Returning to God

Question from a reader:

Hebrews states that when man turns from God it is very difficult to return to God. God does not strive with man always also comes to mind. It is my feeling that any time you go to God he will accept you. Some say that God does not give second chances. How do you interpret this? 

Thank you for your question. I believe that the answers to your questions are centered around some key terms that you used:

– Indeed, it is difficult to return to God, but not impossible. Our sin hardens our hearts, but whenever we choose, we can return to God. He always accepts us, and it always pleases Him to do so, even in our sinful flesh.

– Although God does not strive with man always, man can stop striving with God. If our hearts remain hardened from sin, and we never stop striving with God, then He will not continue always to strive with us. However, if we make the slightest effort to turn from sin, then He is always there to forgive us and encourage us.

– I agree with you, in that any time we go to God, He will accept us. God does indeed give us second chances. The best example of this is that we were all separated from God by the acts of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Yet, God implemented a plan of grace, and we could think of this as a “second chance.” In fact, He gives us third chances, fourth chances, etc. I often see this in my own life, and I’m so grateful for this. I often continue to fail Him, yet Christ covered all of my failures (eternally) on the cross; and, when I confess (1 John 1:9), God forgives me in this temporal world.

Thanks,

Owen

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