Yesterday, Today, and Forever
Congratulations on the purchase of your brand new electronic device! Because we’ve crammed it full of all the latest technologies and software, we’re including this simple, step-by-step guide to help you get the most out of your purchase from the moment you take it out of the box. Please enjoy!
1. Before you do anything else, make sure to remove the protective cling wrap preserving your device’s perfect, shiny black finish.
2. Take a moment to appreciate the fact that it will never look this perfect again.
3. Now for the real fun! Power up your device for the very first time, admire the crystal-clear display and crisp audio tones, and then begin to—whoa whoa whoa! Take it easy there, champ! You can’t just start using this product. You need to check for updates first! A lot has happened in the software world since we boxed up this device, and you certainly wouldn’t want to be using outdated software, would you? We didn’t think so.
4. Waiting for your updates to download is the perfect time to begin thinking up usernames for our exclusive services. We recommend choosing obscure, confusing usernames since all the good ones are already taken.
5. Got a few ideas? Great! Now, Check for more updates. It’s been a while, and you never know.
6. Have your updates finished? Terrific! Now, for the final step, carefully place everything back into the box and throw it down a hill. Your electronic device has been rendered obsolete by a newer, cutting-edge technology that’s superior to this product in every way. Everyone but you is already using it, and you’re going to be a laughingstock if you think anyone will take you seriously with this outdated clunker of a machine. If you’re having trouble coping with this change, we encourage you to read our free pamphlet, So Your Device Was Manufactured in the Stone Age—Now What, Neanderthal? And as always, thank you for your patronage!
…That’s how it feels, anyway. Don’t get me wrong; I love unpackaging a brand new electronic device. They’re always so shiny, so new, so perfect. But there’s also always that looming question: “How long?” How long until this thing stops being so new? How long until some technological advancement makes everything in this box obsolete? How long until “state-of-the-art” becomes a very expensive paperweight?
But if we’re being honest, that sort of thing happens with more than just our electronics. In many ways, it’s become our cultural approach to…well, everything. Cars, household appliances, software, tools, even relationships—we use these things until something better comes along, and then…we upgrade. There’s a societal pressure to stay on the cutting edge of everything all the time, and if you don’t, then, well, you’re just a knuckle-dragging caveman determined to live out the rest of his life in a dank, musty-smelling cave.
It’s exhausting. I love flashy technology and fancy toys as much as the next guy, but sometimes the musty cave sounds tempting—I hate feeling like I’m in a race to squeeze as much as possible out of my stuff before it’s broken or no longer compatible with anything produced on this planet. But that’s just the way things are now. Given enough time, everything gets old. Everything breaks. Everything becomes obsolete.
Well, almost everything.
In opposing false teachers who were polluting the Church with false doctrine, the author of Hebrews mounted this defense: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Now, the book of Hebrews was written during a time period when indoor plumbing was still a pretty big deal. The Roman Empire had certainly churned out some incredible technology, but I doubt the author could have anticipated his words being read by a society living at such a frenetic pace as ours. The concept of something, anything, staying the same for more than a couple years is almost laughable. But staying the same forever? Cassette tapes hit the market a little over 50 years ago and they’re already ancient history—how can Jesus possibly remain relevant in a world that reinvents itself on a daily basis?
I wonder. Here we are again on the Sabbath day. It’s the very same Sabbath God instituted all those millennia ago when He rested at the end of the creation week—no updates, no revisions, no changes. Twenty-four hours of holy time for rest and spiritual rejuvenation. He never bothered to rebrand or reinvent it—it’s exactly what it’s always been. By the world’s standards, that’s obsolete in the worst possible way…and yet, if you keep the Sabbath, then you know. You know what a vital part of your week this day is. You know how essential it is in maintaining both a relationship with God and your sanity. Civilizations have risen and collapsed, society’s standards have fluctuated wildly across both ends of a bizarre spectrum, but the weekly Sabbath has never ceased from being a treasure more valuable than gold.
Why is that? What makes a 6,000-year-old ordinance outlast 50-year-old technology? Simple. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Cassette tapes aren’t. Human beings aren’t. We don’t even know how to be. In a world driven by the winds of change, Jesus Christ remains an unshakable and immovable constant. As the Word of God (John 1:1, 14), He stands as a perpetual beacon of truth and light in a world defined by inconsistency.
The apostle Paul was inspired to refer to Christ as our spiritual foundation—a foundation intended to support the temple of God; a foundation we build upon as living stones in the hands of our Creator (1 Corinthians 3:11-17; 1 Peter 2:4-5). And you know what’s absolutely essential in a foundation? Consistency. That’s why we’re told to build on the Rock and not on sand (Matthew 7:24-27). A foundation has to be dependable and unchanging, and that’s exactly what Jesus Christ is. You’re not going to spend 20 years building Godly character only to find out the project has been cancelled in favor of something new. There has never been and will never be a need for revisions or patches or updates—the plan of God was set into motion “from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8), and it is destined to outlast the world and continue on into eternity.
Technology is wonderful, and it’s always exciting to see the latest and greatest advancements hit the market—but it’s those same advancements that remind us how far we are from perfection. We’re always going to be trying to make something better than before because we never had it perfect from the start. God does. The Father, the Son, and Their plan for all of humanity have remained unchanged since before time began. There’s a reason God never authored the Bible v2.0: He got it right the very first time. The world will continue changing and upgrading, but the Word of God won’t. Contained within the pages of the Bible is all we’ll ever need to live a happy, fulfilling life in this age and the next. Nothing about that Word will ever be changed—not one jot or tittle.
That doesn’t make it obsolete. That makes it amazing.
Until next time,
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