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Faith One Blog

God, Man And Change

God never changes; “For I am the LORD, I change not” (Mal. 3:6). He never deals in contingency planning, nor does He replace failed plans with new approaches. His plans never fail. He designed His plan for the world in eternity past; that plan is still in place today and is working itself out in history. Man’s failures do not require changes to God’s eternal plan; their failures have already been incorporated into the plan.. It may seem to us that the extended time frames and new conditions require a change in the plan but not so to God. He sees the end from the beginning and has always known, not just the end date, but the exact course of events that will transpire in the process.

Man, on the other hand, does change; at times he obeys God and His kingdom makes progress toward its goal; at other times he disobeys and there is regress instead of progress. There was good progress in the early centuries, followed by a long period of sporadic progress, and then significant regress in the last century or two. All this intermittent, up and down behavior is due to man’s inconsistency; it is not an inevitable consequence of God’s having predestined it from the beginning. God is greater than we may think; He is able to predestine the exact course of events, even when His creatures are given complete freedom of action and can obey or disobey as they wish.

The bottom line is that, even though God ordains all things, man, particularly regenerate man, is still responsible for what happens in this world. The kingdom of God advances and declines because of what Christians do or don’t do. The Great Commission really is a commission and it is great; it places the nations of the world in the hands of God’s people:

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.   19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.   Amen. (Matt. 28:18-20)

God’s eternal kingdom will only advance to the extent His people understand and obey His commandments and will reach its final goals and objectives only when that obedience is total. Kingdom progress then depends on two things: first, the Christian’s knowledge of God’s commandments and second, their obedience to them. To a greater or lesser degree, we have been slack in both areas. We need to do much better than we have in the past before we can expect to see any real progress.