Posted On January 12, 2021

No Chance to Repent

by | Jan 12, 2021 | Hebrews, Featured

Hebrews 12:17, “For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.”

In many places, the author of Hebrews uses the Old Testament to warn us about remaining faithful. In chapters 3 and 4, we observed that our position is not unlike that of the first generation of Israel that was barred from the Promised Land due to its lack of faith. In chapter 11, we were exhorted to imitate the persevering faith of the old covenant saints so that we might inherit all of God’s blessings.

In today’s passage, we find the author using this technique once again. In verse 17, the warnings based on Esau’s lack of faith continue when we are warned that like Esau, we can be rejected by God and find no chance to repent.

At first glance, this is a difficult passage because it speaks of the rejection by God that some members of the church will experience. However, this passage is not teaching that those with true faith can lose their salvation. Rather, God only rejects those who profess faith without ever truly resting upon Christ alone f or their salvation.

In Hebrews 6:4–8, we observed that it is possible to be in the covenant community and receive many of God’s blessings without having true faith. This shows us that there is a distinction between the church visible, which contains both true and false believers, and the church invisible, which contains true believers only. Esau is an example of one who was a member of the church visible but not the church invisible. He was blessed to be a part of the covenant because he was a descendant of Abraham. But his covenant membership was no guarantee that he would find salvation. Esau’s sin in selling his birthright (Gen. 25:29–34) and his marriage into pagan peoples (36:2) evidenced an ungodly heart (Heb. 12:16) that in reality was far from God.

Though we know that those with true faith cannot lose their salvation (1 John 2:19), we must never think that we can ignore this warning given to the church visible. For we too are a part of the church visible, and we demonstrate that we are of the church invisible as well if we heed these warnings. There came a day when Esau found no chance to repent because he was sorry only for the consequences of sin and not for the sin itself (Heb. 12:17). We must take care that this never happens to us. We must ask the Lord to give us true sorrow for sin so that we can be sure of inheriting all His promises.

Coram Deo

John Owen tells us that Esau is a clear example of the truth that “no one knows where deliberate sin may lead.” Unrepentant, deliberate sin should cause us to question whether we are saved at all. If you are engaging in such sin, repent today and trust Christ alone to save you. Then, find some fellow Christians to hold you accountable.

No Chance to Repent, Copyright (2020), Ligonier Ministries.

Related Posts

The Local Church and the Preaching of the Word of God

The Local Church and the Preaching of the Word of God

On today’s Warriors of Grace show, Dave considers Jesus’ use of Scripture in preaching, why church members need good expository preaching, the nature of biblical preaching, and the biblical foundations of the Holy Spirit in preaching. What You'll Hear On This Episode...

Blessed Are Those Not Offended by Christ

Blessed Are Those Not Offended by Christ

Matthew’s story of John the Baptist asking who Jesus was (Matt. 11:1-6) deserves our undivided attention. This is a familiar passage we should run to in time of need. John the Baptist was imprisoned at the outset of Jesus’ public ministry (Matthew 4:12), so he had...

Biblical Authority In a Postmodern World

Biblical Authority In a Postmodern World

On today’s Equipping You in Grace show, Sarah and Dave Jenkins talk about the doctrine of Scripture and the Christian life, how biblical morality and sexuality is under attack today, along with Dave’s new book, The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against...

Wise Versus Foolish Responses

Wise Versus Foolish Responses

Proverbs 29:11, “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Things have been a bit rough recently at work. The opportunity to spill out with angry words in response to the actions or even perceived actions of others seems to know no...

Weekly Roundup 8/1/2022-8/6/2022

Weekly Roundup 8/1/2022-8/6/2022

This is our weekly roundup of posts for 8/1/2022-8/6/2022. If you have any feedback on how we can serve you our readers better, I would appreciate it. Thank you for reading and allowing us to minister to you throughout this past week through these posts. Monday...

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekly Roundup 1/11/2021-1/16/2021 - Servants of Grace - […] No Chance to Repent by Ligonier Bible Study https://servantsofgrace.org/no-chance-to-repent/ […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share24
Tweet
Email
Reddit
Share