Matthew 24:35 - (Jesus said) "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will not pass away."
The history of the Bible through the years is as impressive and as fascinating as is its origin. The development adds to the significance of the fact that it is the book of all time. There were anxious moments, even before the Bible had been completed. Before the reign of Josiah, king of Judah, the children of Israel had turned to idols and had practically forgotten about the true God. So great was their indifference that the Book of the Law was misplaced somewhere. Think of it, the book of all time collecting dust in an old storage room! Hilkiah, the high priest, found it while cleaning out the temple. And good men rejoiced in its discovery.
In New Testament times the history of the Bible parallels the history of the Christian church. Will Durant, in his work, titled Caesar in Christ, wrote this: "There is no greater drama in human record than the sight of the few Christians, scorned or oppressed by a succession of emperors, bearing all trials with a fierce tenacity, multiplying quietly, building order while their enemies generated chaos, fighting the sword with the word, brutality with hope, and at last defeating the strongest state that history has known. Caesar and Christ had met in the arena, and Christ had won."
Today's powerful forces are determined to destroy the Bible and its gracious influence. Voices are heard predicting that the Bible has outlived its usefulness and will pass out of existence. Don't you believe it! Those who predicted the Bible will lose its hold on the hearts of men and will soon be forgotten can be sure of one thing: history will make a fool of them, as it has made fools of countless others. Shortly before his own death, Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Soviet Union, said, "I expect to live long enough to attend the funeral of all religion." No man will ever attend the funeral of the Bible. As Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will not pass away."
The Founding Fathers of the United States were mostly men who read the Bible, believed in it, and lived by it, to some degree. Can it be that today we who live in the U.S. are confronted with so many critical problems and so much moral laxity because we and our leaders have largely forgotten the book?
I believe the problems men face today would be greatly alleviated if the truths of the Bible were applied to them. This is also true of the individual. The Bible offers us a comforting hand in our bereavement, a steadying hand in our fear and anxiety, and a forgiving hand in our sinfulness. It gives us purpose and direction. It tells us we are fashioned by God Himself and that He loves us and is interested in our lives.
And it tells us that we would be forever lost were it not for our Savior, God's own Son, who gave Himself up to the cross for our sins. Now, for Jesus' sake, we are saved by God's grace. The Bible, in all its glorious revelation, was written for you and me to make us wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus alone.
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, You have spoken to us through Your Word, the blessed Scriptures we can read in so many languages. Teach us to plumb their depths—and live! Amen.
From "The Book of All Time," a sermon excerpt by Rev. Dr. Armin Oldsen, former Speaker for The Lutheran Hour
1. Do you have a regular plan for reading the Bible? How do you do it?
2. Heaven and earth will pass away before Jesus' words do. What is something He's said that you are glad will last through all eternity?
3. When is the last time you remember applying God's Word to your life? What were the circumstances?
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