April 10

This evening during the sermon time I’ll be referring to the Bob Dylan classic, “The Times They Are a-Changin'”. I could tell you how I’m going to apply that to John 2, but I think I’d rather let you think on that yourself a while and come tonight to see if we are on the same page!

I would like to draw your attention in this article to the last verse of this song.

The line it is drawn, The curse it is cast
The slow one now, Will later be fast
As the present now, Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’

I think as we get older we face a real dilemma. On the one hand we tend to resist change as much as possible, perhaps because it makes us feel so very insecure. And yet on the other hand, if there’s one thing our years have taught us, it is that this country, this world, the church, even we ourselves, will experience changes. And that can be unsettling, and cause us great insecurity, and tempt us to circle our wagons and resist at all costs.

Especially if our hope and faith are in these things that change—our country, our world, our church, self—rather than in the One who does not change.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

And it is this Jesus that Dylan seems to reference, for it is Jesus who promised, “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” (Matthew 19:30) It is a promise that God will make things right; that the righteous will be vindicated; that those who are being taken advantage of now will be delivered and raised up, while those who abuse their power and position will be rewarded with a place at the end of the line.

So the prospect of change doesn’t scare us. Realizing that it is a part of the nature of this world, it shouldn’t even surprise us. While not all change is good, all growth by its very nature is change, and change is inherent in this world. Which is why our trust must be in the unchanging One, and only in Him.

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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