October 12, 2020
The Last Word
journey through life we meet an array of
religious and social issues on which we
must make a decision.
we believe or disbelieve a claim or
testimony? Seek or not seek a spiritual
experience? Take one side or another in
a social issue? Accept or reject a
particular interpretation or doctrine?
So we search the world for the right
ask the opinions of pastors. We seek the
position taken by teachers and scholars.
We query analysts and experts. We poll
friends and family members. We research
the writings of the great theologians,
leaders, and thinkers of yesteryear.
editorials by contemporary pundits and
journalists. And, yes, we're even
influenced by what the famous names of
Hollywood, sports, business, or politics
have to say. Too many take one of these
mere-human "words" as the last word -
letting them settle the belief or life
issue for us with finality. But, for
Christians, all these words are the
wrong final words.
We must learn to let God's Word - the
Bible's Word - be the last word and
never overrule it with any other words
however popular or persuasive. The
Bible's divine inspiration - or
condition of being God-breathed (2
Timothy 3:16-17) - means it perfectly
expresses the mind of God and His Son,
Jesus. Thus, the Book and its Author are
one: to agree with the written Word is
to agree with the living Word.
But the ancient enemy of our souls, who
stumbled our original parents in Eden,
tempted our Lord in the wilderness, and
relentlessly buffeted the apostle Paul
for years will do his infernal best to
confuse the issues we face with
other words - popular words,
ancient words, impressive words,
alluring words, intellectual words,
theological words - any words other than
the Bible's Words. Why? His profession
is deception and lying his skillful art.
So as we
prayerfully ponder the key spiritual,
moral, and life decisions that confront
us, Satan will try to confuse us with
false opinions and findings crafted to
turn us away from the Bible's opinions
on whatever issues are before us.
instance, we wonder how we may receive
eternal salvation? The Bible says Jesus
taught not once but twice, "Ye must be
born again" (John 3:1-8). It adds Paul
insisted this new birth is received by
grace through faith in Christ and "not"
by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Yet various
religions assert our works, including
keeping sacraments or other rituals, are
needed to save us.
We wonder who Jesus was, or is? Secular
scholars tell us He was just a man with
extraordinary powers of persuasion whose
life and works were exaggerated and
mythologized by His largely ignorant
original Galilean followers. But the
Bible tells us Jesus was, and is, "the
Son of the living God" and He Himself
openly acknowledged this (Matthew
We wonder if, as Christians, God wants
us to live sanctified lives, or if it
doesn't really matter how we live? Many
preachers today boldly assert that God
doesn't really expect us to live right,
just to believe Jesus has already
forgiven all our sins, past and future.
But the New Testament orders, "Be ye
holy in all manner of life" (1 Peter
We wonder about the Baptism with the
Holy Spirit? Is it needed or just
something those Pentecostals and
Charismatics chatter about? Many
respectable Christian leaders adamantly
claim the new birth gives us the
fullness of the Spirit. Yet the Book of
Acts gives repeated evidence of
believers who, subsequent to their
conversion experience, received personal
infillings of the Holy Spirit -
accompanied by a distinct new power to
walk and work with Jesus (see Acts 2, 8,
We wonder if miracles are still for
today? Western materialist scholars
scoff at the very idea of the
supernatural and, sadly, too many
ministers, though more respectful about
their objections, agree "the age of
miracles has passed." Yet the Bible says
the true church is a continuation of not
only Jesus' teachings but also His works
(Acts 1:1-2) and that He remains "the
same" miracle worker, "yesterday, and
today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
if Jesus is coming back, as some claim?
Some teachers propose He came again when
He entered your heart. Others disdain
the thought of Jesus catching up living
believers to heaven. Yet the Bible
states that Jesus promised, "If I go and
prepare a place for you, I will come
again, and receive you unto myself, that
were I am, there ye may be also" (John
14:1-3). And it adds the greatest
theologian and visionary in church
history, the apostle Paul, also claimed
Jesus will appear one day and we will be
"caught up" (lit., snatched away) to be
forever with Him in heaven" (1
We wonder if abortion is really murder
or simply the removal of "human tissue"?
Countless doctors, politicians, and
social leaders today claim the latter,
yet the Bible says God "saw," "knew,"
"formed," and "ordained" David and
Jeremiah while they were still in their
mothers' wombs (Psalm 139:14-16;
We wonder if hell is as real as heaven?
Many claim hell is just a temporary
place of punishment - "purgatory" -
where after a period of having our
propensity to sin purged, believers will
be released into eternal paradise with
God. But the Bible never once mentions
any place called "purgatory," yet
clearly describes a lake of fire that is
real, hot, and unending (Revelation
19:20; 20:10, 15).
And there are countless other such
issues - homosexuality, gender identity,
divorce, remarriage, free love, giving,
prayer, testing, suffering, water
baptism, to name a few - upon which we
must render decisions. When we
prayerfully study and discover what the
Bible says, let us not step back from it
because, in that quiet, crucial moment
of private decision, Eden's serpent
begins practicing his polished craft in
our mind: we remember we have a beloved
family member, knowledgeable professor,
respected pastor, kind mentor, respected
historical figure, renowned theologian,
or other admired person who believed
differently. And they couldn't be wrong,
could they? May clarity now prevail!
was their word; the Bible is God's Word.
Their choice was their choice; your
choice is your choice. Their words and
choices determined their destiny; your
words and choices determine your
destiny. So now, at last, you must
choose your last word.
From this day forward, in every issue,
may we let God's Word be our last word.
After all, when it's all said and done,
He will have the last word anyway. So
why not let His Word be final now.
That's my last word,