Can you imagine what it would have been like to live during the Old Testament? Can you imagine being alive during the reign of King Josiah? Jeremiah was a prophet declaring God’s truth. Josiah became king when he was 8 because his father had been killed. What a crazy time! Not only this, but God’s Law had been lost for around 75 years. Can you imagine living without God’s Law for 75 years? God’s chosen nation allowed God’s Law to be lost, and the impact of this was an overwhelming amount of idolatry. Can you imagine what this would have been like?
If you live in today’s American culture, then you probably can. We need prophets like Jeremiah delivering God’s truth. We need leaders like Josiah willing to be broken and repent. Why? We have completely departed from the Bible in mainstream culture. Worse than that, we have departed from God’s Word even in our churches. Oh sure, we teach God’s Word, but in so many instances, it is watered down. Please hear me: I am not saying every church, but I am saying this is a growing trend across churches in our nation. We have certainly seen the results. Our time period looks a great deal like the time period when Josiah was King of Judah. Idolatry reigns in our nation, both in the church and outside of it.
How did Josiah respond to this? He repented! Check out 2 Kings 22 and 23. It is a fascinating story of repentance and tearing down idolatry.
How must we respond to this? We must repent!
Three years ago, God broke my heart over the story of Josiah. As a family we started addressing any idolatry we might have in our home. This was humbling, challenging and convicting. Most of all, it was freeing. We were more freed up to worship our Creator and Savior!
Even more than this, it was this story that God used in my heart to call me to speak out against the idolatrous nature of sexual sin. Josiah went from town to town to town to demolish idolatry. What the Lord had challenged me to do was to go wherever I was invited and challenge all who would listen to tear down the idol of sexual sin. This is what I have spent the last 3 years doing.
This summer I will have another one of these opportunities. I will be speaking at several youth camps. I have been asked to speak on things like homosexuality and sexting and masturbation and pornography and heterosexual sex outside of marriage, etc. This sounds like fun! Just Kidding! It will be very challenging, but the Lord will give me what I need to talk on these issues, just as he has in the past!
Like Josiah, my emphasis will be less on these sexual sins, and more on the issue of idolatry. The message will be very simple.
- God’s plan for your life (worship Him-Colossians 1:16)
- When engaged in idolatry, like sexual sin, we can’t worship Him because we are worshipping something else (Matthew 6:24a)
- Repent of idolatry (2 Chronicles 7:14)
- What motivates repentance? The cross of Christ and His forgiveness (Romans 12:1)
- What empowers change long term? Gratitude for the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16)
Pray for this time. Pray for our nation. Pray for the churches in our nation. We need more Josiahs. We need more Jeremiahs. We must tear down idolatry. We must repent! He is worthy of nothing less!