LifeWay: 84 Percent of Christians in US Believe God Gives Second Chances

The vast majority of American Christians believe that God gives second chances to people who have made bad decisions in the past says a newly released study.

According to the findings of a recently released survey by LifeWay Research, 84 percent of Christians believe God gives second chances.

Broken down by group, 95 percent of "Protestant, Nondenominational" respondents and 98 percent of "Born-again, Evangelical, Fundamentalist" respondents agreed.

Despite such assurances, the LifeWay findings also noted that nearly half (47 percent) of respondents agreed to the statement "I am dealing with the consequences of a bad decision."

Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, said in a statement that the findings offered the chance for Christians to "show grace" to those who feel guilty about past mistakes.

"Christians minister grace out of grace. Caring for those dealing with pain and regrets is not about fulfilling obligations or relieving guilt, as all of that has already been taken care of by Christ," said Stetzer.

The study was sponsored by Bible Studies for Life: Do Over, which is a group study from LifeWay Christian Resources.

"Who wouldn't like a chance to do over an embarrassing outburst, a rash decision, or a bad choice? Frankly, we could use a do over of our entire lives!" reads the Bible Studies for Life website.

"This study from the book of Romans shows you that, while you can't make the change, Jesus can do over your life. Ideal for small groups."

The Rev. Ronnie Floyd, general editor for Bible Studies for Life, said in a statement that he found it a matter of concern that many respondents felt that human action was necessary for God to give a second chance.

"In all, some 44 percent of respondents believe God's offering of a second chance depends on some kind of human action," said Floyd.

"The problem with trusting in one's self to gain a second chance from God is that we cannot trust ourselves to get it right."