September 14, 2014
In this issue: Timeless Truths in an Ever-Changing World
by Heath Rogers
[Continued from last issue, click here for Part 1]
God’s Law Does Not Change
This fact is easily observed by looking unto God’s natural laws. These laws are established and govern our lives in this world. For instance, the sun always rises in the east and sets in the west. Gravity always works. If one touches a hot stove he will get burned. These observable facts are not relative. They are universal and constant.
God has set forth the boundaries for His physical creation, and He has also set forth the moral boundaries for mankind (Titus 2:11-12, Galatians 5:19-23). If we recognize the permanence of God’s law which governs the physical universe, upon what basis can we logically believe that God’s moral law is subject to change? God has not changed these moral standards. Neither has He given man the right to change these standards.
God pronounced a woe upon His people for changing His moral standards. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21).
The people of Isaiah’s day were turning God’s standards upside-down because it was what was right in their own eyes. The same thing is happening today. For example, God calls homosexuality an abomination (Leviticus 18:22). Like all sin, it will cause one to lose his soul and be excluded from Heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Yet, our society is celebrating and embracing homosexuality as a loving, alternate lifestyle. At the same time, this “tolerant” and “accepting” world vilifies Christians who stand by the teachings of the Bible. Homosexuality is portrayed as “love,” while preaching against this sin is labeled a “hate crime.” Thus, our society is calling that which is evil “good,” and that which is good “evil.”
The world may have changed, but God’s law regarding the sin of homosexuality has not changed. The churches of men can vote and approve of church membership and clergy positions for homosexuals, states can vote to approve of same-sex marriage, but none of this will ever change what God has said on the subject. We cannot out-vote or overrule God! Times may change, but God’s law and standards will never change. “Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).
God’s Word Does Not Change
“Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89). God’s word is not subject to the fluctuating whims of sinful men. It is settled – established, set in stone. It is settled forever – it will never be altered, amended, or canceled out. It is settled forever in heaven – out of man’s reach. No one can tamper with it. It is safe and preserved from those who seek to change it. Cutting verses out of one’s Bible cannot change what God’s word says about baptism. Church councils and conventions cannot change what God’s word says about homosexuality. Brotherhood papers, debates, books, and emotional pleas cannot change what God’s word says about divorce and remarriage.
God’s word is not ink on paper bound in leather. Books can be destroyed. God’s word is eternal truth which can never be destroyed (Matthew 24:35). The passing of time does not alter eternal truth. God’s word is just as relevant and just as applicable in our lives today as it was when it was first penned by the inspired writers.
God’s Promises Do Not Change
This is true because these promises come from a God who cannot lie and who does not change. God is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9, 10:13). He keeps His word.
God promised that sin would bring death (Genesis 2:17), and it did. God then promised that the Seed of woman would crush the serpent, and He did (Genesis 3:15).
God promised Noah that He would destroy the world with water, and He did (Genesis 6-9). God has promised us that there will be a Day of Judgment (Acts 17:30-31, 2 Peter 3:5-9). He has also promised that there is a way for us to escape this judgment. We must repent (2 Peter 3:9) and obey the gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:8). There is no other way for us to escape judgment. God cannot be fooled (Galatians 6:7-8). We are not the exception to the rule. We can either obey the gospel or die in our sins and go to Hell.
The promises of God give strength to the weary Christian. We can know that we are saved (Titus 1:2, 1 John 5:13). God has promised that He will be with us through this life if we remain faithful to Him (2 Corinthians 6:17-18). We can stand upon the promises of God because He has the ability to do what He said He will do. “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Timothy 1:12).
There is no doubt that we live in a world of change, but God is the one constant in this world. He is Creator of all, Lord of all, and Judge of all. Man’s departure from the truth and unwillingness to acknowledge the sovereignty of God does not change anything about God. God’s moral law is just as fixed as His natural law. He will judge us one day. Man may deny it, complain about it, protest it, ignore it, dismiss it, or run away from it; but no one can change truth.
It is easy for the faithful Christian to look around him and become discouraged. It is difficult to watch our society continue to decline morally. We listen to statements made by others who claim to be Christians and wonder if there is anyone who believes what we believe about the Bible. What has happened to God and what has happened to His truth?
The prophet Habakkuk lived in a troubling time. He wondered how long God was going to allow things to proceed. In essence, he asked where God had gone. God told this perplexed prophet that the just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4).
The apparent vanishing of God and truth from our world can be compared to a mountain that is concealed by a mourning cloud. A pilot flying an aircraft cannot go by sight alone. If his charts indicate an elevated terrain, he cannot assume that the mountain has disappeared just because he cannot see it. He must act as if the mountain is there and adjust his flight path accordingly. To fail to do so will be disastrous to both himself and his passengers.
God’s truth may seem to have vanished, but it is still there. God is still ruling on His throne and His laws are still governing the universe. He still calls upon men to repent because He still plans on judging the world in righteousness. Our culture may have created a facade that attempts to hide the reality of God and silence any mention of His truth, but He is still there. The just will have to live by faith in this ever-changing world. “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).