The Point of No Return

Dear friends, I would like to talk today about the love and benevolence of our merciful Saviour. Firstly we need to highlight and remember how Jesus died on the cross to pay our ransom and bring us into closer communion with Him. Heaven is ours because of our Saviour’s sacrifice, and we are indebted to our beautiful Redeemer. But, while Jesus died for our sin He didn’t die to keep us in our sins. Dear friends, the price to pay for redemption was steep, even for our Saviour. Not without a struggle did God the Father allow His Son to die, there was a lot at stake and failure was a very real option. So the salvation of man was a massive risk, but the love of God ran higher and the plan of redemption was enabled. 

John 3:16 “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.” 

Now while Jesus died to save us from sin, this isn’t a clause for us to stay in sin. Saying I can sin now and obtain forgiveness later isn’t in the plan. There are clauses, if you are genuinely fighting with sin, failing and trying again and again there is forgiveness for you my friend, but a willingness to sin then repent isn’t what the plan of salvation was laid out for, and believe me Jesus does draw the line. There is a point of no return, a point when the Holy Spirit can no longer strive with the soul. This is how it works, on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit filled the minds and souls of people, two of the gifts of love He came to deliver were 1/ The Comforter and 2/ a gentle impression, via the gift of the Holy Spirit. This gentle impression is our guidance and our warning. How often do we hear that beautiful voice guiding us in the direction we should go, how often do we hear it helping us to understand our troubles or our perplexing issues, it comes in with messages of comfort and assurance of God’s love. 

But the work of the Holy Spirit that I would like to discuss today is the impression of warning. The rules of heaven are sacred and every time we sin we cast reproach upon God time and time again. The Holy Spirit helps us to discern between good and evil. Sometimes the temptations are so subtle that it is hard to distinguish between them. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in to give us gentle reminders that the direction we are about to pursue is a sin and to redirect our course. 

Now we have a couple of different situations we need to identify. Firstly the born again christian, doing everything possible, struggling against the wiles of the devil. He fails but keeps on trying, accepting the Holy Spirit’s warnings and changing his direction to face heaven again. He listens for the Holy Spirit and putting his faith in Jesus he is guided back on the path of righteousness. Then we have the ‘early’ christian, just born again and weak in the faith. This person struggles harder, as they were once under the control of Satan it is harder for them to break free. The Holy Spirit is ‘new’ to them, sure they heard it before but they disregarded it, now listening intently they stumble forward, falling more often than not, but still surging forward. These examples are in line with the plan of salvation, the Holy Spirit is working drawing them closer to God and a knowledge of His tender love. The above examples are of God’s people trying and Heaven will in no wise cast out any who come unto God.

John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
Deuteronomy 4:31 “For the Lord thy God is a merciful God; he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.”

But let’s go to the person who has no knowledge of God or who did know God and wasn’t interested. These are the ones most at risk of reaching this ‘point of no return’. There is a point where the Holy Spirit can no longer work with man.

Isaiah 59:2 “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
Micah 3:4 “Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.”

Heaven is not going to leave without a fight but there is a point where the Holy Spirit can no longer impress the soul. Let’s take a look at a allegory to try and impress how this works upon the mind.

Sally, for example was a waitress for thirty years. For thirty years Sally waited at tables and served customers. This became so ingrained in her mind she could do the job in her sleep, she needed no prompting, no one to remind her how to do her job. One day Sally goes to work to find the restaurant closed and she has been transferred to another department, one she knows nothing about. Sally, as you can imagine is extremely distressed, she doesn’t know the job and all her confidence comes tumbling down around her. She has to start again, training, practicing, taking criticism and learning anew. She has to unlearn everything from the last position and begin afresh. After thirty years this is a tall order, a very hard task, to forget everything you have been working on for the last thirty years and learn something totally new.

So it is with the unbeliever. Something so ingrained in your mind can be hard to leave behind. They have heard the Holy Spirit calling time and time again but for ‘thirty’ years they have rejected His tender calling to repentance. At this point they have not passed the point of no return, they still have time to come to repentance and rejoin the flock. But if they harden their heart and refuse to listen there is nothing the Holy Spirit can do but leave. This is a very sad tragedy, to reject the call for salvation. The Holy Spirit bears long with the impenitent, He never leaves without a struggle. The point in time when He finally has to go is when the person tells Him to leave. The sinner finally rejects Jesus and places himself firmly on Satan’s ground never to return. When the unrepentant so hardens his heart that the Holy Spirit is no longer heard there is nothing heaven can do. Heaven never uses force, its government is one of love and it’s citizens are free. Free to choose, no one is forced into heaven’s fold and it’s by choice we enter the pearly gates. No slavery, coercion, or forced obedience exist in Heaven’s covenant and when man choses to walk away, heaven has to respect that decision. No one goes away without a full knowledge of what they are turning their back on. Every soul is given the chance of salvation and no soul walking away can accuse heaven of indifference. Every possible option has been tried, the Holy Spirit has pled and pled with them till His voice is no longer heard. All heaven hangs their head and weeps when one soul walks away. 

Be careful my friend, can you still hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, don’t shun it, the more we shun it the softer it becomes till we finally drive it away. Stand strong my friends, I know the devil is vicious and he will stop at nothing to destroy you – but – and thank you Jesus, we have a merciful and loving Saviour who will stop at nothing to save you. Jesus has promised us help when temptation knocks and there is a beautiful text in the Bible we can quote and hold on to:- 

1st Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 

Praise the Lord that we have such a loving and merciful Saviour. 

Friends, please be on guard, the devil does go about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour:-

1st Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

and no one is exempt, yes, he even has you in his sights. Hold strong, be of good courage, rest in Jesus and please don’t go past the point of no return.