Jesus is Always the Same Part #2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
I am happy that I can say, "What he was to Peter, what he was to John, what he was to Mary Magdalene, that is Jesus Christ to me, 'the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
It’s sad, but I must say that I have had friends and family change, so that they are out of my life today. That happens sometimes when we go through trials; but Jesus is always the same.
I know those in Nursing Homes who are old and grey-headed; they have lost their strength and they can’t do much at all. Often they are set aside and forgotten. But Jesus declares, "Even (though your hair is white) will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you,” for he is "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
My second point is that JESUS CHRIST IS ALWAYS THE SAME IN HIS DOCTRINE.
The passage must refer to what Jesus taught, since it is concerned with imitating the faith of others. Listen again to what it says: “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. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace.” It’s evident here that our text refers to the teaching of Christ who is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
The Bible proclaims that the Lord Jesus Christ was the perfect revelation of God. He was the express image of the Father, and the brightness of His glory.
If you go back to Old Testament times, you will find that God spoke to us by His prophets. But today, He is speaking to us by His Son. The revelation of God is complete and it is all recorded in His holy book. It is offensive for anyone to say that there can be any more revealed than has already been made known to us by the Bible and the person and work of Jesus, the Son of God. He is God’s ultimatum. If anyone says that he has received a revelation from God, which came from a source other than the Word of God or the Spirit of God, I thank God that I am unable to follow him.
To me, Jesus is the last, the highest, and the all-encompassing revelation of God; and as He shuts up the book that contains the written revelation, He has a warning for those who would alter the Word of God: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life…”.
At this moment, the salvation of out Lord Jesus Christ is the same as it has always been. Jesus Christ still saves sinners from the guilt, the power, the punishment and the corruption of sin. At this moment, "there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." Jesus Christ still makes all things new; He creates new hearts and right spirits in men and women. There is no new way to be saved, even though some may say there is.
Salvation means the same thing today that it meant to Saul of Tarsus, on the way to Damascus. Salvation by Jesus Christ comes to us the same way it did in the past. We have to receive it by faith. In Paul’s day, men were saved by faith, and today, we cannot be saved by works. There is no indication in the Book, and there is no indication in the experience of God’s children that there is ever to be a change in the way we receive Christ, and live for Him. "By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." The gift of God today as much as it ever was, "is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
Salvation today, as far as to whom it is sent, is just the same as it has always been. It is preached now, just as it always has been, to every person on earth. But it appeals especially to those who feel guilty and confess their guilt, to those whose hearts are broken, and to those who are weary and heavy laden. The gospel comes to these with great sweetness.
Next, I should say, “The Savior is only for sinners.”
He didn’t come to save the righteous. He came to seek and to save the lost. This declaration still holds true, "This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them."
There is no change in the statement, "the poor have the gospel preached to them." And it comes to those who are the farthest off from God, and to those who have no hope, and it inspires them with the power and energy of the Holy Spirit.
Friends, I can bear witness that the gospel is the same in its effect on the hearts of men. It still breaks, and still it makes whole. It still wounds, and still it heals. It still lifts them up in ecstatic joy, until they are exalted almost to heaven. When they lay hold on it, they feel its power in their souls. The gospel has not changed and it still has the same effect on our hearts to this day. When it comes with the power of God, put there by the Holy Spirit, it produces the same results.
If we look beyond death, we can say that the eternal results produced by the gospel are the same as they ever were. The promise is the same today for those who receive Him, as it was for all who have gone on before us. They inherited eternal life, and so shall we. On the other hand, we can be equally sure that the threat will be fulfilled. "These shall go away into everlasting punishment." "He that believeth not shall be damned." Christ has not changed either His words of promise or of threatening, and those who follow Him should not dare to change them either, because His doctrine is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
Can you imagine what it would be like if the gospel really did shift and change with the times. It would be chaos because some would say they were saved by grace, while others would say that their “good deeds” saved them. But that will not happen, because the same results will flow from the same gospel until heaven and earth shall pass away, for Jesus Christ is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
The third point is that JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME IN HIS METHODS OF WORKING.
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
How did Jesus save souls in the olden time? "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe;" and if you will look down through church history, you will find that, wherever there has been a great revival of religion, it has been linked with the preaching of the gospel. My friends, the world will never be saved by Baptist doctors; but multitudes will be saved by God’s grace through Baptist preachers.
It is to the preacher that God has entrusted this great work. Jesus said, "Preach the gospel to every creature." But today in many churches, men are acting like they are getting tired of God’s plan; they are trying to be saved by a priest, by the music, by theatrics, by who knows what! Well, they can try these things as long as they like; but nothing will ever come of them except confusion and disappointment. Stand your ground, Church, and go on teaching and preaching nothing but the Word of God, because it still pleases God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe. And this text is still true, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
But remember, there must always be the prayers of believers to go along with the preaching of the gospel. You have probably read the passage in Acts concerning the new converts on the Day of Pentecost: "They continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine." They thought a great deal about doctrine in those days.
And fellowship—they thought a good deal of being in church-fellowship in those days, “And in breaking of bread.” They did not neglect the Lord’s Supper in those days.