Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.—1 Peter 1:23–25
The Bible perseveres throughout the course of history. Everything else comes and goes. People, cultures, and nations are like grass and flowers—slowly dying and eventually withering away; but God’s Word abides forever.
The Christians of Peter’s day were being persecuted and threatened. They were being hunted by Caesar—the most power man in the world. And guess what? He died. He is dead and so is the Roman Empire, but the Word of God continues on.
There will be a day when all who oppose you will be gone, but God’s Word will still abide. American culture will drift away, as a society we will fade, but God’s Word will still abide. Those that gossip and lie about you or misrepresent you will fade away, but this Book will still abide!
The Word of The Lord has been translated into more than 3,000 languages— far more than any other book in history. It’s been purchased and read by more people than any other book in the world. This is not because the Bible was without opposition. This Book has always been mightily opposed.
Early on, during the persecution of Peter’s day, the Roman Empire used many tortures as a way to encourage Christians to put down their Bibles: tongue pinchers, whipping post, stakes, and the hang man’s noose—just to name a few. Some Christians were burned, others boiled, many beheaded. As early as AD 300, official decrees were sent out by the Roman government that said every Bible was now outlawed, all copies were to be burned and destroyed, and any Christian caught with one would be executed. And now, they and their decrees are gone and we are still reading God’s Word!
William Tyndale—was strangled and burned at the same time, simply because he wanted everyone to have a copy of the Bible. Then there’s Voltaire, an enlightenment philosopher who said that within 100 years the Bible would cease to be read and would disappear. Famously, within 50 years of his death, his home was purchased by the Geneva Bible society who incorporated it into their Bible printing network.
We often care too much about what others think or say; we forget that God’s Word stands forever, while distractions will fade away. In this passage, Peter endeavors to put steel in the spines of Christians. Don’t forget our Bible is God’s Word. It is the living Word of God. It is the abiding Word of God.