August 27, 2012

Everlasting life cannot be destroyed

Today’s topic is the enduring power of the Word of God, so I went online to check out “attempts to destroy the Bible.” The results had me laughing and crying. The average answers were often far from historical truth. Most showed ignorance of the Bible and its history. 
Some talked of ripping up their copy, or putting a Bible in a bonfire, as if that “destroyed” the Word of God. Others said the Bible has destroyed those who believe it, making the question flawed. A few wrote about historical efforts to get rid of the book. Others mentioned philosophical ideas that mock it and attempt to destroy its teaching, but most didn’t seem to have any grasp of what it actually teaches. Obviously, many who tried to affirm that the Word of God could be destroyed had never read the Bible for themselves. 

Peter and John had firsthand experience with Jesus Christ. John wrote this about His identity…
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1–5, 14)
This man understood, as do all who put their faith in Christ, that Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. In my imagination, I try to picture God speaking and the word that comes out of His mouth (even though He is Spirit and does not have a mouth) is a Living creature, God the Son. This sounds like science fiction, but this is what the Bible declares, and because I believe in a God who can do whatever He decides to do, I’ve no problem with this. 

Nor do I have difficulty with the events that followed. God sent that Word to earth to be a man, to save us from our sin. He lived a sinless life, was crucified and buried, then rose from the dead to live forever, interceding on behalf of those who believe in Him.

With God, all this is possible. The Bible affirms it and also says that those who repent and believe in Jesus are given new life, actually the life of this Living Word. When we believe in Him, His everlasting life becomes our life and everything changes.

There are many who say they follow Jesus, and many religious people seem sincere. I know some of these people, and as nice as they may be, not all that claim they are Christian are genuine. The Bible says, “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12) Without the life of Christ, there is no eternal life, no matter how “religious” a person seems. This can explain many horrid things and is the answer to those who think the Word of God destroys people. Apart from the life of Christ, sinful hearts are free to do sinful things, even the hearts of those who claim to be Christians. 

The notion of destroying the Word of God is not as much about the book as it is about its main character and all attempts to destroy Him. Sinners do not want anything that Jesus offers or represents. To them, He marks the end of their “freedom” to do whatever their hearts desire. They would get rid of the Word, Living or Written, and thus get rid of all restraint, or so they suppose. 

However, they do not know what they are up against. The Word is everlasting. Even death cannot stop it, never mind mere bonfires and book banning.
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:22–25)
Those who believe in Jesus have new life, imperishable and abiding, living in them. It is this Life that produces obedience, sincere love, and purity of heart. It is this life that never withers or falls, but remains forever. It is the resounding voice of God in the human heart. Because of God’s grace, as long as man sins and as long as God lives, His Word will keep on speaking, bidding sinful people to believe in Jesus Christ and live forever.

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