What is Past is Prologue

by Dr. Ken Matto

Well it is almost here! I mean, of course, the year 2001. It was just one year ago that we were all waiting for the entire world to be thrown off track because of the Millennium bug that was supposed to destroy computers world wide and send mankind into turmoil. Actually New Year’s Day signals the real start of the new millennium, yet we celebrated the year 2000 simply because the calendar changed from 1999 to 2000. Of all the New Year celebrations of 2000 I saw on TV I think the one from Sydney, Australia was the best one.
With every new year people try to make resolutions and determine to change some facet of their life for the good. New Years resolutions often last till about January 2. I have a great rejoicing about January 1. It was 20 years ago on January 1, 1981 that I had my last drink. God delivered me from the bondage of drunkenness. So this New Year’s Day is one of celebration for me. It is interesting to note that of all the New Year’s Eve resolutions I used to make not one was to give up drinking. He took that desire for booze away and I have never even had a desire for it since.
With each New Year that comes our way people hope that things might be a little better for them in the new year. Isn’t it an interesting thing how people place some faith in the mere tick of a clock or the changing of the calendar? (Deu 28:67 KJV) In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
How many times have you heard "I hope this year is better than last year." This is usually based on the fact that something may have happened in the previous year which they happily desire to see fade into history. It could be financial set back or tragedy or anything which causes heartache in a person’s life. I wish I could say that New Years is going to bring a change for us. The reality is that life with hardships does not come to an end simply because the calendar changes. Life with all its pitfalls and setbacks will continue until the Lord returns and ends the suffering. Sin does not take a holiday.
As Christians what does a new year mean for us? Do we sit down and make a list and try to keep to it? One great thing about the Christian life is that it is a continuum. As Christians we can be thankful that God does not change His plans every new year. If He did then we of all people on this earth would be the most confused. God has done His children a great service by not governing by the calendar. While we must number our days as Psalm 90:12 states, we need not fear the tyranny of the calendar. Many Christians place such time constraints on their lives that instead of enjoying their Christian walk they make it a prison of schedules and projects. This does not mean we are not to engage in evangelism or involvement of some kind, but it does mean that if we are not the last generation then there is a reason all the work has not been done yet and that is because the generation that is to complete it is the last one. We must learn to pass the mantle to the next generation. (2 Tim 2:2 KJV) And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. This is why it is so important that we train new believers correctly because they are the next generation of truth bearers. To be honest, I don’t believe there will be a next generation since truth and proper discipling has all but disappeared from the church scene. I don’t want to dwell on prophecy but I want to share with you some great truths of the Christian faith whereby we can count on God not changing on January 1.
God’s Word
As His children we can count on the fact that God is not going to add or subtract from His word. Whatever the Bible said in 2000 we can count on the fact it will not be deviated from by any further revelation. Oh pity the poor people in the Charismatic movement who believe they are hearing new revelation and prophecies every week from God. The word of God as we have it in our King James Version Bible will remain a constant and will never lose it’s authority as it will always remain a life-changing word.
(Mal 3:6 KJV) For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. God will never change as what He has declared shall come to pass. God does not use the change of calendar as a criteria for changing Himself. God is stable and constant and will never change His views. He is also the loving Heavenly Father that we can go to anytime with any problem, situation or just to sit in His presence and enjoy time with Him. God is always looking out for the best for His children.
(Rom 11:29 KJV) For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. As eternally secure as we were in 2000 we will remain eternally secure in 2001. Our salvation has been bought with a precious price and no change of calendar will ever change that reality.
The Lord Jesus Christ
(Mat 28:20 KJV) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. We can always count on the Lord Jesus Christ being with us and never forsaking us. He paid the price to redeem us and we will be His eternal possession.
Our Fickleness
(Mat 26:73-74 KJV) And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. {74} Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. I wanted to include this one in the list because many Christians become depressed when they make spiritual resolutions and then fall behind. All us Christians are inconsistent in certain areas of our lives and we will fail in other areas. This is the reason for grace because when we fail or fall, grace is there to undergird us. No matter how hard we fall, it will never affect our salvation. We did nothing to earn it and we can do nothing to lose it. Let me just inject here that if a person claims to have been saved and is walking with the world, then the obviousness of those actions proves the person was never saved. I am speaking of a true believer being overtaken in a sin.
Well I think you get the message that what is past is prologue. The world will continue in its path toward judgment and the believers will be on their path toward heaven. This world will only give believers the same thing it did this past year. Set your expectations low for each new year and you will never be disappointed. 2001 will be the same as 2000 which was the same as 1999.
There will be joys, heartaches, failures, successes, losses, gains but we can be thankful that through it all God sees His children. He brought you through 2000 and he will bring you through 2001. If He takes you home this year, then He has really brought you through. Maybe this might be the year that the Lord will return but until then we must continue to publish the gospel to a lost world so God will claim His elect and then when the last one is saved, then cometh the end.
If you are a child of God then you are a part of God’s powerful church and even though you may have been tossed out of your local church or are being persecuted in your present church, that sinful action on the part of those churches in no way affects your standing with God. Remember this principle in 2001. GOD GAVE HIS CHILDREN THE AUTHORITY TO SPEAK WITH AUTHORITY. Whenever you raise the Bible above a theology book or a theologian, you are being obedient even if it means you have been excommunicated. You are going to be a Prince or a Princess in Heaven, so start acting like one and take authority over the false gospels and false teachings. You are a child of the King and that means Royalty. So teach with authority and do not shrink back no matter what the cost.
(Mat 7:29 KJV) For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
My admonition for 2001 - You teach them as one having authority and that authority is the Bible and leave the results to God.
Magna est Veritas et Praevalebit
May you all have a blessed and joyous New Year!