2 Ki 22:1-8
INTRO: When religion revealed from God falls into disrepair, the consequences are tragic. But this situation is not hopeless. Why? Because God, in His infinite wisdom, revealed the pattern for that religion ... and the pattern can be used to restore that religion which God revealed and which pleases Him. Some, perhaps, would say that as long as one worships the true God the "how" of his worship is really not that important. Some, on the other hand, believe (as did Josiah) that the revealed pattern is vitally important to our offering true praise to God. This morning I want us to look at a Biblical example of "restoration" and draw from it some very important and timeless lessons.
I. ANALYSIS OF "RESTORATION" IN THE DAYS OF JOSIAH
A. Begin with a searching, humble heart
1. 2 Chron 34:3a - sixteen years of age ... "seeking after the God of David"
2. 2 Ki 22:19 - "and thou hast humbled thyself"
3. change toward God and His way will always require these qualities
4. people who so not have searching hearts will be very satisfied with "status quos" - people without humble hearts will find it hard to change away from comfortable, well entrenched ways
B. There must be the book of the law (the revealed pattern)
1. 2 Ki 22:8 - "I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord"
2. Josiah is already a religious person ... certainly concerned about "right"
3. although true religion was in disrepair after years of apostasy, he was making legitimate efforts to seek the God of David
4. but having the pattern was absolutely necessary to real "restoration"
C. There was genuine repentance
1. 2 Ki 22:11 - "...when he heard...he rent his clothes..."
2. how can there be change/restoration without repentance?
3. how can there be change/restoration without great sorrow for a course in which we have gone ... away from God (no matter innocence & ignorance)?
4. Ezek 18:30 - "Repent, and turn yourselves..."
D. There was a serious realization
1. 2 Ki 22:13 - "...great is the wrath of the Lord...because..."
2. Josiah was not a very old person when all this is taking place ...and he realizes that walking outside of the pattern can only bring down God's wrath!
3. but there seems to be a great indifference about this in our own time
4. dear friends, we may not like to think of God's wrath, but the Bible (OT & NT) reveals His wrath toward those who walk outside of His revealed pattern
E. There was decision
1. 2 Ki 23:3 - "And the king...made a covenant..."
2. notice that this decision involved heart and soul!!
3. is it possible, though, that some may realize that their way is not after the pattern, realize that it cannot be pleasing to Him ... but continue in that walk?
4. coming to a decision about restoration may be the most difficult point ... there are familial issues, social issues which are impacted by this decision
F. There was restoration
1. 2 Ki 23:21 - "...as it is written in the book of this covenant" & 2 Ki 23:24
- "...that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book..."
2. the restoration required going to the pattern for directions ... and conforming to the pattern
3. as you read the context, you will notice that they ceased, eliminated the practices of apostate religion ... what was not authorized they could not do!
4. 2 Chron 34:33b - a hint here about how fragile "restoration" can be
G. Unencumbered commitment
1. 2 Ki 23:25 - "And like unto him was there no king before him..."
2. this is the spirit out of which restoration can take place and in which faithfulness to God's revealed religion can be continued
3. Josiah's eyes were on God and His word ... and he would not be swayed
4. we will not long remain faithful when our eyes turn from God and His word to personal desires, feelings, leanings ... apostasy is always so near!
II. SO, WHAT'S THE POINT?
A. God's revealed religion for the present is described in the New Testament
B. The faith in Christ had its beginning in Jerusalem 2000 years ago
C. Since its beginning, apostasy has occurred
1. there are many, many religious people
2. but the religions they profess and practice are not revealed in the N.T.
D. Restoration is possible ... just as it was in Josiah's time
1. each of the elements we have mention is essential to it, however
2. and once there has been restoration, there must be commitment
CLOSE: There are few things which have more excited me over years of time than the Biblical idea of restoration. It is on that idea, that principle, that example that I have predicated my preaching and teaching. Sweet friends, we must continue to commit to holding fast to the pattern.
Cecil A. Hutson
07 May 2006
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)