The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Isaiah 40:8

In the shadows of the fading summer the grass withers, the flowers loose their beauty but the trees become naturally beautiful. As autumn approaches we observe the flaming reds and yellows, the pale gold, the splendid purple-red of the trees before the wind leaves them desolate. The days have cooled down and the world is preparing for winter.

Society also changes. We all change our opinion, our views, our outlook and as Heraclitus has said “The only constant is change”. Amidst all the changes in nature and in the world around us the Bible declares that God is the same and changes not. He presides throughout His universe and sits calmly in control.

There never was a time when He was not; there never will come a time when He shall cease to be. All that He is today, He has ever been, and ever will be. “I am the Lord, I change not” Malachi 3:6 is His own unqualified affirmation. He cannot change for the better since He is already perfect. God’s attributes are precisely the same today as they were before He called the universe into existence and will remain so forever. God’s character, words and message stand and will remain eternally. They have been declared in the Bible and through His Son Jesus Christ.

We don’t need anyone to convince us that there is something seriously wrong with the world and that society in general is out of harmony with God’s character and will as revealed in the Bible. In it God demonstrates that, rather than being detached from it all, you and I are part of the problem. The Bible also explains that God has intervened in human history in order to deal with the problem of sin.

Sin is the opposite of “righteousness” and is anything which does not conform to God’s perfect standard. It encompasses our actions and attitudes, things done, and things which we fail to do. Sin is much more serious than mere weakness and is an offence against God. Sin is not only the root cause of all that is wrong with you and me, but sin will ultimately result in our eternal ruin, if not dealt with.

The gospel is the message of God’s intervention in this sin-troubled world, and how He wants to intervene personally in your life. The gospel is the good news of salvation from sin. In the Bible God tells us that because of His immense love, He purposed to rescue sinners from sin and its consequences, at enormous cost to Himself. (Romans 5:8) However His justice demands that sin could not be ignored, and so the plan of salvation required that His love and mercy somehow be reconciled with His demands of justice.

The answer is the Cross! The Lord Jesus willingly sacrificed Himself and bore the punishment due to sin. Justice was satisfied as the sin-debt was paid in full, and God can righteously extend mercy and forgiveness in pursuit of His love. (Titus 3:5) When a person accepts God’s offer of mercy by trusting the Lord Jesus as their Saviour they are instantly and eternally saved.

Now is the time to consider the brevity of life with its passing opportunities, our eternal destiny and the reliability and endurance of God and His Word. His purposes are unassailable and His promises can be relied on. In the gospel He offers certainty of salvation and eternal life as a gift through faith in the Lord Jesus.

The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23.