Dwelling On Past Mistakes

Q. Like you, I believe in my heart that the rapture is very near. While I know that the best of this life cannot begin to compare with what the Lord has prepared for us, and am excited about His soon return, I find myself at the same time depressed over the wasted time, misplaced priorities, squandered opportunities, and endless sins of my life. Since there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, are my feelings evidence that I am not even saved?

A. Most believers who are finally living fruitful lives wish they had gotten serious about their faith much earlier, especially if they believe our time here is getting short. Regretting all the time they’ve spent doing things that were non-productive or even counter productive as far as the Kingdom is concerned is only natural.

But when they dwell on past behavior to the extent that they begin to wonder about their salvation, it’s a sign that the enemy is using guilt, one of his most effective weapons, to steal their joy. When that happens, it’s important to remember that only those who really are saved can experience doubt. So your feelings are actually evidence that you are saved.

In Phil. 3:13-14 Paul wrote, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

What’s in your past is not relevant to God. When you became a believer He forgave all the sins of your life; past, present, and future (Colossians 2:13-14). Since He has already forgiven you, it’s time for you to do the same for yourself. Take those bad feelings captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:3-5). That means when you have doubts about your salvation, start seeing yourself the way He sees you, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless (Ephes. 5:27).

And remember, every day is a new beginning with God. No matter what happened yesterday, His mercies are new every morning (Lament 3:22-23).

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