Alrighty then, I done step in it now!
Through the years many believers have been quoting the following scripture when we deal with different crisises as a nation. Again, the rally cry of this verse is going out. On the Internet and across pulpits, in social media this scripture is being declared. I am sure will hear it across many pulpits this week-end here in America.
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.
But something is wrong… the land is not being healed. Could it be we are NOT His people. Ok now I have your attention.
Years ago I was given a different view of that scripture when I pastored RWC. Do not get me wrong, I understand the conscious applicable intent of those reciting this scripture, however does this verse apply to the Church? Yes you say! The problem is that you cannot remove the text from the context and come up with the correct result. First question, to whom is the recipient of this contractual statement? What was the time, what was happening? This declaration was made to Solomon concerning his prayer request in the dedication of the temple found in 2 Chronicles 6. Solomon had made some desires of God so God made some desires of His people. Second question if we are still stating this scripture through the years, what is wrong, what is being implied? Why has our land not been healed? Who failed their part of the contract “his people” or God? Look and stop at the first word, if. If what? If you do this then I will do this. So if the land is not being healed who did not fulfill their part of the “if”.
So allow me to very briefly present my case. The term “if my people” in this Hebrew text is really saying if my kinsmen, my tribe, the group of people to which I belong. But let’s say that the term “my people” is the Church, and using that premise, let’s take a closer look. “Which are called by my name”, what name? Jesus you say? If this is taking place hundreds of years before the birth and death of Christ how is this addressed to the Church? What would Solomon or the nation of Israel know about the name and personage of Jesus? At this point in time has the Church been manifested on earth? I think not. But let’s say it is the Church, then we must be haughty and think of ourselves more highly then we ought, because he tells us to humble ourselves. The word for humble here is not only means to submit or to be brought low but it also means to collect and bind together. So the beginning picture of “His people, the Church” is that we are not together and we are arrogant. And the Church is not praying and seeking His face. So the “my people, the Church” is not searching out His countenance, His person, His form, His identity. Also “my people, the Church”, must turn from their wicked ways. What? The “my people, the Church” has wicked ways? Well, apparently a requirement is that “my people, the Church” change from their unkind, displeasing, malignant, deformed path, manner and direction. After “my people, the Church” meets those conditions, “then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin” WAIT… I thought you already heard from Heaven because I was told you already paid for ALL of man’s sins on the cross. Are you saying the redemptive work of Calvary was conditional and only partially done? Are there some sins not forgiven? What percentage of “my people” must do the required things mentioned…100%, 75%, 60%? Today the Church is divided by denomination, race, culture, worship style, music, and liberalism versus conservatism. Bias it seems, is the Church’s calling card today. What if only 45% of the Church will do the required? Are we to barter with You, as Abraham did concerning Lot in Sodom? The Church in America is comprised of millions of people how are we going to bind together at the same time 100%? Then you say you will heal the land. How long will the healing of the land last? What happens if some of “my people, the Church” revert back to their wicked ways? Does the land return to being overcome with disease in need of another healing and we begin the process over again? Will this be a back and forth process? What does a healed land look like? Peace, tranquility, sugar and spice and everything nice? If so that would appear to contradict His Word found in 2 Timothy 3:1 through the pen of Paul concerning our time today. Are we living in the end times or not? Is there mention of a Kumbaya moment, a picture of a warm, cozy community without conflict in the last days or a healed land? Look at Matthew 24:4-14, oh and notice who is speaking.
Hear me… we, the Church, are not His people. There is no supporting scripture found in the New Testament that describes the Church as His people. So if the Church is not His people, who are we? We, the Church, are His BODY. There is quite a difference between the two. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:27 that “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” Colossians 1:18 follows up with “And He is the head of the body, the Church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”
What I am saying is we cannot claim and expect results from a contract not designated to us. That would be like me expecting a big check from the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers because he made a contract offer to LeBron James who shares my last name. I cannot ask and expect the owner to give me money even if I did the required things that were presented to LeBron. The contract was to LeBron James not Douglas James. So if we are not His people but His body, what should we “His body” be doing in this time in which we live that will produce His desired results? That is the mission to search out and declare. Remember this is not our home, our kingdom, our land. We are ambassadors journeying through yet we have an assignment. Let’s start with doing Matthew 28:19-20. Let’s stop having church and start being the Church.
If you disagree with the above let me know why but through biblical application. I am open to all opinions as long as His Word backs them. If you agree and maybe a “numind” set has emerged for you to further investigate, let me know.