There are those who have adopted the doctrine that they can do any evil they wish and then just repent. They may allow our children to perish and then just repent.

Judas Iscariot after he betrayed the Lord, was remorseful about what he had done. He sought to return the 30 pieces of silver, saying that he had betrayed an innocent man. (Matthew 27: 3, 4) Judas had all the elements that are associated with repentance: remorse, sorrow for what he had done, confession that he had sinned, he identified the sin, in returning the money, he wished that he could have undone the evil. Judas was much more contrite for his sin than many believers are today and yet, Judas perished.

The Lord had said, even before the betrayal, that it "had been good for that man if he had not been born." (Matthew 26:24). In Acts 1:25, Peter said that he went to "his own place". Esau found himself in a similar situation. According to Hebrews 12:17, Esau sought repentance with tears and didn't find it. "For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears."

It is the Spirit of God that grants repentance. (2 Timothy 2:25) My ability to repent and find acceptance is enabled by the Spirit of God. That should not be taken for granted. One should not plan to sin, and deceive himself into believing that repentance is guaranteed. In 1 Timothy 1:13, Paul wrote concerning himself: "Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief."

Paul wrote here, that God granted him mercy based on a reason: his blasphemy, persecuting and injurious behaviour was done in ignorance. This teaches us that in granting mercies, God examines the heart and grants mercies on his assessment of the individual's heart. There would have been others who, like Paul, were blasphemers, persecutors and injurious, who did not receive the same kind of mercy that was granted to Paul.

In 2 Timothy 1:15, Paul referred to a number of believers who forsook him, apparently not wanting to be seen associating with him as he was imprisoned. There was however, one believer, Onesiphorus, who stood by Paul. As Paul listed his good deeds toward him, he wrote: "The Lord give mercy unto the house of  Onesiphorus" (vs 16) and "The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day" (vs 18).

Clearly that same mercy was not extended to "all they which are in Asia" that turned away from Paul. They could not just forsook Paul, repent and receive the same mercies as the one who stood by Paul and paid the price. The mercies of God is conditional. This helps us to better understand that which is written in Romans 9: 15 - "For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion". "Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth." (vs 18) Let us not take the mercies of God for granted.