Famine of the Word

Dear Brethren,

Do we understand what is meant by a famine of the word ?  How is it possible for us to grow in grace and knowledge while there is yet time?  How can we be holding fast to that which we were taught?  The understanding of the word of God is of the utmost importance.  Most people have never even read the Bible - let alone understand it. We cannot make the mistake of saying, "I've heard it all.  I've read it all. I can coast from here".  In addition to "holding fast," we need to make every effort to continue to grow.  "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."   (2Peter 3:18)

We are in the time period shortly before the great tribulation.  The Gospel message is not going out in great force as it once did.  Compared to those days, there exists a famine of the word - but within the Church of God, there need not be a famine of the word.  "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord." (Amos 8:11)

God is working with the people in His scattered Church by presenting them with choices.   How will we live our lives? What doctrines will we adhere to?  What standard of conduct will we accept among our leaders?   So when the days seem darkest, let's realize that this is indeed the time to let our light shine on what is truly important - holding onto the Truth, loving God and loving our neighbor.

"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid."  (Matthew 5:14)  "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

In the perilous times we are in, it is also our responsibility, not only to retain, but also to preserve the precious Truth that has so graciously been given to us.  The doctrines of Jesus Christ have been restored to us.  Let us not ever take for granted that this Truth will always be readily available.  We must follow Christ's example where He said, "I must work the works of Him [Father] that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."  (John 9:4)

Because of religious confusion, this world cannot understand the Bible.  Mankind is confused in so many areas, such as: Who is Israel of the Scriptures?  What is the importance of God's Holy Days? And, is mankind being judged now?  The Bible contains the answers to these questions and many more - but how can the Bible's wisdom be unlocked?  The Word of God has been preserved down through the centuries - for a great purpose! 

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."  (Isaiah 55:11)

We are privileged to have the word of God opened to us in a great and wonderful way.  The prophets of old did not have all that we have, though they searched diligently to see what we are able to see. "Blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.  For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them."  (Matthew 13:16-17) (1Peter 1:10)

Why does God call us the "Children of Light?"  From a spiritual point of view, these are difficult days for all of us.  We might even say these are “dark days” for the Church, especially when we compare them to how the Church was during its "brighter" days.  But, let us never forget that we of Christ's spiritual community are never in darkness, as the world is in darkness.  "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."  (John 3:19)

The situation for a new person who comes into contact with God’s Truth today is difficult.  When someone tries to learn more of God’s Truth today they encounter a veritable jungle of twisted doctrines and teachings.  "False Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect."  (Mark 13:22)  How can a new person avoid a famine of the word?  Depending on which group a new person comes into contact with, he or she would have a pretty good chance of being taught doctrine that is quite different from that of the Scriptures.

How does a new convert today wade through all the different doctrinal stances and decide which one is the Truth?  How can a new convert tell who in the ministry has a valid message and lifestyle?  How could they discern the differences in doctrine in one group from that of the other groups?  How would they know whom to believe?  For that matter, how can the longtime brethren be assured that their ministers aren't compromising with God's Truth? 

At the end-time harvest, there is another prophesied separation that is conducted by the angels at the direction of Jesus Christ to see who has let his light shine.  Those who have remained steadfast are the Children of the Kingdom.  Notice the separation:

"The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; ... Let both grow together until the harvest:  and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn... Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." ((Matthew 13:38-43)


Sermon:  "Famine of the Word"