Could there be anything more that our troubled nation and its leadership needs right now than the wisdom, power and guidance of Almighty God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures?
America’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, who led the nation with great moral courage, said: “All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book. But for it we could not know right from wrong.”
John Quincy Adams, the sixth president, remarked, “My custom is to read four or five chapters of the Bible every morning. … It is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue.”
President Harry Truman said, “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and Saint Matthew, from Isaiah and Saint Paul.”
And it was only a few decades ago that President Ronald Reagan said: “Of the many influences that have shaped the United States into a distinctive nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible.” In 1983, Reagan signed into law an Act of Congress proclaiming it as the “Year of the Bible.” The Act asserted “a national need to study and apply its teachings.”
It was at the very beginning of my father’s ministry that he decided once and for all that Scripture was the infallible Word of God, and that his life and preaching ministry would be built on the life-changing power of the Bible. During an era where many denominations and ministries became progressively more liberal and began to doubt the inerrancy of God’s Word, my father always lifted his Bible high in the pulpit and stood squarely on its unchanging truth.
In fact, one of his Bibles from an early era of his ministry will be part of the new Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., and my hope is that this groundbreaking museum will expose a new generation to the enduring, transforming and saving power of Scripture. God says that His Word will not return void, and I pray that hundreds of thousands of people will come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The museum will open on Nov. 17, just two blocks from the National Mall and three blocks from the U.S. Capitol. It will be a historic moment.
There has never been anything quite like it—a museum dedicated to the unique history, narrative and impact of the Bible through the millennia, filled with Biblical artifacts and manuscripts from Old and New Testament times, all testifying to the incredible role played by God’s Word throughout the ages.
The first thing you will see when you enter into the 430,000-square-foot museum is a massive replica of the Gutenberg plates that were used by Johannes Gutenberg to print the world’s first Bible in movable type, sparking a revolution in the mass reproduction of the Scriptures.
You’ll also see fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, large portions of the Tyndale New Testament, early tracts and Bibles of Martin Luther, and some amazing displays that highlight the Bible’s unsurpassed role in influencing entire civilizations with the power of God’s transforming truth.
I can’t think of anything more encouraging than a premier exhibit on the historical, cultural and spiritual impact of the Word of God placed in the heart of our nation’s capital.
I believe that hundreds of thousands of men, women and children will pass through the Museum of the Bible each year and will leave with new wonder and awe at how God used men to communicate His inspired, authoritative, inerrant Word.
Think of it: 66 books written by more than 40 authors on three continents over a time span of some 1,500 years. All of it with a single, recurring, redemptive theme of a Savior who comes to rescue people from their sins through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
Every single word from Genesis to Revelation is God-breathed, as the Spirit of God superintended the minds and pens of men. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
In virtually every sector of public life today, the veracity and relevance of the Scriptures is being questioned. Scholars and theologians constantly cast doubt. Most schools and academies can rarely bring up the topic of Scripture without the fear of legal action (though some are able to present the Bible as literature). Biased state and federal courts and hostile government mandates have served to practically ban any Biblical references in the public square.
When Sen. Marco Rubio recently tweeted Scripture verses John 14:27 and Proverbs 16:3-4. the backlash was immediate. A Washington Post reporter suggested Rubio had been hacked or perhaps “totally lost it.” An Esquire blogger called the tweets “oddly terrifying,” and another journalist deemed them “unsettling.”
Such is the state of affairs in our land, where the Pew Research Center found that fewer than half of adults could name all four Gospels, and only four in 10 knew that Job was a Biblical figure known for following God in the face of great suffering. Nearly 40 percent of American adults seldom or rarely read the Bible.
What a tragedy!
Many years ago, when I was a young boy, my mother taught me the importance of memorizing key Scriptures. To this day, I can recall many of them, and the promises of God’s Word have sustained and guided me through the years.
I love the Bible. I love how the Lord speaks to my soul as I begin my days reading passages of Scripture. I love to preach its transforming truths in our Festivals and Crusades.
That’s why it’s my fervent hope and prayer that we will have a resurgence of interest and esteem for God’s Word. Any renewal or revival movement must have the Bible as the centerpiece, for “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). God saves us from sin, and He does so as the truth of God’s Word is clearly proclaimed.
John Wycliffe, who will be featured prominently in the Museum of the Bible and who first translated God’s Word from Latin into the common English language of the mid-13th century, said: “Holy Scripture is the preeminent authority for every Christian. … Forasmuch as the Bible contains Christ, that is all that is necessary for salvation.” Men like William Tyndale have been burned at the stake for it. Men like Martin Luther have had to hide away in a castle while translating the Scriptures into the language of the people.
And that is why there is no other book on earth that can even compare to this Book—the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version.