Senin, 28 Desember 2009
Jesus Christ The Same
By Howard Parrell
A cynic once remarked that nothing is permanent except change. We live in a world of change. Everything from ladies’ shoes to legislation, from automobiles to art, from furniture to finances... styles and customs and conditions change overnight. World events seem to tumble over each other with barely enough time to happen.
In such a breath-taking age men look here and there for a point of permanence.
a) Some rely upon financial investments, but money only serves to purchase more change.
b) Others seek to endure through fame, honors, and position; but how soon are the famous forgotten.
c) Some rely upon friends, but too many friends, like shadows, follow only in sunny weather...and even the best of friends are sometimes called away.
Thousands seek to escape life’s boredom through modern fads and isms. Someone has said: "The religion of China is Confucian: the religion of America is confusion." Men wander in a wilderness of cults seeking lasting satisfaction.
My dad used to tell of a man who bragged that he had been a Methodist and Presbyterian and was now thinking of leaving the Baptist work to become a Charismatic. My dad wished him luck. The man seemed puzzled, thinking his pastor would fight for his membership. Dad explained that he didn’t see any harm in changing labels on an empty bottle.
I rejoice that "I have an anchor that keeps my soul, steadfast and sure while the billows roll; fastened to the rock which cannot move, grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love." That is the Jesus that I want to talk about today.
JESUS CHRIST THE SAME.
What marvelous satisfaction we can take in these four words.
A. Your health will leave you.
B. Your circumstances in life will not remain the same.
C. All too often we find that those around us cannot be counted on.
D. Since all this is true, what a relief it is to turn from these changing scenes to Jesus Christ, the same. Here is One Who never fails the heart that leans on Him for rest.
1. Health may fail us -- but His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
2. Adversity may crash upon us -- but He draws closer than a brother and whispers, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
3. Friends may desert us, so that we end up saying with Paul, "No man stood with me." -- But we can also say with him in the next verse, "Notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me."
4. And even when death draws near He assures us, "I am the resurrection and the life."
E. I take great comfort in knowing that my Savior is referred to in Isa. 9:6 as "the everlasting Father" and as One with whom is no variableness or shadow of turning.
JESUS CHRIST THE SAME YESTERDAY.
A. There is an eternity locked up in these words. In fact, eternity stands on either side of the Christ of today.
B. Strictly speaking, there is no past tense with the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. (Jn. 8:58) - "Before Abraham was I AM"
2. Jn. 1:1-2
3. We must never neglect to acknowledge the eternal pre-existence of Jesus.
C. But what of the Jesus of modern history?
1. Born in another man’s stable, buried in another man’s tomb.
2. Living in a little land less than half the size of Arkansas.
3. In His public ministry, never over a hundred miles from home.
4. He wrote no books, led no armies, left His truths with a few plain and unpromising disciples.
5. Died the death of a criminal.
6. Yet that life stands alone. What He said and did proves who He is. (Matt. 16:16)-"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God."
D. But the Jesus Christ of yesterday did not end in a sealed tomb. Christians are not living on a memory.
E. In the midst of despair Jesus appeared to His disciples as the eternal King; victorious over death, hell, and the grave. Then not many days after that He empowered His church to continue in His name.
F. Jesus Christ of yesterday is the Eternal Son from everlasting with the Father, sharing with Him in creation.
1. Jesus Christ of yesterday is the Word made flesh, taking the form of a servant, made sin for us.
2. Jesus Christ of yesterday is the risen and glorified Christ, living His life in millions of lives through 2,000 years.
JESUS CHRIST THE SAME TODAY.
A. Many Christians find themselves getting upset with God because Christ is not working to suit their own private agenda and timetable.
B. Christ is doing exactly what He purposed to do in this age, and His program is following the Father’s schedule.
1. The blind are seeing, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them.
2. You say, "Yes Jesus did that then, but He is not doing it now." Consider the working of Christ in this age.
a. Eyes blinded by the god of this world are still being opened by the light of the world.
b. Those crippled by sin are walking in the newness of life thanks to the great physician.
c. Modern-day Naamans dip in the fountain filled with blood and lose their spiritual leprosy.
d. Ears are being opened to the music of heaven.
e. Those who are dead in trespasses and sins are being quickened to eternal life.
f. And the world over, the Gospel is being preached to the poor.
3. The Lord Jesus Christ is still the same today as He was yesterday. He is still doing mighty works...and if He is not doing them in your life it may be because -- while you hold the Jesus of yesterday in high regard, you have not experienced the Jesus of today. [See Matt. 13:54-58]
JESUS CHRIST THE SAME FOREVER.
A. It would not be enough that He is the same yesterday and today if somewhere down the road He should cease to be. [ (I Cor. 15:19) - "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."]
B. But the best is yet to come.
1. He has promised to come for us.
2. We will see Him as He is and we shall be like Him. Then we will rule and reign with Him.
3. Sorrow will be removed...sickness will be vanquished...sin will be conquered...and...death will be destroyed.
C. And in the middle of all this is Jesus Christ.
So, in this changing age, rejoice in a changeless Christ.
1. He is the same yesterday, and because of who he was yesterday, the Son of God dying for the sins of the world, He meets the problem of our yesterdays, our guilt before a holy God.
2. He is the same today, and because of Who He is today, our Lord and our Advocate, He meets the problem of our today’s, He directs our lives and pleads our cases before the Father.
3. He is the same forever, and because He is, He meets the problem of our tomorrows, He assures us of life eternal and a home with Him.