3 Unchanging Truths to Teach the Next Generation
In a world that’s always changing, it’s crucial to remind ourselves that God is unchanging–that he is immutable. That truth can be a great comfort to us personally. But have you ever considered how God’s immutability is foundational to our ministry to the next generation?
Foundational? Yes. Here’s why:
1. God’s Unchanging Word
First, God’s Word is the gift of him revealing himself to us. It is the glorious outpouring of his perfect character and will, his gracious yet convicting law, and his Son, “whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Heb. 1:2). And this Word is unchanging—as the prophet Isaiah put it: “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isa. 40:6).
As parents and teachers, we can cling to God’s unchanging Word as something that’s surely applicable to the coming generations. Let this propel our ministry to our little ones, as it did the psalmist:
“Walk about Zion, go around her, number her towers, consider well her ramparts, go through her citadels, that you may tell the next generation that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever” (Ps. 48:12-14).
2. God’s Unchanging Gospel
Next, we want our children to know something very specific from his Word, namely the gospel.
The gospel, based upon a historical event (1 Cor. 15:1-8), is preserved for us in God’s Word. Yet it’s not merely an event in history, it is the “living and abiding word of God” (1 Pet. 1:23-25), the “word of truth” (Col. 1:5), which has, year-by-year, century-by-century, come to men, women, and children “with power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (1 Thess. 1:6). Even the one who died and was raised—Jesus the incarnate Son—is immutable. He is the same “yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8).
But what about the gospel’s benefits and promises? Must we question if the fountain of Christ’s forgiveness will run dry? Shall we wonder if the penalty he bore will satisfy? Praise God, we don’t have to question or wonder, for God has declared the immutability of his gospel-offer:
“I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips. Once and for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me. Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies” (Ps. 89:34-37).
3. God’s Unchanging Joy
Knowing that our God, his Word, and his gospel are immutable, we come to see finally that, so too, is his joy.
Did you know that God is determined to purify and redeem a people for himself (Col. 1:22; Eph. 5:25-27)? And did you know that God will possess immutable and positive feelings toward his redeemed and glorified people? Zephaniah prophesied that God will “rejoice over us with gladness, he will quiet us by his love, he will exult over us with loud singing” (Zeph. 3:17). Indeed, this is why Christ endured the shame of the cross—for the joy that was set before him (Heb. 12:2).
Our children, if they belong to the Lord, will be the recipients of his immutable love, delight, and security. They will be objects of his immutable joy. And as the Lord’s joy resides in them, so too will their “joy be full” (John 15:11). Can you imagine anything better for our little ones?
But what if God is not immutable? What if he could change tomorrow—change his Word, change his gospel-plan, change his affections? Think about it.
If he could…
- We could not confidently teach God’s Word to our children as forever-true
- We could not confidently offer our children a trustworthy gospel of promise and hope
- We could not confidently offer our children the joy and delight of God, which will be their true joy and delight
This is why God’s immutability is the very foundation of ministry to the next generation. If God could change, our homes, lives, and churches would be built on the sand. But because he won’t, we rest—in our lives and in our ministry to the next generation—squarely upon the rock (Ps. 78:35).