- Pastor John Smith
Times change, God doesn't
2017 is drawing to a close and it is only a matter of days before we ring in the New Year. As I reflect back on this past year, it has been one of incredible transition and change for everybody. We have seen this is played out in every sphere, and as we approach 2018, many of us are going into it with lives that were radically shaped by 2017.
I think of dear friends that I will go into 2018 without, brothers and sisters who have been a constant voice of encouragement and exhortation toward the gospel, which I am not going to have anymore. There will be family members who were stalwarts in the faith, who will be absent next year around my table. There have been circumstances that I have experienced that will dramatically affect the upcoming year, some for the positive and some for the negative. As stated before, I believe 2018 will be the fruition of the change we experience in 2017. Yet, in some respects, it is always that way. I have heard it said that the only constant thing is that things never stay constant.
Well, except for God that is.
God is the only constant in the universe. In a cosmos that is ever changing, God remains the same regardless if it is 2018 or 5018.
God’s immutability is one of the strongest comforts a Christian, because as the seas of life are always churning, God and His Word will always be there. There will not be one moment where God will prove to be unfaithful, change his mind, or make His Word invalid. God says in Scripture that “For I the LORD do not change” (Mal. 3:6) and about His Word, “The grass withers, the flowers fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isa. 40:8) God doesn’t grow, or develop in understanding, nor does he deteriorate or diminish in his power and strength. Neither does His Word, the Bible, ever lose its authority or relevancy. In a day and age where churches and ministries are seeking for the next big thing to become more relevant in a post-Christian culture, fidelity and attitude toward the sufficiency of Scripture is not very high on their list. The insinuation is that an ever-changing culture dictates everything, and the Scriptures need to fit in the context of the culture, when in fact it should be the opposite; culture needs to fit according to the unchanging and objective standard, the Bible.
God the Father, and the Word, are eternal and unchanging, likewise Jesus, God the Son, is also spoken of in the Scriptures as being immutable. It says in Hebrews 13:8 that “Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever,” there is no variation in the character of Christ, nor is there a moment where Christ will go back on his word. Every promise he has said, paid for by the shedding of his blood on the cross, and backed up by his resurrection from the dead, gives you and me assurance that eternal life, forgiveness of sins, and being spared from judgement and wrath of God, can be counted on. There is no sudden change of mind, no sudden retraction of the Christ’s invitation for any to come to Him, nor is there a risk of unfaithfulness on Christ’s part. Christ has revealed and proved his Immutability by his life, death and resurrection, his ability to save sinners, and by being God, himself. In other words, as Christians who believe in the gospel, Jesus has given more than enough reason to trust him.
As we rapidly approach the close of this year and move onto the next, our lives will continue to be an experience of change. 2018 is going to bring about change in ways that we cannot possibly conceive or imagine, yet through it all, good or bad, God remains the same.