It’s Time To “Restore The Years”
by Charles R. Swindoll
The Word of God is penetrating… and poignant… and convicting… and comforting—all at the same time. The exposition of the Scriptures exposes hypocrisy, offends the self-righteous, and at the same time encourages the weary and wounded. Nothing else can pierce the thick veneer of our facades like the Bible. As the author of the book of Hebrews reminds us:
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
That is why the church must include the bold delivery of the Word of God. Its proclamation is essential for life and godliness. We won’t receive truth to live by from our culture. We don’t get any insight into eternity from these savage times. Even our educational institutions, while they train us to make a living, do nothing to prepare us to make a life. Only the Word of God does that. Unfortunately, in far too many churches where the Bible should be proclaimed with consistency and conviction, people find little help.
I’ll never forget the week I spent with starvation victims. You couldn’t tell their condition by looking at them. Everyone wore nice clothes. They appeared well-fed. They drove fine automobiles. Most were highly educated. All the marks of affluence were present, but they were starving nonetheless. When I stood up to speak to them, the thought kept coming to my mind that a famine had taken its toll. Not a lack of bread or a craving for water, but there was a famine in that place of hearing the Word of the Lord. Even when I addressed the most basic scriptural principles, they gobbled it up. They were so hungry for truth, I saw some taking notes even when I wasn’t speaking!
We are not suffering from a famine of churches. We have them by the dozens. Some metropolitan areas have literally hundreds of churches within their city limits. We have churches and cathedrals and chapels by the thousands in these United States. So why is there such a famine? The answer, quite simply, is that God’s Word has been replaced with artificial food. The wolves of postmodernism have invaded the pantry, and now houses of worship that once were places of feasting have become places of famine. The dinner bells ring each Sunday… and beautiful tables are set with fine china and silverware and fabulous decor—but there is no solid food served, only junk food. Everyone leaves hungry.
Copyright © 2010 by Charles R. Swindoll. From The Church Awakening, FaithWords (Hachette Book Group). Printed by permission.