There is a strange occurrence during the reign of Josiah, whom we are told was a good king who “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (2 Kings 22:2). It would be humorous were it not so tragic. It was on his heart to begin doing repairs to the temple. During this time Josiah had sent Shaphan to the temple to enquire about the money collected from the people, so the workers doing the repairs could get paid. When Shaphan was conversing with Hilkiah the high priest, the priest told him, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD” (vs. 8).
To many of us today, especially who live in the Western world, we take for granted we have printed Bibles in abundance and in various languages and translations. The people then did not have such luxury. The Scriptures were carefully, tediously hand-copied and were expensive. So, it is not surprising that most households did not have copies of the Scriptures. What is surprising, however, is the fact the Scriptures—God’s Word—should have had preeminence in God’s house; yet somehow, in the midst of all the activities and religious routines, the Word of God was lost.
Many churches today are experiencing something similar. Thankfully, we have copies of the Word of God; however, there is a crucial, vital doctrine that has been lost in many churches, although it is in plain sight if people will but take the time to look. What is this doctrine? Repentance.
I have heard it said, “Don’t give me doctrines, just give me Jesus!” While this sounds pious to some, it is quite foolish. One cannot have Jesus of the Scriptures apart from doctrine because doctrines are teachings and Jesus gave us His teachings.
While not to be considered acceptable, the situation during Josiah’s time is, perhaps, more understandable. Maybe a person had placed the Scriptures in a place to keep them safe, then this person died or moved. Or maybe someone else had come across them and moved the Scriptures to another place without telling anyone. We are not told as to what happened for the Book of the Law being lost somewhere in the temple.
Today, we do not have a legitimate excuse for having lost the doctrine of repentance. Not only should this be a basic doctrine learned by those having gone to seminary (which includes most ministers), it is repeatedly taught in the Bible—in both the Old and New Testaments! Nevertheless, one will not hear this doctrine taught in many churches. You will not read about it in many of the books filling the bookshelves of Christian bookstores. In fact, many of the authors who fancy themselves as preachers and theologians scorn the doctrine, treating it as archaic and puritanical.
So, our sin of losing the doctrine of repentance today is greater than the sin of the people losing the Book of the Law during the time of the Jewish kings. For the sin today is not simply and mistakenly misplacing the doctrine. For it is not a losing or misplacing the doctrine at all. Rather, it is a willful, deliberate casting aside—rejecting—the teaching and commandments of God.
The church must recover this crucial doctrine, blow off the dust, and begin putting it into practice. The consequences are too severe for us to ignore!
~ from the book, The Lost Doctrine of the Bible: Missing in Plain Sight, by Geno Pyse, p. 13-17.