“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” – Isaiah 40:8
It is recorded that over 4,000 churches close per year. The majority of these churches are unsuccessful church plants. This is an alarming number. There is a reason for this, and it is common across the board. We may attribute it to demographics, or finances, and these things do play a part. But the primary reason why churches are closing is this: Where there is no Bible, there is no life.
Romans 9:6, “But it is not as though the word of God has failed.” The word of God has not failed, people have failed the word of God. They have neglected the word of God, and they do what is right in their own eyes. Doing what is right in our own eyes, I believe, is the downfall of humanity, and it has definitely been the downfall in many churches. We are not called to do what is right in our own eyes, we are called to do what is right by God’s written word.
The most blessed churches in the world aren’t the ones with massive attendance. The most blessed churches in the world are not the ones with the greatest programs, or systems. The most blessed churches in the world are the ones where the word of God is constantly active, and multiplying.
Acts 12:24, “But the word of God increased and multiplied.”
Acts 6:7, “And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem.”
Acts 13:49, “And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.”
There is a direct correlation between genuine multiplication of disciples, and the word. You cannot be creating genuine disciples without the word. The word is the means by which God imparts spiritual life. Let me say something that may shock you. There is no evidence of spiritual life being imparted to a person, apart from the word of God. The day in which we live, that is the written word of God. In other words, no Bible, no spiritual life.
I want to give you 3 things the word of God does:
- The word of God imparts spiritual life:
“Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for, “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.’ And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” – 1 Peter 1:23-2.
2. The word of God builds our faith:
“And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” – Acts 20:32
3. The word of God preserves our faith, by giving us sight:
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105
So, we see that it is God’s word preached that initializes spiritual life, and causes us to be born again. It is God’s word that also preserves, and strengthens our spiritual life. God’s word is our fountain of life, and we need not go to dried up streams in search of water. The dainty little flowers of church strategies, and new ideas, wither away in due time. But the word of the Lord remains forever.
It is the word at the beginning of our faith, it is the word that holds us and strengthens our faith, and it will be the word that holds us to the end. The Alpha, and the Omega, the beginning and the end. This is what our hope should be in, Christ in print.
So, this begs these questions, why are we surprised when Bible-less churches have no genuine spiritual life, and close their doors? Why are we surprised that people are needing entertainment in order to keep them coming back?
Listen to what Charles Spurgeon had to say about issues such as these, “A time will come, when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats.” This could not be more relevant in the day in which we live.
When you neglect the word, all that is left is entertainment. When you set your heart on the word, entertainment loses it’s power. Who needs entertainment, when you are in awe?
The word has the power to give life, strengthen life, and preserve life. Let’s build our life on the word; Individually, and in our churches.