(Continuation of Does God Ever Give Up On Us? Part 1)
Is there ever a time when God gives up? What could or would prompt Him to give up on us? Let’s continue by looking at further examples and circumstances. In addition to God surrendering or giving people up to their permissiveness and perversity, there are other occasions when severe measures are necessary.
Paul wrote to Timothy: “Some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme” [1 Timothy 1:19-20]. Here again is the Greek word paradidomi. Instead of praying for these two apostate, blasphemous individuals, Paul gave them over to the evil influence they wanted to pursue. How frightening to have God’s protective, restraining shelter removed and to be subjected to demonic assault!
Sometimes, God simply stops hearing the prayers of those who remain unrepentant of their wickedness. “’Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,’ says the Lord of hosts” [Zechariah 7:13]. In other words, He gives up—how long is entirely up to Him and our genuine repentance. God also says that if we humble ourselves before Him, earnestly pray and seek His face, and repent of (turn away from) our wicked ways, He will hear, forgive, and restore [2 Chronicles 7:14]. Yes, He is loving; but He is also holy and His mercy ends at certain times and in certain circumstances. We are wise to stay well within His mercy through obedience and surrender to Him in all our ways.
Even our worship may be in vain—and actually irritates God’s heart. “Bring no more futile sacrifices; incense is an abomination to Me. I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear [Isaiah 1:13-15, bold emphasis added]. The Psalmist further confirms, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear” [Psalm 66:18, bold emphasis added]. In a nutshell, we simply cannot play God’s game by our rules. We simply cannot live life as we choose, thumb our nose at God, and think there will be no repercussions.
Unpardoned and Eternally Condemned
Most if not all of the scenarios mentioned above can be turned around through genuine repentance. God’s everlasting mercy is available to all who genuinely repent—up to a point. Two remaining scenarios reveal the ultimate end of God’s mercy and forgiveness.
In Matthew 12:24–30, Jesus explained how the Pharisees (religious leaders of that time) committed the unpardonable sin. Their sin of blasphemy against the Spirit of God involved attributing His work to demonic influence and source. For His divine reasons, God cherishes the transforming, supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. Anyone who tramples it, falls under God’s direct and unforgiveable judgment. For this reason, we are discouraged from quenching the Holy Spirit as He influences and transforms our lives [1 Thessalonians 5:19]. He is doing a perfect work to bring us into Christlikeness—we are wise not to resist or even throttle His work.
Finally, there is an ultimate, eternal end of God’s mercy and forgiveness when He forever gives up. In Revelation 20:11-15, we read of a future time of judgment before a Great White Throne. This setting is for all whose names are not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Only genuine believers in Jesus Christ will have their names written there. Sadly, all nonbelievers will be thrown (delivered, cast, surrendered into) the Lake of Fire. This inevitability of God’s final giving up awaits ever person who rejects God’s loving call to become part of His family through faith in Jesus Christ.
There’s Still Time
Until the day of God’s grace expires, there is still time to repent and call on His name. For unbelievers, the urgent invitation is to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” [Acts 16:31]. “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” [2 Corinthians 6:2]. Please do not waste another second—the shortness of time, inevitability of death, and finality of God’s mercy should prompt an immediate response.
For believers who have lost their way, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” [1 John 1:9]. Whatever worldly desire, affection, habit, or activity holds your attention, let it go. In the scope of eternity, it’s simply not worth it. “Lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares…run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” [Hebrews 12:1-2].
Time is short. Christ’s return is imminent. “Jesus said to them, ‘A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going’” [John 12:35]. The last recorded words of Jesus in Scripture are His three-fold repeated warning, “I am coming quickly!” [Revelation 22:7, 12, 20].
May we all take full advantage of God grace and mercy while they are extended and available. The time is fast approaching when God gives up and they are gone.