Click herWhy Your Receiving the Word of God is a Matter of Eternal Life and DeathPeople are busy. There are home improvement projects, games to watch, social media, politics, and the news. None of these have the power of God unto salvation in them, however (Rom 1:16–17). Time is swiftly moving and no one (except God) knows the day of anyone’s exit from this world (Jas 4:14).
It has become popular for some to have a bucket list. This is a list of things people would like to check off that they did before they kicked the bucket (died). The race against time, often hindered by finances, makes life even more cluttered before the end.
Christians are acutely aware that people are dying around them, every day. There is very little spoken or written about people’s eternal home (Eccl 12:5). The wildly errant assumption is that people are going to heaven just because they died. There is a book that presents a very different reality than the polite, popular, presumption of paradise. That book is the Bible.
The sixty-six books of the Bible are the Word of God. This is God’s revelation of Himself, in precisely the format He preferred, to reveal who He is and what He has done. The Bible is our way of knowing God, through special revelation. Knowing God is knowing the salvation that belongs exclusively to Him (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1). There is salvation, from the just judgment and wrath of God, in no one else than Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; Titus 2:13–14).
The Bible tells us about Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ told His listeners that the Bible was about Him (Jn 5:39). Everyone who reads the Bible, taught by the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:13; 1 Cor 2:13) knows this is true. Jesus Christ was the Word of God, who became enfleshed (Jn 1:14). He was the embodiment of truth (Jn 14:6). He came to set His captive people free from slavery to sin (Is 61:1; Lk 4:18; Jn 8:32; Rom 6:6).
In saving His people from their sins (Mt 1:21), Jesus went to the cross to suffer and die, shedding His precious blood for the forgiveness of their sins (Mt 26:28; 1 Pet 1:19). He bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Pet 2:24). God the Father sent God the Son for this purpose (Jn 3:16). He redeemed the chosen people, His Father had given Him, from before the foundation of the world (Jn 6:37; Eph 1:4; Rev 13:8).
Salvation is a gift of God, granted by God (Eph 2:8–9), to those He has appointed to eternal life (Acts 13:48). Jesus gives His own, eternal life (Jn 17:2), by giving them His Spirit (Jn 20:22; Acts 2:33). It is the life-giving Spirit, who makes each elect soul alive to God (Jn 6:63; 1 Cor 15:45; Eph 2:5; Col 2:13).
Jesus told His followers that His Words were spirit and life (Jn 6:63). Some received His words with gladness, while others had no place in their hearts for His Word (Jn 5:39–47), spoken to them by Him. The same is true today.
The Holy Spirit fills the man of God to preach the Word (2 Tim 4:2), that is, Christ crucified (1 Cor 2:2). When the Word opens the ears for one to believe the truth proclaimed (Rom 10:17), it is because the Holy Spirit has fallen upon that elect soul (Acts 10:44).
Unbelievers stumble at the same Word that saves sinners (1 Pet 2:8). The Word is powerful, like a double-edged sword that cuts with utmost precision (Heb 4:12). This is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Eph 6:17).
Although the Gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, is freely proclaimed to all people (Mt 24:15; Mk 16:15), it does not have the same effect on all people. It gives life to some, and it is lost upon others. Why is there a difference?
God sent His Word (Jesus) to His chosen people in the world (Jn 3:16; Rom 11:5). By the will of God, many received Jesus, just as they receive the Spirit/Word, today (Jn 1:12–13). God’s elect, Jesus’ sheep, hear the voice of Christ (Jn 10:27), and they are given the gift of faith to believe what has been revealed to them in the Bible (Eph 2:8–9; Phil 1:29), with the Spirit of truth, as their Teacher (Jn 14:26; 16:13).
Those who believe the Word of life (1 Jn 1:1), which is taken in by hearing (Rom 10:17), love the Bible (Ps 119:140), continuing in its teachings, all the days of their lives. This is the litmus test of eternal life. For one to have the indwelling Spirit (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11; Jas 4:5), he also has the Word of faith in his heart (Rom 10:8). He meditates on it day and night. It is his delight (Ps 1:2).
Friend, examine your life. Is the Word of God the centerpiece of who you are and how you live? Your answer should be obvious, whether affirmative or negative. If your answer is “yes” then I rejoice in your love of the Bible and your hunger to learn more.
If your answer is negative, “No, I don’t read my Bible. No, I don’t enjoy the sermons at church. No, I have no interest in Bible study groups.” You must be warned that eternal damnation awaits you, as it does for the vast majority of people (Mk 3:29).
The one who loves God, loves His Word (Jn 8:42). The one who has the Spirit of God craves the Word of God (Jn 6:34), as one desires his daily bread (Mt 6:11; Lk 11:3). God has made us hungry for Himself, and He has given us bread from heaven to eat (Mt 5:6). This bread for our souls is the Bible that reveals Jesus Christ to us — Him who is the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35, 48, 51).
Receiving Jesus, the Word of God, is only by the will and grace of God (Jn 1:12–13). Without God’s Spirit, there is zero interest in the spiritual food found only in the Bible (1 Cor 2:14). To eat this Word is as sweet as eternal life. To choke on this Word is as sour as eternal death.
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