As I was examining some news stories the other day, I came upon a quote by Warren Buffett that I considered important enough to examine in detail. He started, “Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” Just consider: if you find a person living out the graceful life of Jesus Christ, ask him his story and you will undoubtedly hear some horrific tales. But look at a drunk on Skid Row and there is nowhere to go but up. Thus, the saint has a past that he may be ashamed, and the sinner has a bright future if only he reaches out to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us examine this in more detail.
Saints that have a Past
So what is a saint? According to the Bible, a saint is a person that trusts in Christ (Ephesians 2:19-22). But if you were to look that up, let us start by examining Ephesians 2:1-3:
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
We can see that we all started out dead; we lived in lusts and sins. Basically, we had a past full of all of the things that God hates. The hatred that God has for these deeds granted us to be, by our very nature, objects of His wrath. If you are a saint, do you remember your past? Does it humble you when you are sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Perhaps it was lust, vulgarism, callousness, or any other difficult sin from the fruits of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21). Before you came to Christ, you were living in a way that was ignorance, painful to others. If you were like me, you even had all sorts of people praying for you that you would leave behind the life of sin and come to Jesus a saint. Indeed, all saints do have a past.
Sinners that have a Future
This brings us to the sinners that have a future. So what is a sinner? It comprises everyone that is not a saint of course! Have a ready through the passage in Romans 3:10-18:
As it is written,
THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”
“THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE,
WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,”
“THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”;
“WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”;
“THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,
AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.”
“THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”
This passage pretty much covers everything, but just in case you are unsure, consider also Romans 3:23, For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Now you should be convinced that each person who is not a saint is a sinner, we need to examine their future. Also from Romans, the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. That free gift, eternal life, has its beginnings in this planet in the course of action mediated by Christ, to transform us from objects of wrath, to recipients of immeasurable riches (Ephesians 2:3-7). Sinners are indeed redeemed into a future on this planet, and even for eternity beyond. Let us rejoice in Christ Jesus and do the good works that He has prepared in advance for us to do. I will conclude with Ephesians 2:10: For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so we would walk in them.