As we continue our journey through the season of Lent toward Resurrection Sunday, I want to turn our attention again to what is the source, the food and the drink of our spiritual life and hope – the Scriptures. Were it not for the Bible we would be on our own when it comes to understanding sin, and righteousness, eternal life, redemption, and so forth. We could not even understand the various sacraments such as confession and the Eucharist if we did not have the Scriptures to inform our faith about them.
And it is precisely BECAUSE the Bible is unalterably the foundation of true Christ-centered faith, Satan has made it his primary mission to dilute, distort, and pervert God's word. You will remember his deception in the Garden when he said to Eve, in effect, “Can you REALLY take God at His word? You won’t really die if you eat this fruit.” But as the Psalmist warns, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3) And again the Psalmist tells us:"Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89).
Before I move too deeply into my message, let me try to illustrate the importance of that foundation to our very lives here and now, and to our hope of eternal life. It is a mathematical law that 2+2=4. It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not, of if you like it or not. You might want 2+2 to equal 5. Or 15. Or 33. But try building a house without the universal law of 2+2. We would not have electricity in our homes, or cars, or televisions, or books, or food delivery if everyone made up their own ‘truth’ about math. Nor does it matter if politicians, or educators, or lawyers, or judges, or entertainers or even the clergy reject four as the inerrant and only answer to the 2+2 equation.
Now, this is not a message about mathematics, but the law of mathematics illustrates for us the law of Scripture. As we are doomed to disaster if we order our lives around shifting mathematical truth, so too, we are doomed to disaster if we order our lives around shifting theological truths as they relate to sin, righteousness, and judgment.
As St. Paul wrote to the Christians in the Galatian church: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8)
And as Jesus Himself warned:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
As I said a few moments ago, Satan and his (usually) unwitting followers have for millennia tried to destroy the Christian’s faith in the infallible, inerrant, eternal, and transcultural word of God. His strategy continues to this very day. And what centuries of militant atheists and dictators tried unsuccessfully to do, too many modern false teachers in clerical clothing week after week pervert and modify and ‘update’ God's 2+2 in order to make the gospel message more attractive to the unchurched and also to the biblically illiterate people in the pews.
Christian, you must never forget this: Forever, God's word is settled in heaven. It does not matter so much as a jot or tittle what theologians or philosophers or educators in universities and seminaries may tell you. Never overlook this truth: the Pharisees of Jesus’ day were well-credentialed by their seminaries – and they are all in hell today if they did not repent.
Forever, God's word is settled in heaven. That is why God tells us through the prophet Isaiah: “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:6-8
And what is it these false teachers and preachers from hell, who hold to a form of godliness but deny the One who gave us the Book – what are they wreaking on our civilization, including your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren?
Did you know that across the country, children as early as kindergarten are being invited to come out as whatever gender they want to be, even if they were born as a girl or a boy. Your grandchildren may have already been exposed to the so-called Gender Unicorn, a purple cartoon character who encourages KINDERGARTNERS to be whatever gender they want to be.
The unicorn was first adopted by the Charlotte, North Carolina school district, and has spread across America and into Canada. Of course, God's word, from one end of the book to the other, declares genders to be fixed by God – not by public or judicial fiat. Further, according to a Pew Research survey a few years ago, 54% of self-identifying Christians believe that homosexuality should be accepted, rather than discouraged, by society.
What about the pre-meditated murder called by the euphemism of abortion? Did you know since the Supreme Court of the United States declared women have – what they said – is the constitutional right to kill their baby in the womb, today, we have killed more than 65 MILLION boys and girls in abortion centers? Did you know that in surveys of women who have had an abortion, 70% self-identified as Christians. And did you know that today, 19 states allow an abortionist to leave a baby who survives an abortion to lie on a table to die?
So, how did America, founded on the principles of God's word, get to a place where laws written in hell are now the laws of the land?
This next survey result helps explain it: Between early 2019 and 2020, the percentage of US adults who say they use the Bible daily dropped from 14 percent to 9 percent. Now I do not want to focus on the drop from 14 to 9 percent as much as I want to focus on where the survey respondents started: ONLY 14 percent of self-identifying Christians read their Bible every day. Said another way, 86 percent of Christians DO NOT read their Bible every day.
And we wonder how our national morality is swimming in the sewer? And let me say this clearly and unambiguously. This movement away from biblical faith historically and always begins at the pulpit.
19th-century revivalist Charles Finney correctly said: “If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.”
When God said through the prophet Hosea, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6) – God was speaking to the priests of Israel, the religious clergy who were not holding fast the inerrancy and infallibility of God's word.
Christian, listen! God did not call us to be friends with the culture. God called us to be soldiers for Jesus Christ, even and up to the gates of hell itself.
How are we to live in this perverted culture and this complicit and anemic Church? Become more fluent with your knowledge of Scripture. Period. Full stop. If we do not know what the Bible teaches IN CONTEXT with the rest of the Scriptures, then we will EASILY become prey for the devil’s deceptions. If you are not reading through your bible AT LEAST once a year, you are starving your spirit. And if you have a starving spirit, you have a sickly spirit. An anemic spirit. And you will be hard pressed to win any spiritual battle.
Yet, there is more required of us than reading through our bible at least once a year if we hope to be the men and women God calls us to be.
“How then shall we live?” St. Paul tells us of himself: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16). And he tells Timothy – and us: “Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God.” (2 Timothy 1:8)
Do not doubt it that there is an eternally important reason we must not, must not be ashamed of God's word or of Jesus’ commandments. Jesus warned us in this way: “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:26)
The Lord Jesus said what He meant, and He meant what He said. If we fail to stand for Christ against the culture – if we fear to stand against the culture because of what it might mean for our relationships with our friends, neighbors, and our children and grandchildren – then we are telling God – and please hear this – then we are telling God that our friends or family are more dear to us than He is.
Is that what we want to do?
Listen, and I have thought this of myself, wondering if I can pass the test, hoping I can pass that test, PRAYING that I can pass that test: What will I do – what will YOU do – if the time comes in America that Christians who tell the government, “Forever, God's word is settled in the heavens” that the government then confiscates our savings, and takes our pensions, social security, and Medicare benefits?
You think that can never happen? Look around you. Did you EVER in your entire life think America would undergo such fundamental changes in our culture as it is today?
The grass withers. Flowers fall. Nations and entire civilizations rise and then disappear. But only one thing, one thing alone, will never disappear. Daniel told us about it in his vision. In the last days – day in which we may now be living: “The God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.” (Daniel 2:44)
God's word alone is settled in heaven. What He tells us throughout Scripture about morality, marriage, sexuality, genders, life, death, and eternity are all written forever in heaven.
Please, you need to ask God the Holy Spirit every day, as I ask Him EVERY DAY, to make you faithful to Him and unashamed of His truths. You are not ashamed of mathematical truths. You know that to deny those truths will result in nothing less than chaos.
May God make us all equally convinced that to be ashamed of and to deny God's spiritual truths will also result in nothing less than chaos in this life, and eternal death in the next.