I was in Michigan recently and saw a sign on a church building that declared it was, “The Church of The Second Chance”. That thought has stayed with me and I have mulled it over and what the true message is in that description. I think it boils down to the idea of “Hope”.
Hope is necessary
How many times have we wished for a “do over,” a chance to redeem ourselves or correct some words we said or actions we have taken. We sometimes beg for a second chance to make things, our lives or the lives of others better, but far too often that possibility is denied us.
Forgiveness in necessary
So many times hearts are broken, spirits are crushed and souls are lost because we don’t understand the concept of grace and forgiveness. A quick question… according to Jesus, can you tell me how many times you are supposed to forgive someone? Answer: Matthew 18:21, “Seventy times seven”. That’s a bunch isn’t it? An interesting application to that is given by Jesus in Luke 17:3-5 where he says: “So watch what you do!”If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in one day, and each time he comes to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him. The apostles said to the Lord, “Make our faith greater (or increase our faith).””
Pray for more faith
If the truth be told, I am right there with the apostles… I need more faith to do a better job of forgiving! I need more faith to do a better job of truly understanding grace and forgiveness. I need more faith to understand the true nature of having and giving a second chance!
Grace is necessary
We are told in Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it”. Basically this scripture tells us it doesn’t matter how good we think we are or how much good stuff we do, we are saved simply because God loves us enough to give us a second chance.
Second chances are necessary
In all of this I’m trying to say, our churches need to be a place where we understand the nature of giving a second chance, or a third chance or a fourth chance… or wait… perhaps even seventy…. I understand we can’t condone or embrace sin, but we can forgive, because each one of us is forgiven ourselves. This is why Jesus adds in Luke 17:3, “So watch what you do!”If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.”
I don’t know about you, but I live in Christ, because I have been given a second chance, and a third, and a fourth and so on my life continues, because we are loved by the God of the Second Chance!