Summary: There is much that you cannot count on in this world. But God’s Word is one thing that will always stand the test of time.
Jan. 2, 2000 Hebrews 4:12-13
“Something you can count on”
Friday morning and afternoon, I watched a little bit of ABC’s news coverage of the coming of the new millenium. Due to the fact that there are 24 different time zones on the earth, the clock struck 12 o’clock at 24 different times in the world. What ABC did is they sent correspondents to some spot in each of these 24 time zones so that they could watch as each part of the world entered the new millenium. While watching ABC on Friday, I listened to a phone call which was made from a US Navy submarine to Peter Jennings at the TV station. The US Navy figured that they couldn’t let anyone celebrate the new millenium before they did, so they sent this submarine to the time zone where it would strike 12 o’clock first. And then they positioned their boat in such a way that the front of the boat experienced it first, and the back of the boat, had they stayed there for 24 hours, wouldn’t have experienced it until 24 hours later! It was a world-wide party that lasted for 24 hours.
But not only was it a party; I got the sense that it was a watch too. Y2K was mentioned often. It seemed that as each time zone entered into the new year, there was a sigh of relief when the lights stayed on and the fireworks went up as planned. Early on in the day, when 12 o’clock hit in New Zealand, the lights did go out. But the reason for this was excessive wind not Y2K. Freedom Baptist Church over in Nutter Fort had a New Year’s Eve service Friday night. Jim Sanders, their pastor, said that he was going to go into the basement, and right at 12:00, he was going to turn off the main circuit breaker for the church just to see the reaction of the people. All kinds of people were watching Friday night to see if the Y2K bug would bite. But people were also watching to see if there would be any terrorist attacks. They wanted to know, “What will our world be like tomorrow?”
If the coming of the new millenium and the advent of Y2K have taught us anything, they’ve taught us that change is inevitable – just look at all the changes that have taken place over the last 1000 years – and they’ve taught us that there is not a whole lot that you can count on. You can’t count on the gov’t. You can’t count on the weather. You can’t count on the stock market. You can’t count on having a job tomorrow. And you can’t count on computers. So what, if anything, can you count on and still know that you are safe? There are only two things that I know of that you can count on with absolute security. They are God ((Heb 13:8 KJV) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.) and the book that tells us about God, the Bible, God’s Word. (Psa 119:89 NIV) Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Or as the KJV has it, (Psa 119:89 KJV) For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. In a changing world, it’s good for us to focus on and remember those things that never change. They give us stability. For that reason, we are going to spend this morning and the rest of the month looking at what the Bible has to say about itself and what our response to the Bible, God’s Word, is supposed to be. Let’s begin by looking at Heb. 4:12 and see what the author there has to say about the Bible and some of its characteristics.
1. The Word of God is alive.
One of the arguments that people give for why they do not accept the validity of the Bible for themselves is that they think that it is a dead book. “How can a book that was completed almost 2000 years ago in a land halfway around the world have anything to do with my life?” If that question was asked about any book other than the Bible, I would not have an answer for it. But the Bible is unique in that the author is still alive, and I have a personal relationship with Him. When I read His Book, He is able to take what I read, and show me how it affects things that are going on in my life. If there are parts that I do not understand – and there are a lot of those – then I am able to go to the Author and seek His wisdom in how to understand them.