“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” Matthew 24:35 NKJV
In this chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is speaking of things to come. He speaks of the destruction of the Temple, the End of the Age, the Great Tribulation and His 2nd Coming. Is it true that heaven and especially earth, as we know it, will be no more? The Apostle John, who was banished to the isle of Patmos*, tells us prophetically “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” This verse does not prove that God’s word will some day pass away. Reverend Albert Barnes** says Matthew is simply using an example to show that “You may sooner expect to see the heaven and earth pass away and return to nothing, than God’s words to fail.” The prophet Isaiah, inspired by the Lord, is quoted as saying, "See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.” (Isaiah 65:17)
What does all this mean to today’s believer? It means that God’s words are not temporal, but rather infinite in nature. Just as God was and is and always will be, so His words shall be also. This is wonderful news for the ardent believer. Whatever scripture says the Lord has said, He most assuredly has said and these commands, principles, truths and promises have and shall continue to stand the test of time. What was true in the Old Testament is true today. Nothing needs to be altered or removed for everything has been laid out just as the Holy Spirit designed it.
Isaiah also reveals to us that though temporal things shall fail, God’s word shall not. Listen: “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever." (Isaiah 40:8) When in doubt about the faithfulness of God, the flawlessness of His word or life in general, read the Bible and know that all you are reading is true and will never change. Until Christ returns, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Translations used: New King James Version & New International Version.
* The small island of Patmos is about 7.5 miles long from north to south and at its widest is 6 miles from east to west. With an area of 13 square miles and a circumference of 25 miles, the volcanic island presents a largely rocky and treeless landscape.
** Bible scholar and author of Barnes Notes on the Bible, Reverend Barnes was an ordained Presbyterian minister who was born in 1798 and was promoted to glory in 1870.