Based On: 1 Peter 1:22-25
Here is a Bible. It is made up of paper printed with ink. The cover is cardboard and it is all bound together with some glue and stitching. It was probably made several years ago and with a single match is easily destroyed. It is an object with a limited life span on this earth. If you take care of it, it will last longer, but not forever. Eventually, as the years pass, the pages will become dirty or torn and we will need to replace this book. This book is temporary and in some ways frail.
How different the message this book contains. God’s promises – his Word – is eternal. Although revealed to us in time the Word of God has always existed, even from before time began. And now, even after thousands of New Year’s celebrations have passed, God’s Word remains unchanged and undiminished.
This Word of the Lord will always be around. As much as Satan and this world try to destroy the Gospel message, it will never perish. You can not destroy God’s promises without destroying God.
You can easily see that you and I are more like the book than the message. We were born into this world at a certain time and with every passing New Year’s celebration we become a little older, one year closer to death. Looking at the entire span of history, our lives are such a small part and so easily destroyed. Like this book we are temporary and frail. Isaiah said it this way, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall.”
What if this were not so? What if you could endure forever and you didn’t have to be only a small speck in the overwhelming picture of history? There is a way!
First, we must understand why we are the way we are. You must know that we were not created to die. When God created Adam and Eve they were going to live forever and they would have seen every generation of their offspring, except that they sinned. Sin causes death. In fact, disobeying God causes all of our problems.
So how do we get rid of this sin that makes us all temporary and frail? The Apostle Peter says, we have purified ourselves by obeying the truth. This is simply another way of saying that we believe the enduring Word of God. Which really means we don’t do anything. We trust God’s Word which says that Jesus has already done everything for us. His life was cut short as a payment for Adam and Eve’s sin and for our sin.
This word that tells us about Jesus is all about God’s love for us. From before time to the end of time, God’s message has not changed.
Now through faith in the living and enduring word of God, Peter says, we “have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable.” Imperishable! That means we will not perish; we will live forever. Through this word that tells us Jesus Christ has taken away our sin we now see every new year as only one of an endless stream of new years to come.
And this living, enduring, and life-giving Word is the word that has been preached to you throughout the past year. This is the word that will be with you through all eternity.