Summary: What do you do when you’ve given your best to a cause that seems lost?
When the Cause Seems Lost
March 9, 2006
When the Cause Seems Lost
II Kings 22,23
Even when we do everything we can to lead people from sin to righteousness, sometimes the cause seems lost. We can be assured that our efforts for God are never in vain.
1. The hearer of this message should learn a pattern for leading people from evil to a
walk with the Lord.
2. The hearer should be motivated to follow Josiah’s example.
3. The hearer should be aware that all efforts for God do not yield visible fruit.
4. The hearer should be assured that God’s prescribed actions are never followed in vain.
Synopsis of Structural Logic (Organization):
A story to be told.
1. Devotion to God leads to a discovery of His word. 22:1-10
2. Discovery of God’s word leads to denouncing evil.
- In our own lives. 22:11
- In our congregation’s lives. 23:1-3
- In our society. 23:4-20
3. Discovery of God’s word leads to dedication to Him. 23:21-23
4. Dedication to God doesn’t always lead to deliverance. 23:26-30
5. Devotees to God will always receive their due. 22:2; 23:25
Introduction: My full-time ministry began as a music and youth minister at a church in the same town I currently serve in. After five and a half years there I reflected on my ministry and what I had accomplished. Here’s a list of some of my successes…(names changed)
1. Randy and Karah began dating and everyone knew they were having sex every chance they had despite their claims to be followers of Christ.
2. Scott started playing rock music and soon he and his friend Johnny who had joined the group were smoking pot and I had to be the one to confront them and tell their parents.
3. Chris came to Christ at a concert we attended but was full of compromise. He told the youth group that cheating in school was morally ok as long as hey did not get caught. He went off to college and his compromise continued.
4. Mary, a minister’s daughter from another church who was a part of our group, went off to a liberal Christian school and soon turned from Christ.
5. T.J. and Autumn hooked up from our group and soon ran away from home together to Texas while they were both under age. The police had to find them in a hotel together.
6. Amelia thought she was smarter than everyone and she went off and married a jerk and was soon divorced with two small kids.
7. Brad was one of my closest kids. We spent lots of time together and he even preached a fine sermon on youth Sunday. Brad soon started drinking and sneaking out at night with his brother and friends. Soon Brad got addicted to drugs and sex and shot himself in the head in front of his ex girlfriend’s window.
8. Nick came to the church the same time I did. He was from a bad background and was full of anger. He walked off from the group in Washington DC among 20,000 other kids in 108 degree weather. Nick improved much and even lived in my home for 2 weeks while he got his situation worked out. We became very close and I was proud of his progress until he climbed into the car with one of his drunk buddies and was slammed into a hill at 80 mph. I buried him on the day he was to graduate from high school.
Transition: How would you like to have a resume like this? With this resume, would you hire me? I did everything I knew to do. I studied and applied God’s word to my life, I spent time investing it into them. I led them through great times of worship and revival… but in the end, the cause seemed lost.
Trust me; this will happen to you too just as it happened to me; just as it happened to king Josiah of Israel.
Text: 2 Kings 22 and 23
- Josiah was the sixteenth king of Israel. His father was Amon, an evil king who was executed by his people. Josiah came to the throne at the ripe old age of eight.
- Israel had lived though some good kings but mostly bad. The reforms of Hezekiah had long been forgotten and the evil reign of Manasseh had secured the judgment of God upon Judah. The northern kingdom of Israel had strayed years earlier and were overrun by the Assyrians and all that existed there was a few people who were too poor or old to be taken captive to Nineveh.
- Assyria’s power in the world was waning and a new empire laid on the horizon, an empire foretold by the prophets, the Babylonians.