Learning The Hard Way
I have personally paid a price for some of my disobedience of the Lord and I have been rewarded for my obedience. I had opportunities to be saved at an early age. Because I ran away from the Lord I did not receive His blessings in the first four decades of my life that I have received in the last three. I have also missed some blessings because of my disobedience since He saved me.
I know many individuals who refuse the Lord as I did in my youth. I weep for them and pray for them. I also know many Christians who stubbornly refuse to serve God in His way and in His time just as I did. Some of them run out of second chances and pay an awful price. I weep as I remember some Christians like that and I pray for them. I pray that others will not have to learn these lessons the hard way as I did. I beg you to do whatever it is the Lord wants you to do.
It is only by the grace of God that we are given even one chance to be saved. And then it is only by His grace that He gives us opportunities to serve Him. He does not owe any of us second chances and in His wisdom He does not always give them. When He does, we ought to rejoice in them. I am thankful that He has given me countless second chances. I am sure He has given you plenty of second chances too.
Cain slew his brother and wasted his chances to repent.
Genesis 4:13: And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
Esau chose a morsel of food over his birthright and it became impossible for him to repent.
Hebrews 12:16-17: Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
Pharaoh hardened his heart. First it was his choice and then God hardened his heart as part of His judgment. Jonah got a second chance but he had to be swallowed by a fish before he was willing to obey the Lord.
If men are not willing to think about the Lord, He can fix it so they cannot think about Him.
Romans 1:28: And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
If men ignore the Holy Spirit often enough and long enough it will become blaspheme and they will run out of chances.
Matthew 12:31: Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
If men are not willing to trust the Lord, He can fix it so they cannot trust Him.
2 Thessalonians 2:8-12: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.