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Can God Change? | The Eclipse of God in American Culture #5

In a world that’s lost its way, we long to be rooted. While many religions point out their shared ground, the Scriptures reveal the everlasting God, who existed from all eternity. Pastor Lutzer emphasizes the unchanging nature of God, in whom our faith is firmly planted. If God doesn’t change, is He still relevant for today? 

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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” I’m so glad that you joined us again today as we continue our series, entitled, “The Eclipse of God in American Culture.” If you were with us last time you know that we stressed our proclivity — that is our tendency to want to worship idols rather than the true God. Because, after all, the idols allow us to be who we want to be without restriction. But today I’m going to emphasize the unchangeability of God, the immutability of God. And let me tell you why. Because as we continue this series, we’re going to be going into the Old Testament, looking at those passages of scripture that are very difficult, you know, the extermination of the Canaanites and the stonings and the things that are called abominations. And we’re going to face the question as to whether or not the God described in the Old Testament is the same as the God described in the New. Now, I think you already know the answer to that question but it’s a question that has been raised many times.

So we have to get our roots deeply in the soil of remembering that God does not change. In fact, it says in Malachi 3:6, as I’ve already quoted, “I am the Lord. I change not.” Let’s engage in a little bit of philosophical reasoning. If out of nothing, nothing comes, if we can agree on that (and I think everyone should agree on that) that means that something existed from all eternity. And, of course, the options are either the universe — the cosmos, or God. And I maintain it is much more rational to believe that God existed from all eternity, than that the cosmos existed from all eternity. Because, after all, as we look at the cosmos, we do not see within it the wisdom, the intelligence, or the strength to create itself and to keep on going, when nature always drifts toward randomness. It is much more logical to believe that God is eternal. He exists from one age to another and He did not have a beginning. Cause and effect, we notice, happens in nature but it does not have to happen in the metaphysical world. In that world, God simply is the uncaused cause of everything.

I know that these are ideas that are difficult to grasp but I want you to understand as the Bible says in Psalm 90:1-2, “From everlasting to everlasting, you are God.” Now, what that means is that God’s standards do not change. He’s not changed His mind regarding some of the issues that we’re going to be talking about in future episodes. It means that His truth does not change. There are plenty of verses to show that truth is not malleable. Truth cannot change—eternal truth.

I’d like to give you an example. When I attended the Parliament of World Religions, 5000 delegates from all over the world meeting in the Palmer House, I was there every single day for a week hobnobbing with atheists and people from different religions and the first night the man said, Truth in religion is like a wheel. Out on the rim we notice that you know there are differences among us but when you get to the center which he defined as the clear blue of sky, all the religions of the world can unite.” That is wrong. If truth were likened onto the spokes of a wheel they would be like parallel train tracks going throughout all of eternity because God’s truth is God’s truth and God’s standards are God’s standards. And we have to remember that as we’re going to be delving into some deep weeds in the Scriptures.

Lloyd C. Douglas was a man who wrote novels. But he tells a very interesting story. He said that as a college student he lived upstairs in a home. And there was a retired piano professor on the lower floor. And Douglas said that whenever he came down they had this ritual that they went through every morning. Douglas would say to this retired piano Professor, “What’s the good word for the day?” The professor would take his tuning fork, hit it against his wheelchair, and say, “That is Middle C. The tenor upstairs is flat. The piano across the way is out of tune but that is Middle C, It was Middle C yesterday, it’s middle C today, and it will be middle C tomorrow.” In the midst of a world that is out of tune we need a Middle C. And we’re going to hang onto that because we’re going to be talking about the changes between the Old Testament and the New Testament. But always remember that God does not change. I want to leave you with a passage of scripture. “You, the Lord, laid the foundation of the Earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years have no end.” Today, in your time of worship, would you remember that we’re worshiping an immutable God? He is for us the Middle C. So today, you just go with God. 

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