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 Never Forget Your Past -poonen


[b]Never Forget Your Past[/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]

Peter himself warned other Christians saying, "Don't ever forget how you yourself were once cleansed from your sins" (2 Peter 1:9). He warns them there that if they do forget that, they will become blind and short- sighted. I don't ever want to be blind or short-sighted. I want to have a long-range vision - of heavenly values and eternal values - at all times.

Who are the short-sighted ones? Those who value earthly things - the pleasures of sin, material wealth and man's honour and approval. All such people are short-sighted. We need to feel sorry for such believers. If you see a man whose physical vision is so poor that he can't see anything more than 10 feet ahead of him, you don't get angry with him. You feel sorry for him. If you see a man who needs to keep a book 2 inches from his eyes in order to read it, you don't get angry with him. You feel sorry for him, don't you? If an eye- doctor asks a man wearing thick lenses whether he can read the "eye-chart" and the man replies that he can just about see the top letter but is not sure whether it is an "E or an "S", what does the doctor do? Does he get angry with him? No. He feels sorry for him.

And when we see believers who are so short-sighted as to live for money and the pleasure of sin and the approval of man, it's no use rebuking them. We must feel sorry for them, because they are so terribly shortsighted. They are going to have tons of regret when they stand before the Lord one day. There are lots and lots of believers like that. And do you know how they became blind? They forgot "their purification from their former sins" (2 Pet.1:9). They forgot the pit from which God pulled them out. They became proud of the fact that God blessed them subsequently.

I never want to forget the pit from which God pulled me out. I know that all my sins have been blotted out and that God does not remember even a single sin that I have ever committed. I stand before God today, just as if I had never sinned even once in the 60 years of my life - because I have "been justified by Christ's blood" (Rom.5:9). That's how God sees me. But I will never forget what I once was. God says to me "I will not remember your sins any more" (Heb.8:12). But I will always remember what I once was.

Now, I don't remember my past in such a way as to allow Satan to condemn me or depress me with the thought of my sins. No. Never. "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Rom.8:1). When the devil accuses me I tell him straight to his face that "the blood of Jesus has cleansed me from ALL my sins". I overcome Satan "by the blood of the Lamb"


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2007/7/21 18:03Profile
tjservant
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Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re: Never Forget Your Past -poonen

Once again Brother Zac cuts straight to the heart; he really does wield the Word like a surgeon. This truly blessed me.


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TJ

 2007/7/21 18:14Profile
loveroftruth
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Joined: 2006/10/25
Posts: 25


 Re:

Zack Poonen was quoted as saying:

"And when we see believers who are so short-sighted as to live for money and the pleasure of sin and the approval of man, it's no use rebuking them. We must feel sorry for them, because they are so terribly shortsighted."

Zacks love for God personally in terms of his grasp of doctrine and his pursuit of God personally is evident.

However, it seems (at least during the season of this sermon) his application betrays a lack of knowledge that a persons love for God must reveal itself in a love for his neighbor and brother.

I do not know his heart, but these words (quoted above) misdirect the believer in my opinion.

I will explain my disagreement:

#1: We are our brothers keeper. In the least IJn.5:16 calls us at a minimum to pray for them with the promise that God will respond to the people we pray for. We may not be willing to lay down our life, but that does not stop God from exercising His life to reach and awaken them from their direction and condition.

#2: James concludes his epistle with this exhortation and corresponding hope of promise: James5:19-20
"Brethren if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins."

Zacks words in light of this authoritative truth do not agree.

We have to come alongside and not get into their face,
but get face to face and heart to heart with them. It costs time and effort to set aside being wise in our own opinion or exclaiming "God showed me this and that about them" without the effort required for a labor of love.

James says we are to be "quick to hear, slow to speak".

We need to expend effort and ask questions in order to truly listen as to where they are at and why they are in that place or in that condition.

We do not really "earn the right to speak", but rather we expend the effort in order to gain the wisdom as to how or what to speak and the love in order to back up what we speak with a willingness to do something about what we speak.

Feeling sorry for another while looking down on them without expending love is unchrist like and therefore falls short of the measure of love deposited in us by the Holy Spirit Rom.5:5 and revealed to us through Christ Rom. 5:8 and IJn. 4:10.

IIPeter Chapter One Verse 6 and 7 first opens with an exhortation to let our "godliness" be joined at the hip with and lead into a development of "brotherly kindness" and ultimately love.

Lets be careful to not let an oversight of another man lead us into wrong attitudes towards one another.

Seeking to affirm the things that are lovely and of a good report while yet testing all things.

P.S. And in keeping with the spirit of "hoping all things" I found this thread and word from Brother Poonen that is bang on and shows where the man is really at in spite of his particular slip in words here in the sermon quote I am addressing.

https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=18156&forum=34


Blessings,

Doug

 2007/7/21 19:18Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
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 Re:

I think that if you isolate the paragraph like you did, yes, it seems callous, unloving, narrow-minded. It doesn't appear sound. But if we read it in light of the preceding paragraph, it comes together. I know some believers that fit this mold, and I actually [i]do[/i] feel sorry for them. I don't hate them, or judge them, or rebuke them. [i]I feel sorry for them[/i]. Their vision is shot by the sparkle of earthly flashes, their spiritual eyesight is marred like the destroying of a man's eyes from always looking at the sun.

What do you do with such sun-gazers? Well, you warn them at first...like you tell little children to not look directly at the sun. You see many adults wearing glasses, already having ruined vision. Many believers are also wearing these spiritual glasses whose eyes are destroyed from prolonged exposure. So, what do you tell them -- [i]especially when they're convinced there's nothing wrong with their eyes?[/i]

Herein lies the problem: Though diagnosed as legally blind, they still continue to function, as though they had sight. There's nothing you can say to them; if they won't believe the Chief Occulist, what can [i]you[/i] possibly say? I think brother Zac was alluding to this when he wrote that quote.

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2007/7/21 19:42Profile
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 Re:

Interesting observations Doug.

I took it that Zac was just warning us to remember where we came from. Many are just running around rebuking everyone for everything. I thought he was just reminding us that it is a sad thing to be at this stage.

Am I off on this?


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TJ

 2007/7/21 19:51Profile
loveroftruth
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 Re:

tjservant: No you are not off and I am not necessarily fully right on . :)

I see how you are taking the exhortation in context.


Also, I almost did not post my original comments as I read the other article that Greg posted from Zac first and commented that article as being real clear and good in demonstrating compassion and care in actually reaching out to a brother or sister.
Instead I linked to it .


Maybe this article was not as clear to me, but you saw it in a clearer light.


Well said and received.

Doug

 2007/7/21 20:37Profile
loveroftruth
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Joined: 2006/10/25
Posts: 25


 Re:

Paul thanks! You and tjservant prompted me to go and reread the whole article again.

It is forcing me to reread the referenced Scriptuure even more in context.

At the moment I am getting blessed and informed!

Doug

 2007/7/21 20:41Profile
PaulWest
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Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
At the moment I am getting blessed and informed!



Glory to God! Your post blessed me also, because I was compelled to reread the article more closely as well. So, brother, you deserve to be thanked! The Lord bless you richly.

Brother Paul


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Paul Frederick West

 2007/7/21 20:47Profile
tjservant
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Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
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 Re:

Quote:
Glory to God!



Amen.

"May the lamb that was slain receive His reward"

Grace and Peace to you both.


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TJ

 2007/7/21 21:12Profile





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