Weekly Newsletter – June 29, 2020
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Where’s My Eraser?
I’ll never forget my first day of kindergarten. I was barely five years old, but I remember it as vividly as if it had happened yesterday.
Making new friends with all my classmates was exciting, the bright and cheery decorations in our homeroom were beautiful, and my teacher seemed very nice.
But the thing that caught my attention and completely fascinated me was…the blackboard.
Watching the teacher take chalk and draw simple pictures and write letters on the board was interesting. But then she took something in her hand, wiped it back and forth across the surface of the blackboard, and instantly every mark she had made disappeared! I watched in wide-eyed astonishment, absolutely intrigued.
Before my kindergarten year was over, I had the opportunity to try it for myself. I made some chalk marks on the board, then used the eraser to make them go away. I never tired of it. The eraser was my favorite discovery.
Although I’m normally not a person who dwells on the past a great deal, I do often reflect on the blessings and good things God has sent into my life. My husband, Jack, and I make it a point to recall and give thanks for the ministry opportunities, friends, and victories the Lord has given us-and continues to bestow upon us. Somehow it seems my mind is like a recorder.
Your life, the movie
An article from Smithsonian Magazine written by Dr. Wilbur Penfield, director of the Montreal Neurological Institute, explains why I felt that way. He wrote: “Your brain contains a permanent record of your past that is like a single, continuous strip of movie film, complete with sound track. This film library records your whole waking life from childhood on.”
Do you ever have “home movies” from your past running in your mind? Sometimes that’s a good thing, but it can also be painful to be reminded of events and people that have hurt us, or things we have done to injure others.
Perhaps there are incidents in our past that we hope nobody else knows about, and sometimes the devil will replay these hidden shames to torment us.
“Oh, you’re such a bad person,” he says. “Just look at what you did. How can you pretend to be so good when you’re really so rotten?” Revelation 12:10 exposes the devil as the “accuser of our brethren” who accuses us before God day and night. But the good news is that we don’t have to worry about his accusations.
Jack refers to Dr. Penfield’s article in one of the devotionals in his Soul Food book. His comments there certainly helped me better understand the concept of the “book of remembrance” mentioned in the Bible. Truly God is the great Bookkeeper. He has a record of my life in a heavenly book that has my name on it-Rexella Shelton Van Impe. God has kept a record book on all of humanity-every single person who has ever lived.
But just as He has written everything down, good and bad-every failure, fault, and sin-He also has the ability and divine desire to erase everything bad on my record. Oh, praise God for a heavenly eraser that deletes every wrong word or thought or deed!
That eraser, of course, is the blood of Christ. And it washes us clean! It wipes everything off the blackboard!
God’s heavenly eraser leaves no trace behind. Isaiah 1:18 declares, Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. And Psalm 103:12 says, As far as the east is from the west-and they never meet-so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Forgiven and forgotten
When our sins are forgiven, they are forgotten. God promises in Hebrews 10:17-And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. In fact, the prophet Micah rejoiced that God will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). Then, according to D. L. Moody and Billy Sunday (I don’t know who said it first), He puts up a great-big sign that says, NO FISHING ALLOWED!
God doesn’t want us to go fishing there, looking for and finding the past. He wants us to forget it just as He has. Yet I think that sometimes after God has erased the blackboard of our lives, we keep bringing up events and things that
God doesn’t remember any more. Our human nature has a tendency to go back and keep rerunning the old mental home movies of what we were like before God saved us and made us new creatures through Christ Jesus.
We must learn how to forget the past and look to our future in Christ. The apostle Paul, acknowledging that he was not perfect, cried out, But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).
Of course, the devil will try to remind us of our past. One of his tools of deception is to keep us looking back. He knows if he can make us feel that our past sins make us unworthy to do anything for God, we cannot be effective in the present.
But we can overcome the devil with our testimony of erased sins through the blood of Christ.
Then God can use our life story-our testimony-to reach other people who need to be set free from the shackles of sin. When others see us walking in victory, it gives them hope.
I heard a story about a little girl who said to her pastor, “I want you to know that I am saved.”
“That’s wonderful, honey,” he said. “Can you tell me which one of my sermons brought you to Christ?”
The little girl replied, “It wasn’t anybody’s preaching-it was my Aunt Mary’s practicing!”
Living the life of Christ day by day is not always easy, but there is such power in our testimony. In Romans 7:19, Paul talks about the struggle he faced every day in doing what was right. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Yet, just a few verses later, he declares, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (8:1).
What’s the secret? Being willing to say, “Where’s my eraser?” Jesus came into the world for a purpose-not only to set the example of a perfect life and to show us God on earth and what we can be though Him, but also to erase the blackboard of our lives again and again! I often find myself saying in my prayer, “Lord, thank You for that eraser.”
Let me make it clear that I certainly am not suggesting that we nonchalantly fail more and sin more, expecting God to erase whatever we do. That’s not what I mean at all. The truth is that even when we do our best to live righteously, there are times when we will not make the right choices. And in those times we can and should say, “Where’s my eraser?”
God is much better at forgiving than we are at sinning!
Eugene Peterson, the pastor who produced The Message a contemporary language version of the Bible, observed that “God is much better at forgiving than we are at sinning.”
Even when we think that we have absolutely gone too far, that we’ve really done it this time, or that what we have done is totally unforgivable, God stands waiting for us with open arms. No matter how “good” we have been at sinning, He is much better at forgiving. No matter what we’ve done (or failed to do), it’s never too bad to be forgiven…and to be erased!
Sin brings shame, but confession brings confidence. The Bible says, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). We can be victorious in the Lord. We can live a life like Aunt Mary that draws others to Jesus. We may have failed yesterday. We may fail today. But we can ask Him to erase our failures and sins.
Then we can begin anew each day.
There’s a beautiful old hymn called, “An Evening Prayer,” that captures the idea of asking God to erase the blackboard of our lives at the end of each day. It says:
If I have wounded any soul today,
If I have caused one foot to go astray,
If I have walked in my own willful way,
Dear Lord, forgive.
Forgive the sins I have confessed to Thee,
Forgive the secret sins I do not see,
O guide me, love me, and my keeper be,
Dear Lord, Amen
Recently I was witnessing to an acquaintance about accepting God’s forgiveness and beginning a new life in Christ. Oh, how this person wanted to do it, but he kept struggling with some really bad sins-truly evil practices-that he feared had ruined his chance for redemption and taken him beyond forgiveness.
God hates sin…but loves sinners
I shared the amazing truth of Romans 5:6-that Christ died for the ungodly. “It’s true that God hates sin,” I told this friend, “but that does not diminish His love for sinners. He died for the very sins that He hates.
“There is nothing in your life that cannot be forgiven-no stains that He cannot erase,” I said. “When God erases your sins and you begin a new life, not only is your future clean, but your past is clean also. That means every mention of your past failure is erased in God’s book. It will never again be found in those heavenly pages where the greatest Bookkeeper of all records your deeds. “
So far the person I’ve been witnessing to has not given his heart to God and accepted Christ as his Savior. I am praying that the Lord will continue to deal with his troubled heart and love him into His kingdom.
The world we live in today is so troubled and filled with strife, so confused and far from God that many people are filled with fear and anxiety. From a natural standpoint, it would be easy to get our blackboard filled up with worry and dread.
If we as believers study and understand the Word, we see that prophecy is coming true. Every day the news points to the coming of the Lord. But those without the Lord-those who do not know that today’s news points to Christ’s coming-must get dreadfully discouraged. There is no hope outside of Christ.
But we do not have to be sad or fearful because Jesus said, Let not your heart be troubled…I will come again (John 14:1, 3). He also declared, These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
If we take our eyes off the Lord and start looking at the world around us, then we’re going to falter. The Gospels tell how Peter started walking on the water to Jesus, and then was distracted by the stormy seas and began to sink. The same thing can happen to us. When we get that sinking feeling, like Peter, we need to cry out to the Lord for help. We need to ask him to erase the turmoil and lack of faith in our hearts. The only cure is to say, “Lord, I missed the mark again. Please erase it, forgive it, and help me start again.”
No regrets! No fear!
You know, because of God’s heavenly eraser, we don’t have to regret the past or fear the future. God has forgiven our past, and He is already in our future. But the only way to get to the future is to live today.
We have absolutely no control over what happened yesterday-and to a large extent, we can’t determine what will come tomorrow. The only time we can really use is now, today, where we are living this minute. We wake up every morning to a clean, fresh page God has given us that is labeled TODAY. And, as I’m sure you’ve heard, it is a gift-that’s why it is called the present!
I challenge you to start living your life to the fullest. Because we know the Lord, this is the most exciting time to be alive since the dawn of creation. Give your best to the Lord. Do your best to make a difference in your family, your neighborhood…in your world. Who knows if God has brought you to the world for just such a time as this?
Yes, there will be challenges. There will be times when you don’t know which way to turn or exactly what you should do. But keep on going with your hand in His. Don’t look at the challenges-just keep your eyes and heart on the Lord. The Bible says, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (Isaiah 26:3).
That’s where I want to live from now on-how about you?
Remember; don’t be afraid to ask for the eraser when you need it!
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
Revelation 5:1 – 14
Here is an important statement to consider: Bible chapters and verses came into existence 500 years ago. They are not inspired, but greatly assist one in finding texts. Sometimes, however, they break the continuity of a study. Such is the case at this point. Because John continues describing the heavenly scene, there should not have been a break between chapters 4 and 5.
Verse 1: And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
The book in the right hand of the Lord Jesus Christ is actually a scroll of either sheepskin, papyrus, or vellum. Its subject is redemption, and its contents unlock the remainder of this chapter. The message is contained on the inside and outside, and is enclosed by seven seals.
Verse 2: And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
The search for a member of the human race, past or present, or any rank of angel to open the book proves fruitless. None is worthy!
Verse 3: And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
John is heartbroken!
Verse 4: And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
John’s lament has to do with the fact that this scroll is also the title deed to the earth. As long as it remains sealed, Satan will be in complete control of the planet.
Verse 5: And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof
John’s weeping ends at the place where all tears are dried. He is pointed to Christ where tears are turned to joy. Christ is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David. Since Judah is the leading tribe of Israel and a lion is the king of the beasts, Christ is thus pictured when He comes as Israel’s King (see chapter 19, verse 16). It is at this same moment that the Lord God gives unto him the throne of his father David (Luke 1:32). Let’s go further in proving that our Saviour is the One John sees.
Verse 6: And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
As mentioned previously, the seven-sealed scroll is the title deed to the earth and its subject is redemption. The Lamb of God (John 1:29), who earned the right by redemption to the title deed of the earth, is the only One worthy to open the seals. This is the Lamb who died for you and for me. Yes, Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3). He shed His precious blood to purchase our redemption, for the blood of Jesus Christ [God’s] son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7). John, who recorded the fact that Jesus was the Lamb of God when He walked upon the earth, now says that no one can overcome but by the blood of the Lamb (chapter 12, verse 11). “Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?” There is no other way! Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission for sins (see Hebrews 9:22). This Lamb is worthy because of the sacrifice He paid for your sin and mine. Yes, worthy is the Lamb to be praised for time and eternity.
The Lamb’s seven horns picture strength. Jesus said, All [authority] is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18). The seven eyes picture the fact that He sees everything each of us does: All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do(Hebrews 4:13). Since “seven” means perfection, there will be no mistakes made as the judgment is meted out, because the seven spirits of God-a picture of the Holy Spirit in all of His fullness-rest upon Christ without measure. Coupling His power (seven horns), His all-seeing vision (seven eyes), along with His filling of the Spirit of God in a sevenfold way (see Isaiah 11:1, 2), not one mistake will be made during the Tribulation hour. The One found worthy now acts.
Verse 7: And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
Verse 8: And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
The twenty-four elders, representatives of all of God’s saved people, share in this glorious moment. The praise is so spectacular that the redeemed break out in song. What a heavenly choir-the largest ever assembled! Listen to them!
Verse 9: And they [sang] a new song, saying thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue and people, and nation;
Verse 10: And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
The song is in appreciation of the fact that Christ was slain on Calvary’s cross, that His precious blood was shed (see 1 Peter 1:19), and that it was shed for the entire world. This includes Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, Catholics, and Baptists. Some Christians think they are going to have their own little corner, all alone, in heaven. Not so! Christ’s sacrifice was for all kindreds, all tongues, and all people, all nations. God loves the world! The choir also sings about their soon return with Him when He comes as King of kings (chapter 19, verse 11). At that time they-the armies of heaven-will follow Him upon white horses. At this point the angels also join in praising the Lamb…
Verse 11: And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beast and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.
Verse 12: Saying with a loud voice, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory and blessing.
Notice that this passage is not a song. Nowhere does the Bible teach that angels sing. They recite their praise, whereas the Church Triumphant sings her glorious message. The angels, associated with the Lord since their creation, know Him as few know Him-for they have lived with Him for thousands of years. They praise the Lamb for seven reasons: (1) His power; (2) His spiritual riches; (3) His wisdom; (4) His might; (5) His honor; (6) His glory; and (7) His blessing. Carnal Christians who will not bow in worship to Christ here on earth, soon will!
Verse 13: And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
At this point Philippians 2:9-11 will be fulfilled: Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
What is the response as the heavenly hosts envision this future hour?
Verse 14: And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshiped him that liveth for ever and ever.
Notice they get a head start. They cannot wait to begin their worship of the Lamb-the Lord Jesus Christ!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Thank you so much for your emails, every time when I receive your message my spirit is being fulfilled. You and your husband gave me the knowledge to understand the word of God. We miss both of you. From South Africa
Your sister in Christ,
Hi Dr Rexella
I am so glad to see you on the program on May 19.Iso enjoyed the program. And I have enjoyed all the program when Jack was still with us. What I enjoyed the most it his passion and love for the word of God. And also enjoyed how tell like it was .Jack was not afraid to speak out. And that why I enjoyed the program. he charge my spirit every time he spoke and that I will miss greatly. But know that I’m praying for you Rexella and for the ministry.im looking forward to see you again. God bless you
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
The Prophetic Voice of Dr. Jack Van Impe
For 70 years, Dr. Jack Van Impes prophetic voice has been warning our world of the apocalypse to come — and the desperate need for every human being to choose new life in Christ before it’s forever too late!
Now all the prophecies Drs. Jack and Rexella have been uncovering are happening rapidly before our eyes … and people still need to know the Truth about the current apostasy, the Rapture, the Tribulation, the return of the Lord, and more!
Do not let your friends and family stumble blindly into these latter days! Use this DVD teaching to help you share the facts about Bible prophecy — and the Gospel with everyone.
Sin’s Explosion: Revival or Ruin?
This book is a collection of 30 of the most powerful sermons that Dr. Jack Van Impe preached to millions during over 800 full-length crusades, and more than 260 mass citywide endeavors.