As the president of Answers in Genesis, the ministry that produces this magazine, my mind constantly turns to the sad state of Christianity today and what Bible-believing Christians can do to turn things around. The task seems impossibly great, and the challenges overwhelming. I was rereading our ministry’s mission statement, and the Lord brought something to my mind that should encourage and warn every believer who is burdened to reach this world with the gospel.
Our ministry’s official goal is “to support the church in fulfilling its commission.” To accomplish this goal, our vision statement says, “Answers in Genesis is a catalyst to bring reformation by reclaiming the foundations of our faith which are found in the Bible, from the very first verse.”
Note that our vision involves “bringing reformation.”
When we think of the word reformation, Christians usually think of the great reformer Martin Luther. However, there were reformers long before Martin Luther from whom we can learn many lessons. One of the most valuable examples comes from the Bible itself, the reformer King Hezekiah. God ensured that details about his life and reforms would be written down in His holy Word, so we could learn from what he did and be challenged in our own walk of faith.
God’s Word says about the magnitude of Hezekiah’s amazing reforms: “So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 30:26).
Hezekiah carried out reforms to destroy idol worship and restore temple worship. He reinstituted the Passover, and did whatever he could and needed to do to get people back to obeying God’s Word.
We certainly need that in our own culture. How we need reformation in our churches, because so many believers in this era have compromised God’s Word, beginning in Genesis! We are also seeing the sad consequences (abortion on demand, gay marriage, increasing violence, and so on) of a Western world that is becoming more anti-Christian and attempting to remove any vestiges of Christian influence and heritage.
So what are the lessons we can learn from Hezekiah?
1. Reformation Begins with Us
What was different about Hezekiah compared to so many of the other kings of Israel and Judah who came before him?
At the beginning of the Chronicles account of Hezekiah we read: “And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done” (2 Chronicles 29:2).
And after Hezekiah instituted many of his reforms, we read more about his godly character:
Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered. (2 Chronicles 31:20–21)
The lesson? If we want to impact the world around us, God’s people first need to seek God and be obedient to His Word. Sadly, many Christians and Christian leaders today exalt man’s word by taking man’s religion of evolution and millions of years (an attempt to explain life without God) and adding it to God’s infallible Word. This is in reality no different from the efforts by the people of Judah and Israel to adopt the pagan religion of their age and mix it with what God had instructed.