Summary: A message both of encouragement and challenge. We face troubling times, and great challenges to raising our children as Christians in a world gone made with hedonism and secularism. There is encouragement to be found,Jesus and is message remain unchanging
(Credits: Here I have combined two sermons, "Sexuality, Immorality, and Purity" by J. Shirley based upon Hebrews 13:4, Sermon Central 7/6/13, and "Jesus Christ Never Changes" based on Hebrews 13:8 by P. Jayasooriya, Sermon Central 3/7/16, with an on-line article in The Christian Courier, "O Absalom-My Son, My Son" by W. Jackson--to whom all credit is given except for the editing and collating which is mine.)
In our epistle lesson for this morning, Hebrews 13:1-8, we read that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” This is one of the most powerful verses in the scriptures and one that almost every Christian knows by memory!
In a world where things change so fast, where life seems to move so fast and where we often feel left behind, where values have been compromised and society seems at the brink of moral collapse, it's tremendously comforting to know that we have a Savior who never changes. And, just as the Savior never changes, so too the Word of God in its moral and ethical teachings remains constant.
There are three things about Jesus that never change:
1) The Power of Jesus’ Name Never Changes – ‘Jesus Christ…’
What an amazing name!! It carries so much power and that power is still the same. In 40 years of ministry, I have seen broken lives renewed, strained relationships restored, sick bodies healed and hearts transformed through the name of Jesus Christ!! I have prayed in that name in hospitals, emergency rooms, funeral parlors, church services and teaching classes, and at the bedside of those persons who were passing away. It has always brought comfort and strength to people.
The name Jesus Christ has been used through the centuries and it still remains the most powerful name ever known!! So, whatever struggles you may be going through, call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and allow Him to bring renewal and healing into your life.
In Acts 3, when a crippled man at the temple asked Peter and John for alms, Peter responded by saying, “…in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk”, and in his name an amazing miracle happened!!
There is no greater power in heaven and earth than the name of Jesus Christ and that power is available to us TODAY!!
The second thing about Jesus Christ than never changes is who he is and what he has accomplished. Jesus’ claims, his teachings and his promises will never change. He is the Savior who is always present to guide, comfort and strengthen us. Psalm 68:19 says, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who DAILY bears our burdens”. Therefore, He is with you, right now, today. His love and faithfulness never changes!
Here are just 3 of His many claims. “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). “I have come that they may have life, and have it to abundantly” (John 10:10). “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Those claims never change. Jesus Christ never changes. The third thing that never changes are the moral and ethical teachings of Jesus. And, if He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, should not our values, the values taught to us by natural law, affirmed by Jesus, and commented upon in the epistles through the leading of the Holy Spirit also not change!
Today is a great day to say something that needs to be said:
God’s plan for sexuality includes 1 man and 1 woman, within the marriage relationship. Anything else has consequences for the individuals involved, and for society in general. Upon what justification can I say that? Because the Bible teaches that lust, immorality, and disregard for purity of character has consequences.
Of course I believe that God forgives. But forgiveness and consequences are 2 different things. We may think that the closer we get to forgiveness the further we move from consequences…not so!
David sinned with Bathsheba, then committed murder. In both cases we see terrible sin but also an awesome forgiveness that David requested and received--but there were still consequences. God said, “David, you will live in a valley of tears the rest of your life. The sword will not depart from your house.” And true enough, one of his sons raped his daughter. Another raised a rebellion against him. Would these things have happened had David not sinned? God said it was the result of David’s own sin. And perhaps that recognition was why David wept so at Absalom’s apostasy and eventual death. Maybe God will forgive our nation for the way we have abandoned His unchanging natural law, but there will still be consequences.
Among the many lessons to be learned from the life of David, the tragedy of losing a child to apostasy has to be one of the more heart-breaking. It has been estimated that the Lord’s church is losing eighty percent of her youth by the time they reach twenty-one years of age! Four out of every five! Does this shock you? It should. I do not know about the basis of such statistics, but I am inclined to think that the estimate may be fairly accurate. In most congregations today, there are relatively few young people in attendance. Where are they? Many of them, tragically, are on their way to becoming “Absaloms.” They are steadily drifting away from their religious backgrounds. In a few years, they will be gone altogether. Why? There are at least three contributing factors.