God’s Word won’t do you any good if you don’t listen.

Today’s verse is Matthew 24:35. And, as is normally my habit, I went ahead and read the rest of the chapter just to understand the context. And I tell you what, if you have a moment this morning, you really should read the whole chapter. Wow. That’s all I have to say. The whole chapter is both electrifiying and terrifying. And I don’t know about you, but verses 9-14 sounds awfully like the world we’re living in today. …

Matthew 24:35 says this:

35 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.

I was trying to think of something really deep and powerful to say about this verse this morning, but the beauty about Scripture is that I don’t have to be deep. Scripture is deep enough on its own without me trying to explain it. And–actually–that fact in itself pretty much explains this verse.

The Bible is the most unique book ever written. It’s the No. 1 bestseller of all time. It’s been translated into more languages than any other piece of literature. And parts of it are considered the oldest pieces of “literature” that still survive. There may be some argument that the Epic of Gilgamesh is older but I think Job may be the same age. I can’t remember. Anyway, it’s old. But even though it’s old, it’s still relevant to our culture.

Believe it or not, it is. If you have trouble believing the Bible is relevant to our world today, get a translation that makes sense to you (New Living Translation or the Message) and then read it again and you’ll understand that there isn’t a single event or circumstance in our modern world that hasn’t already happened in the Bible. There isn’t a single problem anyone has that God hasn’t showed us how to overcome through Scripture.

And I guess the thing about the verse this morning that leaves me speechless is the fact that Jesus said that His words would never disappear — and they haven’t. The Bible has been around for thousands and thousands of years. And it’s still intact. That’s what boggles my mind.

And I’m not going to go into the details of manuscript preservation and accuracy of the original manuscripts. If you want to discuss that, there are other places for that. But I’ve done the research, and anyone who can believe that the Bible isn’t 100 percent what God wanted us to have right now hasn’t read it. Anyone who can believe that the Bible is just a book of stories about morality hasn’t read it. Anyone who believes that Bible doesn’t make sense hasn’t read it.

So if you believe any of those things … read it.

Ha! And if you don’t believe any of those things … read it.

The Bible is God’s Word. It’s the way He communicates with us. Yeah, there may be a few people who God speaks to directly. I’m not going to dispute that (be careful with that, though; here’s another good reason to read the whole chapter of Matthew 24). And there are definitely times when I have felt the Holy Spirit urging me to do something but not exactly in an audible voice. The vast majority of the time, if God wants to tell us something, He’s already told us … in Scripture. And we just have to read it to find out what He wants us to do.

So you can carry a Bible around all you want or have them sitting all over your house. But they won’t do you any good if you don’t read them. And they won’t make any sense to you if you don’t study them.

So what are you waiting for? The words written in Scripture are the same words God spoke thousands of years ago. They’re the same words Jesus spoke. They’re the same words God moved prophets to write, kings to sing, shepherd boys to compose. They haven’t changed. And they won’t change. So instead of just taking peoples’ word for it, why don’t you read it for yourself?

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