A gracEmail subscriber writes, “Does God ever just give up on one of his children? Is it possible that we can continue to do something so evil that God finally decides that there is no hope for us and that we are not worth salvation?”
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If God based his attitude toward us on what he sees in us, he would have given up long ago on us all. Our confidence is not in our ability to love God, or to obey him, or even to repent without sinning in the process. Our confidence is in God’s gospel promise that he looks on us through the person of our representative, the Lord Jesus Christ, and that he treats us based on what he sees in and thinks about Jesus’ own perfect doing and dying. We are “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6, KJV). God forgives our sins for Jesus’ sake (1 John 2:12).
The question is not whether we are “worth” saving, but whether God’s atonement in Jesus Christ is worth God’s saving sinners. God believes that it is — and he certified the same by raising Jesus from the dead (Rom. 4:25). The Apostle Paul had formerly been a persecutor and a blasphemer, but God forgave Paul as an example of the distance which divine grace can extend (1 Tim. 1:12-16). No repented sin is beyond the reach of God’s love and forgiveness (Rom. 5:20-21).
The question each of us must ask is this. Am I God’s child? Finding the answer means asking some more questions. Do I trust in Jesus for salvation and in him alone? Do I hate sin, even when I commit it, and wish to live free from it? Am I sorry for sin and for grieving God by sinning? Do I wish to serve God and to please and obey him? If I can truthfully answer “Yes” to these questions, I am one of God’s children, for none others can say “Yes.” By such self-examination, we “test” ourselves (2 Cor. 13:5) and make our “calling and election sure” (2 Pet. 1:10-11).
Will God give up on one of his children? Not in a million years or for all eternity! This is the God who loved us so much while we were sinful, helpless enemies that he gave his Son to save us. How very much more he must love us now that we are forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:6-11). God is the one who has begun a good work in his children, and he is faithful to complete what he has started (Phil. 1:6). If his children sin, he will discipline them, chastise if necessary, deal as harshly as divine love might require, but his discipline is always for their salvation (Heb. 12:5-11). God knows those he has given to Jesus, and he will keep them until the last day (John 6:37-39). Not one of them will perish (John 10:27-30).