Neither God nor man has changed.
If a man die, shall he live again?
All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come! —Job 14:14
Churches also change. The little frame structures gave way to vast and elaborate complexes. And a budget that was stretched to pay bills and support a preacher has grown to resemble big corporate spending.
Many changes, have been even less favorable. Pulpits once rang with Scripture; Bible believing men filled them. Now preachers have other interests —and other agendas. They quote from the philosophers more freely than Jesus. Many pulpits would be closed to ?“old time” preachers if they were recalled from their graves. In the very churches where they spent their preaching lives, there would be no place for their themes of repentance, righteousness, or judgment. Their pointed rebuke of all sins would surely embarrass today’s sophisticated and worldly audience.
Churches were once concerned with saving sinners and preparing men for eternity. Helping their poor was natural for brothers. Training Christian’s children in righteousness was a very high priority. Now aims are more immediate —’this world” focused: how to be happy, how to be successful, and how to be well adjusted. There is more use for a gymnasium than for a place of worship. Church activities center on fun. Churches today have come to the point that character building is a minor item if in the program at all. Necessary principles of good character have been neglected so long that they are now forgotten.
Well, all things have not changed. It is time to remember some unchanged things.
Man has not changed. He wears different clothes and drives different vehicles, but he is the same as ancient days. His problems are the same. His needs are the same. His sins are the same.
God’s law still governs man. Sin has not changed; there is no new set of morals. Ancient immoral practices are immoral today. No sin is legalized; no sin has acquired a righteous status.
God still answers prayer. The period of miraculous power operating in men is past, but God has a hand in the affairs of men; his providence is working unseen in the world every day. He listens when saints pray–including petitions for their needs. And he still answers their prayers according to his own will. He continues to be able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph.3:21).
Death is still sure and certain. “And as it is appointed for men to die once” (Heb.9:27). Yet the resurrection of all men –good and evil– is also guaranteed.
And really important: Jesus still saves sinners! even you! “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Mt.11:28-30).” What good news for weary, sin worn modern sinners! Jesus still saves! His simple perscription is also unchanged: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk.16:16).
Many things have changed —are changing, but thank God the most important things have not.
Bible Comments, 18, a publication by Joe Fitch originally intended for distribution among small congregations in Texas.
Used here by kind permission.
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