Everyone deserves a second chance. For as long as we live, we’ll need to either have it or give it. And every morning presents another chance at life; another chance to start afresh or continue with a refreshed mind after a night’s rest. Such is the gift of a new day—another chance.
A day has no twin in history, it is always new. Just like all men have eyes, nose and mouth, so does all days have 24 hours, but no two days are ever the same in terms of events, that is why each new day presents us a chance to live it. We choose to either live it wisely or otherwise.
Another day is another chance to live again, to love again, to forgive again, to work again, to think again, to try again, to laugh again, to play again, to sow again and to reap again. Another day is another chance to do the old again or try something new. Today is another chance for you, use it.
Without life, there is no new day; so the possibility of a new day is attached to the availability of life. When you sleep at night, the chance of having a new day depends on whether you wake up in the morning or not. And so goes the saying: when there is life, there is hope. There is hope for a chance at doing it better and winning at it—whatever it is.
Days become weeks, weeks become months and months become years, all these present an opportunity to start afresh, we want a better week than the last, a better month than the last and a better year than the last. But all these end for us differently one day. One day will be your last in this mortal body. The last chance to do it again or do it differently, you know not how close it is, but it is a reality. An old Pastor once told someone that he believes he’ll be here when the trumpet sounds and Christ returns, thus he will not die but will be translated into immortality; he died some years ago.
Whether you die or Christ meets you here alive, one day will be your last chance to have a rethink. The Apostle Peter says “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. ” because “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”. (2 Pet. 3:9; Heb. 9:27). So God, does not just give us second chances. As long as there is life, He has given you another chance. He defers judgment not because He is slack, but because He is giving us another chance to repent. Because when Christ shows up, there is no more chance to repent. Then He’ll say “Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” (Rev. 22:11)
Even though Christ has not come today, the gospel of Jesus Christ is as urgent to each person as it will be on the last day of the present earth’s history because no one is promised tomorrow. Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that. (James 4:13-15). No one is promised tomorrow so “today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked me.” (Heb. 3:15).
Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. (1 Cor. 6:2 NLT) because there is no repentance in the grave for after death one’s thoughts perish (cf. Psalm 146:4); if you can’t think, you can’t repent. Neither is there repentance after Christ’s second coming, if not, God wouldn’t have to exercise His longsuffering in giving us a chance to come to repentance.
This brings to question the teaching that there will be a secret rapture, after which some will be given a second chance to repent and purchase salvation with their own suffering and death instead of Christ’s. It is evident from scripture that the coming of Christ is far from being a secret; it will be visible to everyone (cf. Rev. 1:7), it will be deafeningly audible (cf. 1 Thess. 4:16) and it will be a worldwide event breaking all geographical boundaries, all the tribes of the earth will witness the event at the same time (cf. Matt. 24:31). It will be sudden as “a thief in the night” and it will also be loud, not secret, as “a thief in the night”. The text which the proponents of secret rapture hides under does not suggest secrecy. It reads:
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. “For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. “Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.” Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. (Matt. 24:36-41 emphasis supplied)
This passage, in fact, suggests a public knowledge of the events taking place. Christ was making a comparison between when He’ll return and the days of Noah. He said just as the people of the days of Noah knew that a flood was coming so will they know that Christ had come when He appears in the cloud. No statement in the passage suggests that the other person who was “left behind” will not see what took his or her partner away; in fact, the Bible says, they will see it and pray for death. “Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Rev. 6:15-17).
The next thing which happens after the secret rapture according to its proponents is that there’ll be another chance for those who didn’t go during the secret event, to repent. This is very much in contrast to the overall biblical teaching of no repentance after the coming of Christ. A text in the Bible is interpreted as seven years of tribulation divided into two; the first half is claimed to represent a peaceful reign in which those Christians who have been left behind will continue evangelizing until the second half which begins the reign of the antichrist when they get to pay with their blood. This text does not point to events relating to the second coming of Christ, it rather points to Christ’s first coming. The text reads:
“And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering” (Dan. 9:27)
This one week of seven days is part of a 70-week prophecy which is a subset of a 2300 days prophecy which was shown unto Daniel. “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. ” (Dan. 8:14). In chapter nine of the book of Daniel, the angel tells Daniel that from that time, “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city” (v.24).
“So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” (Dan. 9:25,26)
After 69 weeks (7 and 62 weeks as the text reads) which began when the decree went forth to rebuild Jerusalem in the time of Ezra and ran through the time of the Messiah(cf. Ezra 7:13-28; Luke 3:1), comes the final one week of the 70-week prophecy. So, the one week prophecy of verse 27 comes immediately after the 69-week which includes the ministry of the Messiah—Jesus Christ. It is not a time in the future at Christ’s second coming. It happened at Christ’s first coming.
One week represents seven days which represents seven years in apocalyptic prophecy. Historical facts reveal that Christ was baptized in 27 AD, he died and resurrected 3½ years after, in 31 AD when the Bible records that at Christ’s death, “the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” (Mark 15:38) it was the day of Passover and the most holy place exclusive to priests alone was exposed, putting an end to “sacrifice and grain offerings as the Bible predicted”. The second half of 3½ years ended in 34 AD when Stephen was stoned to death. This marked the end of the confirmation of the covenant with the Jewish nation for one week, after which the gospel of Jesus Christ began to be preached to the non-Jewish nations. The Bible records that “A Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles… Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.” (Rom. 8:1&4). This ended the 70-week prophecy of Daniel 9:24 of which the one-week prophecy just described is a sub-set. Speaking of this, Ellen White writes:
The seventy weeks, or 490 years, especially allotted to the Jews, ended, as we have seen, in A.D. 34. At that time, through the action of the Jewish Sanhedrin, the nation sealed its rejection of the gospel by the martyrdom of Stephen and the persecution of the followers of Christ. Then the message of salvation, no longer restricted to the chosen people, was given to the world. The disciples, forced by persecution to flee from Jerusalem, “went everywhere preaching the word.” “Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.” Peter, divinely guided, opened the gospel to the centurion of Caesarea, the God-fearing Cornelius; and the ardent Paul, won to the faith of Christ, was commissioned to carry the glad tidings “far hence unto the Gentiles.” Acts 8:4, 5; 22:21.[i]
The prophecy of Daniel stretches through history and that one-week prophecy which is mistakingly put at the second coming of Christ by some, was fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus Christ. The Bible is clear on the fact that God is giving us all the chances He can now, because at Christ’s second coming, He delivers judgment. “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.” (Matt. 25:31-33).
God is giving us thousands of chances to repent now and there comes the question: “how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.” (Heb. 2:3,4 emphasis supplied).
God has not just given each one a second chance, every day, since you were conscious of yourself, is another chance. And if they’re more than two days already, God has given you more than a second chance; use it wisely today.
[i] Ellen G. White,The Great Controversy, p. 328