As time goes by we may know that the Bible is an important book. But we may feel that we need a contemporary preacher to interpret it for us. So that it may become relevant for us. Such feelings are not new. When the apostles began to die and the Gospel had arrived in new places and times, people felt like that. In the end of his life, the apostle Peter put in every effort to remind them (and us!), of the fact that the Gospel is already relevant. The Gospel and the Bible, consisting of the writings of the prophets and the apostles, already have given to us the decisive interpretation of the greatest facts in history. Which are the coming, the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What we need are not contemporary preachers making it all relevant for us. What we need are faithful ministers who will remind us of the interpretation that is given to us in the Bible – which is not coming from men, but from the Holy Spirit. Christianity is a historic faith. It does not need renewal, but reminder and faithful explanation and application. From the Bible they show us what it means that Jesus is the Saviour and the King and Lord, Who came and will come. For we tend to forget about it, to fall asleep in a spiritual sense.
In an almost invisible way new teachers can cause the church to drift away from its historic apostolic content and to drift away from the Bible. They can feed the thought that the Bible is too difficult for modern people and that they need modern theologians with new interpretations. Peter’s last words are devoted to awaken us to not let such thoughts creep in. Unless the church continues to pay attention to the Scriptures as to her light for contemporary times to prepare her for the return of her Lord and Saviour, she will stumble and fall. New teachings will ultimately result into a church becoming like the world around her. Through the words of the apostle Peter in his second letter, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus and of God is knocking on our door. Are we drifting away from historic, apostolic Christian faith? The great need of the church in all times is that original Christianity is preached and restored from the Bible as its only relevant and reliable source.
Upcoming Sunday you can hear more about this when we gather as ICF-Delft for worship. You are very welcome to join!
Pastor Jos Slager