#2 The “Names of God” Series
("The everlasting God!")
TEXT: Gen. 21:33; Psalm 90:1-2; 102:25-27; 1 Peter 1:13-2:3; Jeremiah 31:3-6
INTRO: One brand of vacuum cleaners recently on TV portrayed their product as lasting well into the 21st century ... practically everlasting!
We have long lasting nasal sprays ... their selling point; they last longer than brand X, they almost last forever! (Almost?)
Midas claims their mufflers will last almost indefinitely, they are almost everlasting! (As long as you own the car and it is still running that is.) (More: Steel belted radials, alkaline batteries, -- everything last “longer” these days! etc.)
We can’t even conceive of “everlasting” … and even if we could we would likely try and find a way to misuse it!
ILLUS: A man asked God how long a million years was to Him. God replied, "It's just like a single second of your time, my child." So the man asked, "And what about a million dollars?" The Lord replied, "To me, it's just like a single penny." So the man gathered himself up and said, "Well, Lord, could I have one of your pennies?" And God said, "Certainly, my child, just a second." -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 410.
For all the products man has made, none has yet proven to have achieved the goal of being “everlasting!” In fact not even creation itself will be as we now know it!
PROP. SENT: The Scriptures teach us that we serve an everlasting God; we have our security and our eternal life because He is the Everlasting God!
I. HIS PERSON IS EVERLASTING! Psalm 90:1-2; 102:25-27
A. Reliable Psalm 90:1
1. “Throughout all generations.”
a. “Dwelling place” in the past.
b. “Dwelling place” in the present.
c. “Dwelling place” in the future.
2. God has clearly created in mankind the sense of “eternity.” Hence our need to experience Him.
ILLUS: If you
ever get the opportunity to visit
The answer is that the Egyptians understood full well they would spend a lot more time in the afterlife than they would spend in this life. Granted, some of their conceptions of what would happen in the afterlife were a little skewed. But the point is, they understood to the core of their being that the afterlife was a whole lot more important than this life, and so they prepared for the afterlife during this life. God had placed eternity in their hearts. -- Bill Hybels, "Your Ever After: Heaven," Preaching Today, Tape 34.
3. God is reliable -- you can count on Him!
a. Not just now...
b. But forever!
4. This prayer of Moses, found in this Psalm, establishes the fact of God’s reliability.
B. Refuge Psalm 90:1
1. A place of safety -- “Dwelling place.”
a. Our peace and security is found in God, not goods!
b. Since this was Moses’ prayer, if anyone knew how important a “Dwelling place” was in the desert, Moses would … and he was clear that God was their dwelling place, not the desert! “Lord, you have been our dwelling place…”
c. Our rest is in God, not property or material things. Heb. 4:3
d. This rest is a never ending one, a Sabbath principle!
e. There is nothing else in this world that seems to satisfy the human soul, nothing material or man would never have sought out God.
ILLUS: If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. -- C. S. Lewis -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 172.
2. A place of protection.
a. Satan can't tread on us -- we are hid in Christ!
b. We are Christ’s; Satan has no power or claim on us!
C. Ruling Psalm 90:2; 102:25-27
1. God rules creation and over His creatures!
2. His being is eternal. “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”
a. God is hard to comprehend because we have not physically seen Him except in Christ.
b. This sometimes is the reason I think so many struggle over God.
c. But, this still doesn’t change His essential character, He is Eternal or Everlasting!
ILLUS: The Roman general Pompey noticed how the Jews fought to defend their temple. He was anxious to see what was in their most sacred room, the Holy of Holies. He was surprised to see that it was empty. He wondered why they fought so hard to defend an empty room! He didn't understand their concept of a God "eternal, immortal, invisible." -- Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).
3. He never changes or wears out. “They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” Psa. 102:26-27
4. He is the one constant in existence, He is overall! “For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”
II. HIS PRECEPTS ARE EVERLASTING! 1 Peter 1:13-2:3
A. Righteous 1 Pet. 1:13-21
1. God doesn't change his ideas of righteousness -- what was sin thousands of years ago is still sin today, and will be sin a hundred years from now if Christ doesn't come until then!
a. God is not capricious.
b. God is not reticent either, He has spoken!
c. The problem is that man is recalcitrant in nature!
2. "He's as good as His word!"
a. That is true of God!
b. That is true of His Word too!
c. God and His Word are everlasting!
ILLUS: In Greek mythology, Aurora, the goddess of the dawn, fell in love with Tithonus, a mortal youth. Zeus, the king of the gods, gave her the privilege of choosing a gift for her mortal lover. Aurora asked that Tithonus live forever; however, she forgot to ask that Tithonus remain forever young; consequently, Tithonus grew progressively older; in fact, he could never die. The gift became a curse. The God of the Bible is not like a mythological god. He never forgets anything that is not considered before He answers our prayers. He does not grant us a request which ultimately will become a burden. He is never a deceiver. Therefore, we must accept His answers as the best for us. -- Source Unknown
3. Those who try and change God's standards are trying to change God!
4. God's call to righteous living will not change for His people, it is everlasting because His Word is!
a. We must not try and explain it away.
b. We must not water it down.
c. We must not try and update it.
d. Our call is to obey it! “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled;” 1 Pet. 1:13a
B. Renewing 1 Pet. 1:22-25
1. His Word renews us who have faith in Him.
2. His Word damns those who do not have faith in Him.
3. This renewal for His people enables us to love deeply -- from our hearts. 1 Pet. 1:22
4. Our birth and renewal is ongoing ... there will be growth continuing. 1 Pet. 1:23
5. God's precepts will continue to bring His people renewal!
a. God’s principles never wear out, some stuff in this world claims to never wear out, but that is just hyperbole.
ILLUS: The other
day I caught myself mumbling, "I hate these No Expiration Date coupons. You can never throw them
away." -- Miriam Martin,
b. God’s love is powerful, but even the offer of salvation has a “time frame” … this lifetime only. We need to take advantage of it while we can.
C. Receiving 1 Pet. 2:1-3
1. Receiving God's Word as a baby does milk.
a. Source of growth and strength.
b. Desiring it like a baby does milk.
c. Without doubting its contents!
d. Receiving energy for living!
2. It will make us mature if we receive it, sickly if we ignore it!
a. Many Christians have stunted growth because they are not receiving God's Word.
ILLUS: In 1958, a
As he stepped through the arch
where the doors had once been, of course he wasn't inside anything. What was
once a place of worship had been reduced to a patch of stone pavement and open
sky. Not so with the Door -- Jesus
Christ! As we step into Christ, we
enter into his unshakable, eternal presence. It cannot be reduced; it can only be
experienced -- forever. -- Coleman L. Coates,
b. God’s Word will not pass away; we need it in this life to prepare for the next.
c. Without it we are spiritually malnourished! God's Word builds strong bodies!
III. HIS PATIENCE IS EVERLASTING! Jeremiah 31:3-6
A. Restoring Jer. 31:3-4a
1. An everlasting Love. “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jer. 31:3
a. Love is patient and kind.
b. God allows time for our
growth … “I
will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin
c. Babies don't grow up overnight.
d. Patience restores us to God's favor so God can work in and through us! “…Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful.”
2. God is working in us and through us.
ILLUS: There is a legend told of an ancient kingdom whose sovereign had just died, and whose ambassadors were sent to choose a successor from twin infants. They found the little fellows fast asleep, and looking at them carefully, agreed that it was difficult to decide, until they happened to notice one curious small difference between them. As they lay, one infant had his tiny fists closed tight; the other slept with his little hands wide open. Instantly they made their selection of the latter. The legend very properly concludes with the record that, as he grew up in his station, he came to be known as the King with the Open Hand. We could say the same thing of our God. His hand is always open to give. -- Source Unknown
a. He doesn't give up on us, even when others do! His love is everlasting. Jer. 31:3 And his love comes with an “Open Hand” … He died and rose again to grant us His grace.
b. God allows for growth to take place over time.
c. He will build us up! “I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt…” Jer. 31:4
B. Rejoicing Jer. 31:4b-6
1. We can rejoice because His patience is everlasting.
a. He gave the
Amorites and Canaanites and the other wicked tribes in the
b. God is longsuffering in grace, and gives great opportunity for repentance but a day does come for judgment.
2. We will rejoice in our God, who loves us with an everlasting love. Jer. 31:4b-6
ILLUS: Martin Luther once was so depressed over a prolonged period that one day his wife came downstairs wearing all black.
Martin Luther said, "Who died?"
She said, "God has."
He said, "God hasn't died."
And she said, "Well, live like it and act like it." -- Robert Russell, "Releasing Resentment," Preaching Today, Tape No. 136.
a. We should not act like God isn’t real or everlasting!
b. God as an everlasting God impacts our life NOW and FOREVER!
c. This reality should reflect in our actions today, as well as tomorrow.
3. We can celebrate -- God is an everlasting God! There is hope for today, and for tomorrow!
CONCLUSION: “To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy -- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! AMEN!” Jude 24-25