Unchanging God In An Ever-Changing World, by Brother Yomi Sanusi

Unchanging God In An Ever-Changing World, by Brother Yomi Sanusi

Praise the Lord. God is Good. We are going to start by going before the Lord this morning and pray that God bless you and meet you at the point of your need, and that rather than speak according to my thinking I would speak according to the word of God.

It’s a beautiful, wonderful weather this morning.

We have been looking at Hebrews 13.8, talking, thinking and praying in this scripture “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today and forever.” We shall be examining what your attitude and mine should be to an unchanging God in an ever-changing world- a world of change.

It’s helpful to set the stage and refresh our minds about what the scriptures say about the person of Jesus. Who is this Jesus Christ who remains unchanging despite the certainty of constant change? The bible has a lot to say, but we shall only be able to mention a few. He is the Son of God, the wisdom of God, Emmanuel – God with us, the author and finisher of our faith. And so much more! He was there in the beginning. ‘In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.’ How do you know someone? According to biblical teaching, the reasoning and revelation of the scriptures: It is actually impossible to know God, or have anything to do with God consciously without encountering Jesus Christ.

So allow me to approach this exhortation in three points and a couple of historical accounts. Let us look at our unchanging God, and examine what our response should be as the world around us changes every day.

And if you don’t believe the world is changing every day, start believing it. For example, if you’ve been out and about this morning you’d have noticed the weather has been a bit interesting. It might become even more interesting later – brighter, and then perhaps later change again. But I’m not talking about changes relating to the weather alone. I’m talking about changes relating to what people do. What people believe. How people get about their normal daily activities. For example this morning Britain changed. Some politicians got together, and they agreed and signed a deal that takes this country out of the European Union. The country has been in the European Union since before I was born, but today the agreement marks a change. The world is ever changing. But let us look at this God.

God is sovereign. God is eternal. God transcends time. God’s sovereignty means He is answerable to no one, meaning He can do what He wants, when He wants, and how He wants it. God does not have to negotiate with a kingdom, or a country, or a continent, or people. No. God is sovereign and can do what He wants. Apart from being able to do what He wants God is also eternal. God is not just everlasting. There was God before there was time. When we became aware of time God was already there. When there is nothing God will still be there. So God transcends time. And by all human knowledge today we know and the Bible assures us that God is omnipotent and omnipresent. If He’s also sovereign and eternal what does that mean? It means we have to pay attention. The question is what are you going to do with this God? What will your attitude be to this God? An unchanging God in a changing world! There are other lenses you can use to try and look at God but first of all, let us look at a few scriptures.

Jeremiah 32.27. Behold I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me?

It’s interesting that God that never changes, that is sovereign, powerful and can do anything He wants, and to whom time is nothing, asks us this rhetorical question. And he goes on to assure us there is nothing too hard for Him to do. By His nature, He does not have to negotiate, neither is he subject to conditions.

Let us start by considering evidence from the life and experience of Moses. Moses had a life history that culminated in an encounter where he met God. His encounter was part of the process of God revealing His plan and the role Moses was to play. Once Moses accepted the role he wanted to know how exactly to describe the God that had sent him to the enslaved Hebrews, which he was to help liberate. In answer to Moses’ legitimate request, God asked Moses to use God himself as the reference point, the answer and the proof that the sovereign and omnipotent God of heaven was in charge. Moses got a strange name and descriptive for an answer. Exodus 3.14 “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

In other words, God is the reference point, answer and proof. Their lives, preoccupations, locations and experiences changed consequent to the conflict that transpired. God is always in charge of the outcomes of reliance on a sovereign God, against the diktats of a spiritually and morally fallen authority. The same is indeed true for us today, as He – the I AM THAT I AM- remains our all in all.

God deliberately chose that strange, unusual, and attention-grabbing descriptive to make Himself known. It was as if to brag that if there was anyone existing that was able to do anything noteworthy in a wondrous way, if there was anybody that is powerful, if there was anyone that could express authority in circumstances dire, I AM THAT I AM that somebody!

The social context at the time God’s claim was not devoid of change: as enslaved people, the demands from them and burdens of unpaid labour was getting more severe; their oppressors the rich and powerful nation was getting richer whilst attitudes to the enslaved were becoming crueller. So they had every right to demand reasonable answers from Moses. Afterall they were being asked to risk harsher penalties or even death and destruction at the hands of a system that has already discredited God and was not interested in Him. The reference and answer of Jehovah were, trust me I AM THAT I AM. In this ever-changing world. What is your reference?

God’s nature again was demonstrated in the life, story and experience of someone who also needed a reference much later. Daniel was in a strange land. His people had been captured and enslaved. His country had been destroyed. He was subject to certain rules, regulations and laws. But God found a way to keep on interacting with this man. He became a clever, educated person, and was also blessed with spiritual gifts. In Daniel chapter 7 verses 9 and 22, the description of God, his throne and the vision of the coming future judgment was no less than frightening. It gave a glimpse into the sovereignty and power of God, who was referenced as The Ancient of Days.

There is a sovereign God that is eternal and transcends time, who can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants. His only and the best reference is Himself. The I AM THAT I AM, is the same Ancient of Days. So how are you going to approach the Ancient of Days?

I am going to tell us two simple stories, and then we’ll bring this exhortation to a conclusion. I hope these two stories will help us to decide what our attitude should be. The first is from Matthew10: 11-15, 16-20.

Jesus Christ, the one that is same yesterday, today and forever, walked upon this planet. He handpicked some people to be his closest friends.

They were a mix of differing everyday people from a variety of walks of life and different personalities. He taught and disciplined them.

In Matthew 10 after a period of training, he sent them off to interact with people and preach the Kingdom of God. But he was careful to send them to a carefully selected population he described as the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He sent them to the cohort that should know something of the kingdom of God, by virtue of history and experience of their forefathers.

Jesus was trying to tell people that the Kingdom of God is at hand, that this ever-changing world that we see is going to pass away. And because he is an eternal God he has something for us to do. We have to go and tell people about Jesus. If they do not receive you or your words don’t worry. Your obedient action and the words that you say will have some benefit- either to them or to you. So essentially we have nothing to lose by declaring the words of Jesus, by saying the words of peace. Jesus declared the importance and urgency of that task by stating in verses 14 and 15 “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. {Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.”

In verse 16 he said ‘Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.’ In other words, you may not be as strong, powerful, quick or influential as people you will encounter or be confronted by. “Be ye, therefore, wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

Jesus is sending us to a difficult and tough environment. We’re going to have to be clever, gentle, as close to perfect as possible. We need some help. Verse 17 – We are to take a message of peace to an ever-changing and dangerous world. Bad things will happen. ‘But I will help you. You will know how to answer.’ Jesus said he will help us know the answer by utterance and inspiration from the spirit of our Father in heaven.

The holy spirit would speak through us in an ever-changing and hostile world. In a world that is ever looking for ways to change its own laws to favour the unjust. Economic and political activity, philosophies and sundry activities will be used to reinforce the status that comparatively you are mere powerless and expendable sheep at the mercy of cunning, privileged and entitle wolves. As Christians, we are going to have to be clever, gentle. We may not always know the answer but from God, it will be given to us at the right time.

Can I encourage you this morning that when Jesus stated these things the Holy Spirit was not fully resident with men. But we thank God that the Holy Spirit lives in us today. He is resident on earth today, even while the world is still changing.

To see the send story, let us speed ahead in the same book to Matthew 28:18. Again here Jesus was giving instructions. This time it was after Jesus had sent an even bigger cohort of preachers of the kingdom of God, to an even wider cohort of people. They had behind them the experience of performing miracles with the power of God just by invoking the name of Jesus. In fact, Jesus had stunned them by performing all or the words of his predictions. He had suffered humiliating death, burial and had risen from the dead! He had done all that could be done, defeated all obstacles and enemies that could be defeated. In verse 18 ‘And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth’

Remember the resonance with where we read earlier in Jeremiah 32.27 “Behold I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me? “

The risen Christ was declaring to them that all power in heaven and earth are given unto him. On the back of that declaration he commanded in verse 19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” verse 20 “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:…”

For example earlier this morning in the review of our Sunday School these last few months, looking at lessons and instructions such as “Be ye holy”, “Follow Jesus”, “Maximise your time”, “Love one another”, “You must be saved”, and so on. Essentially this unchanging God is saying whatever you have learnt, just go and teach them these things. Don’t argue with them. Don’t force them. Just say what you have to say. It is food for thought t consider why Jesus had to remind us that all power in heaven and on earth is given unto him. He added, “and, lo, I am with you always, [even] unto the end of the world.” And have you noted how Jesus ended that? If you have your Bible open to the place in Matthew 28:20 and let us read together. And Jesus said …”Amen”. What is the meaning of Amen? So shall it be, consent and affirmation.

The word of the unchanging God is faithful and will come to pass.

Even prior to the Holy Spirit being resident on earth God took the responsibility to guide his people. In obedience to the word of God just go and tell them. It may be difficult and very intimidating. You may be ridiculed. In fact, there may be wolves. It will be dangerous. You’ll need to be clever, and diligent and prudent but ‘just do as I have said’., and I will be with you until the end of the changing world.

Praise the Lord.

I do not want to scare us about the ever-changing world this wonderful morning that we achieved to extricate Britain from the European Union. But I want to just assure us that this God will never change. And how do you know a person? You know them by their words. You know them by their promises. You know them by their character. You know them by the relationship you have with them.

So I want to leave you with a few words that we should remember. Words that will help remind us that not a single word of God will pass without being fulfilled. We have about five minutes left. So let’s together open to the book of Psalms. Chapter 119. I just want us to see a few verses there. To try and condense and summarise this exhortation, so we can pray.

If you forget everything just remember these and use them as part of your prayer points. Psalm 119 verses 33,34, 44 to 46, 60 and 89:

Verse 33 – “Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it [unto] the end.” Verse 34 – “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with [my] whole heart.”

Verse 44 to 46 – “So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.”

Verse 60 – “I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.” Verse 89 – “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.”

So we have seen how Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He’s sovereign, He’s omnipotent. He is omnipresent. H transcends time. The words he speaks to us they are yea and amen. He says “Is there anything too hard for me?”

If you want to really find out whether God really exists, if you want the end of science, philosophy, end of reason, he responds “I AM THAT I AM!” The Ancient of Days. He is faithful and true. And he says Amen. The exhortation concludes with prayers.

The sermon, was delivered on Sunday November 25, 2018.

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