We live in a changing world. If we look back 100 years ago, we see what has been termed as “The Roaring Twenties.” According to Wikipedia, “The Roaring Twenties refers to the decade of the 1920s in Western society and Western culture. It was a period of economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural edge in the United States and Europe, particularly in major cities such as Berlin, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, and Sydney. In France, the decade was known as the “années folles” (‘crazy years’), emphasizing the era’s social, artistic, and cultural dynamism. Jazz blossomed, the flapper redefined the modern look for British and American women, and Art Deco peaked. This period saw the large-scale development and use of automobiles, telephones, movies, radio, and electrical appliances being installed in the lives of thousands of Westerners. Aviation soon became a business. Nations saw rapid industrial and economic growth, accelerated consumer demand, and introduced significant new changes in lifestyle and culture. The media, funded by the new industry of mass-market advertising driving consumer demand, focused on celebrities, especially sports heroes and movie stars, as cities rooted for their home teams and filled the new palatial cinemas and gigantic sports stadiums.
Then came the Great Depression. The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression, mainly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries, it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the most prolonged, most profound, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. The Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world’s economy can decline.
The Great Depression started in the United States after a significant fall in stock prices around September 4, 1929. It became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as Black Tuesday). Between 1929 and 1932, worldwide gross domestic product (GDP) fell by an estimated 15%. By comparison, worldwide GDP fell by less than 1% from 2008 to 2009 during the Great Recession. Some economies started to recover by the mid-1930s. However, in many countries, the adverse effects of the Great Depression lasted until the beginning of World War II.
I’m going to stop here for a moment to ask a question. In the last 25 years, from 1995 to 2020, the same number of years as the beginning of the Roaring 20s until the end of WWII, what changes have you seen in the world?
I believe I bought my first computer around 1995. What a change from today. We recently got an I-Pad Pro for my wife. Its current capacities outperform the combined technology of the last 25 years.
In the last 25 years, our country has been through both major and minor military operations worldwide. Many have been peacekeeping efforts and protectionary or evacuation measures for US citizens living or working in other countries. But in 2001, we saw Operation Enduring Freedom, the Afghanistan war, begin as a response to terrorist attacks against our nation on September 11, 2001, and just ended in a less than favorable manner. In 2003 we saw Operation Iraqi Freedom. These are just the primary ground troop operations. Many more air and missile strikes were in preparation for or coincided with these operations.
Just look at how fashion has changed in the last 25 years. Following up the mini-skirts of the 60s, the platform heels of the ’70s and the leggings of the ’80s came the minimalism of the ’90s, with slip dresses, sheer fabrics, and a palette of black, white, and grey, along side the hip-hop inspired baggy pants, crop tops, big flannels, and bright colors. And who can forget the chains and dreadlocks? The 2000s brought on tracksuits, bare midriffs, and logo-heavy It bags. With the teens came the Athleisure trend, skinny jeans, sneakers, and hoodies. Who knows where we’re headed next?
Nations have changed in the last 25 years. South Sudan split from Sudan in 2011. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Former Yugoslavian states Montenegro and Serbia became separate from each other in 2006. In 2002 East Timor finally gained independence from Indonesia after years of pro-Indonesian militias brutally attacking its citizens with the UN called in to intervene. These came on the heels of Palau in 1994 and Eritrea in 1993. Also in 1993, Czechoslovakia was dissolved by parliament into two countries: The Czech Republic and Slovakia. 1992 also saw the former Yugoslavian Bosnia and Herzegovina become their own countries along with Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia. 1991 saw the creation of 15 new countries when the former Soviet Union collapsed. These changes must have thrilled the map makers!
In the last 25 years, significant changes have happened in science and medicine. Quantum physics is now a standard informer of scientific research. Medical advances have included HIV drug therapy, non-invasive surgery, and needle-free injection technology. Preventative health has now replaced reactionary health measures in many instances. We now use drones to deliver urgently needed medication to remote areas.
In the last 25 years, we have come farther and faster in more areas of our lives than at any time in history. But there are other areas where change is not so dramatic. Some change seems to be expected and is not always cheery. Our kids grow up, get married, and have their own kids (hopefully in that order). Because we live in an increasingly mobile society, we may end up across the country or across the world. Some marriages end in divorce, and relationships are shattered, as people tend to side with one and blame the other for the split. Our parents pass on, and we find ourselves patriarchs and matriarchs of a new generation increasingly hard to relate to. Our friends change over time, as well. Those we shared so much with at one time are now a distant memory of a life we once thought would last forever. How many friends have come and gone in your life over the last 25 years?
Yes, we live in a changing world.
But Hebrews 13:8 tells us of One thing that has never changed, nor will change in the future. It reads, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
We can be glad and thank God for a Savior who will always be the same as He was in eternity past. Let’s look at just 3 reasons why we can have faith in a changeless Christ.
1. Christ never changes in His character.
Men have tried for 2000 years to mar the character of Jesus Christ. But how can you mar the character of one who always does what he says he will do? He has never made a promise he cannot and will not keep. His death on the cross was His oath of office as our Savior and our intercessor. In Numbers 23:19, we read, “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” The apostle James tells us in chapter 1, verse 17, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” Christ is faithful in all His ways. The world changes, but Christ never changes in His character.
2. Christ never changes in His power.
Jesus said in Matthew 28:18, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth.” He has always had all power and will never lose it.
a. Christ has the power to save us. Man and his wisdom can’t save us. 1 Corinthians 1:20 asks, “Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” The power of the cross of Christ is the only power that can make the old man new again.
b. Christ has the power to sanctify us. The same grace that saves us is the grace that transforms us. In 2 Corinthians 3:18, the apostle Paul declares, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
c. Christ has the power to help us. He is the great comforter when we are cast down, the great companion when we are lonely, the great physician when we are sick, the great lover when we are unlovable, the great strength when we are weary, the great anchor when we are blown about, the great paymaster when we are broke, the great miracle worker when all else fails, the great I Am, the bread of life that came down from heaven. The world changes, but Christ never changes in His power.
3. Christ never changes in His mission.
In Luke 4:16-21, we read,
“16And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.
17And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
18 ‘THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
19TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.’
20And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.
21And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’”
Let’s look at Jesus’ mission in more detail.
1. Jesus came to preach the Gospel to the poor. Along with widespread economic poverty in many parts of the world, we see spiritual and moral poverty all around us. The Gospel is a message of hope and redemption to those who are bankrupt in their finances, in their souls, and in their relationship with God.
2. Jesus came to proclaim release to the captives. Jesus liberated many people who were possessed by demons. We see those around us who are bound by evil spirits in many areas of their lives. With so much occult activity in our society, is it surprising that we see bondages to sin and vice? In John 8:34, we read, “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin’” Habitual sin is often a sign that the enemy has captured a person’s soul.
Some people are slaves to wealth or power. Some are prisoners of traditions and legalism. Whatever the case, we need to proclaim release to the captives and back it up with deliverance in the power of the Holy Spirit. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
3. Jesus came to restore sight to the blind. Jesus was and is a healer. He cares about people’s physical suffering. In the gospels, we read several accounts of Jesus healing the blind. In Matthew 4:23, we are told, “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.” He cares about spiritual blindness, as well. In 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, the apostle Paul writes, “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” But we have a message of healing to those in darkness because Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
4. Jesus came to set free those who are oppressed. People are oppressed in many ways. Some are socially oppressed, such as the homeless. Others are oppressed by sin and destructive lifestyles. Some are oppressed by hard life experiences such as abuse and human trafficking. Fear and worry occupy the thoughts of many oppressed by this current worldwide evil of Covid-19. But oppression is the outcome of continual fear and worry in whatever form it takes; fear of what is to come, fear of what others will say, worry about the current economic state, worry about children, and the list goes on. Fear is the enemy’s greatest weapon. But there is an effective weapon in our arsenal that will always prevail if we use it. And that is faith. Not faith in our own ability. Not faith in our own power. Not confidence in the world systems. But faith in God. Acts 10:38 says, “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
5. Jesus came to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. Isaiah 55:6-13 tells us when that time is and the results if we heed His word.
6Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
12 “For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
13 “Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up,
And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up,
And it will be a memorial to the Lord,
For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.”
Yes, we live in a changing world, but His time is now. Will you have faith in a changeless Christ?