December 30, 2006

Psalm 102:25-28 God Does Not Change

Psalm 102:25-28New Year’s Eve December 31, 1993

Long ago You laid the foundation of the earth; even the heavens are the works of Your hands.
They will perish, but you will still go on; they will all wear out like clothing; You will change them like clothes, and they will be thrown away.
But You are the same, and Your years will never end.
The children of Your servants will go on living and their descendants will be secure in Your presence.

IN THE NAME OF OUR GOD WHO CHANGES NOT, DEAR CHRISTIAN FRIENDS:

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see.
O Thou, who changest not, abide with me.

Those words of the hymn express what will be happening tonight in a few short hours. Tonight not only brings to a close another day, but another year as well. This past year has been a year of much change. Each one of us can relate the different changes that have taken place in our own life during this past year.

Tomorrow begins not only a new day but a new year as well. It too will be a year of change for us. What changes will take place during this year, we will have to wait and see.

In the midst of all the change we experience, there is one person who never changes. He always remains the same. GOD DOES NOT CHANGE. This is a source of Comfort Amid Change and Security For the Unknown.

Our text begins with these words: Long ago You laid the foundation of the earth; even the heavens are the works of Your hands. They will perish, but you will still go on; they will all wear out like clothing; You will change them like clothes, and they will be thrown away. Thousands of years ago God brought this world into existence by his almighty power. Genesis 1 & 2 recount how God created this world and everything in it out of nothing in six days. The world that God created did not remain as he created it. A great change took place. The world that God created was a perfect world. It was a world free of sin, sickness and death. But when Adam and Eve sinned the world was changed. Sin has brought sickness and death into this world. The earth no longer produces its fullest. Weeds and thistles grow up among the crops. The once perfect world has become a world filled with sin.

Another great change took place during the days of Noah. At the time of Noah the world was so wicked that God decided to destroy the entire world by means of a flood. The flood waters, which were on the face of the year for about a year, certainly changed the face of the earth.

After the Flood God continued to change the earth. God allowed various nations to establish their civilization and empires. Then just as quickly he overthrew them and allowed another civilization to take its place. Thus the cycle has continued down through the centuries.

Today the world in which we live continues to change. Just think of the change that has taken place in this world during the past 80 years. During that time we have gone from horse and buggy, to the automobile, to plane, to jet, to the rocket and to space travel. During that same period of time we have seen the rise and fall of communist regime in the Soviet Union. The continent of Africa has seen a great change, as nation after nation gained its independence. These are but a few of the changes that have taken place in the world today.

We can be sure that during the next 80 years this world will continue to undergo change. The Bible tells us that another great change will take place in this world at the end of time. At that time, the world as we know it will be destroyed by fire. In its place God will create a new heaven and a new earth.

In the midst of all the change that has taken place on this earth, he who has created it has remained the same. God does not change. He always remains the same. He says of himself, I the Lord do not change. [Malachi 3:6] God is not a fickle individual who keeps changing his mind. God does not say one thing but mean another. God is always the same.

To be able to say of God, But You are the same, and Your years will never end is a source of great comfort for us. Living in a world that is changing so rapidly, it is of great comfort to cling to someone who does not change. We have a God who does not change his attitude about us. In spite of what we are or what we have done, God still loves us. In his love for us he has sent Jesus to be our Savior. He has promised that if we look to Jesus for salvation, we shall be rescued from our sin. God has promised that through faith in Jesus we have become his children and are now heirs of eternal life. God will not change his promises. We can be sure of that.

From our own personal experience we know that God will not change. In the past we have witnesses how God has kept his promises and we can be certain that he will keep them in the future. God who does not change not only gives us comfort amid all the change of life, but also is our security for the future.

The year that lies before us is filled with insecurity. We don’t know what will happen in the new year. This year might bring many changes to us personally and as a congregation. During this coming year members of our family may be called to their eternal rest. It may be that during this year, we will be called home. Perhaps this is the year God has appointed to be the last year of this world’s history. Maybe during this year, Christ Jesus will return in all his glory to take us to heaven. We just don’t know what the new year has instore for us.

In spite of the changes that might take place during this coming year, the psalmist gives us the confidence. The children of Your servants will go on living and their descendants will be secure in Your presence.

As believers in Christ Jesus, you and I know that our life here on earth will not last forever. In fact, we long for that day when the Lord will take us out of this world with all its problems and afflictions, and bring us safely to our home in heaven. There in heaven we shall live forever.

There is another way in which our generation all continue to live. Our present generation may pass away before the Lord returns, but the Lord will raise up another generation of believers.

The Lord has promised that his church will continue to exist until the end of time. He has promised that there will always be believers. He has promised that the Gospel will be preached throughout the world until the end of time. Where ever the Gospel is preached there the Holy Spirit is at work. Where the Holy Spirit is at work there believers will be found.

The believers that will live after us will be secure in God’s presence. Nothing will be able to take them out of God’s hand. Jesus has promised concerning his believers, They will never be lost, and no one will tear them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them to Me, is greater than all others, and no one can tear them out of My Father’s hand. [John 10:28-29] Not even Satan with all his henchmen will be able to overthrew the believers. They are secure in the presence of God.

As we tonight look back on the year drawing to a close, we can see all sorts of changes. God did not change. Richly and daily he continued to provide us with all that we needed. He has had his Word proclaimed to us to feed and nourish our souls. Even though we had offended God by our thoughts, words and deeds, he has been gracious to us, forgiving us all our sins. He did dealt with us according to grace and mercy and not as we deserve.

As we tonight look ahead, we can do so with confidence and security. No matter what may happen to us, God will not change. He will continue to be with us. He will continue to deal with us in love. There is no need for us to be afraid for God does not nor will he change.

Life is changing, changing ever As the seasons come and go;
Friends we loved no longer with us, Thus Ôtis ever, ever so;
But our God changes never Nothing from his love can sever.
All around is swiftly fading, Fading as an autumn leaf;
Earthly fame and earthly honor, All below is very brief.
But our God changes never Nothing from his love can sever.
Yes! below there naught remaineth, All is frail and fleeting here;
But his Word our soul sustaineth, This our path doth cheer;
That our God changes never Nothing from his love can sever.

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