As I am reading through my Bible, I recently came to 2 Chronicles chapters six and seven. King Solomon had completed the construction of the temple and was now making some public declarations concerning how God's people would need to be obedient to God's commands and statutes. God had been so faithful to His people and so Solomon was declaring that God's people should be faithful to God. Solomon prays a long prayer and then in 2 Chronicles 7:12 the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and has a few words to say of his own. (read 2 Chronicles 7:12-18). God has much to say in the affirmative if God's people would follow His direction.
The most famous of these verses is 2 Chronicles 7:14, "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
Let me say a couple of things to clarify....I am patriotic and love our country, but I don't think the United States of America is some modern day Israel that is the apple of God's eye. His grace has certainly been extended to this nation and for that I am grateful. I also want to mention that the Church, the body of Christ, is not some replacement for Israel. So, what God promises Israel in scripture is not promised to these United States. However, there are biblical principles that the scriptures do share that "if followed" will lead to a nation being blessed of the Lord.
Over the years we have all heard a sermon, speech or public address on a patriotic day where someone like me, a preacher, stands before a group of people and reads 2 Chronicles 7:14. We usually all nod our heads in agreement that if our country or any country would simply repent then God would bless that nation. We seldom read 2 Chronicles chapters six and seven in its entirety.
What we need to understand is that Solomon and the Israelites were more than a king and a nation, they were the people of God. Certainly a nation should follow the Lord and His commands but the people of God should set an example for all of the world to "taste and see that the Lord is good..." Psalm 34:8a NKJV.
When God's people embrace the sins of the world and they do this with an unrepentant heart in front of the world they are suppose to reach, God has no choice but to bring on the calamity. To be unrepentant is to show no remorse and no regret of wrongdoings.
In 2 Chronicles 7:19-22 God gives a warning that if His people turn away from Him and forsake His statutes and His commands then He would allow calamity to occur.
“But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, and worship them, then I will uproot them from My land which I have given them; and this house which I have sanctified for My name I will cast out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. “And as for this house, which is exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and this house?’ Then they will answer, ‘Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them.’ ”
2 Chr. 7:19-22, NKJV
Again, the United States is not Israel and neither is the church, however, calamity is all around us. The United States needs to repent. Our country embraces just about any sinful behavior that comes down the pike. But then again, lost people will do what lost people do. (bad grammar I know, but it works). Our nation needs to repent in terms of turning away from false gods and works-based salvation efforts and turn toward Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that He made on Calvary. A lost person doesn't simply need to clean up their life, they need Christ. Our nation needs Christ first.
Secondly, what happens when God's people don't repent? 2 Chronicles 7:22 is speaking to people that have a relationship with the one true living God, what about them? If they/we don't repent then calamity becomes part of our norm. Question....isn't that what's been happening?
Calamity - noun... an event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster.
So, we see a great deal of calamity all around us...question
What sins does the body of Christ need to repent of ?
Abortion - Do you realize that if all Christians simply stood against abortion, voted against politicians that support abortion, and actually took the biblical view of the sanctity of life, then legalized abortion would not exist in the United States of America. Christians that have no biblical conviction on this issue need to repent.
Same Sex Marriage - read the paragraph above concerning abortion and substitute the words "same sex marriage" and you get my point. Christians that have no biblical conviction on this issue need to repent.
Alcohol - Some Christians will stand with the Bible on the first two issues that I have outlined, but they like their casual drink. That is, until their college student or grown child becomes an alcoholic. I partially blame the pulpit for this... a growing number of preachers are soft on this topic for various reasons. Christians need to repent of this sin of dulling their faculties all in the name of "taking the edge off". I don't buy their arguments and they should be careful when they put words in Jesus' mouth on this topic.
Racism - If Jesus Christ can save a persons soul and transform their life, then He can surely help that same Christian repent of racism. I get it that a person might have been raised to think they way they think...however, the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer seeks to "transform their mind by the word of God" (see Romans 12:2). Christians need to repent of racism. Many struggle with this issue, perhaps because they have not asked God to help them overcome their old thought life.
Time and your attention span prevents me from going on and on, but you get the picture. Our nation certainly needs to repent, but the people of God need to set the example. If our country is a Christian nation then we as Christians may have helped lead it into some of the calamity that we are dealing with. God is not looking to lost people to shape a nation, He is looking to the body of Christ, His church.
When a nation doesn't repent, calamity is found.
When the people of God fail to repent, calamity is found.
When a lost person fails to repent and trust Jesus Christ, calamity is found.
When a saved person fails to repent, calamity is found.
Today, sadly, we see a great deal of calamity. For me, I wrote this post and I need to repent daily. Let us all do our part to live godly, promote righteousness and keep the principles that Jesus taught us...when we do that, we will be helping carry out the great commission which helps alleviate eternal calamity.