September 7, 2014

In this issue: Timeless Truths in an Ever-Changing World

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Timeless graphic

by Heath Rogers

It seems that our society is always changing for the worse. Immorality is shamelessly promoted and defended by celebrities, educators, and politicians. The law of our nation will allow a mother to kill her unborn baby, but will incarcerate a man for mistreating his pet. We have seen great changes in our nation as a result of the pro-homosexual agenda. What was once considered an abomination, detested and rejected by our society, has become embraced and championed. Laws have been changed, marriage has been re-defined, entire denominations have become split over this issue – and it is only getting worse.

The religious landscape of our nation is also changing. Basic truths of Christianity are constantly challenged and denied by so-called Christians. This change has had an impact upon some of our brethren. In recent years we have heard brethren make arguments for a figurative interpretation of the creation account in Genesis, question the inspiration of 2 Peter and Jude, and deny the eternal nature of Hell.

All this change going on in the world is enough to make one’s head swim. However, we must remember that we are not the first ones to have lived in a time of great moral decline. Things generally happen in cycles (consider the book of Judges), which should indicate to us that we are not living in the “worst of times.”

It is God’s plan and desire that we mature to the point that our faith is strong and stable. “That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14). Although we live in a world that is subject to change, there are some things that will never change. These eternal truths must be our foundation if our faith is going to survive these times of confusion and change.

God Does Not Change

“For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob” (Malachi 3:6).

People change. We make discoveries and grow in our knowledge. We gain wisdom by learning from our mistakes. Our levels of tolerance change as we are exposed to new ideas and trends. Time may have this effect upon man, but time does not have any effect upon God. He created time and exists outside of time. There is nothing for God to discover. He makes no mistakes. He has not grown any wiser or more tolerant over the passing of years.

In spite of this fact, many people believe that God has changed. They argue that the God we read of in the Bible has “mellowed” with age or has accommodated Himself to our time and our way of thinking. However, the God portrayed by our society is a far cry from the never-changing God that we read of in the Bible. Consider just a few of His attributes which are denied by our society today.

1. God is a God of Reason

“Come now, and let us reason together…” (Isaiah 1:18). To reason is “to think coherently and logically; draw inferences or conclusions from facts.” The fact that God calls upon man to reason with Him tells us that both God and man are capable of thinking logically. It also tells us that there must be a fixed standard upon which we can and must reason. Truth cannot be relative or subjective. This means that truth cannot be one thing for me, another thing for you, and another thing for God.

It has become a “sin” to claim to have the truth in our world today. No single group is “allowed” to have a monopoly on the truth. Without any standards of right and wrong, each person is encouraged to believe what he wants to believe, with the understanding that we all agree to disagree. The spirit of ecumenicism has captured the hearts of our age, insisting that all faiths are equally valid. Thus there is no need to evangelize or proselytize. Such actions are looked upon as unnecessary and even harmful.

However, truth is, by its very nature, exclusive. There is only one truth, and everything else is a lie. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Salvation is obtained by obeying “the truth” (1 Peter 1:22), not our version of the truth.

Since God is a God of reason, and invites us to reason with Him, we know that God cannot be the source of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). We live in a confusing time; with so many different churches, philosophies, and ideas about the Bible. However, this confusion is not God’s fault. God is a God of design, order, peace, and harmony. Confusion in our world is evidence that God’s wisdom is being rejected.

15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
James 3:15-18

2. God is Sovereign

The word sovereign means “above or superior to all others, supreme in power, rank, or authority.” This is a perfect description of God. He is Lord over all of His creation.

1 The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; let the earth be moved!
2 The LORD is great in Zion, and He is high above all the peoples.
3 Let them praise Your great and awesome name – He is holy.
Psalm 99:1-3

God’s sovereignty is never subject to man’s approval. God’s judgments are in all the earth (Psalm 105:7), whether we acknowledge them or not! God has the right to tell us how to live. This right is His, not because we gave it to Him, but because He is our Creator. “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?” (Romans 9:20-21).

3. God is Righteous

We know that God is loving, patient, merciful, forgiving, etc. – but He is also a righteous God. “Clouds and darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne” (Psalm 97:2).

The English word “righteous” was originally spelt “rightwise.” This helps us to see that a righteous person is one who is “wise” concerning what is right and wrong. Such a person has an understanding of what is right and wrong. He does what is morally right, fair, and just. He also opposes that which is wrong, unjust, and unfair.

God cannot overlook sin. He hates sin and demands obedience. God’s love does not negate or cancel out His righteousness. Our God is still a consuming fire, and it is still a fearful thing to fall into His hands (Hebrews 10:31, 12:29). His judgment upon this world will be a righteous judgment (Acts 17:31, Romans 1:32, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-6).

Times may change and people may change, but God does not change. There is no reason for Christians to make concessions or compromises. There is no need for us to be ashamed of or to apologize for having the truth. The Lord God Omnipotent still reigns and His righteousness endures forever. [to be continued] ~

[Continue to Part 2]

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