Does God Change His Mind?
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 86 · 8 months ago

Does God Change His Mind?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Can you trust a God that seemingly changes His mind? While God doesn't change His mind, there are verses in the Bible that seem to indicate that He does. Some of these examples seem to be changes for the good and some are for the bad. All in all, God is entirely consistent and He wants to "change his mind" about you.

And it's really cool that we kicked off this questioning faith series with our child dedication service, because kids ask great questions, don't they? They're not really ashamed at all. They're just like why, you know? And it could be anything that they say next. But it's really cool that Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is for those that have faith like a child, and so there's something special about the way a child trusts and a way that a child have faith that is important to learn from them as those who are older and so like when my little girls jump off of something and they expect me to catch them, like that's faith, that's trust, that's my daddy's not going to drop me, my daddy's not going to let me down. And we can do that by jumping off into whatever God is leading us to and he's certainly going to catch us. He can be trusted, and so we...

...ask questions like this one. Does God change his mind? It's a great question and really I think the question behind the question is this idea of can God be trusted? Like we know people that have changed their minds. Right. Maybe you got a job and it was going to be a great job and then the boss came to you who hired you, like a couple weeks earlier and was like I don't think this is going to work for you. It did two weeks ago. Or you've been at that company for years, thirty, forty years. You've invested your entire life to this company and all of a sudden they're like you're done. You changed your mind like that quick right. We've all experienced that in relationships with friends. Hey, I'm going to be there for you, and they're not. They change their mind, whether it's a spouse walking out. It's hard, it's really hard. They...

...promised to be there, they promised to be with you, they promised to show up at that event and they don't. For whatever reason they changed their mind. And so what do you what do you do when your trust decreases as a result of people changing their minds? Right, your trust in them is not as strong as it wants be because maybe, maybe they're going to just choose differently today. Can they really be trusted? And so we asked that question about God. Can we trust God? Does God change his mind? Does God change his mind? And the short answer is no, God doesn't change his mind. And Malachi three, verse six. As we look to the scriptures, it says I am the Lord and I do not change, and that is why you, descendence of Jacob, or not already destroyed. Many other countries were destroyed because of their sin and and God saying,...

I promised you something special. This isn't the time for that. I do not change. I'm not taking back my word. I do not change. To other verses, James, one hundred and seventeen, whatever is good and perfect as a gift coming down to us from God, our father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or cast a shifting shadow. He never changes, and this one is very clear. Numbers Twenty, three, nineteen. God is not a man so that he does not lie. He is not a human so that he does not change his mind, implying that humans change their mind. I change my mind, you change your mind. God does not change his mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through? The answer to those rhetorical questions everybody is no, but as contrasting a human right,...

...that is yes. Like we've spoken things and we haven't done them. We've promised and we haven't carried through. But God is different. He does not change his mind. But what do you do about the handful of verses that seemed to say the exact opposite? What do you do when you read a verse like Genesis Six, six and it repented, which is literally like to change, to turn around, to change your mind the Lord? It repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth and it grieved him at his heart. This is at the very beginning, and human beings were very sinful and God sent this flood to destroy everybody pretty much except for a few people. Did God change his mind about his creation? or in Jonah ten, when God saw that they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind. It did not carry outt the destruction he had threatened. So one of them is like a negative.

He changed his mind from good to bad, it seems, and the other one is like a positive. He changed his mind from bad to good. So what do you do with that seemingly opposite ideas well, one of the helpful things to do is to realize that the Bible was not written in English, and so if you can go back to the words that were translated into these words. It gives you an idea of why the translators translated these words they way that they did. And so when you look at Genesis six, six and Janah ten, the word that is like change their mind is the Hebrew word Naham, which means to repent, to change, and it also has this idea of bringing sorrow or to bring comfort. And so it's not like the word is like this and that's it right. There's like there's more context, there's more you have to see how it's used in phrases and...

...see how it all works together. And so that word Naham is also like in a different translation, in the new living translation, the the writers of the English version look at the Hebrew word and they try and figure out the context. And so in Genesis six six, so the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the Look Earth. It broke his heart. They're trying to capture this idea of this Hebrew word that it's not like God, like didn't foresee this happening. God is in control of all things. God does not change. He is immutable, than is the big theological term. But he feels emotion like you do. Were created in his image, and so he felt the pain that his creation, that has free choice because he wants a relationship with us, that they were choosing to do something that it broke God's heart, and that's captured in this idea of God...

...changing his mind. And then, like in Jonah ten, it's the same Hebrew Word Naham, when God saw all that he had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways. That's the city of Nineveh, this evil city of Nineveh. God told Jonah, the Prophet, to go and tell them that they were going to be destroyed, and Jonah wanted them to be destroyed. Oh he wanted it so bad. And when God changed his mind, because the people actually change their mind about God, Jonah was sitting up on the hill ready to see the city destroyed and it wasn't. It's an amazing story, but got Jonah in three hundred and ten. Here he writes, or it says, that he changed his mind. God did and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened. And so if you look at that word Naham again and in a different translation, the an IV translation from a thirty, twenty, thirty years ago, when God saw what...

...they did and how they turned from their evil ways. He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened. And so you can see how, when we look at the original language of the text and how you translate it, on the surface they both can't be true, right. God doesn't change his mind. God does change his mind. Right, they can't both be true. But when you understand it, when you study it, when you dig into it, when you see how it's applied in the context of the different writers and and how it's used, you can come to an understanding that in a sense, God can. He doesn't change his mind, but then there are certain things that he's changing, like his feelings. He's changing. He has compassion for people, and so the bottom line is that odd is entirely consistent. He's entirely consistent. He does not change,...

...he is consistent. And so when people turn from their evil ways, God changes his mind about them and is consistent to always forgive and always welcome into his family. But if somebody refuses to repent, to change their mind about God, then God is always consistent in his judgment. It's not like one day God decides well, today, the way you get to heaven is you believe in Jesus, and then the next day it's well, you believe in you know, follower of Islam, and the next day it's you've been to church enough times, and the next day it's you've given enough money to the church and the next day you've done enough good things. Like it's not this random roulettes of whatever God choose it. Like God is entirely consistent in who he is and what he does. And so when we think about this idea...

...of genesis chapter six and God changing his mind about humanity, like God created humans, and what did he call his creation? He called it good, and then it was very good, but then the people were bad and that broke God's heart. And so we just under we asked like did God make a mistake, like if he knew that humanity was going to be so evil that he was going to have to destroy pretty much everybody? Did God make a mistake? And then we personalize it. Not Just did God make it a mistake, but the God make a mistake about me, we might wonder. Am I a mistake? And in some ways it's. This is true.

We've all made mistakes, we've all sinned we've all fallen short of God's perfect standard. Were all sinners and we're all separated from God. But God doesn't make mistakes. You're not a mistake. He does not change his mind. God is entirely consistent, and God wants to change his mind in quotes about you when you change your mind about him, like it broke God's heart to know that man had become so evil, and so he did something about it. Like he's consistent that he judges sin and in this particular instance, the consequence of sin came right then and there, been God's sovereign judgment and love and justice, he just decided, like you can't ever escape the consequences...

...of your sin, no matter what it is. But in that moment God was also looking ahead to the cross where his one and only son, Jesus, would die on that cross to pay the penalty for your sin and the sin of the entire world so that they wouldn't have to. And God's not just going to forgive your sin because you showed up the church today. God's not going to forgive your sin because you're a nice person. He's entirely consistent, and sin has to be paid for, and either you're going to pay for it or you're going to believe that Jesus did for you. And so when we change our minds, when we turn, when we repent, when we look to Jesus instead of anything else, then he is entirely consistent about...

...changing his mind towards us. He forgives our sins, he welcomes us into his family every single time. And that could be you this morning. Like you could make that decision in these moments where, yes, you might feel far from God, yes, you might have done things that make you feel like you've made a mistake, that you are a mistake, but God doesn't make mistakes. And yes, we might be far from him, but in our sin, God demonstrated his love by sending his son, Jesus Christ, to die on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sins, so that anyone, and this includes you, who turns from their sin and trust in Jesus will be forgiven and will have eternal life, abundant life. God wants...

...to change his mind about you when you change your mind about him. So would you stand with me and close our service with me in a word of prayer. Lord Jesus, we are thankful that you love us and that it doesn't depend on how you're feeling today, or how the weather is, or even the decisions that we've made. God, you are who you are and you love us no matter what. And Lord, I just pray for those today that might feel like they've made mistakes, that they are mistake, that they would know just how much you love them, that yes, there's consequences to sin, but yes, Jesus paid the ultimate consequence, wince for us.

And so, Lord, I just pray that we would trust and believe in you, Jesus, and for those that might be trusting and believing for the first time or the first time in a long time, I just pray that you would give them boldness and confidence to believe, to believe that it's not up to them, it's that you love them, Jesus, that you've forgiven them and that you want to give them a new life, a fresh start. You want to do that today, and we know that because you're consistent. That's what your word says. If we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that you have been raised from the dead, we will be saved and we can believe that. So thank you, Lord Jesus, that you are who you say you are and that we can trust you in Jesus name, Amen.

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