Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hold To God's Unchanging Hand

All scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. 
I woke up this morning with a chorus to the song, Hold to God's Unchanging Hand. going over in my heart. The words are as follows;
     Hold to God's unchanging hand, 
     hold to God's unchanging hand,
     Build your hopes on things eternal,
     Hold to God's unchanging hand.
I love it when I awaken with a song of heaven in my heart. 

The Bible says in Malachi 3:6,  "For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." As I copied and pasted from the Book of Malachi, I could not help but read the verses previous to the one just quoted. In Malachi 3:1-5, the Bible speaks of the coming of the Lord Jesus in the first verse. Then the question is asked, "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness." Now we know that the Lord Jesus was sent to the Jewish nation, to the Children of Israel, for the Lord Himself said in Matthew 15:24, "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." The Lord, of course, was speaking about the Syrophenician woman who had asked that her daughter be delivered from the devil. Ultimately the Lord answered her request. (See Matthew 15:21-28 and Mark 7:24-30) So we could appropriately say that verse 5 of Malachi 3 was dealing exclusively with the Children of Israel.

So are we Gentiles home free? Not quite! Jesus came to save us from sin. He did not come to save us in our sins. The Apostle Paul in Romans 5:20-21, "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."  Thank God for His wonderful grace! But Paul didn't stop there. In Romans 6:1-2, he went on and asked the rhetorical questions, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" The obvious answer to the first rhetorical question is a resounding no! The answer to the second rhetorical question is it is not possible! One can't be dead and alive at the same time. (See Romans 6:3-7) In fact Paul said in Titus 2:11-13, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee." Now wait a second Paul, don't you realize that we live in the 21st century and it is not politically correct to preach anything but love. Don't you realize that if we accept Jesus as our Saviour that what else we do, as long as it is behind closed doors, is OK. Oh, I need to remember that the Apostle Paul lived in the 1st, not the 21st century. 

No, the Bible is true. It was true in the days of the apostles and it is true today. It is what God thinks about things. And He doesn't change. It is interesting to me that other translations of 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 are far more explicit in the condemnation of sin. For instance where the King James Version of the Bible says, "nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind," the New King James Version says, "nor homosexuals, nor sodomites," etc. Other instances are the Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, "nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals," or the Modern King James Version. "nor abusers, nor homosexuals," etc. Don't get me wrong, don't think I am dumping on the King James Version. I'm not. It is the only version I use when I preach. My point is while some of us were guilty of some of those things, we have been washed, we have been sanctified, we have been justified, "in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." To think we can live any old way and keep our salvation is fulfilling the scripture found in 2nd Peter 2:22, "But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." (See Proverbs 26:11) Apostle Peter said in  2nd Peter 2:17-21 that people who go back to the worldly way of living are "wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever." I would suggest that you re-read these verses of scripture for yourselves. God hasn't changed His mind.

The Bible says in Hebrews 13:7-8, "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."  Consider the end of your preacher's manner of life and conduct. If he is not speaking "all the counsel of God"  (See Acts 20:27), consider his end. If you have repented of your sins, been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, evidenced by speaking in tongues, don't change your views on holiness, God has not changed His! Hold onto your faith in Jesus, Hold to God's unchanging hand!

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