Prior to the days that Josiah became King of Judah, the house of the Lord had come into disrepair. In the 18th year of Josiah's reign, when he was 26 years old, Josiah decreed that the temple be repaired. While the work was being done, Hilkiah the High Priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, "I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord" (2 Kings 22:8). God's law for His people had been lost from them. When Josiah heard the law of God read, he tore his clothes because his people had forsaken the way of God. Under Josiah's direction, a great restoration took place in Judah (cf. 2 Kings 23) because he "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" (2 Kings 23:11). One might say that Josiah and Judah got "back to the Bible"!
In our country, during the 1800's, a restoration movement began with the purpose of getting people "back to the Bible," religiously. In a document known as the "Last Will and Testament Of The Springfield Presbytery," dated June 28, 1804, the following information is recorded, Item 6: "We will, that the people henceforth take the Bible as the only sure guide to heaven; and as many as are offended with other books, which stand in competition with it, may cast them into the fire if they choose; for it is better to enter into life having one book, than having many to be cast into hell." Item 11: "Finally, we will that all our sister bodies read their Bibles carefully, that they may see their fate there determined, and prepare for death before it is too late." During that same period, Thomas Campbell coined the phrase, "Where the scriptures speak, we speak; and where the scriptures are silent, we are silent." Barton W. Stone boldly proclaimed during this movement that, "The Bible, the Bible alone, is the only religion in which Christians can all unite. Not on the opinions formed by man of the truths and facts stated in the Bible, but upon the facts themselves." Truly, there is a great need today to go "back to the Bible"!
The phrase "back to the Bible" implies that the Bible has been left. The apostle Paul penned through inspiration that there would be a departure from the faith (cf. Acts 20:28-30; 1 Timothy 4:4). The religious world, for the most part, has left the Word of God behind by departing to the right or the left of its teachings. Within the church there are brethren who have "made shipwreck concerning the faith" (1 Timothy 1:19 ASV). Again we proclaim, "Let's go back to the Bible."
We must be concerned about getting "back to the Bible" because "it is in truth the Word of God" (1 Thessalonians 2:13), and it is absolute. We must get "back to the Bible" because it is the one and only divinely inspired guide capable of equipping us "completely unto every good work" (2 Timothy 3:17 ASV). It is all-sufficient. We must get "back to the Bible" because one day, by it, we shall all be judged. It is the sole authority for what we believe, teach, and practice in order to be New Testament Christians. In speaking of the Day of Judgment John said, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened ... and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (Revelation 20:12). No doubt, "the books" that will be opened are the 66 books that comprise the Word of God. Jesus said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48).
Today, there needs to be a spiritual awakening in our Nation, our communities, the church, and in our lives. We must get back to book, chapter, and verse preaching to know God's will that we might then live it in our lives. We must "get back to the Bible" if we would be pleasing to God. -1311 Sanlor Ave, West Milton, OH 45383.
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