The second chapter of Genesis opens with the pronouncement that heaven and earth are finished and well established. Verse 1 says, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” Wesley says that verse 1 of Chapter 2 declares “…the heavens and the earth are finished pieces, and so are all the creatures in them. So perfect is God’s work that nothing can be added to it or taken from it.”[1] He then refers to Ecclesiastes 3:14 which says, “I know everything God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, and nothing can be taken from it, for God so acts that humans might stand in awe before him.”[2] Don’t we marvel at the creation? Don’t we look at it from our puny perspective in the universe and say something like the rock group Kansas sang back in the 70s. “Don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky. It slips away and all your money won’t another minute buy.”

In Matthew 5:18, Jesus says, “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Then again he says in Luke 16:17, “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.” Jesus spoke like no other. Even his enemies acknowledged that they had never heard teaching like this. He spoke with authority. He didn’t say “I think this…” or “My opinion is…” Now, I do that and other preachers do that but not Jesus. To state that his “word” will last longer than heaven and earth is pretty bold. O’Donnell says he can get away with that because “…so far he has been right! It has been nearly 2,000 years since he first said those words, and we are still talking about them today. I am quoting from Jesus’ teachings to people who still read commentaries on Jesus’ teachings and who have, in fact, experienced the life-changing power of his words.”[3]

The Bible teaches us that we will all die someday. None of us are invincible. The things that surround us will go away also. Many of us have already learned that loved ones will pass away and the good things we have in life are only temporary. But not God’s Word. You can take God’s Word to the bank, so to speak. It will stand! Near the end of World War II downtown Warsaw was almost completely leveled. According to one witness, the only skeletal structure remaining on the main street was the Polish headquarters of the British and Foreign Bible Society. The words engraved upon the only wall standing, which were clearly legible from the street, were the words, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

[1] Wesley, John. 1765. Explanatory Notes upon the Old Testament. Vol. 1. Bristol: William Pine.

[2] Harris, W. Hall, III, Elliot Ritzema, Rick Brannan, Douglas Mangum, John Dunham, Jeffrey A. Reimer, and Micah Wierenga, eds. 2012. The Lexham English Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] O’Donnell, Douglas Sean. 2013. Matthew: All Authority in Heaven and on Earth. Edited by R. Kent Hughes. Preaching the Word. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.