2020 is here! The new year not only represents the beginning of something new, but also the closing out of 2019, in addition to the end of the second decade of the 21st century. This new year may turn out to be one of the most monumental in American history. Further, it will be the same for Inglewood Baptist Church. We must be alert, prayerful, and faithful.
2020 reminds us that “change”g at breakneck speed, some for the good, some not the the good. Change, whether good or bad, is inevitable. Outside of God Himself, we all change. So, we must be reminded that Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and the gospel truths we believe do not change. Jesus Himself never changes (Heb. 13:8). Yet, while Jesus Himself does not change, He changed everything – meaning, some change is good, even necessary.
In fact, if you haven’t changed in some ways since your conversion you are either an immature Christian or you may not be a Christian at all. Being a Christian is about spiritual and relational growth. We call this discipleship or sanctification, “…being transformed into the same image (of Christ) from one degree of glory to another.” (2 Cor. 3:18)
In fact, change is sometimes so necessary that if change doesn’t happen things don’t go well. For example, in 2005 Alan Deutschman wrote an article entitled, “Change or Die“. Deutschman referenced research that demonstrated that even when change could be demonstrated to be spiritually, physically, and financially good the resistance to change remained. To his utter amazement, most people would rather die than change their behavior or attitudes. Most people hate change, even if change is positive and necessary.
Jesus encountered this kind of resistance to change to His preaching and ministry. When He was questioned and criticized about His ministry message and methods He responded, “No one puts on a piece of unshrunk cloth on a old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” (Mt. 9:16-17)
I believe 2020 needs to be a year of change. The things that do not change are clear: the Word we believe; the doctrines we affirm; the gospel we preach. Yet, the methods and events we use often need to change, must change. The gospel we preach never changes; how we administer and extend the gospel to a world in need can and may need to change.
Most importantly, I need to change. To change means to grow in God’s grace (2 Pt. 3:18).