North Anderson Baptist Church
We Will Not Forget What God Has Done, But We Look Toward the Future
Locations & Times
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
In these last days I have been thinking back. Thinking back to the things that God has done during my time here at NABC. I believe it is good to remember because God told the Hebrews often to remember what He had done for them. He called for them to have festivals which would help them to remember events and then there was the Passover that really reminded them of their rescue from Egypt. Also, there were times of putting up monuments to help them. There are no monuments at NABC and there should not be any here but one that is close to something that would help us remember, is the gym floor. I loved the devotion Kiley did this last week about the gym floor and remembering back what people said. The writing on the concrete floor showed our faith in God and our trust in Him to be a faithful God and He has been to us just that! That floor is a real reminder that He will continue to be faithful to this church and His people. We have read the wonderful comments placed on the floor and we have seen them come to reality. We have seen God do great things through that new building, all for His glory. And just to remind you, He is not through with you or with the building that He gave to you and you gave back to Him.

We now need to let go of the things that might hold you up from looking forward to a new life as a church body with a new pastor. Today, this scripture is really my prayer for you as you, Lynda’s and my beloved friends and family, continue to worship and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember the past so it can help you as you go forward into the future, but don’t get stuck in it, have your hearts and minds surrendered to Christ to help you walk forward into a new day.
1. Christ is the desire of our heart (Sacrifice and Surrender) - V. 7-11

The language here is in business terms. There is a profit and loss table for many businesses and this can be seen in that manner. Paul speaks about his losses which were all of his earthly things. Once they meant something to him; his understanding of the law, the position as a Pharisee, being a Hebrew of Hebrews and then the confident mission of destroying and persecuting the church of the Way. All of this became rubbish to him and a loss. Yet, there is a profit column too. There in that column you see Paul declaring that knowing Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, is the most important part of his life. He includes here the forgiveness of sin and the knowledge of his eternal life with God, now and then when he was to die. On this side of the ledger, the profit side, Paul counted the righteousness that he gained through the Lord Jesus Christ and the faith he placed in Him.

Verse 10 and 11 have been haunting passages for me for decades. All of those things that once meant something to Paul are no longer important because He now seeks to know the Lord through a deeper knowledge, through a more intimate walk with Christ Himself. In knowing Christ you will also be able to understand and participate in this unimaginable power that raised Christ from the dead, the resurrection! That power that Paul sought to understand and have is the greatest power over the physical and spiritual world there is.

Paul goes on to say that he desires to also share in the suffering of Christ! He desires to walk in partnership with Christ who suffered so greatly and he desires to have a special communion with His Savior and Lord through sharing in his own suffering. Jesus suffered for the sins of this world and died to save mankind; Paul also seeks to suffer for those whom Jesus died so they might also hear the Gospel from him, no matter what suffering it takes to get the message to those who are lost. All of this to help Paul become conformed into Christ’s image. (Romans 8:29,“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…”) For Paul this would lead to experiencing the resurrection of his own body and spirit, just like Jesus did.

Following Jesus is not painless or easy, but it is worth it completely.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the amazing Christian martyr of Germany, said, "Discipleship means allegiance to the suffering Christ." Great leaders have always demanded personal allegiance. King Arthur bound his knights to him by rigid vows. Giuseppe Garibaldi, nineteenth-century Italian patriot, offered his followers hunger, death, and Italy's freedom. Sir Winston Churchill's stirring speed in the House of Commons, May 13, 1940, is best remembered by the dramatic words: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat." 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching.
2. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead - V. 12-16

Paul has told us that everything that is in him seeks to be like Christ and everything of worth is in Christ. That goal has absorbed all his energy and focus. God doesn’t want for you or me to turn back or turn aside from that goal of becoming like Christ. It is a process and it takes a lifetime of seeking to reach that goal. Like an athlete who trains all the time seeking to be the best at what they do, a believer is at least reaching out for that maturity in Christ. Paul says he is striving but not to think that he had completed the task. He constantly sought to do all the more to reach those goals we have just mentioned. He says he continues to “press on” to take hold of that goal, to take hold of Christ and the maturity in Him, the completeness of his discipleship in Christ. God took hold of him and He seeks to get a hold on Christ in return but to do that He must “forget what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”
Paul pressed on and didn’t look back. He pressed on toward the “prize” for which God had called him toward, heaven with Christ! Don’t we all want to be going to heaven? Surely everyone here is on that train! God gave Paul a mission and He sought to complete that mission as best he could and the end of that mission would be death and heaven. He awaited that special prize. But, note, it took Paul a lifetime of suffering and sorrow along with great joy and exciting to be at that place where he could say it was close. But you have to stop looking back and press forward.
My dear friends, this body of believers are going to have to press forward with all your might to move toward that goal for the church of Jesus Christ, to honor and glorify Him in all you do for His kingdom. You can’t quit, you can’t go backward, you can’t go so slowly that you will never get there but you have to move with purpose and meaning, seeking to be like Christ and reach others for Jesus. This church has to grow with new Christians and the only way to do that is for each of you to reach one and bring one. You must invite people to an “exciting” church and one that will continue to make every person feel welcome and feel as if they are important to you and to God. You know how to do that, just press forward and do it. Don’t rest on your past but look to your future, it is in God’s hands.
Paul is still speaking to you who are mature! You can’t quit! Those who are mature, lead! Stand tall and work hard for the Kingdom of God. Paul says, “Only live up to what we have already attained.”
3. We are citizens of heaven - v. 17- 4:1

I have often hesitated to tell you to follow my example. I have felt so unworthy to call you to do that. But there is one thing I think you can follow me in and that is to love the Lord Jesus with all your heart and seek to do for Him what He desires you to do. Share your faith and care for others through good and bad times. Paul is saying, he is not perfect but in his character and commitment, they should focus on being like Jesus Christ and follow Paul’s example.
Paul also told his friends that he wept over those who might be part of their fellowship who were not saved, not really a part of the family of God. You and I know that those who are not saved are “enemies of Christ.” Whether they are members or the lost man, woman boy or girl in our community; all are “enemies of Christ and the cross.” What are you going to do about it? One of the things he speaks of is that those folks are motivated by their physical appetites and not by the grace of God. They think of themselves and their desires and they will not know the wonderful blessing of having their citizenship in heaven. But the difference with us is that we eagerly await our citizenship to come to pass! We not only wait for it to happen we even pray that it will come sooner than later. Of course, we must be patient and wait on the Lord’s timing. Paul tells us here that all will be done in Christ’s timing by that unimaginable power, we talked of, that brought Christ from the dead and that same power will one day transform us, our lowly bodies into bodies like His glorious body!
Many times Billy Graham has declared: "For the Christian, the grave is not the end; nor is death a calamity, for he has a glorious hope—the hope of Heaven." 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching.
That is exciting and something to be waiting for. All God wants for us is to remember the profitable things of the Christian life and to seek to grow mature in Christ always remembering to look forward not backwards, to grow as individuals and as the body of Christ. He also reminds us to remember those around us who are not “in Christ” and who will forever be separated from Him in the end because they have no citizenship in heaven.

Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. —Thomas Moore

And then Paul speaks of something that is very important to him. He speaks of his love for these he writes to and tells them how very important they are to him. They have become his joy and crown, they have shown him that they can stand faithful in this journey they have taken together in Christ. I want you to know, North Anderson Baptist, you and all who are out there who are not here today, have brought untold joy to my life and have given Lynda and I so much more than we could have ever given you. I hope this reminds you of our love for you and that it is unending and firm in the Lord. I look forward to the next two Sundays as we have a chance to share God’s Word.
You may have heard in this message that you need to make an effort to grow more in the Lord and to be more faithful as a believer. I hope God will spur you on to become more complete and mature in Him. As a church I hope you, as leaders, will live up to what you have been taught and to go forward and not stay in the past. Remember God has a plan for NABC and He desires to use everyone of you who will choose to make that true commitment to follow Him completely. Won’t you do that and make a commitment today?
If you are not headed to heaven and you recognize it, then won’t you come to Christ and give your heart and life to Him? He will meet you as you surrender to Him. You can come and we will talk it over.


Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for.  If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior.  Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life.  And that means you too! All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him.  But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice.  Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your faith, belief, in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you.  He will call for a change in your life too.  He wants you to follow Him not the world, not your own desires but to follow Jesus.  That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.  There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life.  Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. 
When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world, let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus!
You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you.  Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621.
Dear friend, if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above.  If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you.  It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you.
This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.
Pastor Bill Rigsby