THE WORD WILL NOT RETURN VOID
A father, teaching his son about the beauties of nature, pointed out a glorious sunset and said,
“Look son, isn’t that a beautiful picture God has painted?”
Son said, “It sure is, Dad, especially since God had to paint it with His left hand!” “What in the
world do you mean, ‘God had to paint it with His left hand?’”
“Well, Dad, the preacher at church says that Jesus is sitting on God’s right hand!”
Isaiah 55:10 “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without
watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and
bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me
empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isa.
We’re looking today at times when it seems like God’s promises have failed and how God’s
words can Never fail.
I. IT OFTEN LOOKS LIKE GOD’S WORD HAS FAILED
A. “THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE!”
The prophet said, “Water will flow in this desert” (2 Kgs. 3:17). People said, “It can’t happen!”
but it did!
The prophet said, “Though it’s a famine, flour will sell cheaply in this city tomorrow” (2 Kgs.
7:1-2). Doubters said, “That’s impossible!” but it happened!
God said, “This sterile old woman (75 years old) shall bear a son next year” (Gen.18:10; Lk.
1:13). People laughed at those words absurdity, but it happened just as God said.
God said a little army of 300 men would defeat an army of 135,000 men (450 to 1)! Crazy? But
The prophet said, “Israel, though defeated, sold as slaves, and scattered among the nations,
will be gathered and become a nation again and rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem” (Deut. 29;
Isa. 11:11-13; Jer. 25:11; Hos. 3:4-5 and Lk. 21:23-24). People said, “It will never happen!”
2,000 years passed. It looked as if God’s Word would fail. But after WW2 and the Holocaust,
the Israelites were allowed to resettle in their land! God’s Word came true again!
“Unique among all books ever written, the Bible accurately foretells specific events in detail
many years or sometimes centuries before they occur.
Approximately 2,500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible,
about 2,000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter—no errors. The remaining 500 are
prophecies yet future to us.” [Hugh Ross]
B. GOD’S WORD IS ALIVE!
The Bible may look like other books, but it’s not. The words of this Book are ALIVE! They’re
words with spiritual power behind them. Jesus said, “The words I speak to you, they are spirit
and they are life.”
The Word of God is the most powerful thing in the universe; through it Jesus made the
universe, Heb. 1:2-3.
God’s Word is an active force; creating, animating, sustaining, and propelling all things
according to God’s will.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” Mt. 24:35.
Once released by God, it has a life of its own – to bring about its fulfillment.
“His word runs swiftly” Ps. 147:15.
C. IT’S MIGHTY IN ITS INFLUENCE
Only the Word has the power to save you & transform your life!
It’s so powerful that even faulty preaching of it has saved people:
A travelling Bible salesman in Sicily was held up by a bandit at gunpoint in a forest. He was
ordered to start a fire and burn his books.
He started the fire and asked if he could read a bit from each book before he burnt it. He
read a bit from the 23rd Psalm out of one, then the story of the good Samaritan from another,
then the Sermon on the Mount, then 1 Cor. 13.
. Each time the robber said, “That’s a good book; we won’t burn that one; give it to me.” Not
a single Bible was burned.
Years later the same bandit turned up again. But now he was a minister of the gospel.
[Barclay, William The Daily Study Bible: Timothy, Titus & Philemon p201.]
II. IT TAKES TIME FOR FULFILLMENT
A. LIKE RAIN AND SNOW
Why is there often an interval of time between when you pray and when God answers?
God said, “As the rain and the snow…do not return…without watering the earth and making it
bud & flourish…so is my Word” (10-11).
Rain immediately soaks into the ground and fulfills its purpose, but snow may sit on the
surface for years or centuries before it melts and is absorbed (think of glaciers).
God’s Word is sometimes fulfilled immediately but at other times seems to slumber for
centuries before being fulfilled.
APPLICATION? If there’s been a delay in your prayers being answered, keep praying and
Be sure you’ve met God’s conditions (2 Chron. 7:14 – humble yourself, pray, seek His face,
turn from your wicked ways).
It’s common for there to be a delays.
Trust in God; He won’t fail you.
B. EXAMPLES OF DELAYS
God gave Joseph dreams that he would become a ruler. But his brothers sold him into slavery
and imprisonment and it was 13 years before his dreams came to pass.
Even our Lord Jesus had to wait 30 years to begin His ministry.
He spent the majority of His life shaping wood in the humble carpenter’s shop.
Waiting is hard! Holding onto the promises for your loved one’s salvation, or for your healing.
Being patient. Continuing to believe. That’s why the Scripture says,
“For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive
the promise” Heb. 10:36.
God “works all things together for the good of them that love the Lord” Rom. 8:28.
That sounds like a lot of moving parts. God’s not just working one thing for good – but ALL
things for the good.
So this means that God has to overlay people’s destinies so they can mutually benefit each
The failure of key people to do their part is possible, that’s why we must be on guard to not let
Satan hinder us from doing God’s will daily.
Others may be depending on us!
Little Charlie was accustomed to his grandmother reading to him from the Bible whenever he
visited. She showed all the red-lettered writing and said, “Those in red are the words of Jesus!”
One time when he was on vacation with his parents, Charlie found a Bible in the hotel room. He
thumbed through it seeing only black writing and laid it on the table. “Jesus didn’t say nothing
in that Bible!” he said.
III. GOD’S WORD HAS NEVER FAILED
A. HISTORY PROVES IT: ATTEMPTS TO DESTROY THE GOSPEL
Emperor Diocletian in 303 A.D. issued 4 proclamations to wipe out the Christian faith. For 8
years persecution swept the Empire. Many churches were demolished. Many copies of the
Bible were burned. Christians were killed.
To the Emperor, the purge looked so complete that he issued a new coin with the inscription,
“The Christian religion is destroyed and the worship of the gods is restored.”
What he didn’t know was that God was already raising up the next emperor – Constantine
(313 A.D.) – who established the Roman Empire as a Christian Empire! You can’t stop God!
The French atheist Voltaire boasted in the 1700’s that in 100 years Christianity would cease to
exist, but within 50 years the Geneva Bible Society used his own printing press and house to
publish Bibles [Geisler and Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible, 1986, pp. 123, 124].
The Communists gathered Bibles and burned them. Hitler burned Bibles and declared he
would write his own.
Nations have risen and fallen, but the Word of God lives on! Emperors, Kings and Dictators
have attempted to stamp it out, but the Word of God lives on!
Many philosophers and educators have mocked the Bible, but today they are dead and the
Word of God lives on!
B. THERE’S NO FORCE POWERFUL ENOUGH TO STOP IT
Moses was opposed by the magicians, but the Word fell on them too. The sorcerer Balaam
tried to curse Israel, but God turned his curses into blessings!
Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” Mt. 24:35.
. GOD SAID JESUS WOULD RISE FROM THE DEAD –
The Roman guards couldn’t stop it;
. “ Jewish Leaders “ “ “ ;
. Pontius Pilate “ “ “ ;
. Caesar & all his legions “ “ “ .
. Not all the atheists, the evolutionists, the doubters, politicians, the scoffers, the governments;
. No power in the universe, nor heaven or hell could stop it, for His Resurrection was
unstoppable! What God sets in motion can’t be stopped!
A. ILLUSTRATION: THE SCRAP OF PAPER
. The small piece of paper was hardly worth bending over to pick up. Yet the young father
retrieved it and what he read changed his life. He was a devout Hindu living in India.
. But the scrap of paper presented a new concept: it told him that he was a sinner and needed
a Savior. He decided to put his faith in Jesus Christ who freely forgives all who will ask. The
tract was one tiny seed with far-reaching effects.
. The man became a preacher of Jesus to unreached areas of India. Two of his sons became
missionaries, taking the good news about Jesus to new towns. As a result, 22 new churches
have been started and thousands have heard of freedom in Christ. “Just a piece of paper?”
Not if it has the Gospel on it! [Daily Bread, Feb. 23, 2000]
. How many of you have something you need God to do but the answer hasn’t come yet?
. How many of you need a breakthrough?
When the conditions are right, it will rain. Trust God to work all things together for good.
. Sometimes we must take our stand upon God’s Word and just keep standing. “God said it. I
believe it. That settles it.”
THE WORD WILL NOT RETURN VOID
THE WORD WILL NOT RETURN VOID
THE WORD WILL NOT RETURN VOID