God’s Mercy and Grace are Not Infinite and Will One Day Cease

I think there is a real problem with many confusing God’s infinite mercy and grace. It’s only infinite because it comes from an infinite God. But one day it will cease. R.C. Sproul makes the point well:

When God judges people according to the standard of his righteousness, he is declaring that he will not strive with mankind forever. We hear all the time about God’s infinite grace and mercy. I cringe when I hear it. God’s mercy in infinite insofar as it is mercy bestowed upon us by a Being who is infinite, but when the term infinite is used to describe his mercy rather than his person, I have problems with it because the Bible makes very clear that there is a limit to God’s mercy. There is a limit to his grace, and he is determined not to pour out his mercy on impenitent people forever.  There is a time, as the Old Testament repeatedly reports, particularly in the book of the prophet Jeremiah, that God stops being gracious with people, and he gives them over to their sin.

From Romans: St. Andrews Expositional Commentary.


4 thoughts on “God’s Mercy and Grace are Not Infinite and Will One Day Cease

  1. I hope I’m not misunderstanding your intent, but I see these two qualities differently. For followers of Christ, grace and mercy *are* everlasting. When we are covered by the blood of the Lamb, we no longer receive death but eternal life. I hope to goodness that grace and mercy are indeed eternal qualities God extends to me or it will be hell for me… literally.


    • No, you are not misunderstanding my intent, or Sproul’s. The context comes from Romans 1, in which the sinners are given over to more and more sin. One day, when judgment comes, His mercy will end.

      But for the believer, that is a different story, for there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus… 🙂


      • I think I missed the part where this post applied to the unrepentant! (A re-reading revealed I skipped over the word ‘impenitent’. And to think, I teach students to read carefully!) Thanks for the clarification. It reminds me of Romans 6: “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” Continuing in sin, assuming that grace will cover it, implies that we think grace is eternal, which makes this passage fit right in with your (and Sproul’s) discussion!


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