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Our Unchanging God - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
March 31, 2023 12:00 am

Our Unchanging God - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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March 31, 2023 12:00 am

Grasp the perfect, eternal consistency of your heavenly Father and what it means for you.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, March 31st. The world is changing so fast, but no one who believes in Jesus needs to be alarmed. Today's podcast reassures us that we can trust our never-changing God. If you'll turn to Malachi chapter three, and I want us to read the first six verses. He says, Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in. Behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth?

For he is like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. And he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasing unto the Lord, as in the days of old and as in former years.

And I will come near to you to judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages. The widow and the fatherless, and the turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts, for I am the Lord, I change not. For ye sons of Jacob are not consumed, for I am the Lord, I change not. It is the immutability of God that links us with centuries before Christ. It is the immutability of God that brings us to our knees to the same God, to make application of the same principles, and expect God to operate in the same way as he did thousands of years ago. Now, in the life of man, it is a gift from God that you and I are able to change.

If we could not change, all of us would be lost on our way to hell, and just as wicked as we were many, many years ago. You see, to man, mutability, that is that you and I can change, is a gift from God. But the fact that God does not, will not, and cannot change is equally a gift from God to you and me.

So what is it that links us from the past to the present? It is the fact that God never changes, that he is immutable. Now, there are many scriptures in the Bible that allude to and state emphatically that God has never changed. The God who created the world is the same God in heaven today. And listen, you cannot find one single thing about God that has changed.

So I want to divide this into four areas so that you'll be able to follow me clearly. And the first one is this, that God is changeless in his person. That is the person of God has not changed one eye odor. And he said it so clearly, so emphatically, and so simply and yet so profoundly, for I am the Lord, I change not.

But let's look at his name for a moment. You recall in Exodus chapter three in the 14th verse, when God was introducing himself to Moses, remember what he said, how he introduced himself? He said, when you go to Pharaoh, you tell him, I am have sent thee. And the word the simple name I am means that in the past, God is in the present, God is in the future, God is and the implication is that there's no change in God. When he says I am that always puts God in the present tense. His very name implies that God is changeless. Look if you will, in Psalm 102, maybe Psalm 102, verse 25. Because when you think about the fact that God never ages, you see, there's some things it's hard for us to understand.

Verse 25 of Psalm 102 says, of old has thou laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens of the work of our hands, God, you've made all of this. They shall perish, all this that God has made shall come to naught. But thou shall endure beyond that, yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment, as a vesture shall thou change them, and they shall be changed.

But thou art the same and thy years have no end. Now, there has never been a time when God had a wrinkle on his brow. He never got worried. There's never any deterioration in God's substance and in his being. There's nothing about God to indicate any age at all. Because he is a self-existent God, all that there needs to be in him is that which is within him.

Never has been a time when it was not, was not created, never shall end, never shall grow old, can't get any younger. He is the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, perfection of being. Now because he is, there will never come a time when you and I ever have a right to doubt that anything has changed about the person of God.

Perfection says there is no attribute of God which can be improved upon. There is no attribute of God that can be any less than it ever was, which means, listen, the day Jesus Christ died on the cross, the day he died on the cross and he looked down from that cross and looked upon sinful men who nailed him to the cross, listen, his love is the very same. If you could weigh the love of Jesus Christ on the day he was crucified and weigh the love of Jesus Christ today, it would be the same. If you could weigh the love of Jesus Christ for those who stood at the cross and weigh the love of Jesus Christ for you where you sit, it would be the same.

There is absolutely no change. For example, if you look in James chapter one for a moment, I love the way James says this because he cuts out all question about any variability of God. He says in James chapter one verse 17, every good gift, every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the father of lights with whom is no variableness. There is absolutely no variableness, neither shadow of turning. There isn't anything about God that was not as it always has been and always will be. He is a perfect God without change. Because God is sovereign, that means that he is in absolute control. As man changes, God knew man was going to change and God never has to change.

He never has to change in his sovereignty because the change of attitude or the circumstance or the culture or the environment, all the inventions, all the progress or the deterioration of society, none of that affects God. He was before creation. Because he's omniscient, he knew what would happen. Because he's omnipotent, he's always capable.

Because he's omnipresent, he's always there in the happening of it. When you look at the person of God, there isn't anything about God that has changed. And that's hard for us to conceive of that when God in space out there from the heavens spoke and created the world, that he hasn't changed one bit. That is not a single molecule, not a single atom, not a single thought within the mind of God has changed since then. For the simple reason, he is absolute perfection, always has been, always will be, and there is nothing that can change God. Now listen, if God could be changed in any way, under any circumstance, he would not be perfect or he would not have been perfect then. You see, the truthfulness of God has not changed. He says in Isaiah chapter 40 verse 8, the grass withereth, the flower fades, but the word of our God shall stand forever. There has not one single principle in the scriptures changed.

And that leads to several questions that you and I need to consider. Number one, how is it that God has not changed when back in the Old Testament, they were offering sacrifices of sheep and goat and lamb and so forth. And now it comes Jesus Christ to the cross and today we don't do that. That has nothing to do with a person of God.

Now watch this. The manifestations of God will vary according to as he works with men and as he progressively reveals himself to man. But God doesn't change. He alters and he varies his work in the human heart. He varies his work among men, but he doesn't change. So though he manifests himself differently, for example, in the Old Testament, there were visions, men heard the voice of God audibly.

In the New Testament, he comes in the person of Jesus Christ. He hasn't changed. The manifestations of the ways he works with men vary. Now watch this, even that doesn't change because you see, he had that plan from the very beginning. And you see the thing we must understand about God is this. God hasn't changed because it was in the plan of God in the very beginning to reveal to man progressively as the years go by and as the plan of God unfolds until the coming of Jesus Christ.

And then one of these days he's going to wrap it all up. We have the privilege of being on this side of the cross to have the prophecy clearly given to us so that though his manifestations of his work among men changes, he himself as a person never changes. He says, I am the Lord thy God, and that means he does not change.

How do you change the everlasting self-existent God? He can't get older. He can't get younger. He can't get any better.

He can't get any worse. And so what does he do? He remains the perfect God that he is that there are a couple of verses that bother people. And if you'll look at them, let's look, first of all, in Jonah, the Bible says that you recall that God spoke to Jonah and he told him to go to Nineveh and to preach.

Thus saith the Lord. And you'll recall the problem that Jonah had. And he took a little ride. And the Bible says, when he got through with that, he ran all the way to Nineveh. And the scripture says that when he ran to Nineveh, chapter three, verse four says, and Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey. And he cried and said, yet 40 days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

Now watch this. That was his message. 40 days. God's going to wipe this place off. The people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed the fast, put on sackcloth from greatest of them, even to the least of them.

All right. Then if you'll move down in verse nine, who can tell if God will turn and repent and turn away from his fierce anger that we perish not. And God saw their works that they turned from the evil way and God repented of the evil that he had, that he would do unto them. And he did it not. Somebody says, aha, repentance means a change of mind. Therefore, God changed his mind about what he was going to do with Nineveh.

No, he didn't. Now listen, there are terms often used in the scripture that liken God to man. For example, we say the eye of God, the hand of God, the feet of God, the ears of God, the lips of God. If God is spirit, he doesn't have any of that.

But the only way for us to describe him from a human point of view is to use those terms. Now, when the Bible says that God repented, it does not mean that God changed his mind. But remember this, many, many of God's promises are conditioned. You can divide all of God's promises into two categories. An unconditional promise is something that God says he's going to do, makes no difference what happens.

A conditional promise is something God says he's going to do if certain things happen or if they do not happen. Now, it was the purpose of God that Nineveh would repent. He said, Jonah, you preach unto them in 40 days, I'm going to wipe this place off.

God knew and God planned and God had prepared and it was the desire and the will of God. If they repented of their sins, he would redeem them. He would not wipe them off. Jonah didn't understand that. In fact, Jonah's old proud carnal heart was so ugly and so carnal, he got up under a gourd and tried to hide himself from the sun and he was sitting up there wondering why God didn't wipe him out.

In fact, he got angry because it looked to him as if he became a laughingstock. They repented of their sins. God didn't wipe them out and it all looked bad on Jonah. Now, the Ninevites didn't think that, but he thought it. But you see, his problem started back in his hometown when God called him to go to Nineveh and didn't want to go.

He went down to Joppa and headed to Tarshish in the other direction. So it was his attitude that needed to be changed. So when he says that God repented, it does not mean that God changed his mind, but that God altered his imminent judgment upon Nineveh because they repented all through the Old Testament. When it says that God came to Israel, he says, Now, if you do these things, this is what I'm going to do.

But if you don't do them, here's what I'm going to do. It does not mean that God changed his mind. It meant that he laid out a conditional warning of judgment or a promise. If you obey, this is what I'm going to do.

If you disobey, this is what I'm going to do. For example, in Genesis Chapter six, another incident similar to that, but a little different in the sixth chapter of Genesis. And you'll recall how the wickedness of the world began to develop in verse five says, And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he made man on the earth and it grieved him at his heart. It does not mean that God changed his mind and wished he hadn't created man.

But it is a way of expressing the grief, the remorse in the heart of God that man had developed to the place of such vile wickedness that God knew he was going to have to wipe them all off except one family and start all over again. Now listen, watch this. If God is omniscient, knowing past, present and future, why would God ever have to change his mind? You see, the only way you have to change your mind is if you don't know the facts.

If something develops that you didn't know about, then you change your mind. But if God is omniscient, knowing all things sovereign in absolute control, omnipotent, having all power on the present being on the scene of every occasion, why does God ever have to change anything? There is nothing about God that need to be changed because of his nature being the perfect God that he is.

Listen, watch this now. In your life and my life, he'll do this today and that tomorrow. God hasn't changed his mind. What he's doing, he's manifesting himself in our lives as we developed and he already knew what we were going to think, how we were going to respond and how we would act under certain circumstances and in certain situations. Now for the believer, what a tremendous concept for us to grasp, that God does not change. That as he worked in the past, he works in the present and he works in the future now. So his person does not change.

The second thing I want you to notice is this, that his plan doesn't change. The purpose of God from the very beginning has been to create man, to love him, to fellowship with him, to redeem man from his sin, to create man in such a way that he will be conformed to the likeness of God. This is why he says in Romans 8 29 that he predestinated us. He preordained, he foreordained. Even before we came upon the scene, he planned to conform all of us to his likeness.

There has not anything changed about that. Even when he had to wipe out the whole of civilization except Noah and his family, God's purpose didn't change. He purposed to conform Noah to his image. He's purposed to conform all of us to his image and the day you and I have our body delivered to the mortician that day and only then will God's purpose for us on the earth be changed because it will be consummated at that moment. It doesn't mean his purpose has changed, but his purpose is fulfilled as we are conformed to his likeness. Now God's plan for you and me has many, many, many different facets to it, but God hasn't changed his plan. When we get disobedient, rebellious, and resistant toward God and we get out of the will of God, you say, if we get out of the will of God, then God has to change something. No, he doesn't because you see, he's already foreplanned what he was going to do.

He was going to love you, convict you, bring about repentance, and woo you back into his will in order to get you where he wants you to go. You see, we are the ones who've been gifted by God to change. Now when we change to step out of his will and get in our will, we get in trouble. God hasn't changed anything. His plan for us never changes. Now watch this.

Let me say it again because I want you to get this. His plan never changes. There are areas and there are segments and there are periods of time where we complete certain portions of God's plan. When we've completed it, his plan doesn't change, but his plan at that point requires a change on our part, but God never changes. So when somebody says, well, I believe God's just changed his mind about this thing. Oh no, there may be many ways that you and I would like to escape the will of God.

Many ways we'd like to explain away things that we do, but there is one excuse you can't ever use. You can't ever say, well, God changed his mind. God cannot change his mind. That is a self-imposed attribute. He is absolutely eternally immutable and unchanging in every facet of his person or his plan. Thank you for listening to Our Unchanging God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-03 22:53:15 / 2023-04-03 23:01:03 / 8

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