From Bill Sutter’s Desk Jul/Aug 2011
I look forward to meeting Dr. Haldor Lillenas in heaven someday. This pastor/evangelist was a prolific writer of some 4,000 hymns and sacred songs extolling the Bible as God’s Word and focusing on the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, his most famous hymn is the much-loved “Wonderful Grace of Jesus.”
He has been with the Lord for many years, but a song he wrote almost 100 years ago has had a lasting impact on my life. I sang “The Bible Stands” many times as a young person, and its truth rings in my heart to this day. Some of you may have a similar testimony. The hymn goes like this:
The Bible stands like a rock undaunted
‘Mid the raging storms of time;
Its pages burn with the truth eternal,
And they glow with a light sublime.
Secular education cannot void the Bible as God’s truth, and no “cutting-edge theology” can negate its time-tested message.
The Bible stands like a mountain towering
Far above the works of men;
Its truth by none ever was refuted,
And destroy it they never can.
There is a choice to be made, and it is not complicated: Either we believe the Bible, or we do not. Theologies that attempt to occupy the middle ground fail miserably in meeting the needs of the human heart.
We at The Friends of Israel understand that some of the greatest evidences of the truth of God’s Word are available for the entire world to see. They include God’s miraculous preservation of the Jewish people and His fulfilled prophecy related to Israel.
For millennia the world has served up one satanically inspired evil after another to try to destroy God’s ancient people. Violence, dispersions, crusades, pogroms, and the Holocaust represent a few. However, He promised His ultimate protection: “Yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone” (Ezek. 11:16).
The birth of modern Israel in 1948—the literal fulfillment of the prophet Ezekiel’s vision of dead, dry bones coming to life—was no surprise to those of us who believe the Bible. Ezekiel 36:28 boldly proclaims, “Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers.”
Yet Satan’s emissaries continue to portray Israel as illegitimate, arguing that the Jewish state has no right to exist. The proliferation of Israel Apartheid Weeks on campuses throughout the United States and Canada, as well as church-sponsored boycotts and divestment initiatives, are among the latest of many attempts to thwart what God loves.
For Bible-believing Christians, Israel is much more than a political issue. It is evidence of God’s truth springing from His Word. Israel is a vital part of our biblical faith.
Over the centuries, millions of Christians have paid a steep price for their faithfulness to Scripture. It cost Czech reformer John Huss his life in 1415 as he stood courageously against the erroneous theologies and tyrannies of the established church. Church authorities burned his writings. Then, when he remained steadfast, they burned him at the stake.
Today Christians in many Muslim-dominated countries are paying a huge price for their devotion to Scripture and their Savior Jesus Christ. In America, we, too, may someday pay the price as Satan’s forces relentlessly attack biblical truth and those who adhere to it.
We thank the Lord for Haldor Lillenas and for a song with an eternal message that people everywhere can grasp and apply to their lives.
The Bible stands though the hills may tumble,
It will firmly stand when the earth shall crumble;
I will plant my feet on its firm foundation,
For the Bible stands.
These powerfully wonderful words reflect the beliefs and ministry of The Friends of Israel’s publications staff in bringing you this important edition with its focus on God’s Holy Word.For the Bible stands.