The Bell Tower

How Deep is God’s Grace? Part 3

The first two articles in this series brought us the wonderful news that God’s grace is unlimited and available to all. Today’s thoughts are more sobering. Can God’s grace be rejected? And if it can, what are the circumstances and what are the consequences?

In the great book by John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian comes across a pathetic man, haggard and alone, who laments everyday: “I have out sinned God’s grace”! For this man there is no comfort Christian, or anyone else, can give him. He is of all men most miserable. A question comes immediately to mind …did he really out sin God’s grace or is there another force at work in this man?

If you recall my last article you’ll remember we learned that you can’t out sin God’s grace. So what is the real problem of the man Christian came across in his journey?

I believe that, at best, he, and people like him are deceived by the enemy of our souls. What better way to keep people away from God’s grace than to convince them that it is out of reach?

The darker point of view is that he doesn’t really want God’s grace because he loves darkness rather than light. (John 3:19) You see, to receive the light (God’s free offer of forgiveness) is to have to give up his sin which he doesn’t want to do. He would rather blame God for “withholding” His grace than repent. Proverbs 19:3 says “A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the LORD.” He needs to humble himself before the LORD, repent of his sin, and receive by faith the forgiveness God is holding out to him. Until then, he is rejecting God’s grace and the only consequence for that is hell.

As I said in the beginning, this is sobering stuff! The lesson in it all is this: don’t play games with God! God’s grace is leading you to repentance. Repent of your sin and receive it. Everything else is complicating a very simple offer.

Mike Whitney