‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.’ (Hebrews 13: vv.8-9, New International Version)

Many people find change difficult, especially as age catches up with us. People upon whom we rely suddenly leave us, systems we are used to are altered, and technology replaces human interaction. In short, the world is no longer familiar to us. Even the churches we attended as children may appear strange as styles of worship are affected by modern tastes.

The good news of the Christian faith is that this maelstrom of rapid change does not affect the character of Jesus Christ: His love, grace and mercy remain the same and cannot be altered by fads or fashions. Christians rely upon Him to be their rock in the maelstrom of transition, and they learn to rely on Him when the ground shifts and all seems strange.

The writer of these verses celebrated this eternal truth, whilst warning Christians not to take their eyes off their Lord and Saviour by turning to false teaching. What did he mean ? Well, there are many who claim that there are other ways to connect with God, be spiritually renewed, and find eternal happiness. In this way Christianity becomes just one way among many to reach our ultimate goal. The Bible tells us quite clearly that this is not the case. Only Jesus Christ has the power to forgive sins, restore us to our Creator, and transform our dysfunctional lives.

Change is not always welcome or healthy, but, when we are held firmly by Jesus Christ, we can sing with the writer of the hymn ‘Abide with me’:

‘Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.’

Rev Cliff Jackson


Okehampton Baptist Church