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Reform or Revival

Revival 2019   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Revival or Reform

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Revival or Reform

2 chron 34.15
2 Chronicles 34:15–19 KJV 1900
15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. 16 And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king word back again, saying, All that was committed to thy servants, they do it. 17 And they have gathered together the money that was found in the house of the Lord, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and to the hand of the workmen. 18 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 19 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes.

Illustration of reform…….
Goats think they are sheep but have never recieved a new heart!
15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. 16 And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king word back again, saying, All that was committed to thy servants, they do it. 17 And they have gathered together the money that was found in the house of the LORD, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and to the hand of the workmen. 18 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 19 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes. Illustration of reform…….
They sometimes act likw sheep but is all on the outside by what they do or don’t do
Goats – reforming but not changing……
Ephesians 4:17–22 KJV 1900
17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
34:1-4
The story of Josiah, King of Judah, is one of the most unusual in the Old Testament in many ways. He was only eight years old when he took the throne. He is one of the last kings to reign before the nation was overrun by the Babylonians.
Josiah’s father and grandfather were evil kings, but in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, he decided to repair and restore the Temple of the Lord.
The Temple was in a disastrous state, and it symbolized the calamitous spiritual condition of the people.
Let me just list some of the things, recorded in , that Josiah had to do to in order to clean out the Temple area and repair the Temple itself.
2 Kings 23:4 KJV 1900
4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Beth-el.
2 kings
·He had to have the priests remove all the articles and altars dedicated to pagan gods, including Baal and Asherah, which means there was child sacrifice taking place there in the Temple area.
·He had to have the priests remove all the articles and altars dedicated to pagan gods, including Baal and Asherah, which means there was child sacrifice taking place there in the Temple area.
2 Kings 23:5 KJV 1900
5 And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.
· Vs 5 Josiah had to remove all the pagan priests that now served in the Temple. Homosexual male prostitutes had actually set up their quarters in the Temple.
2 kings 24.
2 Kings 24:5 KJV 1900
5 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2 kings 24.5
· Vs 5 Josiah had to remove all the pagan priests that now served in the Temple. Homosexual male prostitutes had actually set up their quarters in the Temple.
· Other rooms in the Temple were occupied by women making religious objects for the goddess Asherah.
· Josiah had to remove the chariots and images of horses that past kings had dedicated to the sun. He had to rid Jerusalem of the mediums and spiritists.
· He told the people to get rid of their personal household gods. He tore down the high places all over the land of Judah and Israel where people worshiped pagan gods and offered human sacrifices. Is it any wonder that God was bringing the nation to an end? Then another shocking thing happened as the priests were cleaning out the Temple.
2 Chronicles 34:15 KJV 1900
15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan.
In following the practices of the world and worshiping pagan gods, the people had first ignored and then lost the Word of God.
In following the practices of the world and worshiping pagan gods, the people had first ignored and then lost the Word of God.
It was buried under a pile of debris somewhere in the Temple. Hilkiah the priest gave the scroll to the king’s secretary.
The king had the scroll read to him, and when it was read, he tore his robes, because he knew the people had broken every command in the book of the law, and judgment was sure to follow.
So Josiah extended his reforms from just removing the pagan altars and repulsive religious practices from the Temple.
He restored the worship of the true God, and had the people return to the religious feasts and rituals which were a part of their history.
The Scripture tells us that Passover was observed in Israel for the first time since the days of the judges. None of the other kings of Israel or Judah had celebrated the Passover. Great reforms were taking place.
Introduction In 1904 a young ministerial student named Evan Roberts, began to feel that God was sending an urgent message that He was going to pour out a mighty spirit of revival on Wales, which is now a part of Great Britain. Roberts began attending various revival meetings and during one he was deeply moved by the Spirit. As he prayed at the altar he cried out to God, “Bend me o Lord!” This was a complete and total surrender of his will to God’s will. Roberts soon returned to his home church to preach the message of revival but his pastor was reluctant to allow him to speak. In a compromise, the pastor announced that Roberts would be speaking following the regular prayer meeting and any who wished to stay were welcome. Only 17 people stayed to hear Evan speak and most of them were teenagers and young adults. Evan Roberts spoke in that church for nearly two hours with a simple 4 point message that he was convinced could help God bring revival. 1. Confess all known sin to God 2. Deal with and get rid of any “doubtful” area of your life 3. Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly 4. Confess Christ publicly
When Roberts was finished speaking all 17 young people were at the altar on their knees crying out to God. They prayed until 2am that night and it was the beginning of one of the greatest movements of God in all history. By the end of the week, over 60 people were won to Christ and over the course of the next year and a half revival swept through the nation of Wales. Over 100,000 people were led to saving faith in Jesus Christ. The revival was so great that the national culture changed dramatically. • A rage of bankruptcies took place - All of the taverns and liquor stores went out of business • Work at the coal mines was brought to a near standstill - The mules who pulled the wagons were so accustomed to hearing foul language from the workers that after the men were saved the mules no longer recognized their voices or commands • The entire police force was dismissed for almost 18 months due to a complete lack of crime • One of the few court cases that was actually brought before a judge was unusual. The defendant came into the court and admitted his guilt, the judge led the man to Christ and the jury closed the case by singing a hymn. The revival eventually made its way across the Atlantic and swept through parts of New York and New Jersey. There was even a daily column in the New York Times called “Today’s Converts” that listed those who were being saved.
Times seem to have totally changed and we have to admit that our world is nothing like that of 1904. I would have to agree our world is a darker and more sinister place where revival seems almost impossible. What about God has changed from 1904 to today? What part of the power of Christ’s resurrection has diminished from then until now? What part of the work of the Holy Spirit has changed?
Our church has fallen on desperate times, but not because of attendance, money or lack of involvement.
Some be Our church has fallen on desperate times, but not because of attendance, money or lack of involvement.
We are in desperate times because we desperately need a movement of God almighty and no one seems to realize it! If God could bring revival in 1904 or any other time for that matter, He can do here in 2019 - But something seems to be missing in the story.
The people are told to turn back to the Lord, and begin once again to observe the holy days and religious rituals of their faith, but they are never told to repent for all the things they had done.
He does not tell them to seek God with all their hearts, only to follow the rituals and feasts from their past history.
The priests read the law to the people, but it does not have the effect of causing them to grieve over their sin.
There is no concern about how they have sinned against God.
There are no tears of repentance.
They begin to observe the feast of Passover, but it is mostly out of respect for Josiah, the king, who tells them to do it.
2 Chronicles 34:31–32 KJV 1900
31 And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book. 32 And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.
34:31-32 - The Bible says,— to follow the Lord and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book” ().
The Bible says, “Then he had everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge themselves to it” ().
Josiah is faithful to do this, but it doesn’t seem to translate into the hearts of the people.
Josiah does many good things, but what is interesting is that we never hear Josiah pray — at least there is no prayer by him in Scripture, or any record of him praying.
Neither is anything said about the people praying.
He asks them to follow the ancient religious rituals of Israel and to stop following other gods, but there is nothing to suggest that this affected their hearts in any way.
Under Josiah’s leadership there is a great reform, but there is no revival, because reform is never enough.
2 Kings 23:25–27 KJV 1900
25 And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. 26 Notwithstanding the Lord turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal. 27 And the Lord said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.
2 Kings 23:25–27 KJV 1900
25 And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. 26 Notwithstanding the Lord turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal. 27 And the Lord said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.
God saw the heart of Josiah and spared him from the coming judgment; he put his hand of blessing on him, but God did not spare the people of the land whose hearts were unchanged. The revival seemed to be a revival of one.
The reforms Josiah brought were widespread, but the revival was very limited in its scope.
Revival come when the heart changes! Following decrees and tradition will ultimately fail.
More here
What does it take for real revival to happen?

I A Call to Prayer.

Psalm 18:6 KJV 1900
6 In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of his temple, And my cry came before him, even into his ears.
I wonder what would have happened if Josiah had called the people to prayer. Josiah cleaned out the Temple of pagan gods and immoral practices, but there was nothing to fill the spiritual void when they were taken away.
Matthew 12:43–45 KJV 1900
43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
Someone turns over a new leaf, but there is no real repentance or change of heart. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation” ().
So I wonder how long it was before the people were right back at serving the pagan deities they had grown to love?
How long was it before the carved images, cast idols and Asherah poles were once again in the Temple area?
Not long. As soon as Josiah was gone, they were right back at it. How long was it before the Temple had one altar to a pagan god, then two, then more than there had been before? Not long.
How long before they were committing gross immorality in the very Temple whose God called for moral purity? Not long.
Not long, because it takes more than sweeping your life clean of evil and immoral things — it takes praying for a new heart that will love God more than it loves sin. The unoccupied house must be filled with the Holy Spirit.
. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good pleasure” ().
Philippians 2:13 KJV 1900
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
phil We could have a president like Josiah, and a congress who would work with him to pass all the right laws, so that there would be great moral reform.
We could have a president like Josiah, and a congress who would work with him to pass all the right laws, so that there would be great moral reform.
It would be wonderful, and I would be glad to see it.
I pray for that kind of reform, because our country would be a better place. But let’s not confuse that with revival.
Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking it would change the heart of the people of our country, or that it would change God’s mind about our country. It would not do so any more than Josiah’s reforms changed the hearts of the people of Israel, or God’s attitude toward them.

II A Reemergence of God’s Word.

Psalm 119:100–105 KJV 1900
100 I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep thy precepts. 101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, That I might keep thy word. 102 I have not departed from thy judgments: For thou hast taught me. 103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: Therefore I hate every false way. 105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path.
The Word of God must again become important in people’s lives.
The Word of God must again become important in people’s lives.
Things started happening when God’s Word was discovered and read.
Maybe your Bible isn’t buried under a pile of rubble in the house, but it might as well be if you never read it.
The people of Israel had been so busy serving other gods that they not only lost the Scripture, they had forgotten about it altogether.
No one even missed it. No one ever asked where the scroll was.
There was nothing wrong with the reforms of Josiah, they just didn’t go far enough.
He ordered the people to follow the laws of God, but they missed the heart of God.
He reintroduced them to ritual, but neglected relationship.
We will never really know who God is, who we are, and what he wants from us, unless we read the Scroll. Getting out the Word of God and reading it is very important, because you can’t believe just anything you want and still be a Christian.
The Christian faith is defined by a specific set of beliefs, and you need to read the Word to know what they are. The New Yorker had a cartoon where a young boy in math class is standing at the chalk board with other students. The teacher has written the problem on the board for each student: 7 x 5 = __ . All the other students have the answer right: 35. But this boy has written 7 x 5 = 75. The teacher has obviously told him it’s wrong, and he says to her, “It may be wrong, but it’s how I feel.”
We are not interested in the Word of God because we are not interested in the truth.
We are not interested in God’s will, because we are wrapped up in our will and doing what we want to do. We want to go by our feelings which are much more to our liking. The Word of God must reemerge in our lives.

We are deist we believe in God we just don’t want him bothering us !!!! III A Sense of Conviction and Repentance. ;

Luke 15:18 KJV 1900
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
Luke 15:21 KJV 1900
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
Luke 18:21 KJV 1900
21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
luke 15
This is nothing less than a realization of the truth about ourselves.
Conviction means that we are convinced that what God says about us is true.
Acts 2:37 KJV 1900
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
- 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
When this happened there was a deep inner change, and their lives became different.
We complain about the Ten Commandments not being displayed in our courts, and we can’t even name all ten — and keep fewer of them than we can name.
We whine about there being no prayer or Bible reading in our schools, and then we don’t pray or read the Bible in our homes.
We complain about gay marriages causing a decline in family values, when the divorce rate among Bible-believing Christians is the same as rest of the culture.
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
You cannot live just anyway you want and still be a Christian.
Jeremiah 31:33 KJV 1900
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, And write it in their hearts; And will be their God, And they shall be my people.
There you have it all: transformation, a new heart and a new relationship.
There you have it all: transformation, a new heart and a new relationship.
Prayer
Word
Repentance
Close with Personal Illustration -
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