No second chance. No first chance either.

Ruth Jacob

We have no chance to be saved. We have no opportunity to take. Our response to the Gospel will not save us. No amount of praying the Sinners' Prayer will bring us salvation.

Why? Because Jesus's death on the cross was ineffective in saving anyone?

Not at all!

Because Jesus's death on the cross was totally effective. Because that was the only condition to be met for all to be drawn to Him.

But what about after you've died - people who've died, surely, can't be saved now, can they? Isn't their fate sealed? WHAT? Are you saying that DEATH is lord? That once death has them, they are beyond Jesus's reach?

Jesus died for us, in other words, God in Jesus went through utter death in our place. But not only that: Jesus was the "firstfruits" of the resurrection: that is, He returned to life as the first being completely free from the effects of death, decay, corruption, what scientists call entropy - the inevitable tendency to deteriorate.

Death has claimed most of those who have ever lived, that is true. But Death's claims will be annulled by the resurrection which Jesus has brought into the universe through pouring His life, the life of God, freely into the world.

Yes, now we can say, "Death is no longer lord: Jesus is lord," because it is Jesus who has the final claim. The entire creation came into being through Jesus, and for Jesus. And He chose to pour out His life into it: His blood, which was the life of God, was not carefully sprinkled on a few disciples at his death; His blood spattered the pagan soldiers who beat Him, those who crucified Him; His blood flowed down to the ground, poured into the world indiscriminately. The film Ben Hur depicts this, too, where the rain falls during the thunderstorm at the time of Jesus's death - the rain washes down the dying Jesus, mingles with His blood and spreads His blood out into the world.

And it is because of Jesus pouring God's life into the world in this way that there will be a resurrection, that Death is no longer lord, Death no longer reigns over those who have died and will inevitably die. Death itself is already condemned to death. And when there is no more death, when death no longer claims victims, when death gives up all the victims it has ever claimed, then all are alive.

And life is not static. Life's characteristics are change, development, widening possibilities, vitality, hope. Those who have been raised to life will know why; they will know that it is because of Jesus's death; they will have looked on the One they pierced; they will have mourned for Him, for his wounds and suffering; their hearts will have been melted by seeing just what He has done and given for them. It will not be power and terror that overcomes sin and sinners. Power and terror are not lord, either: JESUS is lord. It is He - the LAMB who was slain, who gave His life for all - who is the source of the River of Life.

That's why there are no chances for salvation: it is inevitable, brought about only by God in Jesus, who said, "IT IS FINISHED". We respond in gratitude, in relief, in hope for a wonderful future in God's new creation. We spread this overwhelmingly good news because it is more than we can keep to ourselves.