While they were bringing out the money that had been taken into the temple of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord that had been given through Moses. Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan.
Then Shaphan took the book to the king and reported to him: “Your officials are doing everything that has been committed to them. They have paid out the money that was in the temple of the Lord and have entrusted it to the supervisors and workers.” Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.
When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes. He gave these orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the remnant in Israel and Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that is poured out on us because those who have gone before us have not kept the word of the Lord; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in this book.”
- 2 Chronicles 34:14-21
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.
- James 2:8
For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!
- Acts 28:30-31
In a recent Sunday school class, we finished the book of Acts, now starting on the book of James. The closing questions summed the entire book. For one, why does the book seem to have such an odd ending, as if begging the question as to what happened next? Paul was in Rome, under arrest, for two years. … Since they mentioned “two years,” what happened next?
The point is that the book of Acts never ended. When we look at it, as some have called it, “the Acts of the Apostles,” then the Apostles died the deaths of martyrs, although the death of John is up for debate. But then, that altered name misdirects how the Holy Spirit was working within such people as Simon Peter, Philip the evangelist, and the Apostle Paul. But the “Acts of the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit works within those who love the Lord?” That continues today. If there was a definitive period (that punctuation that ends any further discussion) at the end of the book of Acts, we might close the book, thinking that God had done His thing, and that was “history.” But God works within us today.
But when we talked about some unexpected ways that God had given us an opportunity to spread the Gospel, one fellow mentioned that just before he retired, as he said “a hundred years ago,” one of his co-workers asked him about God. This guy said that he told him about Jesus and then ran to his truck and got an old Bible out and handed it to the man. What he marveled at was that this co-worker had never seen a Bible before. He asked, “How could that possibly be true?”
The sad truth is that in my generation, it was rare in the United States to have that happen, but so many in our generation have rejected God and that percentage is growing in the following generations. There are people who are so angry in a God that they say that they do not believe in, that they refuse to have a Bible in the home. It is odd. They believe that God does not exist, but they think that if they have a Bible in their home, it might burn a hole “clear to China”, as the old saying goes. But if God does not exist, then God’s Word would have no power. Yet, they refuse to have the book in the house, out of fear of something that they do not believe. C. S. Lewis was offered that argument, I believe by Hugo Dyson, and he saw the inconsistency, which led Lewis to believe in God and eventually become a Christian. Yet, most atheists and agnostics of today are content with their inconsistencies.
So, within a few generations, the Bible may be largely unknown.
Is all lost? No! The first Scripture above talks of how, during the reign of Josiah, the scrolls containing the Law of Moses were found in the temple. A revival began. Josiah was the great-grandson of Hezekiah. He was the last of the good kings of Judah. Thus, the revival only lasted a generation, but there is Hope of a revival even if all the “Bibles” have been “lost.”
But we can move forward and proclaim the Gospel today. We can be bold as was Paul and the other missionaries of his day. We may not think that our words are being heard. We may not think that our actions have been noticed. But God still is sovereign, and He has a plan. Your little piece to the puzzle is just as important as those big pieces performed by the Apostle Paul and the others mentioned in the book of Acts and the modern evangelists of the past century and today. Every puzzle piece is necessary for the puzzle to be completed.
Thus, we must go and do our small part. We may find that it is bigger than we ever imagined.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.