Is there a limit to God’s patience?
When we read some of the narrative in the OT we can often think that God isn’t very patient with man. Genesis 6:3 says ‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever’. The implication, R.T Kendall writes, is that there is a limit to God’s patience with mankind. Yes, He is ‘slow to anger’ (Ex 34:6), but when He finally stops warning sinful people and manifests His judgement, the consequences can be pretty horrible.
I said ‘Yes’ to following Jesus when I was 7. I remember responding to the preacher and walking forward in that service. However, when I hit the age of 15 something happened to us as a family and I became very angry. My response was to live life for myself and I thought I could remain being a follower of Jesus whilst living the same life as my friends. After all, I still went to church every Sunday so there was no harm right? Little changes, lapses of judgement, led me into a place I would rather forget about.
I can recall the Sunday my warning came at the age of 18. God wasn’t going to allow it anymore. I remember being shocked to the core as this was a clear Holy Spirit warning to me. I had picked up my bible and was reading through the book of Luke. In my day there were no electronic devices to play with in church if you were bored so you would flick through the bible. My dad was preaching a really LONG sermon, I think it was a 55 minute sermon that day, but as I reached Luke chapter 13, I never got past v9.
It felt as though I had been kicked in the stomach. Even now as I type this, waves of God’s grace and forgiveness are welling up inside of me. Those verses transformed me completely. It was my wake up call. My Holy Spirit warning.
I remember sinking in my chair and as the tears rolled down my face I began to ask Him for forgiveness. There was no fruit in my life. I had become deadwood. I knew I didn’t want to be cast from His presence.
Does God give warnings? Yes! Romans 11:21-22 – it is out of His kindness that He does.
R.T Kendall finishes with these thoughts.
The Bible says basically two things about God: He is merciful and He is Just. By merciful it means that He doesn’t want to punish us; by just it means He must punish us.
So how can he do both? He sent His Son into the world to die on a cross and punished Jesus for our sins. That was His Justice. This way he does not have to punish those who trust Jesus’s blood for salvation. That is His mercy.
Hebrews 3:7 ‘The Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts…”.
Wake up before it’s too late!