Times Change; God Doesn't
“For I am the LORD, I change not;” Malachi 3:6a
“Every 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.” James 1:17
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
One of the amazing attributes of God is what we call in theology the “immutability of God.” It means that God doesn’t change. Now, He can change His mind (Jer. 26:3), but His truth does not change. His Word is forever settled in heaven (Ps. 119:89), therefore, His absolutes never become open for debate. This is a hard pill for many of us to swallow. As we see the world going further away from God, sin looks less severe and as believers, we eventually start doing the things that God’s Word forbids us to do. We try to justify things with the mentality that things that were sinful years ago aren’t so bad now. That’s how Satan gets into the church, by convincing people that their pet sins aren’t as bad as everyone else’s. Meanwhile, they are deceiving themselves because God hates sin. We are commanded to be holy so that we will not desire to sin (1 Pet. 1:15-16).
So, how do we know what is and is not acceptable? It’s simple to understand, but often difficult to apply. Here it is: God’s Word tells us. The problem is, nobody wants to read it anymore. Everyone wants to do what makes them happy and then try to justify it with a verse (usually taken out of context). The sad reality is that many folks with good intentions have replaced principle with preference and when their decision is addressed by the Bible, they get mad at God like it’s His fault they didn’t obey.
It’s like a child who is properly taught by his parents, yet when he grows up and abandons his parents’ teaching, he blames them for his error. That sounds preposterous, yet that is often how we treat the Lord. We disobey and then blame Him for making the rules that we are guilty of breaking.
God is consistent and He gave each of us the same standard for living: His Word. What we do with it determines how we live. If we choose to obey it, we will receive His blessings, but if we reject it or ignore it, things will inevitably go wrong. His immutability allows Him to hold to the same standards of holiness without wavering and it gives us the solid foundation on which to base our convictions. Before I sign off, I want to share Romans 12:2 with you, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”