Can we lose the Grace of God’s forgiveness?


Question: I’ve heard that Christians can lose the grace of God’s forgiveness. I think this may be in reference to repeating the same sin over and over – knowing that a particular behavior or sin is intentional and doing it anyway. I’m not sure I believe this since we are consigned to sin – and what about people with addictions (alcohol, drugs, porn). Have you heard this teaching before? A what are your thoughts?

Response: I have definitely heard of that teaching and do have thoughts on that topic. I think it’s analogous to what Jesus says about the door being shut at a certain point (Matthew 25:10, Luke 13:25) for a time.

We must all remain in outer darkness until we forgive as we are forgiven. And I think there comes a time, when people refuse to surrender the “old man” or “foolish virgin” (“the man that Jesus doesn’t know, for he won’t tell the Lord where he’s been” as in Luke 13:25 (and Matt. 7:23) and “the foolish virgin who doesn’t look for the bridegroom” as in Matthew 25:10) . . . There comes a time when God shuts the door and lets us “weep and gnash our teeth” for a bit. I think this is what Hades/Sheol is about. We cannot “lose the Grace of God’s forgiveness.” God is Grace and constantly forgives. But we can lose access to it, or knowledge of it, for a time. People in Sheol may have no hope (in their own minds), but HOPE has them and will not forsake them.

It all makes sense to me when I think of my kids. It would be like sitting at dinner and saying to my son, Coleman, “If you make fun of your sister one more time, you’re going to have to leave the table and sit in your room until I say so.” I would “shut the door” to dinner, so to speak, on Coleman. He would weep and gnash his teeth for a time. But hopefully it would all be Grace and a form of forgiveness. Coleman is not paying for anything. He’s being disciplined for a time so that he would hopefully grow up into an adult that could have a nice dinner with his sister, wife, me, kids, etc. And if I’m a good Dad, my spirit is with him in his room, and there’s a good chance that I (Hell #2, Divinity) would descend into his sad bedroom (Hell #1, Separation), and sit with him on his bed (Hell #3, Judgment, Communion). Hopefully this would grow into a new desire in Coleman–a desire to commune with his whole family. In the same way, the folks in Luke 13 would hopefully begin to surrender to the Lord their true selves and just tell him where they are from and who they truly are (confession) and the gals in Luke 13, who are us (the harlot that becomes the Bride), would begin to hope in our bridegroom.

In the case of addictions, I think I’m saying that God doesn’t “enable” our addictions, or at least at some point, he stops “enabling” them (for all sin is really an addiction to ego). He allows us to suffer the pain of them, until we want to renounce them for he has given us new desires.

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