Psalm 119:89-90 “Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.
Back in 1998 Oldsmobile came up with the idea of trying to reach a new generation of consumers with the slogan, “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile.” Unfortunately, their advertising campaign backfired. In the minds of younger car buyers, it solidified the idea that Oldsmobiles were for older people. At the same time it suggested to the generation that had been buying their cars that there was something wrong with them and their choice. In 2004 the last Oldsmobile rolled off the assembly line in Lansing Michigan.
Unaware of the potential pitfalls, some churches seem to advertise, “This is not your grandfather’s church.” Now of course, there are always things that are changing about churches. Programs come and go. Every 30 to 40 years there’s a new hymnal with some new songs. More and more hymnals are being replaced by screens. Buildings change. People change.
But in the essentials–the message that is taught, the Word that is preached– there needs to be a wholesome sameness. There are no new promises God has given to sustain the faith of his people other than the same ones that got Abraham, Moses, David, Peter, and Paul through life. You can no more earn your way to heaven today than you could 5000 years ago. The number of sins that God forgives for Jesus’ sake has remained constant across the millennia: All of them.
People may think that the challenges facing our generation are new and different. They may believe that the temptations we fight have never been seen before. Not so. Solomon promised us nearly 3000 years ago, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
That is why we need to turn back to the changeless word of God for our help and strength. It provides so much more than a dependable standard of morals, an unwavering distinction between right and wrong. It brings to us the love and grace of God that saves us and preserves our lives.