Message from Sunday, January 12th, 2020
"Jesus Never Changes His Promises"
Romans 6:1 - 11
We live in a world that is constantly changing. New inventions are appearing all the time, especially in the technology sector. Computers are able to do things now that were thought impossible a few decades ago. I was watching a program not too long ago about how computers are able to read our minds to an extent. This technology is just still in its infancy, but I can imagine what this is going to lead to down the road. Computers are only going to get more powerful. It seems to me more and more of our privacy is being taken away as our world changes. Even our thoughts won’t be kept secret anymore.
People are changing. More and more people are drifting away from God. I can imagine what that is going to lead to: more violence and chaos. We already see much of that going on now. Look what turning away from God led to in the days of Noah. It caused God to destroy the world, more or less.
People’s attitudes and moods change. One day they’re happy; the next day they’re sad. Emotions constantly change. You never know what to expect or what mood you might encounter in a person.
The weather changes. Today it’s sunny, but who knows what the weather will be like tomorrow. At times, it makes planning to do things outside difficult.
With change comes unpredictability. I know the young people like change. To be honest, some change is good. But the older one gets, the more one realizes that change isn’t always good. Again, we’re not sure what the outcome of a change might be. That’s what makes change unpredictable.
Lots of change creates an atmosphere of uncertainty, which can lead to insecurity. We have little control over the changes happening in our world. We have no idea how they will affect us individually. For example, if there are changes in Medicare and Social Security, how will we be affected? Some of the questions that come to our minds are, will we have enough to survive on? Will our life be tough as a result? Where will we get additional income to live on? Again, such changes in Medicare and Social Security can cause us to feel insecure and helpless.
There is really not much we can do about all the changes that are taking place in the world today. I suppose we could do a little something as a way to protest against the changes happening. For example, I refuse to get a smartphone and post my information on Facebook. I’m sure a lot of people think I’m nuts because I’m not rolling with the changes, but I don’t really care. I just don’t like the way these technologies use my personal information without my permission.
I suppose we could boycott stores that advocate liberal change in our society, such as those stores that support homosexuality and a transgender agenda. If quite a few people do that, that might eat into their profits, and that in turn might force them to change their view on social issues.
Well, back to my main point. Our world is constantly changing, and with that comes unpredictability, which leads to insecurity.
Our text gives us words of comfort, however. In the midst of a world that is changing at breakneck speed, there is one thing that doesn’t change, and that is our God and what He has done for us. We’re told in our text that Jesus died and rose from the dead for our salvation. Guess what, that is never going to change. The fact that Jesus suffered and died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins will never change. None of the changes going on in our world today will ever change what Jesus has done for us. What He has done for us will stand for all time.
Isn’t it great to know there is something we can count on all the time? Whenever we turn to Jesus for forgiveness, we are forgiven. That will never change. I hope this is a changeless truth that we deeply welcome and value. I know that I certainly do. I never have to wonder what kind of mood Jesus is in at the moment I turn to Him. Is He happy today or is He angry? What are my chances of not being forgiven? These are questions I don’t have to ask myself because Jesus’ promise of forgiveness never changes—and it will never change.
This promise isn’t just for me. It’s for all of us. We can count on God never to renege on His promise of forgiveness to us. In a changing world, this is something we can count on not to change.
I’m sure all of us have been baptized. It was then that God came into our lives and washed us clean of all our sins. At that point our sins were buried with Him as our text says. We were in a sense crucified with our Lord. Nothing can change what happened to us at our baptism. God won’t ever say, “Oh, I changed my mind. Baptism is no longer good for anything.” If God did do that, He would then negate the baptism of our Lord. If that happened, then we might as well disregard God’s word, the Bible, altogether. If God is going to change His promises, then we might as well quit coming to church and even believing in Him. What would be the point of believing in God if He constantly changed His promises?
But the beautiful thing is that He never will change His promises. The forgiveness we received at our baptism will never change. You see, God is not a liar, unlike human beings. They constantly lie and change what they say and promise. But this isn’t how God operates. He abides by the truth. He keeps His word. What He says will never change.
Has God’s word ever changed? The Bible of 1,000 years ago is the same today. The fact of Jesus’ death and resurrection hasn’t changed since then. And it never will. God’s word doesn’t change.
Verse 10 of our text, “The death He died, he died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God” confirms the truth that God doesn’t change. This verse says that Jesus died once and for all, not over and over again. Have we heard of cases or stories of Jesus dying again but perhaps in a different time period? No. This verse says Jesus died once and for all. That will stand forever. God won’t change His mind and say to His Son, “You need to go back to earth and die for the sins of the world again.”
In the Old Testament, the Israelites had to offer sacrifices again and again. One time didn’t do it. The sacrifice of one animal didn’t forgive sins for all time. A person had to offer animal sacrifices again and again to receive forgiveness. But when Jesus came into our world and sacrificed Himself, He put an end for the need to offer animal sacrifices. Never again would a person have to sacrifice an animal for the forgiveness of sins. He could count on Jesus’ sacrifice instead. He could also count on the fact that that would never change. And it hasn’t for 2,000 years.
We can count on Jesus’ sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins, which means life for us. When we feel bad for something we’ve done against our family of friends, we can be sure that our sin won’t keep us out of heaven. Jesus has paid the price for us, and that won’t ever change.
It’s a great comfort to know that in spite of all the changes that are happening in our world and the unpredictability and insecurity those changes bring, we can look to God who never changes. Our forgiveness isn’t unpredictable. God’s promise of eternal life is sure.
It’s makes much more sense, then, that we don’t put our trust in the things of this world. Trusting and believing in Jesus makes much more sense because He remains unmoved in the sea of change around us.
I pray that we will not change the direction of our lives, that we will remain steadfast and faithful to the Lord all our lives.