“For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” (2 Peter 2:21)
Mercy is available to the ignorant. (1 Tim. 1:13) From the cross, Jesus prayed for those who did not know what they were doing. (Luke 23:34) But to those who sin willfully after they have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins. (Heb. 10:26) The consequence for high-fisted, stubborn rebellion toward God is merciless judgment. (Num. 15:30,21)
This is the day of the great falling away. Many who had the opportunity to continue with Christ, growing in His grace and knowledge, will be led away with the error of the wicked and fall from their steadfastness.(2 Pet. 3:17) They have nothing to look forward to but “judgment without mercy.” (Heb. 10:27,28)
Yes, there will be those who hear from God, “Depart from me, worker of iniquity, I never knew you.” But there will be others who hear, “Depart from me, worker of iniquity, I once knew you, but I know you no more.” The foundation of God stands sure, having this seal: the Lord knows those who are His, and let every one who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Tim. 2:19)
Many have lost the fear of God in this day. They no longer hate the evil they once departed from. They have returned to their vomit. (2 Pet. 2:22) The day is coming though when the fear of God will return to them. But by then it will be too late.
“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)