Agatha Christie, the famous mystery writer of the early 1900s, lived in Sunningdale, England. From an outsider’s perspective, all seemed well until one night she disappeared. Her family and the authorities commenced a search. Several days later, her abandoned and damaged car was discovered in a city about 100 miles away. However, Mrs. Christie was nowhere to be found. Many theories began to be bantered about. Some believed the death of her mother was too much for her to bear. Others believed the trauma of her marriage had caused her to take off in the night. Then, there were others who speculated that Archibald, her unfaithful husband, had committed serious foul play.
Eleven days later, the missing author was found checked-in at the Swan Hydropathic Hotel. Mrs. Christie was alive, but she was not well. Strangely, she had checked in under the name Teresa Neele — the name of her husband’s mistress. She was disheveled, confused, and she could not remember her name and address. Agatha could not recall how she had arrived at the hotel; much of her personal life was lost in the fog. Who knows what caused it, but Agatha Christie suffered from a temporary form of amnesia. For a short season of time, she forgot who she was.
My friends, according to Pastor Peter, spiritual amnesia is something with which we often struggle. Let’s listen to his inspired spiritual counsel:
Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:1-11)
Despite what Jesus Christ has done for us, Satan screams non-truths at us. He is a liar. He is an accuser. Incessantly he distort Christ’s completed work and God’s Good News. He never tires of first encouraging our self-righteous ego and then pouring us with self-loathing depression.
Relentlessly, our world encourages us to distrust God and trust in any number of idols. Boldly, they proclaim themselves to be wise while thinking bible-believing Christians to be fools.
Then there is the ongoing warfare we continually experience with our sinful flesh. Because we have new hearts, we have an ever-growing longing for righteousness and a hatred for sin. However, as we continue to find ourselves falling short of God’s good standards, if we are not careful, we will find ourselves tempted to despair.
Yes friends, despite what Christ has done for us, there is no shortage of voices encouraging us to forget the Gospel benefits of Jesus. Something or someone is always encouraging us to get our eyes off Christ, and sadly, they are often successful in helping us forget our election, atonement, regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification.
Therefore, let’s get out our Gospel glasses, put them back on and address our nearsighted amnesia problem:
- We are the predestined, the foreknown, the chosen, and the elect.
- We are those upon whom Christ looked and looks with compassion.
- We are those for who Christ lived, suffered, died, and for who he prays.
- We are sheep of his fold.,
- We are brothers and sisters in his family.
- We are his joint-heirs.
- We are sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father.
- We are the bride of Christ.
- We are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
- We are sanctified saints.
- We are citizens of his Kingdom.
- We are the apple of his eye.
- We are as washed as we will ever be.
- We are clothed in righteousnesss and can never be better clothed.
- We are intimate partakers of the divine nature, and cannot be more close.
- We are completely holy, and cannot be more holy.
- We are perfectly perfect, and cannot be more perfect.
- We are entirely good, and cannot be more good.
- We are completely forgiven, and cannot be more forgiven.
- We are totally accepted, and cannot be more accepted.
- The Law is no longer our judge, for Christ has received our judgment.
- The Law is now our cheerleader, for Christ has been our righteousness.
- The Law is not our guide, for Christ’s wisdom is something we desire.
- We can now say “yes” to worship.
- We can now say “no” to sins.
- We are those gifted and called to consistently increase in showing forth the Spirit’s virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. We can practice these qualities. We are those who get to live effective and fruitful lives of worship.
- We can hourly repent of our disbelief and sin and freshly enjoy God’s Gospel.
- And when this life is over, then comes heaven.
Oh brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s leave the fog and come back into the light. Let’s remember that which we have forgotten. Let’s enter the New Year differently than we left the old. Let’s forgo our near-sightedness and see things clearly. Wake up and wise up. It’s a New Year, and it’s time for a reality check.