- Sermon Notes
The Keys to True Revival
2 Kings 22:1-20
February 26, 2023
- If there ever was a time in recent history when the church needed revival, it is now.
- And when I speak of the church, I mean the true church which consists of born-again Christians who have openly confessed with their mouths “Jesus as Lord” and believe in their hearts that “God raised Him from the dead” (Romans 10:9-10).
- The true church, the body of Christ, needs revival because our world needs a church that is alive with the love of God, a church that is empowered by the Spirit of God, and a church that is standing by faith on principles and promises found in the Word of God.
- But what is true revival?
- Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions and unbiblical views about revival which have been peddled over the years by false teachers and so-called “Revival Specialists.”
ILLUS – My encounter with a “Revival Specialist”
- To understand what true revival is, we must turn to God’s Word, the Bible for answers.
- Tonight, we’re going to look at a time in Israel’s history when God’s people needed revival because they had fallen away from God.
- During our study of 2 Kings 22, we will discover Four Key principles for the true revival of God’s people. And it’s my prayer that as we study God’s Word, there will be a desire within all of us to ask God to revive us.
2 Kings 22:1-20
- For 57 years Judah suffered under the iron, idolatrous fists of two wicked kings.
a. Manasseh led Judah for 55 years.
b. His son, Amon, led Judah for 2 years.
2. Manasseh was so wicked that:
- He built altars for all the “host of heaven” in the two courts of the Lord’s house.
- He made his son pass through fire.
- He practiced witchcraft, used divination, consulted mediums and spiritists.
- He even set up a carved image of Asherah that he had made in the house of the Lord, the very house that the Lord has chosen to put His name on forever (2 Kings 21:5-7).
- The wickedness of Manasseh was so great that God declared Manasseh had done more wicked things than the Amorites who had lived in the land before him (2 Kings 21:11).
- And Amon was so wicked that his servants killed him in his own house (2 Kings 21:23).
- Judah had fallen far away from the Lord.
- Judah needed revival.
- And it’s in this context that we are introduced to an 8-year-old boy named Josiah, Judah’s next king, whom God used to revive His people.
I. Revival is Personal (1-7)
A. Revival is for believers not unbelievers
- The word revive comes from a Latin word which means “to live again.”
- To revive something means that the something in need of revival is alive but is on the verge of expiring.
- But then life-giving air is inhaled and it is revived.
- Life-giving water is consumed and it is refreshed.
- Life-giving nutrition is digested and it is strengthened.
- Spiritually speaking, revival can only occur in the heart of a person who has a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.
- They are alive but not as alive as they once were.
- They are alive but not as much as they could be.
- Therefore, revival is for the believer who needs their faith reignited.
Pastor Chuck Smith, “If there ever was a time in your past when you loved the Lord more than you love Him today, you have backslidden.”
APPL – When it comes to one’s faith, there’s no such thing as “coasting” for a Christian.
- The moment a Christian begins to coast, he will begin to lose valuable ground.
- The moment a Christian begins to coast, her heart will begin to grow cold and her faith will weaken.
APPL – What are the warning signs that you’re “coasting” in your faith? Three warning signs. . .
- First, you will find yourself feeling spiritually dry.
- Second, you will find your love for God and for the things of God is starting to grow cold.
- Third, you will find your life is starting to look more worldly/fleshly and less like Christ.
ILLUS – Sharing how I wanted the Lord to revive my faith with a co-worker.
APPL – I’m so thankful that God loves to revive His people.
Isaiah 42:3, A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish.
B. Revival is one person at a time
ILLUS – During the Welsh Revival, in 1905, a police officer was asked where the “Revival” was taking place. He pointed to himself and said, “It’s inside this uniform!”
- Revival is never a mass movement though God often moves on the hearts of His people simultaneously.
- Simply put, revival happens when the people of God want more of God.
- When you want more of God, you want more of His presence.
- When you want more of God, you want to please Him.
- When you want more of God, you fall more in love with Him and what He loves
Chuck Smith, “The sign of a healthy church is when you see believers falling more in love with Jesus.
- Notice the progression in King Josiah’s life prior to the great revival in him and in the people of Judah. (2 Chronicles 34:1-8 summarized):
- 8 years old – Became king of Judah (1).
- 16 years old – Began to seek the God of his father David (3).
- 20 years old – Purged Jerusalem, Judah and Israel of idolatry (3-7).
- 26 years old – Gave the order to repair the house of the Lord his God (8).
APPL – When it comes to our relationship with God, God has given us a free will so that we may freely choose what kind of relationship we have with Him.
- Close or distant?
- Growth or decay?
- Fire or apathy?
Philippians 3:13-14, Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
II. Revival Begins with a Return to God’s Word (8-10)
A. Revival must be fueled by the Bible
Psalm 119:25-27, My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according to Your word. I have told of my ways, and You have answered me; teach me Your statutes. Make me understand the way of Your precepts, so I will meditate on Your wonders.
- If revival is not fueled by the Bible it can open a door for false teaching and doctrine.
ILLUS – Dr. John Hannah’s comments regarding the history of the Calvary Chapel Movement.
- If revival is not fueled by the Bible it can lead to legalism or a tolerance of sin.
- If revival is not fueled by the Bible it can result in emotionalism and gimmicks.
ILLUS – Training the pastors in Africa about the importance of teaching through the entire counsel of God.
B. Revival begins where the Bible is the final authority
2 Timothy 3:16-17, All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
- But it is hard to be moved by the Bible when it is collecting dust on your bookshelf.
- Judah had lost the book of the law (8).
- Where did they find it? Right where they had left it. In the Temple.
- But no one had bothered to look.
- Shaphan read the entire book of the law to Josiah; Genesis to Deuteronomy in one session.
- Josiah responded by tearing his clothes.
- Though the book of the law had been lost, Josiah rightly understood that it still had authority over his life and Judah.
- Josiah immediately sought to get right with God by coming under the authority of God’s Word.
APPL – Is the Bible the final authority in your life?
Colossians 4:16, Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you
III. Revival Begins with Prayer (11-13)
A. Prayer aligns our hearts with God’s heart
- After hearing the Word, Josiah wanted to know God’s heart.
- So, Josiah sought the Lord through prayer.
ILLUS – Prior to the First Great Awakening people were in prayer all night.
B. Prayer was central in the life of the early Church
- The disciples were “continually devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 2:42).
- When persecuted, the church prayed, and the Holy Spirit came upon them with power (Acts 4:29-31).
- The Holy Spirit called Paul and Barnabas to go on their first missionary journey during a time of prayer and fasting (Acts 13:1-3).
APPL – How important is prayer to you?
1 Thessalonians 5:17, . . . pray without ceasing
IV. Revival Begins with Repentance (14-20)
A. Repentance is turning from sin to pursue God
- When King Josiah heard the words of Deuteronomy 28, his heart sank.
- God told Israel that He would bless them if they obeyed His Law.
- But God also warned Israel that He would curse them for disobedience, even if it meant sending them into exile.
- Blessings for obedience, curses for disobedience.
- Josiah was broken before the Lord.
- He tore his clothes, a sign of humility and deep mourning (11).
- He needed to know if there was any hope for Judah (12-13).
- He received word from the prophetess that judgment was coming (14-17).
- But because the king’s heart was tender and humble before the Lord, there would be peace in Josiah’s lifetime (18-20).
2 Chronicles 7:14, . . . if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (NKJV)
B. True repentance is revealed by our choices
- To confess means “to agree.”
- When we confess our sin to God, we agree with God that our sin is sin.
- Repentance is “confession in action.”
- Repentance is an ongoing choice, not a one-time event.
- Therefore, repentance is a choice to change one’s lifestyle.
- Josiah knew God had given Judah a season of grace.
- Josiah knew there was only one right response – total devotion to God. All idols must be removed immediately.
2 Kings 23:25, And before him there was no king like him who 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; nor did any like him arise after him.
APPL – What is an idol?
- An idol is anything or anyone that occupies the highest place in your heart.
- Even Christians can permit people and things to become an idol in their heart.
1 John 5:21, Little children, guard yourselves from idols.
- If there is an idol in your heart, there is only one right response.
- The idol must go and God must reign.
- Immediately repent and tell the Lord that He alone will have the highest place in your heart.
APPL – The Bible declares that we are living in a time of God’s grace, called the Church age.
- This is a special season or dispensation where God offers grace through His Son, Jesus Christ.
- God wants people to receive the blessing of having their sin forgiven and the gift of eternal life.
- God wants people to receive this blessed gift by placing their faith in Jesus Christ for the salvation of their souls.
- The Bible also declares that Judgment Day is coming.
- Jesus repeatedly warned about the day of God’s judgment, a day when all accounts will be settled.
- God wants people prepared and protected from the coming judgment by receiving the gift of salvation offered through Jesus.
- Things have gotten worse, but that does not mean that we cannot have a season of revival now.
- We need revival and God wants to revive hearts.
- We need revival and God wants to refresh and renew His people.
- We need revival so that the Church may show the world the way to Jesus.
- The clock is ticking. Now is the time to get right with God. Today is the day for revival.
- Come to Jesus. It is personal, between God and you.
- Come to Jesus. Let God’s Word be the final authority in your life.
- Come to Jesus. Align your heart with God in prayer.
- Come to Jesus. Tear down all idols and love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
- Will you please join me in asking the Lord to revive us?
2 Kings 22: 1-20 NASB
1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2 He did right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the way of his father David, nor did he turn aside to the right or to the left.
3 Now in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan, the son of Azaliah the son of Meshullam the scribe, to the house of the Lord saying, 4 “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest that he may [a]count the money brought in to the house of the Lord which the doorkeepers have gathered from the people. 5 Let them deliver it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord, and let them give it to the workmen who are in the house of the Lord to repair the [b]damages of the house, 6 to the carpenters and the builders and the masons and for buying timber and hewn stone to repair the house. 7 Only no accounting shall be made with them for the money delivered into their hands, for they deal faithfully.”
8 Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan who read it. 9 Shaphan the scribe came to the king and brought back word to the king and said, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord.” 10 Moreover, Shaphan the scribe told the king saying, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it in the presence of the king.
11 When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. 12 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, [c]Achbor the son of Micaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant saying, 13 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me and the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the Lord that burns against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”
14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of [d]Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter); and they spoke to her. 15 She said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 thus says the Lord, “Behold, I bring evil on this place and on its inhabitants, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods that they might provoke Me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore My wrath burns against this place, and it shall not be quenched.”’ 18 But to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the Lord thus shall you say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel, “Regarding the words which you have heard, 19 because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,” declares the Lord. 20 “Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes will not see all the evil which I will bring on this place.”’” So they brought back word to the king.