Summary: The Bible is full of inspiration, information, and instruction.
Sermon for 1/6/2001
A. Whatever you do, be sure to read this year’s runaway bestseller. No, you don’t have to wait until December to learn which book will sell more copies than any other will in the year 2002. We already know which one it will be. It’s the same book that was #1 in 2000 and in 2001… and in 1990 and in 1995… and in every year over the past century. About 40 different people from a wide variety of places and occupations contributed to the writing of this book over a period of 1,600 years. Few of them knew any of the others. Many of them had little or no access to the writings of the rest. The work they produced contains 66 smaller books, 1,189 chapters, 31,173 verses and 807,361 words. And yet, the 1,200 pages of their work come together in a stunningly united whole. It’s as though one great mastermind was behind it all.
B. Within this book you will discover hundreds of specific predictions, except for those yet to be fulfilled. 100% of them have come true. So great is the scope of this book, so profound its message, that literally millions of additional books have been published in praise of it, or in careful analysis of its content. No other book can make that boast.
C. It is the most-read, most revered, most-quoted book of all time. It has inspired more songs, more paintings, more sculpture, more poems, more plays and more movies than any other has. No man or woman can be said to be truly educated until he or she has obtained a first-hand, working knowledge of its contents.
D. Over thousands of years, hundreds of millions of men, women and children have met together each week in-groups small, medium and large to pour over its meaning and to align their lives with its teachings. Many of them make it a point to spend a portion of each day mining its depths for additional treasure.
E. What is the title of this bestseller? Tease them with authors of contemporary books. No.
F. The Bible.
G. No other book could sustain that kind of interest could bear that kind of scrutiny- and leave its enraptured readers coming back for more. It has been translated into more languages than any other book, having been read, studied and memorized by people of every race, color, persuasion, personality and culture on the planet. Even now, the few isolated tribes that remain without a written language are working with translators to codify their verbal utterances one-by-one, so that they can soon hold in their hands a copy of this precious book in their own tongue.
H. How could mere human beings author a book of such perfection and power? The obvious conclusion is that they must have had help. One of its authors reveals that its every word is "God-breathed." Wow. That explains why this book is in a class by itself.
I. If you’ve never read it all the way through… or if you’ve never experienced it in one of its fresh, up-to-date translations, I encourage you to make this your #1 New Year’s resolution. With more than 6,000 styles and presentations to choose from, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty obtaining a copy that perfectly fits your budget and personality. If you do not already have one, we can provide you with one. My two personal favorites are the New King James Version and the New International Version.