“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.” Lamentation 3:22, 23.
It is only by the mercy of God that our world has not self-destructed. It is only because of the tender compassion of God that the conditions of this world, as bad as they are, are not much worse.
There is no question that things are bad, but they could be far worse, and it is only by God’s mercies that we are still alive. The fact that we can wake up and we still have a nation and a world to live in with all the civil unrest, terrorism, natural disasters and threats of a nuclear armageddon is proof that (1) there is a God and (2) He is a God of mercy.
“We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another—fire, and flood, and earthquake, with war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by events both great and decisive; for the angel of mercy cannot remain much longer to shelter the impenitent.” Prophets and Kings, p. 278.
God is not obligated to keep a sin-loving, lawless and corrupt world around. God doesn’t have to keep a world around that has completely rejected Him and is making a mockery of His mercy and grace. It is only because of His great mercy that we have not been consumed yet.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us…That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4, 7.
But we must never forget that mercy has been extended to us for a reason. Mercy is wonderful, but it is meant to serves a purpose. That purpose is to bring us to repentance.
“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:30 (ESV).
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” Acts 3:19.
His mercy and grace is designed to bring us to repentance that we may receive forgiveness; and not to encourage us to continue to live a life of sin and rebellion. Yet we must always keep in mind that there is a limit to the mercy of God. And as we look at the conditions of our world and how sinners are becoming more and more bold in their transgressions, we can clearly see that we are rapidly reaching the end of God’s forbearance.
“In every age there is given to men their day of light and privilege, a probationary time in which they may become reconciled to God. But there is a limit to this grace. Mercy may plead for years and be slighted and rejected; but there comes a time when mercy makes her last plea. The heart becomes so hardened that it ceases to respond to the Spirit of God.” Desire of Ages, p. 587.
Many will sadly realize that there is a limit to God’s forgiveness only after it is too late. Those who continue to cling to their unbelief and are unwilling to confess their errors and reject God’s warning and reproof are abusing the long-suffering and compassion of a merciful God. They are on dangerous ground. Notice the end of this kind of resistance and rebellion.
“Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.” Proverbs 1:24-31.
We need the mercy of God as we see society completely deteriorating before our eyes. Oh how we need the mercy of a loving God upon us when we plead forgiveness for our sins, the sins of the church and the sins of our nation before His throne. We need to ever be grateful for His mercy that we can enter into a relationship with Him through faith in Christ Jesus. It is only by His grace and mercy that we as Christians can grow from glory to glory and prepare to meet Him face to face when He comes again in glory.