(Article for publication week of 1-13-2010 AD)
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).
My text this week is a precious scripture to me personally. It is one of the first scriptures I memorized at the prompting of one of my faithful pastors when I was a little boy. Our Lord Jesus Christ affirmed in this verse that He would preserve His word for all time.
This truth of the preservation of the scriptures is declared all through the Bible. Another verse we all learned in our childhood was Psalm 100:5 ". . . His truth endureth to all generations." (See also Psalm 119:89, 152, 160; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18 and I Peter 1:25.)
Not only do the scriptures plainly declare the preservation of scripture, but we can also be confident of the preservation of scripture because of the sovereign providence of God. Nothing happens in this world by chance, but everything is according to the predestinating purpose of God. God upholds His word by His sovereign will, and causes all things to work for His eternal glory and the eternal good of His people. (See Romans 8:28.)
We also are confident of the preservation of scripture because of God's promise to preserve His people in the state of grace and work in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure and to sanctify them through His truth (John 10:27-30; Philippians 2:12-13, John 17:17). God sanctifies His people through the means of His word; therefore He will preserve His word for His people's preservation. We are confident that God has preserved His word to our generation.
Now, look back at our text. Jesus said His WORDS will not pass away. The first thing we emphasize is that Jesus said He will preserve His "WORDS", not just His "word". We therefore conclude that every word of the Lord has been preserved for us. Jesus said in Matthew 5:18 not one jot or tittle shall pass away until all is fulfilled. God has preserved not only every word, but also every letter and small marking. As a matter of fact Paul bases a theological argument on one letter in Galatians 3:16 (go read it). We are confident that our Bible has the complete word of God and nothing has been lost.
The next thing we see from Matthew 24:35 is that there are no "lost" books of the Bible. From time to time bogus claims have been made of "lost" books that were left out of the Bible. Our Lord promised His words shall not pass away. All of these so-called "lost" books have been shown to be fraud since they were not received by the Church in the Apostolic times, they are not self-authenticating, they do not consent with the scriptures, and they do not testify of Christ.
Dear people of God, you may be confident that we have every word of God preserved for our generation. Do not believe the "higher " (they should be called "lower") critics when they try to tell you by their "notes" in their "study" translations that certain verses are not in the "original" and other lies they tell to lead the sheep astray. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but God's word shall endure to all generations. Thank God for His inspired and preserved word.