Summary: A sermon about the unchanging characteristics of Christ in a changing world and how his unwavering love, direct straight talk, and divine authority are things that we can trust and thereby have peace.
The Unchangeable Christ in Changing Times
Introduction: There have been several recognizable people that have passed away in 2016. They had put their stamp on the 80's of my generation. There were famous muscial artists like Prince, David Bowie, and George Michael and who could forget Princess Lea - Carrie Fisher who just passed away a few days ago and there were political leaders like Antonin Scalia, Nancy Reagan and Fidel Castro who died this passed year; that is just to name a few. It can be lonely getting older, as one of our parishioners once told me, "the older you get the less friends you have." Mainly because you are attending their funerals. After each one you attend you lose another friend.
And you begin to notice as years pile on top of one another how few friends you have and how things are always changing. As some of you know, I like to collect old things like old gas pumps, pop machines, and old advertising signs from before the 60's. I just think those things are neat. But when I talk to my mother, she doesn't get the appeal and as she puts it "I guess it is because I grew up in that era." I undertand it because my son Cody will ask me if I remember the first nintendo or Atari and when I see one it seems more like trash than treasure. But not to him, he thinks those things are neat. If it weren't for the changing times I don't think we could appreciate the things from the past. I don't think we would ever desire things to stay the same.
In today's era, as soon as you buy a new phone or a new computer it is outdated by the time you get it home. Things are changing so fast that there is a part of us that wants to stay in that some sweet safe place that we remember from our past. But change is a part of nature.
Solomon said "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven." The whole earth changes with the seasons. New life comes with the Spring and we enjoy the vibrant colors and hope of warming weather and not long afterward we are looking for shade and perhaps a lake to swim in to escape the heat of the summer and after several weeks of hot weather we enjoy the thought of things cooling back down in the fall and then we notice all the green grass and trees turning brown, copper, and red and then the winter snow comes again.
And through the four seasons, just as everything on earth, we too become another year older. And the many years bring many changes in circumstances. Some might have got a new job, others may have just finished college, others have just lost a job and another just retired. While one woman just found out she has cancer, another woman just found out she is pregnant. One man has found the love of his life while another man's love of his life has just left him. Someone just took their last steps on earth while another has just took their first.
Everything changes, everything is in motion. The uncertainty of our situation can cause anxiety. And when we are tired of the tumultuous changing and wish that things would settle down for a while, because we are becoming seasick from the back and forth and constant ups and downs of life, we are glad when we remember our scripture this morning.
Hebrews 13:8 - "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
Transition: As things are changing in this new year, I want to encourage you by directing your attention to three things that never change about Christ. These things are the same yesterday, today, and forever. First,
His Lordship is the same yesterday, today and forever
"Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." -Matthew 28:18
Simply stated, Jesus is the All-powerful Lord. Also, notice that Jesus said that this power had been "given" unto Him. This simply means that at some time in the past, God the Father gave Jesus His power and authority and that this gift has ongoing power into the future, In other words, it is God's will that Jesus possess all power in Heaven and earth and nothing can change this fact.
By the very fact that Jesus is Divine, He is changeless. God said, “I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6). Christ's Lordship, his divine authority has never, can never, and will never change.
Why is his unchanging Lordship important?
Because change implies imperfection, and God is perfect! To suggest that God changes, implies that he is not sovereign. Science is always changing, Those who love science pride themselves in knowledge, but their knowledge is always evolving. Those who believe in evolution believe they are evolving into something better. The Lord doesn't need to evolve because He is perfect.