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The Unchangeable God

by Dale Offutt

(Transcribed from the archives of the Words of Life Radio Program)

 

We live in a changeable world, but we have an unchangeable God. Earthly scenes change. People change.  But our God remains the same.

The author of Hebrews declared: In the beginning, oh Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth and the heavens are the work of your hands.  They will all wear out like a garment. You will role them up like a robe. Like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same and your years will never end.

Oh how changeable are the earthly and heavenly scenes created by our everlasting God.  The same author of Hebrews said that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Our study calls us to consider the unchangeable God in his person.  First of all we will note God is holy.  His holiness is unchangeable. The Word of God presents many types, sacrifices and ceremonies to bring out the fact that God is holy. The prophet Isaiah describes him as the high and lofty one that inhabits eternity, whose name is holy.

The second consideration would be God is eternal.  Yes, the heavens and earth have been here for a long time, but God was here before their time.  He was here before the morning and stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy. We may go back and think of Adam and Eve and all of the many changes which have come into the world since that time, but God was before it all.  Our God is the great I am to whom a thousand years are as but a day.
Just think, before the mountains were brought forth, he was.  And after the earth is destroyed, he will still live.  He always was. He always is. And he always will be. Yes, God is eternal.
Then let us consider that God is omnipotent. He is all powerful. Oh, his power is unchangeable. Earthly rulers have been considered mighty rulers, such as Pharaoh, Napoleon, Hitler and so forth, but all the powers of the earth must bow down before our God.  The prophet Jeremiah declared: Ah, sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.
Job said to God that he knew God could do all things. No plan of yours can be thwarted.

Another consideration is that God is omniscient. He knows all things.  His knowledge is unchangeable. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. And God is omnipresent. He is everywhere at all times. He is not far from every one of us. Other attributes our God has which are unchangeable would include his greatness. He is great in creative power, in redemptive power. Man was created in innocence, but he disobeyed God and sank down into sin. Yet God in his mighty redemptive power saves him from sin. God is a loving God forever. God is love. He loves us and cares for us.  He showed his love by giving his only begotten Son to die on the cross for the sin of the world.  His love is unchangeable. His blessed character and his righteousness and faithfulness, his love and mercy, his patience, his tenderness. Oh, my friends, we could continue with attributes belonging to our unchangeable God for a long, long time.

Surely we conclude from mentioning only a few of the attributes of our unchangeable God that there is a vast difference between him and us. We are ever changing in many respects. Our minds, our character, our personality often change. All these change, but our God is unchangeable, eternally and perfectly.
Another consideration of the unchangeable God is his Word.  The words of our Lord, like his personality, continue and change not. His words are true. His words are pure and always appropriate for the needs of mankind and for nature and life.  More than 20 centuries have past away since his words were spoken, but they have lost none of their clearness or freshness or influence with the force. We would echo the apostle Peter when he was with Jesus on one occasion and he said to the  Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

The story has been told about a prominent man who was well educated. He repeated the philosophers words, but hastened to say that the philosopher’s words were forgotten. But the words of God will last forever.  His words are inherent. They are inseparable from God himself.  God is truth.  He is trustworthy. He is faithful to his promises. God always keeps his Word.
Martin Luther declared that he did not need God to send him visions, dreams or even angels. He was well satisfied with the gift of the holy Scriptures, which gave him abundant instruction and all that he needed to know both for this life and for that which is to come. Martin Luther, along with many others, has said in no uncertain terms that God has spoken his ultimate word by his Son Jesus. Yes, he tells us to hear him.  That word is changeless and true.  Forever, oh, Lord, they word is settled in heaven, declared the psalmist. We know that Jesus said Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

Consider the work of our unchangeable God. He governs the affairs of the world. At times it seems that the world is on the brink of disaster. However, God is still in control over the universe. He lifts up nations and casts them down according to his own great purpose.  He lifted up many nations in ancient days. Daniel praised the God of heaven and said praise be to the name of God forever and ever. Wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons. He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.  Daniel had a vision of  the unchangeable God.

Let us think that the unchangeable God punishes sin and rewards righteousness. This is part of his work.  Mankind cannot break God’s law upon this earth and get away with it. God has some unchangeable laws in this world.  And if these laws are broken, punishment comes up upon the lawbreaker. The Christian is punished and disciplined because of God’s love.

Consider the planned future by the unchangeable God.  We must consider the future relation of God to the unsaved and to the Christian.  According to God’s Word there are two judgment thrones waiting for mankind in the future.  The first throne will be the judgment seat of Christ where the Lord Jesus will judge all Christians according to their works and reward them in proportion to the way they have served the Lord and lived for his glory.  The apostle Paul made this very clear as we read very short portion from the Scripture. As Bible students, you have probably read for yourselves many times from 1 Corinthians three verses 10 through verse 15, ‘By the grace God has given me, I lay the foundation as an expert builder.  And someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the day will bring it to light.  It will be revealed with fire and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.  If it is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved but only as one escaping through the flames.’

This word picture speaks to us very clearly that at this particular judgment seat before Christ only Christians will be standing there and they will be recognized by the person Jesus Christ and he will be able to decide, determine which one is rewarded. He does not determine at this time which one is saved.  Those who stand there are on a firm foundation, none other than Jesus Christ. These same people have served the Lord. They have had good works and they will be rewarded accordingly. We thank the Lord for that assurance that we are saved people to stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

The second judgment is the great white throne where all unbelievers, the non Christians will be punished by being thrown into the lake of fire which is the second death. We also take you to the Scripture and Bible students are familiar with Revelation 20 verses 11 through 15. ‘Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it.  Earth and sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne and books were opened.  Another book was opened, which is the book of life.  The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.  The sea gave up the dead that were in it and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them.  And each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Those last few words are so very thought provoking. And, indeed, to one who is outside of Christ surely it is a very fearful thought to think that he or she, without Jesus Christ as personal Savior, will be thrown into the lake of fire. This is called the second death.

Christians need not fear that, because Christians will not experience the second death.  They only experience the one death, the first death, that is the physical body that we know to be alive. The heart beats. We breathe.  But there comes a time, if we pass before Jesus will come for us, where this physical body dies. That is the first death.  But we do not fear that death, because, you see, we have Jesus Christ as our salvation and we will leave this earthly body to be in the very presence of Jesus. We will not stand before the great white throne and be judged.

The unchangeable God has never changed his mind toward the children of God or toward the unsaved.  He is true to his Word and he is always fair in keeping his Word. He isn’t willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

The unchangeable God is not willing for you to perish. He wants all people of the world to be saved.  This is why he sent his only begotten Son Jesus into the world to die for the sin of the world.
Do you know Jesus Christ to be your Savior?  And if so, rest assured that the unchangeable God has a place reserved in heaven for you. We look forward to that promise. But if you do not have Jesus as your Savior, the lake of eternal fire awaits you. Don’t wait another day.  Choose to obey the unchangeable God, my friends. And you will know the great Savior Jesus Christ.  Today choose Jesus as Savior and Lord.

 

Dale Offutt no longer resides on this earth but is home  with his Lord.  He was the retired Minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg, IN.




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