The Doctrine of a “Second Chance” – Thomas Allen Robertson

Thomas Allen Robertson

The doctrine of a second chance is one of the most alluring and attractive heresies offered to a gullible public by the Jehovah’s Witnesses cult. They teach that Christ died that men might have a second chance at salvation beyond the grace God now offers. “Pastor” Russell wrote,

Those who do not receive a full knowledge and, by faith, an enjoyment of this favor of God in the present time (and such are the great majority, including children and heathen) will assuredly have these privileges in the next age, or “world to come,” the dispensation or age to follow the present. To this end, “all that are in their graves . . . shall come forth (Studies in the Scriptures, Series 1, pp. 129-130).

When in 1872 I came to examine the subject of Restitution from the standpoint of the ransom price given by our Lord Jesus for Adam, and consequently for all lost in Adam, it settled the matter of restitution completely, and gave me the fullest assurance that all must come forth from their graves and be brought to a clear knowledge of the Truth, and to a full opportunity to gain everlasting life through Christ (Autobiography, as quoted in Studies in the Scriptures, Series 7, pp. 53, 54).

And “Judge” Rutherford wrote,

Then the mighty Executive Officer of Jehovah God, he who holds the keys, shall open the doors of hell and death, and bring forth the countless millions that are there, that they may be given the truth and have their trial, a full opportunity to be reconciled to God and to live forever (Reconciliation, p. 311).

During that time,

There will be none there to influence him to disobey. If he willfully disobeys the law, however, he shall suffer. It seems clear from the Scriptures that the Lord will grant him a hundred years to prove whether he will or will not try to do right (Ibid, p. 322).

Such a theory is so foolish and untaught in Scripture as to hardly deserve an answer.

The Bible teaches that, “He that believeth not is condemned already” (John 3:18). “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). This language is definite; the only thing left after death is the judgment. There is no room here for any kind of a second chance. When Christ comes again it will be “in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:8).

The Bible further teaches that salvation is offered now, and asks the question, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Heb. 2:3). Christ said,

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according to his work shall be (Rev. 22:11-12).

When Christ comes again it will be to reward every man according to his works—not to give him a second chance to amend or change or modify those works. Whatever condition a man is in when the Lord comes, that is the condition in which he will be judged. And by that judgment his eternal destiny is fixed. There will be no second chance for anybody.

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