Every Saint of God has a Past
Cooper P. Abrams III
Also every sinner, who has not recognized him/herself as a sinner and by faith repented of their sins and believed in Jesus Christ for their salvation has a certain future.
Would you like to start your life over? Would you do things differently? It is a wonderful idea, but it is impossible. The past is past and cannot be changed, however, our past sins can be erased and forgiven if we will allow God to give us His free offer of grace and forgiveness.
We can change is the future. However, most people are stuck in a rut and never change. They continue down the same old road they are presently on.
However, the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers a new beginning a life changing new start that can overcome what caused our problems in the past. The Good News of the Bible is that God is gives those, who will receive it by faith....a new life, a new purpose, new goals, new attitudes, new friends, and a new eternal relationship with one’s Creator
Louise Fletcher Tarkington, wrote this poem after the death of her daughter Laurel, her schizophrenia daughter who and died of pneumonia at 16. Louise Tarkington, died the next year in 1923. Earlier she had, had to divorce her alcoholic novelist husband. Her family was plagued by several suicides and tragedies. The title is "The Land of Beginning Again."
But the truth is it can happen, a persons past mistakes, heartaches, selfish grief can be swept away and never be put on again.
The poem expresses the desire many have of starting again and putting off the past with all its mistakes, pain, failures. The past can hold a lot of bad memories and they can haunt us in the present. It is hard to put the past behind us and not let it negatively affect us today.
Many people dream of being able to starting again and putting off the past with all its mistakes, pain, failures. The past can hold a lot of bad memories and they can haunt us in the present. It is hard to put the past behind us and not let it negatively affect us today.
For some the guilt of the past is like a huge lead weight tied around their necks pulling them down and never really letting them have relief or peace in the present.
That is one of the wonderful gifts that God gives with salvation. When a man turns his heart in belief to the Lord Jesus Christ, accepting Him for our salvation and future in heaven, there is a lot that goes with it.
One when a man hears God's truth that he is a sinner, understanding that he is undeserving of heaven, realizes his true state before God, and that man then accepts God's offer of freely giving grace God forgives him of all his
sins....past...present...and future. How refreshing and uplifting is that truth. It is the offer of hope where otherwise there would be no hope.
Lets look at what happened when a sinner named Zacchaeus met the Lord Jesus Christ:
But Zacchaeus had a problem. He was a short man and when he came to the side of the road he could not see because of the crowds of taller people.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to get above the crowds. For Zacchaeus it was a good move. Short people often feel a little intimated by taller people around them. However, this day being short and getting above the crowds caused the Lord Jesus to see him and that lead to his salvation.
To receive someone joyfully means that one accepts the person for who he is. Jesus was the Messiah. He had performed miracles, and fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of the Redeemer, Israel's Messiah.
Zacchaeus, upon meeting Jesus, believed and accepts Him as the Messiah. He puts his faith in Him for his salvation. As a Jew he knew the promise of the Messiah. He now believed and accepted that the Messiah was in his home.
Salvation is more than just having a head knowledge of the Lord Jesus, but also a heart felt repentance for one's sins. Note the evidence of this is that he sees himself as a sinner. He always knew he was, but now there was another element with that knowledge. That new element was repentance.
Jesus speaking of the Gospel his disciple would be preaching said in Luke 24:47 "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
His repentance is from the heart and he vows to give half his goods to the poor. And to those he had taken money from by false accusations he promised to repay four times what he had taken. He openly admitted that he had stolen from his countrymen.
This was the requirement of the Old Testament law as Exodus 22:1 and Numbers 5:7 states. It means he would give back what he had stolen and four times more.
Zacchaeus' statement was not a proclamation of his own righteousness, nor the ground of his righteousness, but it was the evidence of the sincerity of his repentance, and the confession which with the mouth is made unto salvation.
Although Zacchaeus was a Jew by birth, his sin and unbelief had separated him from the God of his fathers. Now, by his faith in Jesus Christ, he had become a true Jew....a true child of God and a true descendent of Abraham both by birth and now by re-birth, being born again. He has experienced what Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3 when he told this Pharisee that he must be born again.
Zacchaeus received the new birth and was born again.
B. The same is true today. Many become curious about who Jesus is and all the claims that are made of Him.
Did you note Luke 19 :10, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
Jesus always stops when the sinner seeks to know who He is. He is always seeking the sinner and He always reveals Himself to that person and He always invites Himself into their life.
That is the work of the Holy Spirit. He is a work in this congregation even now. How do I know? That is what the Bible says of Him.
In Revelation 3:20, the Lord speaking to the Laodicean church said: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
This was a lost congregation. They had religion, even as Zacchaeus had, but they was lost in their sins. Jesus beckoned them to open the door to their hearts and let Him in.
My dear friend.....is Jesus knowing on your hearts door.
Remember the poem we read in the introduction to this message: Let change the words some in light of God's word:
There is a wonderful place called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all of our past mistakes, failures, and heartaches,
And all our many sins,
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door
And never be put on again.
It is found by faith in Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Savior, who washes away our sins, makes us white as snow.
Yes, Christians have a past, but that past is covered in the Blood of Jesus Christ. We are to confess our sins and overcome them today.
Yes, the lost person, who has not received Jesus Christ as their salvation has a future. That future can be one of experiences the joy and peace of receiving Jesus Christ as their Savior and of a future in heaven with the Lord.
The choice is clearly ours to make. And we make a choice by our actions or equally by our lack of action.