Q. In a book I read recently, the author makes a case that there is a second chance for repentance by resurrected non-believers at the end of the millennium, especially for those who had not heard the gospel message during their first earthly lives. What is your take on this?
A. I haven’t read the book so I don’t have all the facts, but my own studies have convinced me that the Bible argues against any kind of “post life” second chance. Romans 1:18-20 says God has made His existence so clear in the creation that mankind is without excuse. To me this means that no one can plead ignorance.
Also Hebrews 9:27 says man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment. Giving unbelievers a second chance to be saved after they’ve died would violate this Biblical principle as well. Besides, no one can say for sure that some people have died without ever hearing the Gospel. This is a man made opinion based on man’s incomplete knowledge.
Even so, I’ve heard a number of liberal theologians promote this idea. I personally think it presents a real danger in that it can cause those who are unwilling to make a commitment to the Lord in this life think they can wait and “work it out” with Him after they’ve died and had 1,000 years to think it over.
This appeals to them because it plays into the popular human concept of second chances. By the time they discover they were wrong it will be too late. Paul warned us about things like this when he said,
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8)