There are a lot of people betting against the Word of God.
I advise against it.
What am I talking about?
For starters, it’s been six months since the Bible was officially banned for sale to 1.4 billion people in China.
Did you realize that? Maybe you never even heard the news about the day Amazon and other online retailers complied with demands by China to stop selling Bibles. It was in the New York Times – and they got it mostly right.
I could not find it in the Washington Post, the paper owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Understandable. I mean, when was the last time you saw a newspaper report its owner’s involvement in a religious book-burning issue?
There are a lot of strange twists to this story.
People have risked their lives to smuggle God’s Word into China ever since the Communists took over 67 years ago. China’s underground Christians are known for dividing up Bibles one page per person, committing the Scriptures to memorization and then exchanging them within their secret meetings.
Hard to believe, isn’t it?
Most Americans take the Word of God for granted. Some 88 percent have at least one copy. The average family owns more than four.
That is not the norm – not in today’s world, nor throughout history.
Those attempting to publish the Bible were burned at the stake – in 14th century England!
From Saudi Arabia to Turkmenistan, many Islamic countries ban the Bible today, while others make it extremely difficult to find copies in Arabic or other native language.
North Korea still officially imposes a death sentence for those found with Bibles.
The history of the Bible shows it to be far and away the most burned and banned book in the world.
What’s my point today?
I have several:
- The Bible tells us that Satan is “the prince of this world.” He’s at war with the God of the Bible. He’s got a limited time left before he is cast out, bound and crushed. But until that judgment, he will continue to roar like a lion (1 Peter 5:8). Coincidence? And remember, his game is ruling the world without ever drawing too much attention to himself. In fact, his greatest accomplishment has been to convince people he doesn’t exist.
- About 50 percent of all books purchased in the U.S. are now bought at Amazon.com – and, in cooperation with the Chinese totalitarian government, Amazon bans the Bible. (It’s worth noting that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, was petitioned earlier this year to ban all books designated as “hate speech” by Keith Ellison, the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee, a congressman from Minnesota and a candidate next month for the highest law enforcement position in that state.)
- The Bible describes something worse than physical hunger in the world – such as when there are times of spiritual famines of the Word of God. Amos 8:11-12 records: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.”
But, in light of these developments, there’s something I find even more disturbing.
While the Word of God is banned around the world today, some of the most famous pastors, preachers and teachers are strongly advocating that Christians stop relying on the Word of God, which the book of Hebrews describes as “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
They say it’s irrelevant.
They say it’s obsolete.
They say young people will no longer respond to the beckoning of the Word of God.
They say its time for a new approach.
Some leaders of the American church today even tell us that the Word of God was abandoned by the apostles in the first century, yet the apostles’ own words speak forcefully and unequivocally in opposition to that idea.
Acts 19:20: “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.”
When Josiah became king of Israel, the people had lost the Word of God though neglect. It was gone. Then one day a priest found the book of the law.
Josiah read to the people day and night.
For that reason, Josiah is described in 2 Kings 23:25: “And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.”
One of my favorite passages is found in Isaiah 55:11: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
And remember Who is the Word of God from Creation through eternity? Jesus. (Revelation 19:13)
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