Summary: No matter what you have done in your life God is still standing by with forgiveness. Once He forgives you, He will use you for His glory. When we look at the Apostle Paul God shows us how he forgave, converted, and used Paul for His glory.
Through our journey in life, we have been on some roads that have put us to shame. We have even said and done some things that we only did in the dark because we did not want the light to shine upon us. If the truth must be told, we all have done some things that we are ashamed of and choose not to talk to our friends and relatives about it for fear they will look at us in a different light.
Looking into the history books of our lives, there were some situations that we wish we could go back into time and change. Stopping with that that thought, that brings me to my first of tow points.
First Point: “Don’t Ride the Guilt Train”
When we look back into the depths of our lives, we often see things that we are not proud of. We are often ashamed that we had those dark experiences.
We must keep our eyes focused on Jesus the Christ and His Word. If we don’t stay focused, Satan will try to use our past history to bring us to our knees in shame.
Satan will use your subconscious mind to make you feel that God is still angry with you about something that you apparently did 10 years ago. He will make you feel unworthy to approach God in your time of need. I know what I’m talking about because I’ve been there. If you haven’t been there, just keep on living.
If you let him, Satan will have you like a puppet on string. You will move and dance to his music.
John 8:44 says, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Satan will have you riding the guilt train. All of the stuff that he plants into your mind is a lie and it all comes from the pit of hell. He will have you believing that God is angry with you and is not going to forgive you because of what you did was so horribly bad.
I know I’m right because as I talk with some of my brothers and my sisters, they all have the same question. And that question is this, “Do you think God will forgive mefor doing such a horrible thing?”
Before answering that question in your own minds I just want you to look at the life of the Apostle Paul. Before he was an Apostle, his name was Saul of Tarsus. He was one of the most feared men in his time. He despised the church.
He was the one that launched the persecution of the church. He was particularly after a follower of Christ by the name of Stephen. He willingly approved for him to be executed by stoning.
In Acts 6:15, Stephen was a man of great communion; he was surrounded by God’s presence. Note: all the council members saw God’s presence upon Stephen’s face. The words "face of an angel" refers to some splendor, or glow, shining radiance—some glory that was present. Apparently, God gave Stephen some special glory (presence) of Himself that had been experienced.
God gave Stephen a vision into heaven: enabling him to see into the other world, the spiritual world, or spiritual dimension of being. Stephen saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God. Jesus is usually said to be sitting on the right hand of God, symbolizing His authority as man’s Lord and Intercessor. But here He is standing, which symbolizes His overlooking the scene and care of His dear follower and the joyful reception of His faithful servant.
And this was so much of his approval; he had a great delight in his death. Now it is a terrible thing to delight in the demise of someone else.
But preacher the question still remains. I have done some bad stuff and I just can’t go before God because I know He’s angry with me. If you just give me a minute, I’m going somewhere with that statement.
Now if you look at Acts, chapter 26, verse 16 it says, “`Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you.”
Reverend how can this be? Saul, chosen by God to be a servant, is just doesn’t make sense. So What?
Saul killed thousands of Christians and had thousands of Christian men and women thrown into prison. So What?
Satan will use his own deception to make you believe in your own mind that God has it in for you. Let’s look at Paul’s past. If God was to have it in for anyone He would have destroyed those that killed his Son. I hear so many times from mourners that have lost their love ones. They often say, where was God when my child or my father was killed?