Is there a point where we’ve pushed the line too far with God? I often get caught up in verses like Hebrews 6:4-6 or the ones about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. I’m trying to return to Christ but I keep messing up and I’m scared the one day I’ll push God too far
Hey my dear friend, please let me tell you the truth right up front —
The very fact that you even messaged me about this shows that it bothers you enough to care, and if you care even a tiny little bit about your relationship with God, you’re in a much better place than you think. And even if you didn’t care at all, God doesn’t suddenly pull the lever to the trap door to hell.
I promise that I’m not trying to promote a lazy or lukewarm faith. Certainly God cares that we’re true to Him, that we pursue Him, that we want what He wants. But God also knows we’re fragile fallen squishy human beings, and at times we fail to live up to what we were made for, which is the very exact reason that Jesus had to die for us, and was glad to die for us.
I mean imagine you have children, and your five year old walks up to you and says, “Daddy, I broke the lamp the other day and I lied about it. Is it too late to say I’m sorry? Did I push you away too far? Am I not your kid anymore? How many years in time-out?”
Some part of you will totally laugh at that, not in a mean-spirited way, but in an incredulous “who-even-told-you-that” sort of way. It would be absolutely unbelievable to you that you could ever, ever, ever stop loving your child.
Now the love of God is even more pure and reckless and relentless than ours. And we don’t just break lamps and draw on walls. We don’t just lie or curse or smoke a few packs. We also kill. We’ve started wars and genocides and turned a blind eye to slavery. We allow the Holocaust and human trafficking and racial extermination to happen right under our noses. And yet: God still loves us with an impossible love, and this is the only force in the universe that could ever hope to heal us.
Any Bible verse that shows a conditional God needs to be taken into context with the rest of Scripture. If we’re cherry-picking some verses in Hebrews, we’d have to balance this with Romans 2 or 2 Peter 3 or Jeremiah 31. Yes, we must heed the consequences of living a life apart from God. Yet none of these can be the actual motivation to follow Him — the warnings are often secondary to the eternal joy that we get with Him.
But please also let me press in a bit here. The reason why God even warns us at all is because He loves us enough to warn us. God created us to be built around Him, which means any life that is sustained on its own glory will inevitably collapse. Human glory is always too small to live on and we all know it. Any self-absorbed person is already smaller and sicker and less attractive than the selfless.
Christ is not only the central focus of our eternal happiness, but also the engine by which our lives must run on the earth. He is the logos, or the “reason for living,” the one who fills all things and sustains the fabric of reality (John 1, Colossians 1). He appeared at one time to reverse the brokenness of sin, and we can take his invitation and enter His story, or not. The Bible’s encouragement as well as the rebuke are all bringing us back to our design: that life is meant to be built on His glory.
So then, here’s how we balance this. God will always give us second chances in our relationship with Him — but we get just the one life on earth. And God warns us because He knows we have little time to dabble in the insubstantial craziness of cash, cars, fame, and fortune. He knew we would get caught up easily in dumb, dim things. The longer we delay this essential truth, the longer we set ourselves on a trajectory of shallow living. God doesn’t want that, and none of us do either.
It is never ever too late with God, but the consequences of our inaction within our time on earth must unroll. There’s certainly grace for our actions and we can always pick ourselves up again, sometimes stronger than before. But God wants for you to have a long purposeful life, where you can bring a bit of heaven here while you’re on your way there, and that your time would be fruitful. So He must be forward with us, as any good parent would, while never holding back His joy.
You see: the Gospel, the Good News of what Jesus did for us, both draws us in and sends us out. At the same time. You cannot be too far from God because He is always pursuing you. And in His pursuing, we are awakening to the truth that life is about pursuing Him too.
Every good parent wants their child’s potential to become purpose. So please hear me in saying that God’s grace is endless, infinite, without bounds. You can go to Him in every condition, with all your questions and frustrations and confusion, and He will never bite your head off. He will receive you with loving ready arms. Then He will re-focus your perspective, and He will send you off again. He will remind you that your mission isn’t just to feel comfortable, not just to collect allowance and stay in your parents’ basement, which God is okay with too, but it’s also to give your life away for others. And you can still do that. You can still embrace His calling. His grace is for both our failures and for our future. Some days you will need your past to be covered in His ocean of grace — and other days, you will need your future to be empowered by His well of strength. God has grace enough for both.
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
— Titus 2:11-14