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Is The Word Of God A Dead Letter?

Is The Word Of God A Dead Letter?

by Richard DeGough

Published in
The Christian Informer
January, 2001

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Last updated:
January 9, 2001.

These modern days and times have brought about so many changes that it seems impossible to innumerate them or keep up with them. People are clamoring for, and expect to have new and updated facilities to accompany their day by day living. Things are made to grow old and wear out, so they me replaced with the new and the modern. All of the inventions of men are cataloged into this category. The products of human invention are expected to be replaced frequently because they become outdated, and because man never makes anything that is lasting. We simply realize this as a true fact of life and expect it.

It is also a true fact that things of God's making are eternal even as he is eternal. "Lord, thou lest been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hast formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God" (Psalms 90:1-2). But a sad day has dawned upon us, a day when man has gone beyond the rational in his thinking, to the foolish thoughts and ways of a perishing people. The institutions of "higher learning" and education in general are largely responsible for this foolishness. Yearly, they all graduating atheists, infidels, and agnostics by the thousands who advocate the "there is no God theory" with a rash boldness that would make heaven shudder.

There is an attack being made on the Bible, the Word of God, in about every category that can he named. It is true that for centuries on end people have rejected the message of the BIBLE, but an enlightened society was very cautious when it came to profaning the Word of God. In religious circles and fellowships it is not uncommon to hear people refer to the Bible as an "antiquated book". According to human wisdom it no longer meets the needs of mankind, therefore it must be referred to as a "dead letter" ...without life, substance, or power to guide or sustain us in this life or point us unto an eternal life beyond death. The question before the world is this; "Is it a dead letter and powerless, or is it what it claims to be, the eternal truth of God?"

As far as its power is concerned the inspired men of God who gave it to us proclaimed, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). Is this word capable, with sufficient strength, to accomplish what it claims? James wrote, "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21).

I maintain that the Bible is all that it claims to be and do. Paul by inspiration said it best; "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Jesus said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). A person must be "born again" in order to "see" or to "enter" the kingdom of God, so said Jesus to Nicodemas in John 3:3,5. Peter said that the new birth was accomplished by the word of God. "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever" (1 Peter 1:23). "Seeing ye have purified your souls by obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently" (1 Peter 1:22). "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth" (John17:17).

The prophet Jeremiah called upon all the earth to hear the word of the Lord, and men and women who are wise will heed and obey that instruction. Jesus said, "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock" (Matthew 7:24). Jesus also said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35). Peter said, "But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you" (1 Peter 1:25). It will not do for mankind to discredit the word of God, and try to avoid its enduring precepts. Such an attitude will not change the true fact that we will have to face it in the judgment day when Jesus comes to judge the world in righteousness. The Father has appointed that day for the Son to judge the world: "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:31). And the word of the Lord will be the standard used. "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last" (Revelation 22:12,13).

The word of God is not a dead letter today, nor shall it ever be. It has met, and will continue to meet the needs of mankind in the physical and the spiritual realms of his life, even as long as man shall exist. "The great and precious promises" that are revealed unto us in the Bible shall be kept by him who promised. Never doubt it, they shall be fulfilled. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night..." (2 Peter 3:9).

Centuries have passed, critics and skeptics, agnostics, infidels, atheists, and every known opposer of the word have assailed it through the years, but it still remains the unadulterated, comforting, saving, eternal truth of God. May we never lose our confidence in it, and may we hear well the words of Paul when he declared, "Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain" (Philippians 1:16).