This Sunday there will be several personal stories about the history of Antioch. Through the years there has been good and bad. God has been gracious and blessed our church for 145 years! In light of our sin and His grace, how should we respond? Luke 9:61-62 gives us good instructions.
Don’t dwell in the past
This young man wanted to follow Jesus, but he was going to have a hard time saying “goodbye” to his past way of life. Jesus instructs him to not look back but follow Him. Jesus’ words seem harsh, but there is tremendous truth behind them.
Repent of past sins
As a church and as individuals we have many regrets and many sins in our past. It is easy to focus on all our failures and continually beat ourselves up for these sins. Like Zacchaeus we should repent of our sins, make things right, and follow Jesus. If we have repented of our past, we must not allow the shame of past sin to keep us from following Jesus today.
Praise God for past blessings
God has given much grace to Antioch, and we have 145 years of blessings to look back on. We must remember these blessings and praise God for each and every one. We must tell the next generation of all of God’s goodness and teach them to see His hand of providence in everything. What we cannot do is go back; to do so would make us unfit for the Kingdom.
Full speed ahead
The danger of the past is that we can become ashamed or nostalgic. Both feelings can completely stop our spiritual progress today. Should we learn from the past? Absolutely! Should we live in the past? Definitely not. We must follow Jesus and let nothing stand in the way, including past failures and past successes. When a man plowing a field looks back in regret or success one of two things happen: either he stops plowing or he plows crooked. Either one is bad! Like Paul we must forget what lays behind and press on to know Christ!
Will you repent of your past sins and reconcile with those you have wronged? Will you praise God for His blessings on our church? Will you join us in following Jesus?