Will You Join the Bible Cause?
A renewed invitation to partner with American Bible Society in our third century of Bible ministry
This year, American Bible Society marks the 205th anniversary of our founding. We praise God for his faithfulness to us and look forward to continuing in a new century of Bible ministry.
On May 11, 1816, delegates at the founding convention of American Bible Society adopted an address to the American people. This message outlined the new organization’s purpose and invited those who shared its mission of spreading the gospel to partner with American Bible Society in championing the Bible cause. Two days later, the address was read in public at New York’s City Hall.
More than two centuries later, our mission and vision remain the same. In the spirit of the original address to the people of the United States, we offer a renewed invitation to our fellow Americans, inviting you to join us in our third century of Bible ministry.
Following Where God Leads
In every season, there is change and uncertainty. We look at our government, our culture, and even our beliefs and see change everywhere. But we who follow Jesus Christ are not afraid of the future. We know that God’s will directs our lives. His plan for us is good, even when, like a surgeon, the first step he takes toward healing is a sharp and decisive cut.
All around us, the Spirit of God is working to unify all people in the knowledge of the only true and living God. To many in our culture, this work seems foolish. People reject the worship of God for the worship of themselves. God’s Word is mocked and abandoned for modern philosophy and reason. Our fellow Americans feel secure in their way of thinking and living, but we know that the idolatry within our culture can only lead to destruction.
We celebrate the work of the Spirit in our nation. It is only when we know Jesus that we can become like him, pointing those around us toward him as the only source of healing and hope. In standing against sin and darkness in our world, we become witnesses for Christ. In serving the oppressed, we radiate the love of God.
Laboring Together Around the World
We do not work alone. Instead, we partner with a global movement of national Bible societies, each working in their individual context for the sake of the gospel. Already, God has gone above and beyond our own expectations for the broad reach and impact of Bible ministry around the world. He has brought about unity among the nations and demonstrated the power of his Word.
As we work together, we threaten the powers of darkness. We overcome regional differences, political prejudices, and sectarian resentments that seek to deter our mission. We preach peace where there is conflict and provide the healing balm of God’s Word where there is suffering. We pursue knowledge, learning from each of our global partners and giving thanks to God for them. We focus on the mission God has entrusted to us: to reach every person on the planet with the Word of God, so that every heart might be transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Shining a Light for Our Nation
Each generation faces its own challenges. Consider our nation today: our culture’s increased leaning toward idolatry and division is outpacing the growth of our moral conviction. We see all the distractions, idols, and false religions of the world rushing to fill the spiritual void in our hearts. Consider the power and influence of our nation, and then imagine how destructive its course can be without the Word of God as its guide.
As American Bible Society, we are called to proclaim the gospel in our own nation. We accomplish this by not only supplying God’s Word, but also by pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation to bring the good news into the most hostile and remote regions of our modern American frontier.
“Until the Whole Earth Is Filled”
What does the Bible mean to you?
Can you imagine being separated from God’s Word by the barrier of language? Or money? Grief and trauma? Persecution? Can you think of any better solution than the Bible for the challenges we see in our world today? Will you accept this invitation to do your part in this grand mission to which God has called you?
Come, then, friends and fellow followers of Christ. Prepare your hearts to break for the brokenhearted; prepare your hands to work for the poor; prepare your time, skills, and finances to invest in Bible ministry; and most importantly, pray without ceasing!
Let us serve together with joy and passion, creativity and gratitude. Let us minister selflessly to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people we may never meet. Let us set an example for our children, praying that they will see God work through us in turning a wilderness into a fruitful field and be inspired to continue the work of Bible ministry in their own time.
Finally, let us each do our part to ensure that the light of God’s Word illuminates both the palaces of the great and the villages of the small, until the whole earth is “filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea!” (Habakkuk 2:14 KJV).
“To the People of the United States.” 1816. American Bible Society Archives.
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