“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Many people say that this verse doesn’t apply to Christians, only to Israel. Let’s take a look and see if we can come to any conclusion.
Israel was, is, and always will be God’s chosen people. As a nation they go through rebellious times. At those times they’re out of a covenant relationship with God, but history proves that they always return. Many times in Scripture, God is referred to as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Abraham was the first man to be called by God and received many promises. He would be the father of a mighty nation, and God gave him the land we now call Israel.
“And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him” (Genesis 12:7).
God confirmed the promises to Abraham’s son, Isaac. Then, Jacob was born. He had many lessons to learn in life, but God never goes back on a promise. One night, Jacob wrestled with God. When he stopped fighting, God changed his name to Israel, which means God prevails. Jacob fathered twelve sons who established the twelve tribes of Israel. God’s chosen nation is sometimes referred to in Scripture as “Jacob,” but that’s when the nation is in rebellion. Other times that nation is referred to as Israel. One day soon this wonderful nation will “…humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways….” Instead of being the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they will know Him as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel.
Today they are in rebellion. Although they’re still wrestling with God, their hearts are being drawn to Him. God will prevail.
It was through the Jewish people that the Messiah was born, and the world is blessed through them. Nearly 2,000 years ago they rejected their Messiah, Jesus Christ, and were dispersed into all nations. In 1948 that changed.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:11-12).
We are seeing this prophecy being fulfilled today. The Jewish people are slowly turning to the God of their fathers. The desire to rebuild the temple is strong, and that temple will be in place during Daniel’s 70th week, also called the time of Jacob’s trouble and the Great Tribulation. It will take that time of God’s wrath being poured out for His chosen people to finally humble themselves, pray, and turn from their wicked ways. They will finally seek the God of their fathers. That’s when they will finally recognize Jesus Christ as their Messiah.
Today we are in a time that’s after the death and resurrection of Jesus and before His second coming. We are in the Age of Grace. During this time, faith in Jesus Christ brings the forgiveness of sins and redemption. We who have accepted Jesus Christ for salvation are called by His name…Christians, or followers of Christ. We have not replaced Israel in God’s heart, but we have our own place.
When we accept Christ as our Saviour, we need to turn away from the wicked worldly ways of our past. Scripture is our guide. The world is in rebellion to God and has no basis of morality, other than a conscience which cannot bring salvation. That conscience should dictate right and wrong behavior, but we can all see that the conscience of secular people is being hardened. Horrific crimes are becoming more common with each passing day as people fall deeper into sin. It’s no surprise that this is happening in the secular world, but what is surprising is that many who say they have accepted Christ for salvation have continued in their wickedness…rebellion to God. It’s as if they are standing with a foot in both worlds… their sins are forgiven, but they continue in the same sins they say they’ve repented of.
Scripture is clear that we are saved by what we believe…that God Almighty entered His creation to become the once for all sacrifice to take away our sin.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).
It’s also clear that if that profession of faith is true, then we need to turn from sin. We will never stop sinning because humans have a sin nature that we’re born with. It’s our attitude toward sin that needs to change. For instance, if you are guilty of pride, then it should be evident that you need to change your ways.
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up” (James 4:10).
Being humble in God’s sight means we need to submit our life to Him. What if your sin is a sexual sin? Remember, all standards of morality are from God’s point of view, not human. It isn’t OK to have any sexual encounter outside of a one-man/one-woman marriage. If you’ve asked Christ to forgive your sin, then turn away from it. Will it be easy to turn from any sin? Even the strongest of Christians struggle against sin.
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do” (Romans 7:18-19).
Sometimes the King James is tough to understand, but Paul says that he doesn’t want to sin, but still does. The point is, as Christians we need to fight against our wicked ways instead of fighting against God. Remove things from life that bring temptation…TV shows, music, etc. Fellowship with Christians instead of people who follow worldly ways.
When a person accepts Christ for salvation, he or she becomes a son of God.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).
Christians are God’s people…His children. Because Christians are weakening in faith and finding more pleasure in the world than in serving Christ, we don’t stand firm on Biblical truth.
Did you know that while the liberals screamed for the right of a woman to murder her baby in the womb, President Trump spoke at the March for Life in Washington? Many Christians are a part of the demonic frenzy against our president, but turn a blind eye to the wickedness behind those who are trying to destroy him. Because Christians forget to turn to God, humble themselves, and pray, wickedness abounds and Satan’s evil is running rampant.
The verse from 2 Chronicles 7:14 may have been written to the Jewish people, but it’s also true for Christians. If we don’t turn from our evil ways, then we’re giving Satan power. Satan will never win. He was defeated at the cross, but he wants to take as many people to Hell with him as he can. People who say they’re Christians but have only mouthed words and haven’t allowed Christ to change their heart are on Satan’s side. It’s time for Christians to stop joining in the wickedness of the world, and stand upon God’s word. If we won’t allow Christ to change our own life, how can we expect Him to change our neighborhood or nation?
Brothers and sisters, we cannot stop prophecy from being fulfilled. People will become more and more wicked as we near the Rapture and the final 7 years loom on the horizon. The thing we can change is our wicked ways. As Christians, we need to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, and pray. We need to follow Christ rather than the world. Then, we need to follow Christ’s directive and spread the Gospel.
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
Not everyone we witness to will accept Christ for salvation, but that shouldn’t stop us from witnessing. We also need to encourage fellow Christians to walk closer to God. Remember, if you haven’t turned from your own wickedness and are embracing sin, you ruin your witness.
So, who are God’s people? The Jewish people, of course. Israel will turn from their rebellion, but that will only happen after they’ve endured the Great Tribulation. Brothers and sisters, you and I are also God’s people. Christians are called by His name and have been adopted into His family.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Is your nation falling deeper into depravity? If Christians would humbly pray for each other and for their nation, then there just might be a difference. Don’t forget, though, that we need to seek God and turn from our wicked ways.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” – God breathed.
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