Thanks to the ongoing discovery of ancient manuscripts, both partial and full, we can rest assured that the Bible has not changed over the millennia. That means God has never amended or overturned anything that He revealed and commanded 2000 to 3500 years ago.
Alas, plenty of mere humans have done their best to do it for Him by amending or overturning a whole lot of Scripture – including, amazingly, people who claim to worship Him.
Consider, for example, those who insist that divorce is no longer an issue for Him. Some claim that God didn’t really mean it when He said that adultery is the only excuse for divorce, that it was just some wild idea promoted by that bitter old bachelor Paul. Others claim that the prohibition against divorce was meant for a day when women couldn’t fend for themselves – not a problem for us moderns. Still others say that God’s #1 priority is their happiness, and since their spouses are making them unhappy, the only thing to do is to throw the bums out. “God understands,” they murmur in their sweetest voices.
Then there are modern couples who insist that happy marriages mandate a 50/50 division of authority. So what if Colossians 3 commands a wife to submit to her husband? Sure, her husband is commanded in turn to love her with sacrificial, godly love. But what difference does that make if she doesn’t get an equal-or-better say-so in all their life decisions? “After all, that stuff was written a long time ago,” a thrice-married wife once informed me, “when women were mealy-mouthed little know-nothings. We’ve come a long way, baby, and I’m running the show now!”
The trouble is, God has already issued very clear commands covering every decision we will ever have to make in life, often with explanations and examples of obedience and disobedience. If we can be bothered to look, we can't really miss it.
What’s more, ignorance of His law is no excuse: He delivered it all in under 800,000 words, roughly the length of Joseph McElroy’s landmark novel Women and Men (1987, Knopf). We are indeed without excuse.
But how do we sophisticates treat it?
Too often, by tweaking the commands that we don’t feel like obeying, and tossing others out wholesale. We then rationalize our edits with whatever man-made loophole looks most convincing to us at the moment.
Unfortunately, when we do this, we are breaking the first commandment: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” We are essentially making up gods to suit ourselves, which is idolatry.
Next time you’re tempted to ignore Him in favor of your own wishes, stop and think a moment: Is this desire so important that it’s worth another black mark on His record of my life? Is it worth losing a reward in heaven – or suffering even greater punishment in hell?
Not sure which will be your ultimate, eternal destination? Don’t wait another day! Get right with God right now. Then let His unchanging word guide you for the duration. You will never regret it.