King Josiah's Story 2 Kings 22-23 & 2 Chronicles 34-35
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good morning welcome if you're new here among us my name is gene and i serve here at c3 church as your lead pastor i'm going to give you a story i heard a story about a guy who decided at a very young age that he was going to refrain from drinking and smoking his whole life he had seen that it would cause his parents quite a bit of trouble so guess what i'm not gonna play with that fire pun intended well as he went through life his friends marveled at this they couldn't imagine some of them smoked but most all of them drank and so they couldn't believe it especially after he got married because if we're being honest his wife was kind of mean they're like how do you do that i'm surprised she hasn't driven you to drink yet well he made it all the way to 80. surprisingly right and his friends at his 80th birthday party they're trying a new tactic it's like okay to change things a little bit they're like you made it this far we get it we get why you wanted to do that look you don't look a day over 60 and it's your 80th birthday part you look great you've kept healthy but think about it you're 80. you could die at any minute you die today aren't you curious as to what it was like to have a drink the guy's like nah i think i want to finish the race strong here i'm almost there i'm going to make it but they keep just plugging away at him and finally he goes yeah you're right i could die tomorrow what is one drink going to do so here's the thing they don't give them a wine cooler they don't give them a light beer they give them a long island iced tea you all been to college haven't you and so this is what happens right you know you've never drank anything and then you go to college and then the first drink you decide to have or your friends decided for you is a long island iced right all well too no good how does pastor know that haven't always been a pastor anyway so it's bad news and just like you did in college he didn't wait like sip on it for three hours no he just slugged it back oh is right he's now a poor decision maker so they hit him with the next thing well how about a cigarette he's like yeah cigarette sounds awesome so gets a cigarette friend pulls out the zippo clink flick right remember that and then lights a cigarette for him my wife was like i can't believe he's going there so anyway yes yes real church real people here we go so he takes one drag of the cigarette and dies right there just face down on the table dies his friends are like we killed him yup in the meantime the man wakes up before the lord and god says but you were doing so well now the man says lord you didn't kill me over one drink and one cigarette did you the lord says no you killed yourself that says how could one drink one cigarette kill anybody it says well you see you're deathly allergic to nicotine and so you die he's like really you could have told me that imagine that right well the lord says wasn't it better that you abstained from all these things all those years for the sake of being holy not just for the fear of death and the man says lord you know my wife it would have been nice to have the option yeah today we find ourselves yes in the rest of the story where we'll be talking about finishing strong finishing well right ending this race strong that's really the whole point so if you're new we're in the rest of the story we're going through the whole bible it takes a while it's a pretty big book but we're honoring god's word here and we're looking at all the parts of it even the parts people don't like so there's going to be a little bit of that in this sermon so that's why i had to make the joke especially funny because you know i gotta lighten it up so anyway tough scriptures today uh we've been looking at the accounts of the kings and kind of get this pattern like good king wicked king good king wicked king back and forth type of thing going on but we've seen even the best of them are not without their faults they sin right so hezekiah is good but then his pride so we're going to see the same kind of thing going on today so we're gonna hop right in if you don't know it's okay there are books of the bible that run in parallel so we're in second kings and second chronicles they tell the same ish story with some different details so i'm going to be hopping back and forth it's confusing for me hopefully it will unconfuse it for you i don't know we'll also be looking at the prophets they weave their way through these accounts so ii chronicles 34 1 josiah was eight years old when he became king and he reigned in jerusalem 31 years he did what was pleasing in the lord's sight and followed the example of his ancestor david he did not turn away from doing what was right during the eighth year of his reign while he was still young josiah began to seek the god of his ancestor david then in the 12th year he began to purify judah and jerusalem destroying all the pagan shrines the asherah poles and the carved idols and cast images so i'm just going to summarize some of these things for you it can be really confusing because he goes through two rounds of this purification and you'll get confused if you read both you're like wait a minute didn't he just do that no he does like kind of the short version and then he expands it so asher a pole phallic worship symbol detestable not good so he's getting rid of all these detestable things he's burning them he's smashing them he's taking the ashes and taking them away from jerusalem it says he burns the bones of the pagan priests on their own altars we'll talk about that later and finally he returns to jerusalem second kings 22 gives us like the short version so we're going to stay for now and second chronicles second chronicles 34 8 in the 18th year of his reign after he had purified the land of the temple josiah appointed shafan son of azelaya messiah the governor of jerusalem and joa son of joaches the royal historian to repair the temple of his god they gave hilkiah the high priest the money that had been collected by the levites who served as gatekeepers at the temple of god the gifts were brought by people from manasseh ephraim and from all over the remnant of israel as well as from all judah benjamin and the people of jerusalem so the reason they mentioned the remnant member the northern kingdom israel falls first but there's a remnant right so everybody's going to be joining in here he entrusted the money so in second kings i believe it said he didn't even have to check up on them right so they're trustworthy people he entrusts them they supervise the restoration of the temple they pay the workers they work faithfully now something important happens as they're kind of repairing things second chronicles 34 14 while they were bringing out the money collected at the lord's temple hilkiah back pocket that name hilkiah the priest found the book of the law of the lord that was written by moses hilkiah said to sheikh and the court secretary i have found the book of the law in the lord's temple then he'll kaya give the scroll to shaphen so something happens here shaipham goes to josiah the workers are doing well everything's coming along just fine and oh by the way found this scroll kind of important so shay fan reads it to the king his reaction reaction second excuse me chronicles 34 19. when the king heard what was written in the law he tore his clothes in despair he gave these orders to hilkiah ahayakim son of shay fan akboor son of maxia shay fan the court secretary and asa aya the king's personal advisor go to the temple and speak to the lord for me and for all the remnant of israel and judah inquire about the words written in the scroll that has been found for the lord's great anger has been poured out on us because our ancestors have not obeyed the word of the lord we have not been doing everything this scroll says we must do so hilkiah and the other men went to the new quarter of jerusalem to consult with the prophet halda she was the wife of shalom son of tikvah son of haras the keeper of the temple wardrobe she said to them lord the lord the god of israel has spoken go back and tell the man josiah who sent you this is what the lord says i'm going to bring disaster on the city and its people all the curses written in the scroll that was read to the king of judah will come true for my people have abandoned me and offered sacrifices to the pagan gods and i am very angry with them for everything they have done my anger will be poured out on this place and it will not be quenched but go to the king of judah who sent you to seek the lord and tell him this is what the lord the god of israel says concerning the message you have just heard you were sorry and humbled yourself before god when you heard his words against the city and its people you humbled yourself and tore your clothing and despair and wept before me in repentance and i have indeed heard you says the lord i will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in this in peace you yourself will not see the disaster i'm going to bring on this city and its people so they take this message back to the king so we're talking about the blessings and curses at the end of deuteronomy deuteronomy 27 28 so that's what they're talking about there so if we hop over to second kings give us a little more information on this there second kings 23 1. then the king summoned all the elders of judah and jerusalem and the king went up to the temple of the lord with all the people of judah and jerusalem along with the priests and the prophets all the people from the least to the greatest there the king read to them the entire book of the covenant that had been found in the lord's temple the king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the lord's presence he pledged to obey the lord by keeping all his commands laws and decrees with all his heart and soul in this way he confirmed all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll and the people pledged themselves to the covenant so this is interesting right you know how much reading that was if it was the law that starts around exodus 20 right so you're like looking at exodus 19 initiates it 20 10 commandments then there are 603 more commands that he's going to be reading through the books of leviticus numbers and deuteronomy until he gets to the end the curse is that's not a light read i wonder if they got a lunch break but you see this you see this joshua does this joshua 8 you see ezra does it in nehemiah i believe chapter 8 as well they all stand and they listen as they read the entire book of the law so if you're here today and you're new and you're like is this guy going to just read the bible to us today yes yes i am not the whole thing though so see you've got it so easy we're only doing like six to eight chapters so they go through this another wave of this kind of you know purification of the land if you will he does away with all the bad idolatrous things he grounds the ashes of the pole the dust and does away with it he defiles the pagan shrines now what's interesting is you're going to see like uh something about horse statues and chariots that are worshipped to the sun so just more of these things that they worship sun gods things that aren't real gods but what's interesting you're going to see about the bones again he burns the bones and he scatters them you know over the altar whatever the sacrifices these things weird why are they doing that well in the jewish train of thought the bones represent a part of the body that's more permanent so they would have these ossuary or whatever they're called these bone boxes just for argument's sake historians have what they believe is james jesus's brothers bone box without the bones in it so they'd put them in a cave they'd wait for the body to decompose then take out the bones and put them in a smaller box there's the resurrection if you read ezekiel chapter 37 you see the valley of the dry bones you've probably heard about this if you've been in church and so what it is is this this vision that the lord is giving ezekiel to show that there will be a future resurrection so the bones rise up then he sees all this flesh come over them kind of gross and then his spirit goes in them so there'll be a time so that tells us there'll be a time when he'll give us his spirit can be inside us we see that come true in acts but in the future there's a resurrection so that's what that's all about so the jewish train of thought areas save the bones but josiah is like permanently killing them off that's that's it you're done forget it so it's really a big deal it's a really bad thing when you're thinking of it through this lens second kings 23 16. then josiah turned around and noticed several tombs in the side of the hill he ordered that the bones be brought out and he burned them on the altar at bethel to desecrate it this happened just as the lord had promised through the man of god when jeroboam stood beside the altar at the festival then josiah turned around and looked up at the tomb of the man of god who had predicted these things what is that monument over there josiah asked and the people the town told him it is the tomb of the man of god who came from judah and predicted the very things that you have just done to the altar at bethel josiah replied leave it alone don't disturb his bones so they did not burn his bones or those of the old prophet from samaria so this should take us to first kings 13. if you remember jeroboam so they have the split that's israel first king of israel he does the cap idols and all the really bad things but then the prophet sent to denounce him he actually uh preaches it or says something against the altar oh alter o alter and then he says josiah is going to come and burn the bones of the priests on you and then it's a really weird story because the guy is supposed to go back without eating anything he disobeys the lord gets coaxed into another prophet's house if you remember as he leaves the lion comes out and kills him so the prophet that got him in trouble and lied to him cries about it that's weird too but leaves his donkey alive to show that this was like a sniper attack it was just on the man the lion doesn't kill the donkey so that's what they're talking about here second chronicles 35 1 then josiah announced that the passover of the lord would be celebrated in jerusalem so the passover lamb was slaughtered on the 14th day of the first month josiah also assigned the priests to their duties and encouraged them in their work at the temple of the lord they also put the ark back in so this is a really bad day for peta because josiah donates 30 000 lambs for slaughter you know like 3 000 cattle massive amounts of animals for the the sacrifice necessary for the passover feast so it's huge they do this big thing and so when you're going through your bible you're getting all these details and numbers basically the levites and the priests are doing their thing they're doing their work they're preparing like the sacrifices for everybody and then they eat it the worship leaders eat it so it just goes through all of these details and i'm not going to read you every single one of them you can do that on your own big passover says there's been none like it since the time of samuel and none since it's just it's huge it's you gotta we just can't imagine it it's a massive massive festival huge big thing but check this out and this is usually where people stop people especially scholars uh rabbis pastors they love josiah right josiah it's possible we can have a good king right second chronicles 35 20. and here's the thing this is the value and i would say if you ever want to teach read your whole bible because this is where people get it wrong a lot of these details get left out you got to look at both of them so here's where both of them are second chronicles 35 20 after josiah had finished restoring the temple king nico of egypt led his army up from egypt to do battle at carcamesh on the euphrates river and josiah and his army marched out to fight him but nico sent messengers to josiah with this message what do you want with me king of judah i have no quarrel with you today i am on my way to fight another nation and god has told me to hurry do not interfere with god who is with me or he will destroy you some people stop there i see commentators do this right so josiah is great watch this but josiah refused to listen to nico pay attention to whom god had indeed spoken and he would not turn back instead he disguised himself and he led his army into battle on the plane of megiddo but the enemy archers hit king josiah with their arrows and wounded him he cried out to his men take me from the battle off for him badly wounded so they lifted josiah out of his chariot and placed him in another chariot they brought him back to jerusalem where he died he was buried in the royal cemetery and all jude and jerusalem mourn for him the prophet jeremiah composed funeral songs for josiah and to this day choir is still seeing these sad songs about his death the songs of sorrow have become a tradition and recorded in the book of laments but you were doing so well but you were doing so well so think about i've actually heard commentators they're like no no you know we don't know on whose behalf nico was working yeah because you just read second kings you got to keep reading and you find out the word of god translates itself pretty well so don't start with commentaries because a lot of them are actually wrong they're not all right the word of god is always right so he messed up and you might think well you know i've heard this too you know josiah he didn't know who to believe really well you know a lot of the other kings kind of did something important called consulting the lord he could have done that right did not he failed massively here right at the end so basically he trips right before the finish line so it talks about jeremiah's laments so we capped off isaiah last week next book jeremiah they're not all in order but right after jeremiah's lamentation that's right so i'm going to take you to jeremiah quickly and we'll see a couple things jeremiah 1 1 these are the words of jeremiah son of hilkiah remember that name one of the priests from the town of anathoth in the land of benjamin the lord first gave messages to jeremiah during the 13th year of the reign of josiah son of ammon king of judah the lord's messages continued throughout the reign of king jehoiachim josiah's son until the 11th year of the reign of king zedekiah another of josiah's son so it is going through the final king skipping jehoia chin so what starts to happen is they're going to get deposed or taken away zedekiah is going to be the last king at the fall in august of that 11th year the people of jerusalem were taken away as captives the lord gave me this message i knew you before i formed you in your mother's womb before you were born i set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations ah you might know that verse right he says oh sovereign lord i can't speak for i'm too young so what's kind of cool here is you get a verse of the day but now you know the context kind of cool right so you can be that bible nerd and be like really annoying and hop on there and be like well you really don't know this is about josiah and i'm not sure the context is right and why the way you're posting it here so it's fine this is one of my my i don't get hung up on this one because it's good so you see that hilkiah tien a little note for the bible nerds here we're not quite sure so this does not get raised to the level of definitely or clearly that's the same hilkiah it's a probably we're not entirely sure but it's interesting to me priests during the same time if we jump forward check this out jeremiah 3 6 during the reign of king josiah the lord said to me have you seen what fickle israel has done like a wife who commits adultery israel has worshipped other gods on every hill and under every green tree that's hot after she's done all this she will return to me but she did not return and her faithless sister judah saw this she saw that i divorced faithless israel because of her adultery so they're being compared to unfaithful brides this happens a lot through the prophets but that treacherous sister judah had no fear and now she too has left me and given herself to prostitution israel treated it all so lightly she thought nothing of committing adultery by worshiping idols made of wood and stone so now the land has been polluted but despite all this her faithless sister judah had never sincerely returned to me she has only pretended to be sorry i the lord have spoken what's interesting about jeremiah if you read the whole thing it doesn't say a whole lot about the good stuff josiah does like the rabbi bison like priests or pastors today or they just focus on that jeremiah really doesn't he condemns them right so sometimes it's kind of like too little too late so that's what jeremiah says and he doesn't finish strong jeremiah also knows this because this well we'll get there in a second let's look at what happens to his son second chronicles 36 1 if we continue there then the people of the land so after josiah dies took josiah's son jehoiah has and made him the next king in jerusalem jehovah's was 23 years old when he became king and he reigned in jerusalem three months then he was deposed by the king of egypt who demanded that jew to pay 7 500 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold is tribute so josiah's mistake allows an opening for pharaoh nico king nico to come in and grab his son up and that's exactly what happens he gets taken away captive future generations will sometimes pay we looked at that last week for our sin and look at what jeremiah says about it jeremiah 22 10 do not weep for the dead king josiah or mourn for his loss instead weep for the captive king being led away for he will never return to see his native land again for this is what the lord says about jehoiah has who succeeded his father king josiah and was taken away captive he will never return he will die in a distant land and will never again see his own country interesting don't wait for josiah got this kid in a lot of trouble weep for him what we learned from josiah and what we learned in the past what we do at every stage of our journey matters equally and especially at the end it matters now to apply it how often do we start something really strong but then we don't finish very strong are we going with the same momentum and energy in december as we started with in january it often happens why what would it look like if we finished with the same determination with which we started something sometimes we start off strong we do along the way matters but how we finish also matters and here's the thing we must always keep the original goal in mind we must remain focused on that and have determination in these tasks i'm going to do something a little interesting if you've never been here before you might not have seen anybody do something like this in church but if you've been here for a while i do it all the time so i like to read whole books of the bible to my people because it gives you the context right you understand so whenever you're reading things you need to look at what the context is and have that in your mind the entire time you're reading these verses so when i see the verse of the day if someone's not reading the bible much let's put the verse of the day up it makes me think of the whole context so i talk about jeremiah 29 11. i'm like don't do that because i know the ca i can think i'm like oh man and then jeremiah was stuck in the cistern he was about to die and they had to bring him up with ropes and they didn't want to hurt his arms so they had to put the rags around i'm thinking about all these horrible things i know surrounding jeremiah 29 11. i'm going to listen to you anymore i'm going to send you away as captives it's brutal i know it talks about them like being so destitute that they're eating their own children like women are hiding the afterbursts from like their husbands so they can eat it later that's jeremiah jeremiah is a tough read and so i see the context and so when someone's like oh you know i know the plans i have for you yeah go away in captivity for seven years but to prosper after that after that you know what i mean like you're not going to live to see it it's a corporate blessing and a corporate punishment so it's not about your new car or your new job so that's why i get annoyed so what i'm going to do is i'm not going to read all of second timothy to you today all right i have to read really fast and exercise my new york speaking skills but i'm not going to do it i'm just going to read you key verses or explain what's happening in all of second timothy to you so that you can see on our point today the book is like if i had to give it a title how to finish strong context paul is writing to his disciple timothy from rome in prison he thinks he's probably going to die soon we're not going to have the argument about where he died how far he got forget it he thinks this is the point so we're just right here paul has in mind i'm going to die i'm going to get executed that's it i'm in prison so this is probably what he's thinking is like the last letter ever that he's gonna write he does tell timothy hey come and see me they allowed people to like take care of their needs in jail but he thinks he's going to die that's it it's over it's like ii peter he thinks he's gonna die so the new testament isn't in order but this could actually like if you're doing it that way like go towards the end so paul he talks about his example he starts there right and god chose me to be a preacher an apostle and a teacher of this good news that's why he's suffering here in prison that's the whole thing he says hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching that you learn from me a pattern shaped by faith and love in christ jesus so how are you getting this right watch what i do i'm about to finish strong here follow my example that's a good thing then he talks about people not finishing strong if you're following along i'm not doing all the verses i'm doing the key verses as to where it's pertinent to our topic today he says as you know everyone from the province of asia has deserted me even phigelus and homogeneities so he calls him out he's naming people that are deserting him they're not finishing strong so you see this i'm finishing strong timothy follow my example do not these two guys don't follow them chapter 2 endure suffering along with me as a good soldier he's remember he's answer the context then the next couple verses i've seen people use them to say oh you look it's all about soldiers and athletes no he's giving two examples right so the soldier doesn't get caught up in the affair right the affairs of like civilian people what is he talking about you're single-minded you're following orders and you're getting it done athletes right talks about athletes necks and winning the prize why not like hey we should all be doing sports all the time not that sports are bad but here's the thing single might he wants you to think of like a soldier who's going to go to war and do his job or an athlete who's going to finish strong again going into the topic here he says avoid worthless foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior this spreads like cancer in the case of hymenias and felidus who have left the path of truth not going to be the verse of the day any time soon but it's important paul's saying they left to still look again i'm going to give you two more examples don't be like those guys all right so they left the path of truth so how do we stay strong timothy might ask well glad you asked tim here we go run from anything that stimulates youthful lust instead pursue righteous living faithfulness love and peace talks about enjoying the companionship of those who are doing those things what run from lusts run not just like you know turn away from no he's assuming timothy has already repented now i want you to get out of there run from these things because that'll make you fall away again i say don't get involved with foolish ignorant arguments and only start fights a servant of the lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone except democrats no everyone must be kind to everyone there you go chapter three you should know this timothy that in the last days there will be very difficult times where people will love only themselves and their money sounds a lot like today they will be boastful and proud there's that word proud again not a good thing scoffing at god disobedient to their parents and ungrateful they will slander others and have no self-control on the facebook you know how much persecution and suffering i have endured there it is again suffering suffering second timothy 3 12. we can bring that up now real key verses yes and everyone who wants to live a godly life in christ jesus will suffer persecution check this next sentence out but evil people and imposters will flourish they will deceive others and will themselves be deceived just soak that in for a second everyone who wants to live a godly life in christ jesus well so think think i want you to think about what you're reading it doesn't say people calling themselves christians will suffer persecution doesn't say that it says everyone who wants to live a godly life everyone who wants to so meaning it's not just your label it's what you're doing everyone who wants to actually like do this will suffer persecution and it could be verbal right yes so if you've ever tried to be good at something or done something about maybe you can relate in the workplace right i just won't tell you but anyway maybe you you got there right and and you started strong and you did your job well you ever have someone say at work like hey slow down you know what i mean like you're making us look bad right but what if you go no no the bible says that i have to honor you know my employers i have to do a really good job and you just keep doing well right then they're going to start finding things like wrong or making problems for you so think of it like that right if you want to like some people like yup so there you go you know it's a quick story but you know what it's like the postman pete analogy i know this guy named pete he was a postman and he got a job in the post office and he got his mail route done in like a half hour or an hour it's like the whole thing and everyone came back and they're like don't do that because what were they doing they're going out and eating they're drinking they're doing whatever they want to do like postman pete you're killing us right so they chased him out of there he lost his job so think about it that way right like simple example it doesn't always mean like you're going to get your head cut off or something simple example but check this out but evil people and imposters will flourish that verse is never going to be preached at a mega church never flourish who's going to who's going to suffer what does jesus say the road is narrow that's what jesus said the mega church says a whole bunch of other things no no no i realize another sentence i learned in pastor school that was stupid just stupid mantras we're here to empty hell and fill heaven so you're going to accomplish something that jesus said cannot be done really pray tell how are you going to die on a cross for them because jesus didn't say that jesus said the road's narrow this is hard he says crazy things that you never hear you have to give up everything if you want to follow me and that's not just the young rich ruler he says that another time as well it is crazy right so that's what's really but the evil people they're going to be the ones in the last time who are flourishing they're going to be the ones who are garnishing all of these followers why because they're telling them whatever they want to hear ii timothy 4 1. i solemnly urge you in the presence of god in christ jesus who will solemnly or someday judge look at that word the living and the dead put that in your back pocket when he comes to set up his kingdom preach the word of god be prepared whether the time is favorable or not patiently correct rebuke and encourage your people with good teaching so here we go if you didn't believe me ii timothy 4 3 for a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching they will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear they will reject the truth and chase after myths let that soak in i know a lot of you have heard these verses but absorb that right pastor why aren't there thousands of people at your church my retort to that would be why are there thousands of people at your church the bible says no started out that way in acts but when we get to ii timothy no he's telling timothy the opposite people will reject pastor gene you get up i have been told by pastors you do it's too much bible people can't handle it i'm like hebrews is a sermon i could just read hebrews and that's what it would have been that's it sermon on the mount matthews five through seven sermon about 19 topics gene you're jumping around i'm preaching the word and they tell me well people they're just they don't like that they're not going to stick around for that so what do you do okay i'll dumb it nope no stay faithful to the word timothy so when i read this paul's talking to me he's saying stick with it finish strong second timothy 4 6 as for me paul's talking my life has already been poured out as an offering to god the time of my death is near i have fought the good fight i have finished the race and i have remained faithful and now the prize awaits me the crown of righteousness which the lord the righteous judge will give me on the day of his return and the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing timothy please come as soon as you can another person don't name your kid demas has deserted me he loves the things of this life he's gone to thessalonica christians has gone to galatia and titus has gone to dalmatia demas has deserted me because he loves what the things of this life the things of the world he fell away so you think of paul finishing strong but he's also giving you example after example after example people who love the world are going to fall away people who reject true teaching i don't want to hear the bible and what it says you're going to fall away that's what paul's saying look at all these people they're falling away they've chased after myths these things that they're not in the word but here's the thing all who finish strong will get the prize when jesus comes back this is what we have to keep in mind paul finishes strong why is it important because it doesn't really matter and there's a hard truth what you've done along the way if you don't finish strong so think of it like a race you could be way ahead of everybody if you're running a race but if you decide not to cross the finish line that doesn't matter you can't go back to the guy who won and said i was beating you i mean people do this i know you know i was beating you though i was winning you're not getting the prize so it doesn't matter the only way to get the prize is to finish strong so we talked about the prophets weaving their way through these accounts jeremiah's not the only one so as we kind of draw to a close here i want to take a look at zephaniah so zephaniah 1 1. nobody really talks about zephaniah a three chapter book the lord gave this message to zephaniah when josiah son of ammon was king of judah zephaniah was son of cush son of gedelia son of amariah son of hezekiah so it's during this time and the main point is to shake people out of their complacency before it's too late that's it like if you just want that i wrapped it up for you shake you out of complacency before it's too late you get that highlighted right in the center of it zephaniah 2 1 gather together yes gather together you shameless nation gather before judgment begins before your time to repent is blown away like chaff before it's too late act now before the fierce fury of the lord falls and the terrible day of the lord's anger begins seek the lord all who are humble and follow his commands seek to do what is right and live humbly perhaps even yet the lord will protect you protect you from his anger on that day of destruction so here we see the day of the lord jesus is coming back that's what this is about in the future in second timothy in their time it's both the lord is going to reign destruction down in judah for what they've done you saw that in jeremiah and then there's going to be a future day of the lord and that's where jesus comes back so that's what you have to understand so we have to finish that's what this is saying here finish be strong before jesus comes back don't get complacent and here's the thing quickly as we finish we went to romans 6. we do romans a lot i want to show you some things about that book romans 6 we're not slaves to sin we're not called to be slaves to sin no you're not supposed to go on sinning that's not a good thing i usually when i talk about judgment or the coming time of judgment i like to go to romans 14 because it clearly says that we christians will be judged here's another very bad teaching i've heard people say this i won't be judged i'm a christian god's not going to judge me absolutely wrong don't ever listen to that read your bible i'll give you at least three places where you can see it clearly says clearly that christians will be judged first clearly don't live like that that's a terrible teaching why would you say that well because you just want to keep sinning right that's why well they're never going to be judged and jesus died for he he died for your sins not so that you could keep doing it so you keep sinning very important so i'm going to read you this is interesting because a lot of people skip over this but it talks about judgment in romans a lot faster than you think they're not getting along right so jewish christians gentiles they're not getting along and so paul's like trying to level the playing field here but in the midst of it he says this romans 2 5. now he's kind of condemning the jews here but because you are stubborn and refused to turn from your sin you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself for a day of anger is coming when god's righteous judgment will be revealed he will judge everyone according to what they have done he will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that god offers but he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves and refuse to obey the truth instead of living lives of wickedness that's interesting romans 2 16 and this is the message i proclaim that the day is coming when god through christ jesus will judge everyone's secret life for some there are people saying they're all in right they're checking off the sunday box but when you call them to do it we are saved by grace not by works ephesians 2. i know the verses all right so we start at verse 8 right so that nobody can boast when we get to 10 and we are created for good works in christ jesus so the works are the fruit of our faith if we bear no fruit what does jesus and john the baptist say they say the same thing they'll be cut down and thrown in the fire what do you think they mean by that i'll show you so it's interesting revelation is actually quoted you might have thought of that when i said that and when we sung those lyrics on the screen fire in his eyes it makes me think of revelation rightfully so zephaniah's quoted it's 3 13 quoted in revelation 14 5. but if we keep reading we get to the end of the story see it's like revelation 19 and indeed like the song jesus comes back flames of fire in his eyes robed dipped in blood the word of god the word of god judgment sword coming out of his mouth mentions in the beginning mentions again here it says back there double-edged sword think hebrews 4. here is four it it exposes it cuts to bone and marrow exposing our innermost desires he is the word of god in both sentence senses it comes out of his mouth the word of god and it's a judgment sword it's this crazy picture right so then you see something interesting he wins the battle satan's kind of like locked up let's just think of it that way then there's the first resurrection and the first resurrection is of all the people who were and it literally says beheaded for jesus they got martyred that's why in the early church people were like begging to get themselves killed somehow they would volunteer to go to the coliseum let the lions eat me that's not a joke you were glorified in your mind because they believed this stuff and they thought wow if i get like beheaded or killed for jesus i get to raise up first and reign with him for one thousand years how about that kind of cool please because they believed it that's what was going on so we have debates about the thousand years not going to do that so let's just say it's a thousand years right then you have the final defeat of satan then it says this revelation 2011. and i saw a great white throne and one sitting on it the earth and the sky fled from his presence but they found no place to hide i saw the dead both the great and small standing before god's throne and the books were opened including the book of life and the dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books the sea gave up its dead and death in the grave gave up their dead and all were judged according to their deeds then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire this lake of fire is the second death anyone's whose name anyone whose names is not found in the recorded in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire and i'm realizing as i'm speaking that i forgot to bring the other points the other scriptures all right so you go to romans 14 second corinthians 5 1st peter 4 not giving you the exact verses even though i know them because i want you to read the whole thing get the context right so those are your verses that say christians will be judged second corinthians 5 first peter 4 17 give you a little hint and if you go to romans 14 it clearly says it over and over and over again and here it says it again now that should scare you that should scare you if it doesn't scare you you have to do a faith check that's what you have to do do you have to ask yourself do i believe this i believe this it's scary but here's the other side of it let's talk about our motivation check these awesome verses out revelation 21 1 then i saw a new heaven and a new earth for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared and the sea was also gone and i saw the holy city the new jerusalem coming down from god out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband i heard a loud shout from the throne saying look god's home is now among his people he will live with them and they will be his people god himself will be with them and he will wipe every tear from their eyes and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain all these things are gone forever beautiful and the one sitting on the throne said look i'm making everything new and they said to me write this down for what i tell you is trustworthy and true he also said it is finished i am the alpha and the omega the beginning and the end to all who are thirsty i will give freely from the springs of the water of life all who are victorious will inherit all these blessings and i will be their god and they will be my children all who are victorious all who finished the race strong so this week as we go out our motivation as christians should be twofold balance everybody wants one thing or the other no a balanced christian life motivation is twofold in that we have a fire you got the fear of the lord read your bible again it says fear the lord is the beginning of all wisdom and insight you can't be smart without fear of the lord so you need some motivation but out in front of us that's going to do one of these but out in front of us hope that's in front of us so as we go out this week focus on the hope but you are doing so well how do you not hear that ever again well focus on jesus focus no tears no crying no pain no matter what you're going through right now that's all gone when jesus comes back it says we won't even need the sun it says the earth is going to melt away gone all this stuff gone all the corruption all the evil people gone the earth melts we don't need a sun because god is finally enough that's it that's your hope keep your eye on the prize it's greater than anything anything we could hope to have here put your faith and trust here nowhere else implicitly and run that race for the prize in christ jesus amen all right we pray for you lord i thank you for this church that is the people the body of christ as we fellowship later just please to continue to unite us in your holy spirit and even after we leave the building we go out make us vehicles of your grace mercy peace and love i ask this in jesus name amen so you