2 CHRONICLES 7

4 Outlines

 

2 Chronicles 7:1-3

WHAT A WORSHIP SERVICE!

 

Solomon had completed building the temple in Jerusalem.

There was a dedication service and prayer by Solomon. See 2 Chronicles 5-6

 

DISPLAY OF GOD'S POWER - Vs. 1

Fire came from Heaven and consumed the sacrifices.

 

DISPLAY OF GOD'S PRESENCE - Vss. 1b-2

The glory of the Lord filled the temple and it was so tremendous that the priests could not enter.

 

DISPLAY OF GOD'S PLEASURE - Vss. 1-2

For God to react the way He did, it is obvious that He was pleased.

 

DISPLAY OF GOD'S PRAISE - Vs. 3

The people responded with worship and priase.

 

 

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2 Chronicles 7:14

A NATION AFTER GOD'S HEART

 

I suggest that just before this sermon that you sing "America" ("My Country 'Tis of Thee).

 

This morning during our worship service we did something that was first done almost 170 years ago at a July 4th celebration.  It was on July 4th, 1831 when the words "My Country 'Tis of Thee', our national hymn, were first sung by the Sunday School children in the Park Street Church in Boston.

 

"Oliver Wendell Holmes, who was a classmate of the author, Samuel Frances Smith, a Baptist minister, attributed Smith's genius in the song to the very first word, "my". This makes the song personal, and instantly challenges every patriot." (source unkown)

 

Of course, the hymn "America" is a hymn of pride. We as Americans have much to be proud of!

 

We can be proud of our beautiful forests, gorgeous mountains, enormous rivers, and fertile farmlands.

 

We can be proud of our democracy, our system of government, and our freedoms of speech and movement.

 

We can be proud to be a refuge for those in need. It is written on the base or our Statue of Liberty,

"Give me your tired, your poor, you huddled masses yearning to be free, The refuse of your teeming shore. Send these the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

 

We can be proud of our Bill of Rights, and proud that it is on our money that it says, "In God we trust".

 

I, for one, am proud to sing "My Country 'Tis of Thee"!

 

But let's not fool ourselves. We are a nation that is in trouble!

 

We are a nation that permits babies to be murdered through abortion.

We are a nation that has to build more cells because our prisons are overcrowded.

We are a nation that forbids prayer in school, and forbids Christian groups to meet on some campuses.

We are a nation whose general morality has reached an all time low.

We tend to slap the face of God who made us a great nation!

 

There is no doubt that America is but a shadow of her previous greatness. Does this have anything to do with God? 2 Chronicles 7:13 tells us that the answer is "yes"!  In appearing to Solomon God shows that He commands the things that happen to a nation. He controls the weather, the animal population and disease according to this verse.

 

2 Chronicles 36:14-17 shows God's judgment on Judah.  The same thing happened to the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

 

My friends, never say that it couldn't happen here!

Down through the centuries too many nations have fallen for us to presumptuous.

 

Instead, we must ask, "Can we reverse the trend?"  The answer, of course, is "yes"!

God shows us how to reverse the trend in 2 Chronicles 7:14

 

Let us answer 3 questions:

 

1. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?

God says that His people are the responsible ones.

Originally, that would have meant that God was speaking to Israel. Today, however, the people of God are the Christians. Romans 10:12-13

Notice also that the people of God are those called by His name.

We are called "Christians", named after Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh.

It is the Christian who needs to be responsible for a national turning back to God.

 

2. WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES?

We are to humble ourselves. James 4:6,10

We are to pray. I believe this is a prayer of confession. Psalm 32:5

We are to seek God's face.

We are to turn from our wicked ways.

 

3. HOW WILL GOD RESPOND?

He will hear from Heaven.

He will forgive our sin.

He will heal our land.

 

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2 Chronicles 7:14

HELP FOR AMERICA

 

I probably don't have to tell you that America is a moral and spiritual mess!  Just look at the deterioration in American television, radio and movies.  Things are said and allowed on them that were considered inappropriate and lewd in the past.

Consider also the drastic increase of unmarried couples living together, and the lack of respect and discipline in the schools.

And what about all the perverted crimes against children and the astronomical number of abortions performed in a year?

 

So, what is the solution to this problem?  Can we see any change?  Is there a way of seeing America reverse itself and once again become a God-fearing nation?  I believe the answer is "yes".  But I also believe that for America to turn around, the change must begin here and in every church that truly preaches and practices the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

2 Chronicles 7:14  - 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.

 

I want us to see three things from this verse;

GOD'S PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE

GOD'S PEOPLE ARE TO REPENT

GOD'S PEOPLE WILL BE REWARDED

 

GOD'S PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE

 

If my people, which are called by my name,

 

When these words were originally written, God's people were the Children of Israel.  And although Israel is still special in God's eyes, and will someday serve God through the Lord Jesus Christ. There is another people today that are the people of God.

 

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

John 1:12-13 - 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: [13] Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

Not only are we God's people but, as the text says, we are called by God's name.  Actually we are called by the name of God's Son. We are called Christians.  

  

When things are morally and spiritually rotten, God's people are responsible.     

 

If my people, which are called by my name,

 

You might be thinking, "How can you blame all of this on us Christians?"

 

I believe that the problem is, at least in part, our fault for a few reasons:

 

1. We have failed to live Godly lives. 1 Peter 1:15-16

2. We have failed to be the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world" to those around

    us.

Matthew 5:13, Matthew 5:14-16

3. We have failed to witness to others.

4. We have failed to really care about the conditions around us,

    and failing to care, we have,

5.     Failed to pray!

 

So, like it or not, we are responsible for part of the problem, because we have not been part of the solution.

 

GOD'S PEOPLE ARE TO REPENT

 

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves,

 

When a person repents, he or she has a change in heart and a change in direction.  He is headed in the wrong direction and turns around to go in the right direction.  The first part of repentance is humility.

Humility is a quality that God requires of those who would be saved.  In order to have God's forgiveness we have to admit that we are sinners and can't save ourselves.

 

Humility is a quality that God requires of Christians.

 

I believe that we as Christians need to humble ourselves in two ways.  First of all, we try too hard in our own strength.

We fail to admit what Jesus told us in John 15:5. With out Him we can do nothing.

 

The sooner we realize that we are helpless without God, the better off we will be. What stops us?  Our pride keeps us from humbling ourselves before God and admitting that we need His help.   

 

Also our pride and our lusts keep us from admitting that we have sin in our lives that needs to be dealt with.  We don't like admitting our sin or allowing God to take the sin away from us.

 

Need an idea of what sort of things comprise sin? Proverbs 6:19-20, Revelation 21:7-8

 

Amos 3:3 - Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

 

Sin is anything that God does not agree with!

We can't walk with God unless we agree with Him!   

 

If my people, which are called by my name,shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face,

 

The next step in repentance is seeking God's face through prayer.

 

We fail to live holy lives because we fail to pray.

Oh we pray when people are seriously ill.

But we don't pray seeking God's strength for Godly living.

And we don't pray seeking God's forgiveness for our sins.

And we don't pray bringing the need of our nation before the Lord.

 

There was once a man named Nehemiah who was concerned because the city of Jerusalem was defenseless.  Before he did anything else he beseeched God in repentance and prayer.

Nehemiah 1:4-11

 

Nehemiah knew how to seek the face of God in prayer. How about you?   

 

Psalm 66:18 - If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Psalm 32:5 - I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

And with confession of sin comes turning from sin.

 

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;

 

Turning away from sin means I've truly repented of sin.

Turning from sin, requires personal submission to God and reliance of on Him. Romans 6:1-14

 

GOD'S PEOPLE WILL BE REWARDED

   

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.    

 

Notice the word "then".

Don't expect God to hear, forgive or heal until you have humbly repented.

 

God promises to hear when we cry out to him in humble confession and forsaking of sin.  When God hears, He is attentive and ready to act in our behalf.

 

God also promises to forgive our sin.  We've already seen that.

But please realize that forgiveness means a removal of guilt.  So many of us walk around feeling guilty about things that God wants us simply to confess and forsake.

 

Finally, God promises to heal our land.

What land?

America?  Yes, as Christians pray for the healing of America individually and corporately, I believe we will experience healing. That's why we are encouraging you to gather together with other Christians on Wednesday Night at the Sloan Hill Church.

 

But God also promises to heal YOUR LAND.

Perhaps it's a behavioral problem that you have.

Perhaps it's a broken relationship.

Perhaps it's a financial need.

Perhaps it's a problem with your husband or wife, son or daughter, Mom or Dad.

Perhaps it's a need for friends or loved ones to be saved.

When we are right with God, we open the door for God to answer our prayers and to meet our needs. Jeremiah 33:3, 1 John 5:14-15

 

Jeremiah 33:3 - Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

 

(This is a greatly expanded presentation of a previously shared outline.)

 

 

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2 Chronicles 7:14

COMPATIBLE WITH GOD -  NEW YEARS

 

There was much concern expressed about the world's computers being compatible with the year 2000.  In the New Year our biggest concern should be that we as Christians are compatible with God.

 

GOD'S PEOPLE

God's people for today are the ones who know Christ as Savior

 

FOLLOWING GOD'S PLAN

Humility

Prayer

Seek God's Face

Turn from Wicked Ways

 

RECEIVE GOD'S PROMISES

Of Hearing

Of Forgiveness

Of Healing

 

 

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