The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the
nations...teaching them to observe all that I commanded you,
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age"
April 5, 2015
1) The Ageless and Changeless Nature of
God (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
The Ageless and Changeless Nature of God
by Tom Edwards
Have you ever visited a place that you hadn't seen for 20 years or
more and when you did, you saw that so much of it had changed?
Perhaps it was the area in which you grew up, having spent many
years there; but then moved away and hadn't been back for decades --
Sometimes it can be interesting to see those places again. But
when nostalgia is one of the motivations, it can be rather sad to
see so much that is now different and not at all like you remember
Of course, even those places of the distant past that have remained
pretty much the same, might now appear to you as if some of the
houses had shrunk and were not quite as big as you had remembered
them. You might also be somewhat disappointed to see that some
of those areas have become a little rundown or shabby.
And even when much of the change would be an improvement, you still
might prefer to see some of those old places just the way they used
to be, in order to match up with your recollection of them, while
reflecting on memorable times.
Time itself brings change to everything -- though at different
speeds. A diamond, for example, will certainly outlast a
banana. But much of what we see is far from that lasting
quality of the diamond.
In one of my trips back to where I had been raised, after having
been away for many years, I felt a little sad in seeing so much that
looked so different.
But where I then found comfort was in realizing that, regardless of
how much change there would be around me, I could rest assured in
knowing that God never changes (cf. Mal. 3:6); and if I, therefore,
live to be 100, His word will also still be the same! As
Isaiah writes, "The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of
our God stands forever" (Isa. 40:8).
Unlike everything else that we know, which grows old with age, God
is eternally "new." He doesn't age. The Lord will not be
a day older tomorrow nor a year older next year. God doesn't
even dwell in time. He dwells in eternity. And
concerning God's Son, the Bible states that "Jesus Christ is the
same yesterday and today and forever" (Heb. 13:8). He, too,
does not change. For though He came into this world through
the virgin Mary, about 2,000 years after Abraham was born, yet the
Lord was still able to say, "...'Truly, truly, I say to you, before
Abraham was born, I am" (Jn. 8:58), which expresses His eternal
In writing of Jesus, the Hebrew writer also declares, "And, 'You,
Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the
heavens are the works of your hands; they will perish, but you
remain; and they all will become old like a garment, and like a
mantle you will roll them up; like a garment they will also be
changed. But you are the same, and your years will not come to
an end'" (Heb. 1:10-12).
The "years" in this passage is accommodating language to better
relate to man, such as when the Lord states in Genesis 18:20,21,
"...'The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin
is exceedingly grave. I will go down now, and see if they have done
entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not,
I will know.'" Does God have to literally "go down" to a place
to know what is going on there? The Bible says that "The Lord
looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men" (Psa. 33:13).
Similarly, even though God is spirit (Jn. 4:24) and "not a man"
(Num. 23:19), nor "flesh and blood" (Matt. 16:17), yet He is
anthropomorphically described so we can better relate to Him with
those human characteristics of having "hands" (Exod. 15:17), a
"finger" (Deut. 9:10), a "face" (Num. 6:25), a "mouth" (Psa. 33:6),
"lips" and a "tongue" (Isa. 30:27), "eyes" and "ears"
(Psa. 34:15), "nostrils" (2 Sam. 22:16), an "arm" (Psa. 89:10), and
"feet" (Nah. 1:3).
In addition, "years" do not literally pertain to heaven.
Rather, they pertain to this physical realm. But even here
they can greatly vary. For one year on the dwarf planet Pluto
is the equivalent of 248 years on earth, and one day on Mercury is
likened to 58 days and 15 hours on earth. A day on Venus is
equivalent to 243 earth days; and strange as it might sound, a year
on Venus is actually shorter than its day! For it takes just
224.7 earth days for Venus to make its orbit around the sun.
So time is relative. God put the "lights in the expanse of the
heavens to separate the day from the night"; and so they would "be
for signs and for seasons and for days and years" (Gen.
1:14,15). But there is coming an end to time when all in the
universe will cease to be (2 Pet. 3:10-12). However, eternity
will still be as it has always been -- and it is because God
is! For the phrase "Eternal Father" (Isa. 9:6), in referring
to Jesus, is not said to mean that Jesus is "God the Father"; but
that Jesus, who "is before all things" (Col. 1:17) and has created
all things (cf. Jn. 1:1-3), is also "the Father of eternity."
Time to us is linear, such as a timeline. We also view time as
past, present, and future, and can depict "now" as if it were an
ocean wave that we are riding with a surfboard toward the
shore. "Now" keeps moving forward in time. But can we
really conceive what it must be like to dwell in and relate to
eternity? For we are a people who are always changing or
becoming; but God is and always has been a changeless perfection
without ever having the need to improve anything about His
nature. And He is already eternal in a realm apart from time.
Another way God figuratively expresses His eternal nature can be
seen in Isaiah 44:6: "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his
Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, And
there is no God besides Me.'"
And though Jesus' earthly body had a beginning when borne of Mary,
yet the true essence of the Lord has always existed. For He
"is from the days of eternity" (Mic. 5:2) and just as eternal as His
Father in heaven. Jesus says of Himself, "I am the Alpha and
the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end" (Rev.
22:13). Consider also Revelation 1:17 and 2:8.
The eternal nature of God is also expressed in the name that He told
Moses to use in referring to Him. For Moses wanted to know
what name he should say when the sons of Israel would ask him who
sent him. And "...God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM'; and He
said, 'Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, "I AM has sent me
to you"'" (Exod. 3:13,14). The Hebrew word for "I AM"
expresses God's "unchanging and eternal Being" (Albert Barnes), that
He is self-existent, self-sustaining, self-sufficient, and is always
Consider also Psalm 90:2: "Before the mountains were born Or You
gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to
everlasting, You are God." We are not told in this passage
that "from everlasting to everlasting, You WERE," "You HAD BEEN,"
nor 'You WILL BE"; but, rather, "from everlasting to everlasting,
YOU ARE GOD" (emphasis mine). Yes, the Lord already is everlasting!
It is not just something He used to be or one day will be. And
as our great eternal God, He never changes; and His word for us
today, as recorded in the Scriptures, will be the same as long as
time shall last. As Jesus states, "Heaven and earth will pass
away, but My words shall not pass away" (Matt. 24:35). May we
each find great comfort in that!
Not only is God great because of His eternal nature, His supreme
power, and His superior intelligence, but also because of His great
love for us. And because of that, He can be, as we recently
saw, "...our refuge and strength. A very present help in
trouble" (Psa. 46:1); and why we need not fear, "...though the earth
should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the
sea" (v. 2).
Yes, change will continue to take place to our world and eventually
to our entire universe in a very major way when it will all be
destroyed and cease to be (cf. 2 Pet. 3:10-12).
But, again, God will never change; and for those who accept Him by
their faith and obedience to the gospel, they will also be able to
dwell forevermore in that blissful place where all can be described
as being eternally "new" or ageless. What a wonderful,
timeless place for each of us to be striving for; and where we, too,
can enjoyably be forever "new"!
News & Notes
Let those of us who are Christians be remembering the following in
Penny Medlock's glaucoma has improved, due to her
eye-medication; and her back has also gotten better, but she is
scheduled to have an MRI April 7.
We are also glad that Deborah Medlock's back is now giving
her less trouble, though it is not completely healed.
Danielle Howard's recent surgery went well. A stent was
placed in her arm to get her graft working again (which is a tube
placed under the skin to connect an artery to a vein). The
procedure took 4 hours. On her way home that day, she said, "I
am a bit sore, but nothing too major."
What was supposed to not happen, happened. The infection in Jewell
Wilson's tear ducts have returned, and she is now back in the
hospital. Her doctor said it was the first time that had ever
occurred to any whom he had performed that type of surgery on to
close the tear ducts to prevent infection. She will, therefore, need
to have both tear ducts surgically removed, after her infection is
Dexter Roberts continues to undergo chemo treatments for an
inoperable tumor on his aorta.
We are glad that Myrna Jordan has completed all of her
treatments, while she now continues to heal and regain her
Betty Miles (the mother-in-law of Deborah Medlock's son)
recently had a stroke, due to a lesion on the brain.
Steve Vista is now receiving hospice care.
Let us also continue to remember in our prayers Melotine Davis
(as she continues to heal from her knee replacement), Mary
Vandevander (who is homebound), Jim Lively, Shirley Davis
(who has trouble with her feet), Buddy Gornto (who is now
receiving dialysis), Dolly Downs Moody (who has a blockage
in her portal vein and some discomfort), Rex and Frankie Hadley
(who have some physical problems), Jesse Bailey (who has
cancer), Sue Wooten (who is at the nursing home), and Collen
The Oak Grove church of Christ is having a Gospel Meeting
this week (April 5-10) with Jeff May as the guest
speaker. The weeknight services will begin at 7:30. The
church meets at 2922 NW 76th Terrace, Jennings, Florida.
We will also be having a Gospel Meeting April 26-29 with Phillip
Owens. Services will be at our regular times on
Sunday and 7:30 PM for Monday through Wednesday.
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith
comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins
(Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet.
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not, salvation can
be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
(Gospel Observer website)
http://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (WordPress version of the