Importance of Knowing Church History

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     It is important to study Church history, because one must know where they came from to determine where they are headed and history is His story. Past performance is generally the best indicator for future behavior. Some refer to this as the principle of the path as it does not matter how far you have traveled or fast you have gone if you are headed in the wrong direction. History is full of good and bad decisions and impossible circumstances, but when surrendered over to God, they all can be used for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.

God can use anyone and anything to accomplish His plan. Also, without a true understanding of the past, not only are we blindly accepting what people have told us; we too are asking those we attempt to evangelize to do the same thing. We are only human and in our fallen state, we are bound to make mistakes and history best shows what took place after mistakes were made. People either rise up, or they conform and we alone decide if the fiery trials we face are going to burn us or purify us. Another important reason to understand church history and practice sound biblical exegesis is our congregations’ understanding will rarely be greater than our own. Without sound teaching and an understanding of church history, we become the lid to those around us, causing them not to grow in their wisdom and understanding of history and God’s Word.

The value of examining the past is vital, since those who forget the past are often condemned to repeat it. Humanity’s pride and lust for sin has caused a schism between the righteousness of God and the fallen state of man. As a result, Jesus Christ became the atonement of sin and has now become our mediator, as He sits at the right hand of God, interceding on our behalf. Still though, people like Milan Kundera think,  “People are always shouting they want to create a better future. It’s not true. The future is an apathetic void of no interest to anyone. The past is full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repaint it. The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past.” George Orwell best illustrates this principle when he said, “Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.” Historical revisionism is something every Christian must be aware of because everything God stands for, Satan will either try to counterfeit, pervert, or destroy. This knowledge will be crucial in establishing a sound foundation from which we can build our faith and ministry on.

Carpe Diem

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Every moment we spend on this side of eternity is a blessing from God so that we may be a blessing in the lives of those around us. Mark Twain once wrote, “The two most important days in one’s life are when you are born and the day you find your purpose.” Both of these days are miracles in their own right, but many never truly find their purpose or they forget it along the way.

Trying to imagine why God breathed us into existence is truly humbling, but the day you truly acknowledge your role in the body of Christ, you will find worth, purpose, and meaning. I believe the most important day in anyone’s life is today because you can’t do anything about yesterday and tomorrow is only shaped by what you do today.

When we think differently, it should cause us to live differently, as long as we are open to what God wants to do in and through us. Most of us know the truth, but we are so good at telling ourselves lies that we allow the devil into our lives because of his disguise. Truth vs. deception clouds our perception and the enemy wants nothing more than for us to forget our purpose and worth.

Hard times, trials, challenges, crisis, unspeakable torment, hurt, and pain are inevitable. It would be nice if we could simply walk around these seasons and chapters in life, but the reality is we must march through them. In this fight for our lives, our misery grows, our pit becomes deeper, our purpose is forgotten, and our priceless worth is exchanged for nothing. Christ did not die for us to live defeated and He surely did not suffer for us to live condemned.

Our pasts are all littered with regret, things we wish we could forget, and things we should have remembered, but have forgotten. However, our past is also important to our future. It’s often those who forget the past who continually make the same mistakes, but looking into the past is also a great way to see how far you’ve come and also to remember your worth, purpose, and meaning in life.

No matter where you are, I encourage you to seize this day. Whether that means looking into your past to find where you went off the track or looking at what you can do today to get back on the track. Our direction in life is the most important thing. You can go 100 miles, but if you aren’t headed in the right direction, it doesn’t help you get where God is calling each of us.

Past performance is a good indicator of future results. For some, just reading this you immediately feel condemnation, but the beauty of being a child of God is your past does not dictate your future when you love the Lord your God with all your mind, soul, strength, and when you love your neighbor as yourself. Knowing redemption and feeling restoration is a beautiful thing, so never be ashamed of where God has brought you from. Your past is your testimony of God’s unfailing love and your future should be sharing that same love with others.