God Is the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever, Part 2

Let’s just walk through the Bible. Some people have the question, “If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then how do you reconcile the Old and the New Testaments?” They read the Old Testament through the wrath of God, constantly seeing that God was angry and correcting. You have to know that in the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit didn’t live inside of people. Once they had gone really evil, starting to agree with the enemy, there was no correction other than the rod for them. They didn’t have the Holy Spirit to guide them. They didn’t have the power of God to overcome their temptations. They just became increasingly worse and worse.

If you look at the Word, God always provided for His children. From the beginning of time, He provided for Adam and Eve. Even when they left the garden, He provided the clothing. He provided the first sacrifice for them. They didn’t even have to sacrifice the first animal. He did it. God did it. He is a provider.
From the beginning of time, He has been a provider. From the beginning of time, He has been good. From the beginning of time, everything He created was good. From the beginning of time, He gave us choices. From the beginning of time, He told us we had a choice between life and death.
That still exists in the New Testament, the new covenant, today. Not just in the Old Testament, but every day, they had a choice in the old covenant. In the new covenant, they have a choice, too. They have a choice to reject Jesus. In the old covenant, they were given curses for every time they disobeyed. But if you look at the new covenant, in Galatians 3, it says Jesus became the cursed for us. If you read John 16:8, it says the Holy Spirit comes to convict the world of their sin. Their sin is that they do not believe in Jesus. 

There is one sin outstanding against mankind after Jesus came. That one sin is what separates us from receiving the power of the Holy Spirit to instruct us, guide us, comfort us, and love us. There is just one sin. That is it. Before, it was all the sins. If you look at it, God Himself took the wrath—through the body of Jesus Christ—for every sin. He took the payment. 1 John 2:2 says He died for the sins of the whole world. They are abolished. They are erased as far as the east is from the west. They are finished. It is a finished work.

This is a story. It is not a concrete thing that happened at one point in time. It has been a story of God creating us and redeeming us since Genesis 1. He created us. And since the fall, He has been redeeming us. There are dimensions to the process, so when we believe in Jesus, we are made new and we are being made new. One day, in the new world, we are going to be fully made new in a glorified body. It’s incredible. It’s an incredible story.
Only religion would keep you trapped in the mindset that God is mad and angry. If you read Isaiah 54:9, it says, “So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again” (NIV). He is finished with it. He is in the prophecy of Jesus Christ. He is saying, “I am putting all of my wrath and all of my anger into Jesus’ body so you don’t have to bear it.” 

That is the same loving God who created us, redeemed us, and gave provision for Adam and Eve. He is a good God. He is a good Father. He loves you. He wants you well. He prospers you. He is continually on your side. He is standing for you. Jesus is interceding for you. He is praying to the Father all the time. He says this if you have not asked. If you ask not, then you won’t have it. If you ask, you will. He is saying, “Hey, I am just this simple Father who loves you so much. If you would just ask, it is right here waiting for you.”
But sometimes, we are so afraid He is a wrathful God who is going to be angry if we ask for something selfish or we ask for anything, we don’t even bother asking. What is really happening is we are putting ourselves in the seat of God instead of Him. It’s like saying, “Hey, I’m the one who decides what I am going to ask for and what I am not going to ask for. I am the one who is not going to tell Him the desires of my heart.” 

In intimate relationships, you share those things. Back and forth, you’re like, “These are the desires of my heart. This is what I love. I just want this so much.” It’s a conversation. It’s not begging. It’s not a vending machine. It’s not like ask and receive. It’s literally an ongoing dialog with this lover of your soul.
That is the God who gave us the Holy Spirit that lives in us, guides us, talks to us, and comforts us at every corner and in everything as long as we welcome Him and say, “Holy Spirit, would You speak to me today? Would You guide me today? Will You tell me which way to drive when I pull out of the driveway? Would You continue to remind me that there’s no condemnation in You and I am not supposed to live under condemnation? I just love You, Father.”
That God is the same. Hebrews 1:3 says Jesus is the “exact representation” of God (NIV). He represents exactly who God has been since the beginning of time. If you read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—the four Gospels—you will find that Jesus is loving and kind. He is for people. He is not against people. He wants to work in their lives. Many times, He healed entire crowds. That is who He is. 

Jesus took the punishment we deserved and took it upon Him. Not getting the punishment you deserve is called mercy. Not only that, but then He gave us a gift. That gift is called grace. That grace is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a gift to us that will tell us and warn us of things to come and remind us of the things we have forgotten if we would just listen and receive.
Yes, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is love. It is who He is. It’s not what He does. He is the Redeemer. He is continuing to redeem us every day until we have our new bodies.

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