Hope is Good – But You Can Keep the Change

     Hope is a fundamental building block of Biblical doctrine and is predominately defined as the sure and steadfast expectation of eternal life.  Scriptural hope, therefore, focuses on the future and is a gift of God.  A primary synonym of hope is ‘faith’ and a primary synonym of faith is ‘assurance’.
     “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled…reserved in heaven for you…ready to be revealed in the last time.”  I Peter 1:3-5
      Therefore, while the object of hope is presently unseen and is to be revealed in the future, the exercise of hope is present.  God is the object, author, and giver of hope while man is the recipient of hope by grace.  Hope is a wonderful concept.
     How about change?  The Bible presents change in two aspects, i.e., change initiated by man and change initiated by God.  The change prevalent in today’s heated political climate emanates from the hearts of men.  Such promised changes should first be weighed against the word of God.     
     Perhaps the writer of Proverbs said it most succinctly.
     “My son, fear the LORD and the king; do not associate with those given to change…”  Proverbs 24:21
     While men applaud and strive for change God is immutable as are His commandments and instructions.
     “For I am the LORD, I do not change…”  Malachi 3:6
     Synonyms for ‘change’ in the above include alter, disguise, or pervert.
     “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.”  Numbers 23:19a
     The Hebrew base for ‘repent’ in the above means a change of heart, disposition, mind, or purpose.
     The truth of God’s immutability is reaffirmed in the New Testament.
     “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (change).”  James 1:17
     “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines.”  Hebrews 13:8-9
     Thus change initiated by man to improve man’s quality of life is unsubstantiated in Scripture. 
     On the other hand, change initiated and provided by God for man’s benefit is a wonderful truth.  In fact God’s planned change for man in the future is the object of the present hope that God has given to man.
     “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”  I Corinthians 15:51-52
     “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform (change) our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body…”  Philippians 3:20-21
     In summary, hope and change born in the hearts of men is contrary to God’s word, is a feeble attempt to usurp God’s prerogatives, results in challenging God’s sovereignty, and will ultimately fail.  Such initiatives suggest that man places confidence in his own ability to improve his lot in life as well as meet the challenges facing this great nation.  And finally such political rhetoric amounts to an attempt to supplement the word of God which has a warning.
     “Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar.”  Proverbs 30:6
     Hope and change provided by God for man are indescribable gifts while hope and change devised by and promised by man for man are futile, empty words.
     “There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death.”  Proverbs 14:12
     Everyone has the freedom to listen to the present political discourse and weigh such rhetoric with the word of God to determine if promises made are in line with scriptural teachings or if such promises are vain and inconsistent with the word of God.

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