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THE WORD OF GOD IS FRUITFUL AND ETERNAL; IT SHALL NOT PASS AWAY

A SERMON ORIGINALLY DELIVERED AT

THE FEDERATED CHURCH OF ATHENS
American Baptist - United Methodist

14 JULY 1996

BY: Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES:

Genesis 1:11-23
Isaiah 44:24-28
          55:9-13
Matthew 24:35
John 1:1-5

As we read the Bible, we come across multiple references leading to our understanding of the presence of the Word of God.

The Word of God can be taken as the spoken word of God; or as that which has been written down by people through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; or the Word of God can mean Jesus Christ.

If we look at these different possible meanings, spiritually, they can be seen as One, just as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are One.

This is what John envisioned when he wrote his Gospel.

Letís look at the first five verses (John 1:1-5):

1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2. He was in the beginning with God.

3. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

4. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

5. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Note carefully that everything that has been created came into existence both by the spoken word and by the Living Word.

And in Jesus Christ, the Word of God became a living soul, as a light of knowledge, wisdom, and salvation.

But the people who live in darkness donít want to accept what is being continually offered to them.

They have hardened themselves toward the truth.

They donít even see the existence and presence of God in His creation, a creation in which we all live and exist.

Turn to Genesis 1:11 with me, and look at the written word concerning the spoken word:

11. Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth"; and it was so.

12. And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seed in them, after their kind, and God saw that it was good.

13. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.

All the vegetation of this earth was spoken into existence, for God said it should come into existence, and he considered it good.

And has not every animal, whether human or non-human, benefited from these plants and trees?

In essence, we all eat the spoken Word of God.

It still exists today as a witness to us of Godís presence.

And again He spoke:

14. Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years;

15. and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so.

16. And God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.

17. And God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,

18. and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.

19. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

Have we not all looked up into the sky, and have seen and wondered at all that it contains?

Have we not likewise also enjoyed the warmth of the sun, and the light it gives us?

In essence, we see and feel the spoken Word of God.

And these heavenly bodies also witness to us of Godís existence.

Again God spoke:

20. Then God said, "Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures [souls], and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens."

21. And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature [soul] that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

22. And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."

23. And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

At the break of dawn, have we not heard the sound of the birds singing?

In essence, these birds are speaking the Word of God as a witness to us of His existence.

And still, many people live as though God had no part in all of this.

They continue to live in darkness, even in the midst of all this light.

But Godís Word continues to speak forth, even though English language Bible translators tried to hide the truth that all these animals are livings souls, by changing the word souls to creatures.

And in Matthew 24:35, Jesus speaks of the eternalness of the Word of God:

35. "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away.

Even when all of the known creation, which speaks so plainly today, passes away, the Word of God will still continue to speak.

Seven hundred years before Jesus said this, Isaiah likewise saw the hardness of heart in the people, and the eternalness and grace of Godís Word, and he spoke forth.

Note what we are told in Isaiah 55:9-13:

9.  "For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways,

And My thoughts than your thoughts.

10.  "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,

And do not return there without watering the earth,

And making it bear and sprout,

And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

11.  So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth;

It shall not return to Me empty,

Without accomplishing what I desire,

And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

12.  "For you will go out with joy,

And be led forth with peace;

The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,

And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

13.  "Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up;

And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up;

And it will be a memorial to the Lord,

For an everlasting sign which will not be cut off."

So many people fool themselves into thinking they donít have to listen to the Word of God, for itís not "their thing."

Itís all right for some people, but not for them.

They fool themselves into thinking they are not going to be held responsible for it.

They fool themselves into thinking they know more than God.

On the other hand, if we sincerely seek the truth in Godís word, we will be blessed, as Isaiah prophesied.

Note what Isaiah says in 44:24-28, as he speaks forth for the Lord.

He is speaking the Word of God, and I am speaking the Word of God.

24. Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb,

"I, the Lord, am the maker of all things,

Stretching out the heavens by Myself,

And spreading out the earth all alone,

25.  Causing the omens of boasters to fail,

Making fools out of diviners,

Causing wise men to draw back,

And turning their knowledge into foolishness,

26.  Confirming the word of His servant,

And performing the purpose of His messengers.

It is I who says of Jerusalem, ĎShe shall be inhabited!í

And of the cities of Judah, ĎThey shall be built.í

And I will raise up her ruins again.

27.  "It is I who says to the depth of the sea, ĎBe dried up!í

And I will make your rivers dry.

28.  "It is I who says of Cyrus, ĎHe is My shepherd!

And he will perform all My desire.í

And he declares of Jerusalem, ĎShe will be built,í

And of the temple, ĎYour foundation will be laid.í"

All through the Bible, we are being reminded of the Word of God.

We are being reminded of the truthfulness of His Word through the fulfillment of many prophecies, so that we would be without excuse.

The same word is for salvation to some, and as foolishness to others; thus it always returns to God fruitfully; for even if His Word saves only one, it has been fruitful.

Our words are all too often unfruitful, but Godís Word never returns empty.

People, we as the church need to wake up to the reality of Godís creation around us, and even more, to recognize His presence every moment of every day.

Does He not even keep the breath of life in us, and all the animals, as we sleep?

And because we, too, are part of the spoken Word of God, we are to be fruitful, and not come unto the Lord empty.

We are not to come unto the Lord without the fulfillment of the Word of God in us.

And remember we fulfill the whole Word of God in our unconditional love and compassion.

There are no limits or conditions to Godís Word; we are the ones who condition it, just as the Bible translators did with the word "soul", and itís time we stop.

Itís time for the Church to show themselves as being responsible, and in the process, the Church will be restored on earth as it is in heaven.

The Word of God came to us bearing fruit, and it will return to the Lord our God in a fruitful way, whether or not we are part of the fruit.

God is indeed in control.

Amen.

Your Comments are welcome

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