second opportunity at Pentecost, an empowered Peter boldly proclaimed the great Resurrection truths.

7. GOD WILL GIVE A PEOPLE (ISRAEL) A SECOND OPPORTUNITY TO RECEIVE CHRIST—Rom. 11:25-27. In His first advent, "He came unto his own, but his own received him not"—Jn. 1:1l. In His first coming, the Jews rejected Christ as their promised Messiah—Rom. 9:31-32. At Christ's revelation, however, at the conclusion of the battle of Armageddon—Rev. 16:16, the living Jewish remnant will respond to their Messiah's voice when they "look upon him whom they have pierced"—Zech. 12:10 and accept Him as their divine Saviour.

CONCLUSION: The above events validate that God sometimes graciously grants believers who may have given up their service posts a second opportunity for useful ministry, plus unbelieving sinners a second chance for salvation. God is truly the God of the "second chance."

The F.D. editor tenderly entreats hurting saints and wounded spiritual soldiers who have may abandoned their calling not to delay and respond to the God-granted second chances for profitable service before God closes His windows of opportunity. It is the writer's prayer that some discouraged fainting servants will respond to this appeal and hear God's renewed call, even if it involves a different ministry or location.

TWO STRONG WARNINGS WITH A LOVING PLEA

(1) Preachers who have involved themselves in adulterous and other sensual relationships forfeit any second vocational call-I Tim. 3:2. However, there is potential restoration to fellowship with God and a local N.T. church upon genuine repentance, via confession and forsaking of sin—Prov. 28:13, II Cor. 2:1-10, I John 1:9.

(2) For the unconverted, there is no second "chance" to receive Christ after death-Heb. 9:27. The unsaved must respond before death or an incapacitated mind terminates future opportunities-II Cor. 6:1b. The writer earnestly pleads with any such readers to receive Christ now lest their hearts be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin—Heb. 2:3b, Heb. 3:13.

Also in this issue:

SPIRITUAL ALERT

SBC CONVENTION 2006

WHY I USE THE KJV

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