Weekly Newsletter – October 6, 2021
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
How Do You Handle Guilt?
“How do I handle the guilt of having lived in adultery for twenty years?” a woman asked me.
First, I led her to the Lord. Then I assured her that the past was forgotten, just as if she had never sinned. The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). The moment we receive Him, we start a new life. Our past is never remembered again.
God has promised, “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 8:12). It is often said that God casts our sins into the sea of His forgetfulness and puts up a sign: “No fishing allowed.”
However, Satan can use guilt feelings to rob us of our joy and effectiveness for Christ. Often he brings to our remembrance the past with all its ugliness. To overcome this assault, we must have full assurance that we have been forgiven of our sin (the promise of 1 John 1:9). Then we must dwell with Christ in daily communion, constantly aware of His glory and the joy of knowing that He wants to use us in spite of our past.
Having received forgiveness in Christ, we must next forgive ourselves for our failures. This is what I believe the apostle Paul was thinking when he wrote, “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Phil. 3:13).
I picture Paul sitting down one day and, in a state of despair, declaring, “I am the worst of sinners.” Then the Holy Spirit whispers, “Forget those things which are behind. You did your best. You did all that you could do, and God knows all about it, so forget all the things which are behind you. Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Christ” (see Phil. 3:13,14).
The Holy Spirit makes the same statement to us today. Do all that you can now and leave the rest with the Lord. Look toward the future.
Our thought processes can work to our advantage or to our disadvantage. I believe that “Gird up the loins of your mind” (1 Pet. 1:13) means don’t allow yourself to look back, especially on failure and on the sins for which you have been forgiven. Think on those things that edify the soul. Philippians 4:8 expresses beautifully the kinds of thoughts that should fill the minds of Christians: things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.
It is very hard for me to reflect on my life. I have found it much healthier to look ahead, reflecting only long enough to say “Thank you, Lord.” I never wallow in guilt, even for two minutes. I will not allow my mind to do that.
I learned to control my thoughts at a very young age. After singing in church one night, I was angry with myself because I thought I had done a bad job. My brother Bob asked, “Did you do your best?”
“Yes, I did,” I answered.
He simply said, “Well?”
“Thank you, Bob,” I replied.
That lesson stuck with me. During the first year of our ministry, I fought those angry feelings when I didn’t do a good job. The Holy Spirit seemed to speak to me as Bob had done.
“Did you do your best?”
I realized that although I might not do a superb job every night, I could do my best… and that’s all that is required.
Each of us struggles with personal failure. Remember Paul’s frustration in Romans 7? The things he wanted to do, he didn’t do. The things he didn’t want to do, he ended up doing. That is also true in my life. I echo his cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 7:24,25).
You may feel guilty over a son or daughter who has strayed away from God. Don’t condemn yourself by asking, “Where did I go wrong?” Did you do your best in rearing him or her for Christ? Then claim the promise of Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Don’t spend the rest of your days in regret. Rather, seek God’s guidance in helping your child now. Forget the past and let your love and concern show through your prayers to the God who cares. Hands off — God is at work!
We will never be perfect in this life, but it’s good to know we have been forgiven — not only for our past sins, but also for our daily shortcomings and the weaknesses that will cause us to fall short of the glory of God throughout life on earth.
Think of it! We are forgiven… past, present, and future! “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1).
No condemnation! And no guilt!
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
The Rabbis Speak
For decades, certain Orthodox rabbis have maintained that the Messiah would come when three signs were in evidence at the same time.
First, there must be speeding chariots in the streets of Jerusalem, fulfilling Nahum 2:4: “The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall jostle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.“
This interesting verse once prompted Sir Isaac Newton to predict that men would someday travel as fast as forty miles per hour.
Voltaire, an enemy of Christianity in that era, scorned Newton’s statement, saying, “See what a fool Christianity makes of an otherwise brilliant man, such as Sir Isaac Newton! Doesn’t he know that if a man traveled forty miles an hour, he would suffocate and his heart would stop?”
But Newton was conservatively correct. And today, in Jerusalem, as in other major cities, speeding chariots (automobiles) jostle one against another in the broad ways. At night they seem like torches and they run like lightning.
The second sign, the rabbis said, would be the protection of Jerusalem by men flying as birds. “As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it” (Isa. 31:5).
No wonder Israelis are convinced they must retain air superiority in the Middle East. Already the accomplishments of their top-notch pilots are almost legendary. Jets over Jerusalem have more significance than in any other place on earth. And the sky over that city is seldom silent.
The third requirement of the rabbis was the blossoming of the desert. “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose” (Isa. 35:1).
Although the complete fulfillment of this promise is for a better day yet to come, the desert is blossoming in Israel. Near miracles have been performed in an area that once was barren and waste. The agricultural successes of the Jews in the final days are foretold in a number of prophetic Scriptures, some of which we will explore later.
The Messiah of Israel, the Savior of the world, has already come, but His return is signaled by numerous signs, including those proclaimed by the waiting rabbis.
Signs in the Heavens
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring” (Luke 21:25).
For all who have watched humans walking, driving, and planting a flag on the moon, this prophecy needs no explanation. Had someone predicted this at the turn of the century, he might have been placed under psychiatric treatment. But it has happened in our generation.
Christ also spoke of startling calamities in space. After discussing signs in the sun, moon, and stars, He said: “Men’s hearts [shall be] failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Luke 21:26).
Although he counts himself progressive and civilized, man still employs the best minds on earth to search constantly for more deadly weapons. After the bombing of Hiroshima, Charles Lindbergh lamented: “Hiroshima was as far from the intention of the pure scientist as the Inquisition was from the Sermon on the Mount.”12 Nevertheless , the drive for more potent killers continues and their area of operation has now reached the heavens, another indication that closing time is near.
The World Stage
Perhaps most interesting in the study of future things is the fulfillment of prophecy concerning the movements of nations in the end time. On the world stage, closing scenes are being enacted.
The European Union, or Revived Roman Empire is growing in size and global reach. For generations, Bible scholars have been awaiting this international coalition, from which they expect a leader to rise who will guarantee peace in the Middle East, especially to Israel.
China is able to field an army of two hundred million men. Napoleon said of China, “There lies a sleeping giant. If he ever wakes he will shake the world. Let him sleep.” But the giant is awake! Will Napoleon’s prediction come true?
Finally, Israel is back in her land. This is the keystone of all Bible prophecy concerning the end time. All other factors of the prophetic picture would be meaningless had not the Jews returned to the land of their fathers.
Although the history of her people is a story of incredible difficulties, Israel’s most trying times are ahead. We will review those awful sufferings of the past and preview the unparalleled trials that await Israel in the future.
The world scene all of history has been moving toward is upon us. We are not confronted with a few facts manipulated by a self-seeking prophet in an effort to gain followers. Instead, we are witnessing an unfolding of divinely designed circumstances that encompass the entire earth and its inhabitants.
The stage is set for closing time, and all the world is the stage.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I have watched Jack Van Impe for perhaps 50 years. So good to see you pressing on with the message you both have preached for so many years. Miss the program on TCT, but still get your updates.
Bless you and the loving message you still end every program with!
Love reading the newsletter. So full of information. My husband and I read and discuss it.
Please keep it coming. Look forward to each issue and share the Word!
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
In the latter days, the Bible says, people will exchange the truth for a lie (Romans 1:25) – which is happening today as news outlets and social media promote shocking deceptions about biblical truth, morality, marriage, gender, justice, and more!
This video from Dr Rexella Van Impe and co-host Dr Frank Wright will help you set the record straight with any believer who have been deceived – as well as with non-believers who need to hear honest answers to today’s questions.
Dr. Robert Jeffress of Pathway to Victory and First Baptist Church Dallas is an influential speaker, Christian leader and his book Praying for America will show you how your prayers can help return the USA to being one nation, under God.
Each chapter combines an inspiring story from America’s past with specific prayers for America’s future that will lead to God’s blessing in the nation we love. (These prayers can be used for any nation!)