THINGS THAT CANNOT BE SHAKEN
We live in a world where everything changes – don’t we? Just ponder in your minds recent world events!
I’m reminded of this story: Mrs goes to the police station along with Samantha her neighbour to report her husband as missing. The policeman says, ‘Now Mrs, give me a full description of your husband.’ ‘Well’, replies Mrs, ‘he’s 35 years old, has beautiful wavy hair, a deep olive complexion, crystal clear blue eyes, an athletic build, he’s softly spoken and is ever so romantic’. ‘Hang on a minute’, says Samantha, ‘Your husband’s 48 years old, fat, bald, a big mouth and doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body!’ ‘Ok OK but who wants him back!’, came the reply.
Mrs was looking for a change – poor ole hubby didn’t know it but he was on shaky ground!
And we live in shaky times – don’t we!
We live in an unstable world and guess what it is a world that is coming to an end. 2nd Peter 3:10 says, ‘But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.’
Now that’s a bit of a worry isn’t it! We think it’s bad now but there’s coming a day when the very elements of everything as we know it will be destroyed.
But do you know what, it’s not all bad news – look at Heb 12:26&27, ‘At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken--that is, created things--so that what cannot be shaken may remain.’
The things that can be shaken will be removed to reveal the things that cannot be shaken! And the things that cannot be shaken are the non-created things.
It’s a very comforting thought that in a world of change and decay, where it seems the only thing that is sure, is that nothing is sure – there are some things that cannot be shaken – there are some things that will remain.
Today we are going to consider some of those things, let’s look at four of them:-
1. THE THRONE OF GOD CANNOT BE SHAKEN
Psalm 45:6 says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever…’ and Lamentations 5:19 says, ‘You, O LORD, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation.’ We can praise God that no matter what else happens – His throne remain secure!
But what does the Bible mean when it talks about God’s throne?
A. THE THRONE REPRESENTS GOD’S KINGSHIP. It means His rule. His rule will last forever and ever. Or as that verse from Lamentations puts it, ‘You, O LORD, reign forever.’
B. THE THRONE ALSO REPRESENTS GOD HIMSELF. The throne will never be shaken because God will never be shaken. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the one and only true God will not be moved. Hebrews 1:10-12 says this, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. 11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end." God is eternal and unchangeable – nothing can shake or change Him.
C. IN GOD’S KINGLY RULE THE THRONE ALSO REPRESENTS BOTH GRACE AND JUDGEMENT. As His children - As those who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ, we may freely come to the throne of grace and into the presence of God. But if we are not His children – if we have rejected or neglected the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ, we will one day stand before the Judgement throne of God.
The throne cannot be shaken! – are we loyal subjects to the King who sits on the throne? Do we willingly bow and confess Jesus Christ as Lord of lords and King of kings?
2. THE WORD OF GOD CANNOT BE SHAKEN
Mark 13:31 quotes Jesus as saying, ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.’ And Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:25 that ‘… the word of the Lord stands forever.’
God’s Word, like Himself is not created. It will remain forever. It is unchangeable. We may try to change and manipulate it – but in the end we will discover that our efforts were in vain. It cannot be shaken!
The Bible is living and powerful and eternal.
Each time we read the Bible we may be sure of three unshakable things:
A. ITS POWER CANNOT BE SHAKEN. Hebrews 4:12 says this about Scripture – ‘For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.’ The word of God has power to convict, to convert, to cleanse, to comfort and to counsel – and its power will never alter.
B. ITS PROMISES CANNOT BE SHAKEN. It has been estimated that there are over 30,000 promises in God’s word – ranging from promises that God will never leave or forsake us, to promises of holy and righteous judgement. And He will remain faithful to them all – for the God of truth and faithfulness has made these promises.
C. ITS PROPHECIES CANNOT BE SHAKEN. Many of the Bibles prophecies have already been literally fulfilled and the prophecies that await fulfilment will also one day be literally fulfilled.
Do we long to read or listen to the word of God? Do we let it convict us and cleanse us and counsel us? Have we allowed the Word who became flesh, Jesus Christ, to take control of our lives? – if so, we can thank God that in a ‘shaky’ world His Word remains secure.
3. THE CHURCH OF GOD CANNOT BE SHAKEN
The words of our Lord as recorded in Matthew 16:18 assure us of this, ‘… I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’
The visible church, the church as an organization may be shaken – and we have seen this in many ways.
But listen to what we are told at the end of Eph 1 about the true nature of the church, ‘And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.’
That just blows my mind!!
The mystical church, the church which is the body and bride of Christ. That church which is made up of those who have truly given their lives to Jesus, cannot and will not be shaken. The true church is secure, permanent and abiding. It is not a created thing! If we belong to that church - what a blessing it is to know that we are members of the body of Christ – we belong with countless others to that which is founded and built on none other than the risen eternal Jesus Christ.
The question is, are we members of the true church?
The apostle Paul says, PHP 2:12 ‘… work out your salvation with fear and trembling.’ For we can be trapped into thinking that because we attend ‘church’, or because we are Members of a ‘church’, or because we try to be religious and good – we are secure. But this may be false security!
For no matter how religious or righteous we appear, God knows our heart and what we have done with Jesus. And by our heart He will judge us – not by any outward righteousness, or ‘church’ attendance, or even displays of spiritual power. – Listen to the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:22-23, ‘Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’’
But if we belong to the true church we may rejoice in the fact that the church will never be shaken.
4. THE CHILD OF GOD CANNOT BE SHAKEN
There are many wonderful promises in the word of God regarding this. He has pledged to keep His children secure until they are safely home with Him in glory. Do you realise that you a created being are so permeated by the Divine when you become one with Jesus that His life pulsate within you.
1 John 2:17 says, ‘The world and its desires pass away, but the man (the person) who does the will of God lives forever.’
In John 10:28 Jesus says, ‘I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.’
And Paul says in Romans 8:38-39, 38 ‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
As Christians we have eternal life and we cannot be shaken – for Christ is our strength and He cannot be shaken. He is our life. When all that can be shaken is removed, we will remain. And we shall dwell in our eternal inheritance in that city whose architect and builder is God.
HOW DO WE KNOW IF WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE?
1 John 5:11&12 gives us the answer to that question, ‘… God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.’
We have eternal life when we have Jesus in our life – and when does Jesus come into our life? Let’s look to Romans 10:9 for the answer – ‘… if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.’ And Jesus says in Revelation 3:20, ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.’
As we think about the instability of the world, let’s be encouraged to put our trust in the God who cannot be shaken. And let’s rejoice that there are at least four things that cannot be moved –
1. God’s throne,
2. God’s word,
3. God’s church,
4. God’s child.