I Am Never Coming Back
“Dude!”, “Dude?”, “Duuuuuude!”, “Dude…”. My children and I get a kick out of seeing how the same words can be used to express different meanings. It is a quick break from whatever we are doing and can result in a few good laughs. Words can be silly, serious, scary, etc. However, some words can certainly carry more power with them than others. Consider the words, “I am never coming back”. These are powerful words. In them we can find a number of meanings:
Sadness – “The Ocean is so beautiful, but I am never coming back”
Threat – “Your prices are awful; I am never coming back!”
Happiness – “I am free from jail, and I am never coming back”
Anger – “You betrayed me! I am never coming back!”
Teasing – “You didn’t make carrot cake? I am never coming back.”
The words when stated in truth represent personal decision based on “I”. This means within an individual there is a conclusion that has been reached. They are words of power because ultimately, only the individual controls their personal decisions. Their resolve determines what happens. We can make suggestions to others. We can seduce, bribe, ridicule, influence, suggest, request, or beg others to do something, but their decisions are their own. Personal decisions have been faced by man throughout history. Some decisions have much greater impact than the choice of white bread or wheat with your eggs.
Deuteronomy 30:19 –“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”
Joshua 24:15 – “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
The term “Never” is an absolute. It means not at any time under reference. Not on a weekday or weekend, not in the morning or night, not in any timeframe specified by never. “Never” is finality depending upon the resolve of the decision maker, time and authority. If the individual’s resolve does not change, then the decision stands without end. How “Never” is impacted by time can be seen by the following Bible verse:
Acts 14:8 – “And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked:”
The time under reference in this scripture is the past. At no point in the past had the man walked. The term does not apply to the future for the apostle Paul through the power of God would make the lame man walk. “Never” is dependant also upon authority. Consider my daughter telling my son he can never have a cookie again. She has no authority to make such a command. Consequently, “never” would not stand, as my son would definitely end up with a cookie at some point in the future. However, “never” with authority is a strong term to use. If the one setting the mandate has the authority to allow something to never happen and holds that resolve, it won’t happen for the duration of the time under reference.
“Coming Back” is to return to something. Whether an idea, a location, or an action, when it is stated someone is never coming back they have determined not to return to it. It pains God when man makes the statement he is never coming back to God. Thus, God through His apostles gave warning concerning such a decision:
Hebrews 3:12 – “Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God:”
No one, including God, wants to hear a loved one tell them, “I am never coming back”. There are loved ones who can be closer than the physical family. These are one’s spiritual brothers and sisters, the Church. Over a lifetime, many have seen or heard variations of “I am never coming back”, from a number of people who once attended Church. The causes have ranged from hurt feelings, a greater desire for worldly things, or a disagreement regarding the gospel of Christ. Once the powerful words of “I am never coming back” have been uttered, the issue often becomes one of pride.
Proverbs 16:18 – “Pride goeth before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall”.
The “goeth before” references a leading. Pride walks ahead of destruction. It leads the way. When a man or woman makes a statement, they do not like to change back. They do not want to look foolish or be embarrassed. They do not want to admit they were wrong. In fact, if challenged, they will often hold tighter to their statement even if inside they know they are wrong. Such actions pain others who don’t want to see the loss of one for whom they care. The statement “I am never coming back” can be a very negative decision.
As mentioned previously, “I am never coming back” can have a number of meanings. Thus, “I am never coming back”, does not have to be a negative or alarming phrase. It can reference a man never coming back to a life of adultery, theft, murder, lying, alcoholism, or other sins. A term utilized in the Bible that is quite similar to “coming back” is “Repent”. Repent in simplicity means to return or change. Much rejoicing in heaven and on earth occurs when man determines to repent or never come back to living a life that is not righteous.
Act 17:30 – The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent.
Luke 15:10 – Even so, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
2 Corinthians 7:9 – I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentance; for ye were made sorry after a godly sort, that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing.
The Bible passage Luke 15, is known by a great number of people as the story of the Prodigal Son. In it a young man determines he wants his inheritance immediately. His father gives it to him and the young man goes out into the world and loses the inheritance by not living wisely. The young man’s actions spoke the unspoken, “I am never coming back”. Yet, in moments of despair, when he realized what he had done, he did not let his pride keep him from changing his decision, he went back to his father.
Man in his foolishness has often made “never” statements. While the instinct is to refuse to repent of those statements and actions, man has and can make that decision. This goes back to his resolve. Remember, “never” is an absolute depending upon resolution of the decision maker, time, and authority. Unlike God, man makes foolish decisions. Man contradicts himself. Because of this, by the authority of God man has been given the opportunity and time to repent of what he resolves in error.
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
In the story of the Prodigal Son, the repentant son goes home to his father and finds the father has been waiting. The Father welcomed his son home and held a big feast to celebrate. Our Father in Heaven awaits those too who have uttered with their life or words to Him, “I am never coming back”. He longs for us to utter the same words in reference to a life of foolishness and sin. If we do, a great rejoicing awaits us as well.