“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
1) MEDITATIONS: Josiah: “There Was No King Like Him” (Kyle Pope)
2) The World’s Oldest Lie (Heath Rogers)
3) The High Cost of Sin (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
Josiah: “There Was No King Like Him”
Synopsis: Josiah, the final faithful king of Judah, was a man of great courage and dedication to God’s word. Kyle reminds us that his life teaches us powerful lessons about what it truly means to serve God.
In most instances in First and Second Kings, David is the king who is the model of service to God (1 Kings 15:3; 15:11; 2 Kings 14:3; 16:2; 18:3). There is one king, however, who surpasses even David. Concerning Josiah, 2 Kings 23:25 tells us, “Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him” (NKJV).
The story of Josiah’s life begins nearly three hundred years before his birth. When the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were divided, the wicked king, Jeroboam, established the idolatrous worship of gold calves at Dan and Bethel. 1 Kings 13:1-34 tells us about a prophet who confronted Jeroboam at Bethel as he stood by an altar he had built to burn incense. The prophet cried out: “O altar, altar! Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you'” (1 Kings 13:2).
When Josiah was born years later, the kingdom he would inherit differed little from the wickedness of Jeroboam’s day. The evil reigns of his father, Amon, and his grandfather, Manasseh, reversed all the righteous reforms of his noble great-grandfather, Hezekiah (see 2 Kings 21). Josiah began to reign at the age of eight after his father’s servants had killed him in his own house (2 Chron. 33:24). When the people of the land rose up and executed the conspirators, Josiah was placed upon the throne (2 Kings 21:24).
While we might expect that Josiah would continue in the wickedness of his fathers, 2 Chronicles 34:3 tells us that in the eighth year of his reign, at the age of sixteen, “he began to seek the God of his father David.” This spiritual quest would take this young man to heights he surely never imagined. Four years later he began to purge Judah of idolatry, destroying the altars to Baal, pulverizing the molded, carved, and wooden images, and scattering the dust on the graves of those who had worshipped at their altars (2 Chron. 34:4).
Second Chronicles makes it clear that Josiah began his first efforts to purge Israel of idolatry with a relatively naïve understanding of what it meant to “seek the God of his father David.” It was not until six years later, in the eighteenth year of his reign that an event occurred that changed Josiah forever (2 Chron. 34:8). After his initial purge, he commissioned a major restoration of the temple. In the course of this effort, the High Priest, Hilkiah, found “the book of the Law of the Lord [given] by Moses” (2 Chron. 34:14). A scribe named Shaphan read the book to the king, and as Josiah heard God’s instructions, his heart was broken as he recognized how his nation and his fathers had sinned against God. Josiah tore his clothes in remorse and commanded that inquiry be made to the Lord, “because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book to do according to all that is written concerning us” (2 Kings 22:13). The Lord answered Josiah’s inquiry through a prophetess named Huldah, who revealed that the Lord planned to destroy Judah and Jerusalem because of the wickedness of the nation (2 Kings 22:16-17; 2 Chron. 34:24-25). Yet, the Lord promised Josiah not to bring destruction during his reign, “because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words” (2 Chron. 34:27).
After hearing this, Josiah called the people to pledge to follow God’s word (2 Kings 23:1-3). He then proceeded further to remove idolatry. This involved destroying idols and booths for ritual homosexual prostitution that were actually located within the temple (2 Kings 23:4-7). He burned the bones of dead idolatrous priests and scattered their ashes over former places of idolatry (2 Chron. 34:4,5). This defiled these places, preventing any future idolatry in them. One such place was the valley outside of Jerusalem called “the valley of the Son of Hinnom.” Josiah’s grandfather, Manasseh, had sacrificed his own children there, in addition to practicing witchcraft and sorcery (2 Chron. 33:6). Josiah “defiled” the place in the valley called Topheth, where sacrifices were made to Molech (2 Kings 23:10). In fulfillment of the prophecy concerning him, he destroyed the altar built by Jeroboam and burned the bones of its priests over it (2 Kings 23:15,16).
Josiah also moved forward constructively to lead the people toward a restoration of true worship. He led the people to observe the Passover in such a way as “had never been held since the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah” (2 Kings 23:22). Josiah reigned thirteen years after the finding of the book of the law (2 Kings 22:1). He died after being mortally wounded, opposing Pharaoh Neco at Megiddo, and was lamented by all the people and the prophet, Jeremiah (2 Chron. 35:20-27).
Josiah lived only thirty-nine years, but his short life teaches us that a difficult childhood does not mean that someone cannot choose to do right. It shows us that seeking God demands a willingness to turn from the errors (sometimes) of our own family. Finally, it teaches us that no matter how long the truth is forsaken, it is still the truth.
— Via Truth Magazine, April 2018, No. 4, Volume 62, https://truthmagazine.com/kindle/2018/2018-04-apr/02_Meditations.htm
The World’s Oldest Lie
When Satan appeared to Eve in the garden, he began to put doubts in her head regarding the command of God. He asked if God had said “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden.” Eve responded that she and her husband could eat of the fruit of every tree in the garden but one, adding that God had said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” Satan responded, “You will not surely die” (Gen. 3:1-4).
The book of Revelation says that Satan “deceives the whole world” (12:9). Jesus told the unbelieving Jews, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). In “the beginning” Satan attempted to murder the human race by tempting Eve with a lie. He lied about the penalty or consequence of sin. Eve may not have understood what death was, but she certainly understood that it was the penalty for eating the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden. Satan got her to believe that there really wasn’t a consequence for sin.
Satan’s lie continued, calling God’s character into question: “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5). He got Eve to believe that eating the fruit would actually benefit her, and that God was holding her back from having or enjoying something that she had a right to experience.
The oldest lie in the world is still being told today. Every day we are given the impression that there is no penalty for violating God’s commands. Sinners go unpunished. We are told that life is ours to enjoy. Live it up. You only go around once. You deserve a break today. Young people are “expected” to experiment and sow their wild oats. Fornicators, homosexuals, pornographers, gamblers, drinkers, liars, etc., all follow their lusts while claiming “I’m not hurting anybody.” We see it happen around us so much that we may be tempted to believe it ourselves.
However, the Bible clearly warns us about the consequences of sin. Paul said that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). Solomon wrote that the way of the transgressor is hard (Prov. 13:15). Moses warned “be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23). Jesus spoke of the binding nature of sin when He said “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (8:34).
Worldly sinners are not the only ones who lie regarding the consequences of sin. The Calvinist lies about the penalty of sin when he insists that the sins committed by a child of God cannot condemn his soul. However, the Bible says that a child of God has to repent, confess, and pray in order to receive the forgiveness of his sins (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9). The Hebrew Christians were warned, “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries” (Heb. 10:26-27).
“You will not surely die.” The oldest lie in the world, still alive and well today. We know better. Let us strive to live holy lives before the Judge of all the earth.
— Via Articles from the Knollwood church of Christ, May 2013
“For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” (NIV, emphasis mine, tte).
The High Cost of Sin
For the video sermon with the above title, just click on this following link while on the Internet:
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins. For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30). For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21). This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27). For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…
6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday: 9 a.m. Bible Classes and 10 a.m. Worship Service. We also have a Congregational Song Service at 5 p.m. for every first Sunday of the month.
Wednesday: 7 p.m. for Bible Classes
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)