Summary: The message is a study of the permanence of God’s Word.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
Among the many comforting words spoken by the Master for the encouragement of His people, the words of this text must assuredly rank among the most precious. Many Christians consider them seminal assurance. The comfort derived from these words may prove false, however. What I mean is that whereas we focus on the need to be comforted through the immediate words of Him in whom we have believed, the context dictates something different, though equally important.
There is great comfort in our Lord’s glorious promise that His people have not been forgotten. “‘If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” [JOHN 14:3-6]. The promise is iterated in another form when the Lord promised that He would not leave us as orphans [JOHN 14:18].
One other, especially comforting, promise has been recorded in JOHN 10:27-30. That promise, beloved as it is and familiar to the people of God, testifies, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” Surely, you will agree with me that these are comforting words. They give believers confidence in the world and courage to stand when every foundation seems to turn to dust.
Recognise that each of these statements expressing Christ’s concern for His people is an eschatological statement. His promise that we cannot be snatched from the Father’s hand is a statement of the eternal power of the Father, even throughout eternity. His promise that we will not be left as orphans is an eschatological statement that during His physical absence His Spirit is with us. His promise that He is “the way, the truth and the life” is an eschatological statement based upon the promise that He is coming again. Just so, the promise of the certainty of His words is an eschatological statement.
THE MATERIAL UNIVERSE WILL NOT ENDURE — “Heaven and earth will pass away.” Even were true the material universe to continue indefinitely, it is certain that none of us will endure in this present condition. However, the Second Law of Thermodynamics dictates that this present material universe, of necessity, must end. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is a universal law with application to every facet of the material world. Though the Law does not predict when the end of all things will occur, it does point to the certainty of the end of all things. Every indicator received through the five senses warns of the impermanence of this material universe; and our own inexorable march toward eternity testifies to the dissolution of all that we know and now observe.