We have learned all our lives to think of time according to the simple formula of “past, present, future.” I suppose we really have no choice, since that’s pretty much how we experience life. But when someone tells us about eternal life, we then assume it somehow fits into our basic formula.
Last week I wrote about the past and how the past, even those sins and mistakes we did, have been redeemed by the present in Jesus. Because of Him, we live in the present—always. Just like He does.
Remember the name God gave Moses? I AM! Not: I was and I will be. Just: I Am. In the present. Right now. Right here.
He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph—not was. And Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I Am.” When you and I received eternal life, this is the life we received—life in the present. We do not live in the past. The things of our past are part of us in the present—redeemed, forgiven, loved.
We often wonder how God can see everything and know everything at once. I have had people deny the full deity of Jesus because they didn’t believe that He could be everywhere at once. But all of that misses the point. God is present. Wherever you are, He is there. And He is here. He is with all of His people at the same time—in the present. It doesn’t matter if they lived 2000 years ago, or they live in some far away land, or they haven’t yet been born. He is with them. That’s His promise. And He can do it in His eternal present.
The ramifications of this are nothing less than astounding. It means that there is no time in my life when I was without Him. Once I entered into eternal life (or eternal life entered into me) my past, present and future became a single point, the present.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not one of those who think that all people are already saved. I believe that personal faith is a choice and is necessary. But when you and I came to Jesus, we were saved “to the uttermost,” from beginning to end.
So I never have to deal with my past again, in terms of spiritual repentance or compensation. And whatever consequences continue with me today, even the simple memories, are part of who I am in Christ and it is all good.
Now here’s a thought to chew on: Your past does not determine your future. Your present determines your future.