UNCHANGEABLE CHRIST IN A CHANGING WORLD

 

Malachi 3:6For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

 

Romans 11:29For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”

 

James 1:17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

 

John 10:30I and my Father are one.”

 

            And since the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and God the Father are one, totally and completely united in mind and in purpose, Jesus the Christ is unchangeable as well.

 

This is a changing world

 

            Oh! But this is a changing world.  Change has become such a way of life for the generations living today that they cry for continuous change and are disappointed and unhappy when change does not come to them or does not come fast enough.  Change in our society is continuous, it is demanded, it is short lived and frequently it is radical.  We need to only look at a few of the things around us that have changed during our lifetimes to see this phenomena at work.  During the span of our life time change has become the rule of the day; in science and particularly in medicine is this so.  Millions of dollars are spent on advertising new drugs, formulated and invented to treat old illnesses.  Sometimes they are better than the generics or other brand names they replace; but frequently they are not.  Many are simply the efforts of greedy men to profit from the world’s demand for change, the demand for something new, the demand for something different.    The manner of waging war is radically different today than it was in World War II, Korea or even in Vietnam.  Aircraft, missiles, fighting vehicles, body armor, are just a few of those things that have changed.  We look at our means of passenger transportation and see that trains and over-the-road buses have almost become a part of history.  We look at the means and implements used in our homes and kitchens and understand that we have things to do work that our parents or even perhaps we ourselves never dreamed that we would enjoy.  And we could go on but sufficient to our need in this lesson we understand that change is the way of our life today; it is continuous and is accelerating perhaps even faster than we would like.

 

Human beings have not changed.

 

            The same desire for material wealth still exists today that caused Lot, the nephew of Abraham to make the choice that he made so long ago:

 

Read Genesis 13:5-13

 

Many today would contend that Lot made the right choice.  But that choice would cause him nothing but trouble and eventually put him in the position of losing everything he had except two of his daughters and spending the last of his years hiding in a cave.  (Genesis 14, 19)  The same kind of desire for material wealth caused the Christ to give us this admonition:

 

"LAY NOT UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES UPON EARTH, WHERE MOTH AND RUST DOTH CORRUPT, AND WHERE THIEVES BREAK THROUGH AND STEAL:  BUT LAY UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES IN HEAVEN, WHERE NEITHER MOTH NOR RUST DOTH CORRUPT, AND WHERE THIEVES DO NOT BREAK THROUGH NOR STEAL: FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO." Matthew 6:19-21

 

and the Holy Spirit caused Luke to record:

 

"AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, TAKE HEED, AND BEWARE OF COVETOUSNESS: FOR A MAN'S LIFE CONSISTETH NOT IN THE ABUNDANCE OF THE THINGS WHICH HE POSSESSETH."  Luke 12:15

 

            Men today still have the same love of preeminence, power and prestige today as Diotrephes, the enemy of the Apostle John:

 

"I WROTE UNTO THE CHURCH: BUT DIOTREPHES, WHO LOVETH TO HAVE THE PREEMINENCE AMONG THEM, RECEIVETH US NOT."  III John 9

 

Even though this man is one of the first we think of when we consider this characteristic of man; the greatest and strongest examples that we have regarding this problem and what we should not do is the Pharisees.

 

"BUT ALL THEIR WORKS THEY DO FOR TO BE SEEN OF MEN: THEY MAKE BROAD THEIR PHYLACTERIES, AND ENLARGE THE BORDERS OF THEIR GARMENTS, AND LOVE THE UPPERMOST ROOMS AT FEASTS, AND THE CHIEF SEATS IN THE SYNAGOGUE, AND GREETINGS IN THE MARKETS, AND TO BE CALLED OF MEN, RABBI, RABBI." Matthew 23:5-7 

 

And when I read of these men I think of many of our politicians.  I think about the men who strut across our TV screens and call themselves “reverend” when only God is “Reverend” Psalms 111:9.  Jesus tells us just a few verses later that whosoever thinks too highly of himself will be brought down.

 

"AND WHOSOEVER SHALL EXALT HIMSELF SHALL BE ABASED; AND HE THAT SHALL HUMBLE HIMSELF SHALL BE EXALTED." Matthew 23:12

 

We find today that man still has the same love of money that caused Achan to disobey God’s commandment and claim for his own use gold, silver and costly garments from Jericho that were to be used for the benefit of the entire congregation of Israel. (Joshua 7)  It cost him his life and the lives of all of his family.  The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul warns us of these things:

 

"BUT THEY THAT WILL BE RICH FALL INTO TEMPTATION AND A SNARE, AND into MANY FOOLISH AND HURTFUL LUSTS, WHICH DROWN MEN IN DESTRUCTION AND PERDITION.  FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL: WHICH WHILE SOME COVETED AFTER, THEY HAVE ERRED FROM THE FAITH, AND PIERCED THEMSELVES THROUGH WITH MANY SORROWS." I Timothy 6:9-10

 

In the parable of the soils that we find in Matthew 13 an example given to us so that we can understand that the children of God are not exempt from the problem of greed or covetousness:

 

"HE ALSO THAT RECEIVETH SEED AMONG THE THORNS IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD; AND THE CARE OF THIS WORLD, AND THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES, CHOKE THE WORD, AND HE BECOMETH UNFRUITFUL."  Matthew 13:22

 

The Holy Spirit also tells us that the lot of a rich man will not be easy in the day of judgment:

 

"Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. 3Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.” James 5:1-3 

 

We find that today men suffer from the same lusts of the flesh that caused David's great sin recorded II Samuel 11.  Thus we are warned by the Apostle John:

 

"LOVE NOT THE WORLD, NEITHER THE THINGS that are IN THE WORLD.  IF ANY MAN LOVE THE WORLD, THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IS NOT IN HIM.  FOR ALL THAT is IN THE WORLD, THE LUST OF THE FLESH, AND THE LUST OF THE EYES, AND THE PRIDE OF LIFE, IS NOT OF THE FATHER, BUT IS OF THE WORLD.  AND THE WORLD PASSETH AWAY, AND THE LUST THEREOF: BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF GOD ABIDETH FOR EVER."  I John 2:15-17

 

"NOW THE WORKS OF THE FLESH ARE MANIFEST, WHICH ARE these; ADULTERY, FORNICATION, UNCLEANESS, LASCIVIOUSNESS, IDOLTARY, WITCHCRAFT, HATRED, VARIANCE, EMULATIONS, WRATH, STRIFE, SEDITIONS, HERESIES, ENVYINGS, MURDERS, DRUNKENESS, REVELLINGS, AND SUCH LIKE: OF THE WHICH I TELL YOU BEFORE, AS I HAVE ALSO TOLD you IN TIME PAST, THAT THEY WHICH DO SUCH THINGS SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD."  Galatians 5:19-21

 

But man is also unchangeable in that he embroils himself in sin and therefore:

 

Man needs an Unchangeable Christ

 

Man needs the guidance provided by all of those precepts that will stand throughout eternity which Jesus taught his disciples.  First of all man is not able to guide himself:

 

"O LORD, I KNOW THAT THE WAY OF MAN IS NOT IN HIMSELF: it is NOT IN MAN THAT WALKETH TO DIRECT HIS STEPS."  Jeremiah 10:23

 

"THE HEART is DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL things, AND DESPERATELY WICKED: WHO CAN KNOW IT."  Jeremiah 17:9

 

"HE THAT TRUSTETH IN HIS OWN HEART IS A FOOL: BUT WHOSO WALKETH WISELY, HE SHALL BE DELIVERED."  Proverbs 28:26

 

Just like the old adage that the lawyer who chooses to represent himself has a fool for a client; the man who chooses to stand before the judgment seat of God without Christ as his advocate is a fool as well.

 

Man needs an unchangeable Christ because he needs salvation because he needs salvation from his sins.  We all are guilty, just as the Apostles records for us:

 

"FOR ALL HAVE SINNED, AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD."  Romans 3:23

 

In his writing to the Roman Jews in Romans 3 concerning their relationship with God Paul tells them that they have no advantage over the Gentiles.  He tells them that their circumcision, their descendance from Abraham is of no profit to them and then concludes in verse 9:

 

"WHAT THEN? ARE WE BETTER than they? NO, IN NO WISE, FOR WE HAVE BEFORE PROVED BOTH JEWS AND GENTILES THAT THEY ARE ALL UNDER SIN."  Romans 3:9

 

            We need the instruction and comfort found only in an unchangeable Christ because of our weaknesses:

 

"BRETHREN, IF A MAN BE OVERTAKEN IN A FAULT, YE WHICH ARE SPIRITUAL, RESTORE SUCH AN ONE IN THE SPIRIT OF MEEKNESS; CONSIDERING THYSELF, LEST THOU ALSO BE TEMPTED.  BEAR YE ONE ANOTHER'S BURDENS, AND SO FULFIL THE LAW OF CHRIST."  Galatians 6:1-2

 

We need the collective strength, the comradeship we find with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We need to be able to depend upon and lean upon each other:

 

"WE THEN THAT ARE STRONG OUGHT TO BEAR THE INFIRMITIES OF THE WEAK, AND NOT TO PLEASE OURSELVES."  Romans 15:1

 

This was the reason for the Holy Spirit instructing the Thessalonians through Paul

 

"NOW WE EXHORT YOU, BRETHREN, WARN THEM THAT ARE UNRULY, COMFORT THE FEEBLEMINDED, SUPPORT THE WEAK, BE PATIENT TOWARD ALL men."  I Thessalonians 5:14

 

We need an unchangeable Christ because we need to be able to go to someone when the world deals us a blow.  When we have to face sorrows, cares, the loss of loved ones, the troubles that life brings us we need the strength and comfort found in Him.  We need the love and understanding of our fellow laborers in Christ.  This is why we’re told to:

 

"REJOICE WITH THEM THAT DO REJOICE, AND WEEP WITH THEM THAT WEEP." Romans 12:15

 

We need an unchangeable Christ because he is our only hope in the face of death.  The scripture tells us simply:

 

"AND IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MAN ONCE TO DIE, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT."  Hebrews 9:27

 

We need an unchangeable Christ so that we may say with the confidence what David said when he lost his first son by Bathsheba:

 

"AND HE SAID, WHILE THE CHILD WAS YET ALIVE, I FASTED AND WEPT: FOR I SAID, WHO CAN TELL whether GOD WILL BE GRACIOUS TO ME, THAT THE CHILD MAY LIVE?  BUT NOW HE IS DEAD, WHEREFORE SHOULD I FAST?  CAN I BRING HIM BACK AGAIN?  I SHALL GO TO HIM, BUT HE SHALL NOT RETURN TO ME."  II Samuel 12:22-23

 

“…I SHALL GO TO HIM” What a comfort to any parent that has ever lost a child.  What a joy it is to think about being able to join those of our loved ones who have died in the Lord and preceded us to that wonderful home of the soul.  What a privilege it is to be able to understand that this journey of trouble, pain, sickness and sorrow on this earth can end with us entering the “JOY OF THY LORD” as Jesus describes in Matthew 25:21, 23.

 

Christ is indeed Unchangeable

 

            We saw at the beginning of our study that God does not change (Malachi 3:6).  Neither does Christ change because he is the Son of God.  We have the testimony those who knew him recorded at the direction of the Holy Spirit and given to us through the providence of God.  Even his enemies, the devils recognized him:

 

Matthew 8:29And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?”

 

His disciples weren’t with him very long before they recognized this fact as well:

 

Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” Matthew 14:33

 

Even the centurion who crucified him recognized him (Matthew 27:54) and we could go on with many other examples but our time is limited.

 

            Jesus Christ is the King of Kings who has all authority in heaven and on earth.  The King of Kings and his kingdom was prophesied by Daniel:

 

"I SAW IN THE NIGHT VISIONS, AND, BEHOLD, one LIKE THE SON OF MAN CAME WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN AND CAME TO THE ANCIENT OF DAYS, AND THEY BROUGHT HIM NEAR BEFORE HIM.  AND THERE WAS GIVEN HIM DOMINION, AND GLORY, AND A KINGDOM, THAT ALL PEOPLE, NATIONS AND LANGUAGES, SHOULD SERVE HIM: HIS DOMINION is AN EVERLASTING DOMINION, WHICH SHALL NOT PASS AWAY, AND HIS KINGDOM that WHICH SHALL NOT BE DESTROYED."  Daniel 7:13-14

 

This is confirmed by the testimony of the New Testament scriptures:

 

"AND JESUS CAME AND SPAKE UNTO THEM, SAYING, ALL POWER IS GIVEN UNTO ME IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH."  Matthew 28:18

 

"THEREFORE LET ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL KNOW ASSUREDLY, THAT GOD HATH MADE THAT SAME JESUS, WHOM HE HAVE CRUCIFIED, BOTH LORD AND CHRIST."  Acts 2:36

 

"FOR HE HATH PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET.  BUT WHEN HE SAITH ALL THINGS ARE PUT UNDER him {under subjection} it is MANIFEST THAT HE IS EXCEPTED, WHICH DID PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIM."  I Corinthians 15:27

 

Jesus Christ is the King of kings whose laws cannot be altered, the prophet Isaiah tells us:

 

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” Isaiah 40:8

 

The Son of God tells us

 

"HEAVEN AND EARTH SHALL PASS AWAY, BUT MY WORDS SHALL NOT PASS AWAY."  Matthew 24:35

 

And God considered this declaration so important that we find it recorded three times as it appears also in Mark 13:31 and Luke 21:33.

 

Jesus Christ is man's only Saviour

 

"AND BEING MADE PERFECT, HE BECAME THE AUTHOR OF ETERNAL SALVATION UNTO ALL THEM THAT OBEY HIM."  Hebrews 5:9

 

From the first promise given by God in Genesis 3:15 to mitigate sin and destroy the power of Satan to the prophesies in the book of Revelation concerning those who will be faithful to God we read of Jesus Christ as man's only hope, man's only salvation; man's only Saviour.

 

Jesus Christ as our Saviour whose conditions of salvation are unchangeable:

 

"JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO HIM, VERILY, VERILY I SAY UNTO THEE, EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN AGAIN, HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD.  NICODEMUS SAITH UNTO HIM, HOW CAN A MAN BE BORN WHEN HE IS OLD?  CAN HE ENTER THE SECOND TIME INTO HIS MOTHER'S WOMB, AND BE BORN?  JESUS ANSWERED, VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO THEE, EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN OF WATER AND of THE SPIRIT, HE CANNOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD." John 3:3-5

 

That rebirth takes place in the act of baptism, that burial and resurrection of our physical bodies in water:

 

"HE THAT BELIEVETH AND IS BAPTIZED SHALL BE SAVED; BUT HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT SHALL BE DAMNED."  Mark 16:16

 

Then and only then are we properly ready to continue to learn, grow in our faith and become such as would meet God’s final requirement:

 

"AND YE SHALL BE HATED OF ALL men FOR MY NAME'S SAKE: BUT HE THAT ENDURETH TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED."  Matthew 10:22

 

The attitude of God and the Son of God toward sin has never changed and is unchangeable:

 

Proverbs 6:16-19These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

 

In the law of the covenant made by God with Israel they are told about sin and then told:

 

For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.” Deuteronomy 25:16

 

And today we need but read the warnings given by God through Paul in Galatians 5:19-21 heeding especially:

 

Galatians 5:21 “…of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of GoD.”

 

            The attitude of Jesus Christ toward unbelief in Him has not changed:

 

"I SAID THEREFORE UNTO YOU, THAT YE SHALL DIE IN YOUR SINS: FOR IF YE BELIEVE NOT THAT I AM he, YE SHALL DIE IN YOUR SINS." John 8:24

 

            The attitude of Jesus Christ toward error and false doctrines has not changed.

 

"BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHINIG for DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN."  Matthew 15:9

 

            The attitude of Jesus Christ toward false religions, false churches, the organizations and councils of men has not changed.  He demonstrated that by condemning the sects of the Jews:

 

"BUT HE ANSWERED AND SAID, EVERY PLANT, WHICH MY HEAVENLY FATHER HATH NOT PLANTED, SHALL BE ROOTED UP."  Matthew 15:13

 

            The attitude of Jesus Christ toward mankind has not changed.  God “SO LOVED” mankind that he gave His only begotten Son to die as a sacrifice for our sins but it was Jesus Christ who for the love of mankind and obedience to his Father actually made that sacrifice and taught his disciples that:

 

"GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS; THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS."  John 15:13

 

"BUT GOD COMMENDETH HIS LOVE TOWARD US, IN THAT, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US." Romans 5:8

 

It was Jesus Christ who then instructed all of his disciples to carry out His purpose:

 

Mark 16:15-16And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

 

A purpose that they waited to begin carrying out only because Jesus instructed them to wait until God’s time was right and they were blessed with the power of the Holy Spirit.  Then they proclaimed to the world:

   

"...REPENT, AND BE BAPTIZED EVERY ONE OF YOU IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, AND YE SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST." Acts 2:38

 

Those that have obeyed these commandments have only begun their service to God but if they endure they have this promise of God as well:

 

"FEAR NONE OF THOSE THINGS WHICH THOU SHALT SUFFER: BEHOLD, THE DEVIL SHALL CAST some OF YOU INTO PRISON, THAT YE MAY BE TRIED; AND YE SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION TEN DAYS: BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, AND I WILL GIVE THEE A CROWN OF LIFE." Revelation 2:10

 

Invitation