Text: II. Chronicles 30:1-12
1. And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel.
2. For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.
3. For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.
4. And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation.
5. So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written.
6. So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.
7. And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.
8. Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.
9. For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.
10. So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.
11. Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.
12. Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD.
King Hezekiah was a godly king who began his reign at the age of 25 (II. Chr. 29:1). His father was ungodly king Ahaz who goes down in Bible history as one of the most wicked, depraved kings of the southern kingdom of Judah. Hezekiah, on the other hand, was mightily used of God to bring about revival (See. II. Chr. 29:2 and II. Kings 18:1-4). He removed the high places, brake the images, cut down the groves, cleansed the temple and restored the worship of the one true God. It is this climate of godly leadership and spiritual revival that precedes this great Evangelistic passage in II. Chronicles chapter 30. A true concern for souls is a natural fruit and outflow of spiritual revival and refreshing. A heart that has no love for souls is a heart that desperately needs a reviving work of the Holy Spirit of God. We will now look at several lessons concerning the subject of Evangelism from this passage.
I. The Motivation (Vs. 1-5)
1. Motivated by God-given Vision.
Without a doubt, Hezekiah’s heart was motivated by a vision to see his people return to the God of their fathers. This vision in the heart of Hezekiah was passed on to the his princes and the whole congregation (Vs 2&4). How sad it is today that many churches are not motivated about reaching the lost simply because their pastors and leaders have little or no vision for souls.
2. Motivated by God-given Compassion.
Hezekiah had a love for his people and a concern for those who were trapped in heathen idolatry.
II. Corinthians 5:14-15 says, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”
- Example: Our Lord Jesus Christ who was moved with compassion when he saw the multitudes and wept over Jerusalem (Mt. 9:36-38 ; Luke 19:41).
Lamentations 3:51 “Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.”
- Example: The Apostle Paul was stirred over the pagan idolatry of Athens and willing to be accursed if it meant the salvation of his own people (Acts 17:16; Romans 9:3).
- Example: Moses was willing to be blotted out of God’s book if it meant that his people could be saved (Ex. 32:32).
George Whitefield, the famous English Evangelist once said, “O Lord give me souls, or take my soul.”
While David Brainerd was labouring among the poor, benighted Indians on the banks of the Delaware, he once said, “I care not where I live, or what hardships I go through, so that I can but gain souls to Christ. While I am asleep, I dream of these things; as soon as I awake, the first thing I think of is this great work. All my desire is the conversion of sinners, and all my hope is in God.”
Such love for sinners can only be explained as the dynamic influence of the love of God shed abroad in a life by the Holy Ghost of God.
3. Motivated by God-given Revelation.
Vs. 5 says, “…for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written.” The Passover was to be kept at the temple in Jerusalem as it was the God ordained way for his people to approach Him. If we truly believe what God has revealed in His Word, we will be motivated to win souls. When we consider the Bible truth that there is a coming judgment and that the lost will burn forever in the Lake of Fire, we should be motivated to go and preach the Gospel.
II. The Mission (Vs. 5)
1. The mission’s objective – to proclaim.
2. The missions extent – “throughout all Israel” and “from Beersheba to Dan.” Vs 10 tells us that the posts (messengers) passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun.
Before the Lord Jesus left earth, He left us with a mission.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
- Teach / Disciple or win converts.
- Teach them all the Word of God.
One man of God said, “With all our education, our fine buildings, our image of the church, we are doing less to win people to Christ than our unschooled forefathers did. We’re no longer fishes of men, but keepers of the aquarium, and we spend most of our time swiping fish from each other’s bowl.”
John Wesley said, “The church has nothing to do but save souls, therefore spend and be spent in that work.”
III. The Method (Vs 6)
1. They went with the message.
“So the posts went…”
The word ‘posts’ is also translated run 72 times. It means to run, runners, to run swiftly. Strongs
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain:
Psalm 126: 5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
2. They carried the Message.
“So the posts went with the letters from the king…”
These letters did not merely contain the opinions and ideas of the king, they were a scriptural plea to turn back to God (See Vs 12).
1Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
3. They proclaimed/preached the Message.
They didn’t proclaim their own opinions and ideas but they proclaimed the Word of God. I Corinthians 1:18 says, For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:14 asks a soul searching question, How shall they hear without a preacher?
IV. The Message (Vs. 6-9)
1. A message of Repentance (Vs. 6).
Vs 6 “turn again”, Vs 9 “if ye turn again”
- Example: The Lord Jesus preached repentance.
Mark 1:15 “…repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
- Example: The Apostle Paul preached repentance.
Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Consider these quotes by C.H. Spurgeon, the great Baptist Preacher.
“The true penitent repents of sin against God, and he would do so even if there were no punishment. When he is forgiven, he repents of sin more than ever; for he sees more clearly than ever the wickedness of offending so gracious a God.”
“The mourning of a penitent is not because of hell: if there were no hell he would mourn just as much. His grief is not for what sin might cost himself, but for what it has cost the Substitute.”
Sadly, repentance is missing from most Gospel presentations today and the fruit is seen in the multitudes of false conversions and empty professions. How often we do we hear a well-meaning Christian stand up in church and confidently declare that during soul-winning hour they won several souls to Christ. The weeks and months then go by and those same people evidence no desire to assemble with the local church and no fruit of the Spirit’s regenerating work. This is largely due to neglecting the Biblical doctrine of repentance. We cannot cover this subject in depth in this article but I would encourage you to search the Scriptures on this vital subject.
2. A message of Warning (Vs. 7-8).
“And be not like your fathers…”; “…serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.”
Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Our message to the lost must contain an element of warning. We warn and plead with them to flee the judgment of God and the horrors of hell fire. We warn them that God’s justice demands punishment for sin and the only way of escape is in the Lord Jesus Christ’s death on Calvary for sin.
2. A message of Hope (Vs. 9).
Vs 6 “…he will return to the remnant of you”.
Vs 9 “…your brethren and your children shall find compassion”.
What a precious message of hope we possess. The words of eternal life that can free men from the chains of sin that bind them. Words that have the power to pierce through the darkness of Satan’s bondage and see a poor, helpless sinner transformed into a trophy of God’s saving grace. We have the privilege of sharing the wonderful riches of God’s grace, love and mercy with all who will hear.
V. The Response (Vs. 10-12)
1. A negative response (Vs. 10)
“…they laughed them to scorn and mocked them”
As we witness, the reality is that we will often encounter a negative response to the message we preach. Even many of those who followed Christ initially, turned back when they were offended by His message (John 6:66). How much more can we expect to see this response in many of those we try to reach for Christ.
Matthew 7:13-14 says, Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
2. A positive response (Vs 11-12)
- They “humbled themselves” (Vs 11).
- The “hand of God” was at work (Vs 12).
Mark 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Are you an active part of God’s soul saving work? Or are you too busy with the cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches to really care?
The following account entitled “Too late for Restaurant Waiter” was told by Dr. R.A Torrey, the great American Evangelist.
“One evening when Mr. Alexander and I were in Brighton, England, one of the workers went from the afternoon meeting to a restaurant for his evening meal. His attention was drawn toward the man who waited upon him, and there came to his heart a strong impression that he should speak to that waiter about his soul, but that seemed to him such an unusual thing to do that he kept putting it off. When the meal was ended and the bill paid, he stepped out of the restaurant, but had such a feeling that he should speak to that waiter that he decided to wait outside until the waiter came out. In a little while the proprietor (owner) came out and asked him why he was waiting. He replied that he was waiting to speak with the man who had waited upon him at the table. The proprietor (owner) replied, “You will never speak to that man again. After waiting upon you he went to his room and shot himself.” Oh, men and women, there are opportunities open to every one of us tonight that will be gone, and gone forever, before another day dawns. The time is short!”
May God stir our hearts with a renewed fire to win the lost for His glory.
By Simeon Western
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