July 22, 2017

Change

By Zachery Henry

In 1944, the late George Bernard Shaw said, “Progress is impossible without change. And those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything.” We change our minds about different things every day. Change is unavoidable. There is nothing inherently or basically wrong with change. However, in the midst of a changing world, there is a need for us to hold on to some things which do not change.

The Lord does not change, and his Word does not change. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” Malachi 3:6-7 adds, “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. 7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’” James 1:17 affirms, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Men try to change, twist and distort Scripture, but do so at their own peril. Galatians 1:6-7 says, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Revelation 22:18-19 adds, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book”

Following men who would change Scripture is equally damaging to the listener. Jesus said, “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit” (Matt. 15:14).

Proper change—repentance—is necessary to be spiritually acceptable in God’s sight. Paul urges believers “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:22-24). Peter affirms, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).

“Progress is impossible without change.” But what sort of progress are we trying to make? The inspired apostle said, “Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress” (1 Tim. 4:11-15).

Conclusion

Man changes; God doesn’t. Let’s remember this as our society and culture may change and shift away from Scripture. We should continue to herald and preach the truth that never changes. And in doing so we will make real progress.

Are you ready to make a change tonight and put on Christ? Or, have you previously chosen to follow Him, but since that time made changes in your life that would not be pleasing in His sight? Whatever your need is tonight, please make the change before it is everlastingly too late. Make your life right tonight.

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