I was recently looking for a church for a family member who’s moving to another state, and wanted to help him get plugged in to a Bible Believing Christ Community. What I was amazed by were the yelp reviews of so many of these churches. In some of these reviews, people admitted openly to walking out of the services because they were preaching through the scriptures! Now, I know why these reviews exist: they exist to intimidate Churches who care about what people think about them in to walking back stances they take. Yet when I think about how the Bible has not changed in the 2,000 years of the New Testament, and even more for the Old (and there is manuscript evidence to support this), I don’t think God really cares for the criticism and reviewers he’s received since… well, the beginning of time. God is unchanging. He is the same yesterday as He is today as He will be forever more. The God of the Old Testament is still the same in the New. He has not changed based on society or social cues, He does not bend if the critics, who are here today and gone tomorrow, give him a bad review, and He has outlasted every movement that has sought to change His Way (the Gnostics, Nicolaitans, Canaanite worshippers, The Babylonians, just to name a few). God is the Creator and Master of all things. He permits things for times and seasons, but in the end, before Him, Heaven and Earth shall flee! There is nothing He fears, He cannot be shaken, cannot be moved. So our opinions mean nothing. Obedience is where it’s at. And not because it’s a burden to bear His law on our hearts, but because it is a delight to obey the Lord. There is peace, and freedom and security, in spite of external circumstances, in obedience to the Lord. May His name ever be praised! Psalm 119: 57-88
The LORD is my portion; I promise to keep your words. I entreat your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise. When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies; I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments. Though the cords of the wicked ensnare me, I do not forget your law. At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules. I am a companion of all who fear you, of those who keep your precepts. The earth, O LORD, is full of your steadfast love; teach me your statutes!
You have dealt well with your servant, O LORD, according to your word. Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. You are good and do good; teach me your statutes. The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts; their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law. It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes. The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word. I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight. Let the insolent be put to shame, because they have wronged me with falsehood; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts. Let those who fear you turn to me, that they may know your testimonies. May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame!
My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word. My eyes long for your promise; I ask, “When will you comfort me?” For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, yet I have not forgotten your statutes. How long must your servant endure? When will you judge those who persecute me? The insolent have dug pitfalls for me; they do not live according to your law. All your commandments are sure; they persecute me with falsehood; help me! They have almost made an end of me on earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts. In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.