Let’s continue on from yesterday. I ended with the truth that God will bring you back to the place He wants you to be, and He will forgive those sins. Period. They become part of the past, and there are some things your past sin doesn’t change. Today, we’re going to look at three of those things that our past sin doesn’t change.
1. Your Past Sin Doesn’t Change God’s Plans!
Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: 2 “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.” (Jonah 3:1-2 NLT)
God told Jonah to do the same thing in chapter three that he said in chapter 1: Go to Nineveh and preach. Jonah’s disobedience didn’t change God’s plan for Jonah’s life. Nineveh still needed to hear the word of God, and Jonah was still God’s man for the job. Once Jonah got his heart right, God was ready to put His plan back into action. Throughout scripture we see how God was able to use people even after they committed major sins. Abraham tried to get his wife to commit adultery, and God used Abraham. Moses committed murder, and God used him. King David committed adultery and murder, and God used him again.
You may try to run away from God at some point in your life, but once you stop running, God’s plan for your life goes back into effect. It doesn’t matter that you let your life take a different course! Now is time to pick up where you left off and pursue the plan God has for you. Your Past, Your Yesterday Doesn’t Have Authority Over You When You Come Back To God’s Grace Because Your Yesterdays Were Taken Care Of At The Cross!
2. Your Past Sin Doesn’t Change God’s Power!
4 On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” 5 The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow. (Jonah 3:4-5)
Jonah went to Nineveh and did as he was supposed to do. He proclaimed the word of God. And the result was that revival broke out and people’s lives were changed! Just because Jonah disobeyed God doesn’t mean God’s word lost its power. Once he got back into the place God wanted him to be, once he began pursuing God’s plan for his life, he was able to experience God’s power.
Let’s look at another example from scripture. While Jesus was facing death on the cross, Peter denied Jesus 3 times and abandoned him and left him to die all alone. Peter went out and wept bitterly. Some follower of Christ he was. He ran from Jesus at a time Jesus needed him most. How could he expect to have any credibility as a leader ever again? How could he expect to experience God’s power ever again? But on the Day of Pentecost, Peter stood up and over 3,000 people were saved.
Not long after that, he and John healed the man who was crippled. Peter’s sin didn’t change God’s power. When Peter got back on track, he was again able to experience God’s power in his life. It was the same with Jonah, and it is the same with you. Just because you have failed God in some area of your life doesn’t mean you have forever lost the ability to experience God’s power. God’s grace is greater than your sin.
3 Your Past Sin Doesn’t Change God’s Promises!
When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened. (Jonah 3:10)
Nineveh was sin city long before there was Las Vegas, and God was ready to destroy it. He was willing, however, to give them another chance. He sent Jonah to Nineveh to make them a promise: If you repent, your city won’t be destroyed. The people of Nineveh repented, and God had compassion on them and saved the city. God’s promise is: If You Repent, You Will Be Saved. Nothing can change that. His promise is as good as gold. In fact, it’s better than gold. Amazingly, this made Jonah angry. He wanted to see Nineveh burn, from outside the city limits. Instead, it turned into a revival meeting. Jonah didn’t think it was fair.
Jonah Got Mad At God For Showing The Same Grace To Nineveh That He Had Shown To Jonah Just A Little Bit Earlier. (Do you understand what I just said??) Jonah Didn’t Argue With God When He Was Forgiven, But He Didn’t Like It When Nineveh Got Off The Hook. That’s because Jonah had become self-righteous again. There are some of us who think other people’s sins are worse than our own—that we deserve to be forgiven but other people don’t. That’s self-righteousness.
In spite of Jonah’s sin, God’s promise remains the same: If You Repent, You Will Be Forgiven. This Applies To Everyone The Same. There may be times in your life when you are beaten down by your own failure and you think, “I don’t deserve to be forgiven.” Yet, God’s promise is just as true for you as it is for everyone else: If you repent, you will be forgiven. Sin Doesn’t Change God’s Promise. It’s as true today as it ever was.
If you run from God—and I hope you never have and never will—but even if you do, that doesn’t mean God is finished with you. When you’re ready to stop running, God will help you pick up where you left off. God’s Grace Isn’t Based On What You Deserve To Receive; It’s Based On What God Is Willing To Give. That’s why it’s called Radical Grace. When we repent, our sins are forgiven, and those sins become part of the past and those past sins cannot prevent us from pursuing God’s plan for our life; past sins cannot prevent us from experiencing God’s power in our life; past sins cannot prevent us from receiving the benefits of God’s promises in our life.
If you are running from God—that includes running from a relationship with Him, running from His plans and purposes—listen closely to me today. The word of God is coming to you a second time. Please, hear it today, and respond with your heart. Now this, my friends, is radical!
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Him!