Looking Back~Looking Forward

Looking Back ~ Looking Forward

The Bible is replete with examples about God's People looking back, but there are also numerous examples in the Bible encouraging God's people to look to the future. This article will primarily deal with the dangers of looking back, but there are occasional reasons to look back if the reason for doing so, is to reflect on God's great and abundant blessings.

First let’s consider some examples of looking back for the wrong reasons.

Perhaps the classic and the most referred to example of looking back is Lot's wife. Shortly before the destructive judgments of God fell from heaven on the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot and his family were urged to flee those cities and not look back. The dire consequences of disobeying God's commandment of looking back, would bring the immediate verdict of being turned into a pillar of salt.

As you have heard, so have I heard, suggestions as to why Lot's wife looked back, but none of the reasons that I've heard have ever settled the mysterious reason why the lady looked back. In light of the fact that it was GOD who spoke the commandment to not look back, and it was GOD who warned of the deadly results if any of Lot's family members looked back, Lot's wife did not resist the temptation of looking back. True to his word, God indeed smote her and she was turned into a pillar of salt!

The two most popular suggestions why she looked back are:

1. She looked back because she had doomed children that she was leaving behind:

The Bible reveals that she was leaving behind married children, and because of her love for them she looked back.

 

2. She looked back because of her own sinful reasons:

It has been suggested that Lot's wife had become involved with the sins that plagued Sodom and Gomorrah; for that reason she looked back. Whatever her reason(s) may have been, the simple truth is she looked back. Once during a teaching session, Jesus Christ made reference to her by saying, "remember Lot's wife."  

 

The fact that Jesus made a reference to her, serves as a warning that one, regardless of their former lifestyles, must never look back to its attractions.

One of the more successful tricks of Satan is to tempt a Christian to look back, and in doing so will make a vulnerable Christian miss and long for their previous life, and even sinful things they were involved in before conversion.  Throughout my years as a pastor, this is one of the primary reasons that I have had to deal with some Christians and to help them through, but unfortunately some have fallen by the wayside, and have gone back to their sinful habits and lifestyles.

"Would to God we were back in Egypt!"  This was the repeated complaint that the Israelites would say to Moses in the wilderness after their miraculous exodus from slavery and bondage. No doubt their life in the wilderness was anything but convenient, but to go back to the filthy surroundings of Egypt; to go back to murderous taskmasters; to go back to government endorsed infanticide; to go back to slavery and bondage is beyond my comprehension.

By the same token, for a Christian to look back, and ultimately go back to those things of sin from which they were miraculously delivered from is also beyond my pastoral comprehension, but this happens all too frequently!

In his masterful writings the Apostle Paul states: For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. (Galatians 2:18)

To the Galatians, Paul was forcefully insisting that if the Galatians, who had been converted from the Law of Moses into the grace of Jesus Christ, were attempting to revert back to the Law and insisting its importance to salvation, Paul compellingly argued they were transgressing! How much more I vigorously contend, that if you as a born again child of God revert back to the cares of life, and the sins of the flesh you are making yourself a transgressor!

So, looking back is warned against! Looking back has undeniable sinful connotations! Looking back is the first step in GOING BACK!

“This article will primarily deal with the dangers of looking back, but there are occasional reasons to look back if the reason for doing so is to reflect on God's great and abundant blessings.”  This was a part of my opening comments in this article, but looking back for the right reasons is a good thing!

 

Pentecostal Tabernacle should look back on the year of 2015 with praise and thanksgiving to Jesus as we have had a great year at PTC!

1. We remodeled and renovated the church foyer and bathrooms; those projects when completed were beautiful, and added attractiveness to our church facility on Danville Road.

2. Only because of a Jesus sent miracle, we purchased the church facility on Spring Avenue! Twelve acres beautiful and landscaped; approximately 12,000 square feet of building that isn't five years old! The potential of the existing structure is unlimited and plenty of space and room for future growth!

3. In 2015 God added several new families to our church too! This encapsulates what a local church is all about. As your pastor, I lead you in giving praises to God for all the growth which we have seen, but the most important aspect of our church growth are the many new people that are now a part of our growing church!

In summary, we as children of God refuse to look back to our previous lifestyles, we continually reject and temptation to revert to our way of life before salvation! But, with a sense of complete gratitude to Jesus we look back, and as a church family we collectively thank God for a great 2015!

 

I Now Challenge Each Of You To Look To The Future!

 

By the grace of God the year of 2016 will be the greatest year for you and your entire family! By the grace of God 2016 will be the greatest year in the history of Pentecostal Tabernacle Church!

 

 

 

 

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