I made a mistake once. It was a big one, one that made me upset. My husband comforted me with just two words: “Remember Peter.” As soon as he said it, my mind immediately went back to the time in the Bible where Jesus gave Peter a second chance.
Peter had made a big mistake too. It was bigger than the one I had made, but it wasn’t too big for Jesus to forgive. That’s because God gives us second chances in life.
There are many Bible verses about second chances because the Bible is full of stories about real people. People like me, and people like you, who need a second chance in life from time to time.
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Bible Verses About Second Chances
How can we be sure that God will give us a second chance when we need one? Does God give second chances?
Opening God’s Word and reading is all it takes to find many examples of God giving second chances. Bible verses about second chances give testament to the steadfast love of the Lord and His willingness to give us a fresh start at any moment.
Simon Peter is a powerful example of second chances in the Bible. He literally denied that he even knew Jesus! And he did it three times! (John 18:15-27) Then Peter saw Jesus turn and look at him. Can you imagine the immediate remorse that he felt when he came face to face with the Lord, and realized the mistake he had made?
And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
He must have felt a suffocating mixture of sorrow and regret. And I can’t even imagine the weight of shame he bore. Yet Jesus, our gracious God of second chances, chose the apostle Peter, the man who had denied Him three times, to help establish His church!
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The story of Jonah son of Amittai in the Book of Jonah is another perfect example of the willingness of the Lord God to grant his people second chances. Jonah made a huge mistake when he decided to run away from God’s will. God calls him to preach repentance to the people of Ninevah, yet Jonah boards a ship bound for Tarshish.
Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
Ending up in the belly of the fish, that whale, could have ended so much worse for him. I can’t begin to imagine what was going through his mind as he sat in those disgusting conditions for three whole days and nights. He certainly had time to think about his decision to go his own way.
Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah found a second chance when he prayed to God during that time.
Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly,
And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
Is it any surprise that the second time God called Jonah, he lost no time obeying? Finally, he fulfilled the mission he had refused the first time!
And isn’t it wonderful that because of the second chance Jonah was given, God gave the people of the great city of Nineveh one too? (Jonah 1-3)
2 Samuel 12:13
And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
David finds out how deep God’s love and forgiveness is toward him. He had committed terrible sins, adultery and murder, sins that most of us would likely be reluctant to forgive. God, in His mercy, however, forgave David.
Like with David, our heavenly Father sees our sin and is willing to forgive us and give us a second chance even when we find it hard to forgive ourselves.
However, it is important to note here, that while our sin is forgiven, we may still have to face consequences of our sin in this life. It is always best to seek to live a life guided by the holy Spirit and filled with good work. But when we fail, it is wonderful to know that God loves us unfailingly and will forgive a repentant heart!
Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them…
If ever a man had a right to withhold forgiveness from others, it would be Joseph. He was in a position of great authority over his brothers, having the power to punish them for all they had done to him, yet despite all they put him through, he made the choice to give each of them a second chance.
Forgiveness is a choice. Forgiveness is offering a second chance to those who have hurt us. Joseph is the perfect example of how to give second chances to others no matter what they have done to us.
Or, how often.
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
In this conversation between Jesus and Peter, we’re given the answer about how often we should extend second chances to others. When asked about forgiveness, Jesus gave a numerical answer to the question, reminding us that we can never give enough second chances. Notice that Jesus doesn’t say seventy-seven times, but rather seventy times seven (490). Not that we are count and keep record of offenses, but that we are to extend the Lord’s great love and always forgive.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus is our ultimate example of forgiveness because He never did anything wrong, yet He was willing to bear the punishment for the sins of everyone. He chose to give His life so that we all could have the most important second chance of all.
Jesus chose to give His life so that we all could have the most important second chance of all.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
God is waiting patiently for sinners to come to Him in repentance and faith.
2 Peter 3:9
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.
But one day there will be no more second chances given to those who never admit their need of Jesus and believe on Him as the only One who can save them.
2 Corinthians 6:2
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
Have you received your second chance through salvation in Christ? Have you called on the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins?
If not, you can today! Learn how >> Here.
There are many more stories of God giving second chances in the Bible. He uses the accounts of people who sinned just like we all do to remind us that He is a God of mercy, and so should we be.
Other Bible Verses About Second Chances
These are truly encouraging Bible verses about second chances. God is reminding us that He will give all of us mercy each and every day. It’s a rare day that I don’t need forgiveness. In fact, I’m not so sure there has ever been a day I didn’t need it. Even if I haven’t said or done anything wrong, my thoughts often betray me.
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
I am called to be like Jesus, yet I fall short constantly. God, with merciful grace, gives me, and you, a new chance every single day.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God gives us second chances and a new beginning, and expects us to extend that same grace to others also.
Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.
Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Do People Deserve Second Chances?
There are so many Bible scriptures about second chances in the Word of God. He has been gracious to show us numerous examples of His mercy and grace in the lives of those who lived before us. People who, like us, made some serious mistakes, yet God’s unfailing love chose to not leave them in their mistakes, choosing instead to give them a second chance.
God, in His Word, shows us how we are to love others. Jesus is our ultimate example of how to serve others, putting their needs above our own. This attitude of a servant carries with it the responsibility to give second chances to others, whether we feel they deserve it, or not.
After all, if we treat others the way we want to be treated as we are told in Matthew 7:12, the way God has treated us, we cannot help but fulfill what we have been told in the scriptures about second chances.
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Our salvation exists because of forgiveness. In this very important Bible verse John 3:16, we learn that God gave us His Son for the purpose of forgiving us of our sin. Jesus gave us the best second chance anyone could possibly receive…everlasting life! How then can we not forgive others, blessing them with second chances in life?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
If we love God and truly love others the way Jesus does, then not only will we give second chances to others, but we will grow to the point where we aren’t easily offended, where giving others a second chance is second nature to us.
Mark 12:31 reminds us that we are to love others the same as we love ourselves. This type of love lends itself easily to forgiveness, and true forgiveness is when we don’t remember transgressions.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
After all, we are undeserving of the grace Christ shows us. How can we possibly withhold such grace from others?
There are many scriptures about second chances found in the Bible. These are just a few. God grants us second chances all day every day.
To help you remember the importance of forgiveness and second chances for yourself and others, you might want to carry this >> Set of Forgiveness Verse Cards.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
And has given us the greatest second chance of all when He saved our souls. Because He forgives us, we ought to forgive and grant second chances to others.
About the Author – Sandy Brannan
Sandy Brannan is a freelance writer and author. Sandy’s work has been featured at Calla Press, Titus-Two, For Every Mom, The Real of Parenting, and more.