2Chron 7:14                   A Loving Proactive God                                 5/11/2014     

·         A Responsive God and a Proactive God (Isa 44:6-7, 46:9-11, 2Chron 7:14, Psalm 2:1-3,)

 

 

 

#1.       Is this an Arminian Verse? (2Chron 7:14, Prov 16:5)

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#2.       If My People (2Chron 7:12-16, Rom 2:4, 2Chron 6:26-27, 2Cor 7:10, Acts 5:31)

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·         Which Are Called by My Name (2Chron 7:14, Isa 43:11, Acts 4:12, Prov 16:5, Luke 18:8, Deut 18:22)

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#3.       Then Will I Hear from Heaven (2Chron 7:14, Tit 3:4-7, Luke 22:44, Rom 4:25)

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·         Why Is the Promise “Forever”? (2Chron 7:16, Matt 16:18)

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Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 44:6 (2X). Please look at the title of this sermon, “A Loving Proactive God.” We know what loving is; at least we think we do know what a loving God is. But what is a Proactive God? There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are responsive and those who are proactive. There are two different concepts of God, a responsive god and a proactive God. A responsive god is a god who responds to the need of the moment. If someone repents, this responsive god will love and comfort this person. If someone sins badly, this responsive god will be angry and perhaps send some calamities to whip this person in line.

On the other hand a proactive God sees ahead of time what is coming, and takes measures to control the situation. For example we read in Isa 44:6-7 these words,

Isa 44:6  Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

Isa 44:7  And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.

And thus God says, “Which other god can call the ancient people since I appointed them, and shall declare the things that are coming; things that shall certainly come?” It certainly emphasizes the sovereignty of this proactive God. Another passage that shows His sovereignty is Isa 46:9-11,

Isa 46:9  Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

Isa 46:10  Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Isa 46:11  Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

Note these words: “Declaring the end from the beginning.” And how does God know the end from the beginning? God answers: “yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” These words declare absolutely the sovereignty of this proactive God. Which God do you think is the God of the Bible? Is it the responsive god, or is it the proactive God? You guessed it. Our God, the God of the Bible, is a proactive God. And if you read Rom 9, or if you read Eph 1, you realize that this sovereign God chose people before the foundation of the world that they should be holy and acceptable before Him. These are the people whom God appointed unto salvation from before the foundation of the world. The Bible declares that we have an absolutely sovereign God and that He is a proactive God. In fact, the responsive god does not exist. They who worship a responsive god are worshipping a man-made idol, and worshipping such a responsive god is an accursed idolatry. We are worshipping a Loving Proactive God, a God who determined in advance whom He will love and whom He will hate. Please turn now to the Prophecy of 2Chron 7:14.

Today we will have a second look at 2Chron 7:14. As most of you know this is an often repeated verse in the churches; it is often taken out of context, and it is a very popular verse with most people. It makes people feel good about God and about His kindness and about His mercy which is so abundantly available. However, the important thing is not how we feel, but “What did God say” and “How does it harmonize with the rest of the Bible?” What was the real reason why this verse became so popular? As most of you know, God is not very popular among the people of this world. Most of them would like to bring God down, rather than lift Him up. It is no surprise then that God says in Psalm 2:1-3 that all the nations of the world strive to do away this sovereign proactive God.

Psalm 2:1-3, “1  Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3  Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”

The people of the world would like to do away with God, or at least cut down the power of almighty God, so that He is not so powerful any more. Now, that is the real reason why 2Chron 7:14 became so popular, because it seems to cut down the sovereignty of God. You see, a superficial reading of this verse makes it appear as if the Free Will gospel is really the Gospel of the Bible.

#1.       Is this an Arminian Verse? (2Chron 7:14, Prov 16:5)

Please note carefully that I did not say the Armenian gospel, as if this would be the gospel that originated in the country of Armenia, but I said the Arminian gospel, indicating this is the gospel that was promoted by Jacob Arminius, a professor of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands who lived from 1560 to 1609. He died just before the Canons of Dort were hammered out in the Netherlands. The Canons of Dort elevate the sovereignty of God very high. The Arminian gospel brought the sovereignty of God very low by claiming that the free will of man was more important than the sovereign will of God. And thus the Arminian gospel has made man the king-maker, and God has to abide by the will of the creature. What is the will of man in this verse of 2Chron 7:14? What it appears to say is that people must first humble themselves, and pray, and seek God’s face, and turn from their wicked ways, and then in response God will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land. That is very nice of God, don’t you think so? That is so nice and generous of God. Is this really the God whom we worship, or is this the God whom we like Him to be? Is this the God who rewards people who repent, and those who do not repent He sends to hell? But this would mean that God is a totally responsive being, who waits until he is totally sure of the actions of man, and then He makes the decisions of who will go to heaven and who will go to hell. As you can see, this kind of a salvation plan totally agrees with the people of the “Free Will” persuasion. They have decided that a person is only saved when he by his own free will has decided to believe in Jesus, and when he by his own free will has decided to repent and follow Jesus. And what is so bad about that? The only bad thing about this is “Pride.” Please turn in your Bibles to the Proverbs of Solomon, Prov 16:5 (2X). And here God warns us about pride. In fact, I can speak of my own personal experience. I was proud of having made such a wise decision to follow Jesus. I was proud of having figured out how everything in God’s spiritual world logically fits together. I was proud of having been a self-made man. I was proud of having a god who responds to my call for salvation. Yes, it was my call that made all the difference. And where does our pride leave us? God warns us in Prov 16:5,

Prov 16:5, “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.” Now, this is a significant verse, for God says here that everyone who believes the Arminian gospel of being saved by his own free will is not saved, but is proud and is an abomination to the Lord. Did you hear what I said? This is exactly what God says. Everyone who does not believe in the sovereignty of God is proud by not giving the glory to God but is giving the glory to himself. He is an abomination to God, and he is not saved. The expression “Though hand join in hand” refers to the consecutive connection of events through which the Lord works: though the proud escape one occasion of punishment, yet he is reserved for another, wherein he shall pay the full penalty for all his sins. Let us see why the Free-Will gospel is such a bad thing in the eyes of God. We read about one of the promises of God in Rev 22:19, which I quoted to you before.

·         Not Saved (Rev 22:19, Eph 1:3-5, Prov 16:18)

Rev 22:19, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” This Book refers to the whole Bible. That is why God wrote in Rev 22:18, “The words of the prophecy of this Book”, and God wrote in Rev 22:19, “The words of the Book of this prophecy.” What did God emphasize in verse 19? God declared that if we dare to take away one word from the Bible, we are setting ourselves up for damnation in Hell. This is not an incidental sin. This is a deliberate, premeditated act of rebellion against God. Of course it is not the English King James Version that is the inspired Word of God. God did not dictate the words in English to His servants the prophets. God spoke in Hebrew and the Lord Jesus spoke in Greek to His servants the prophets and the Apostles. And thus it is only the Hebrew and Greek texts which are the inspired Word of God. Today it means that only the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus, which is the majority text found in thousands of Greek manuscripts throughout the world. But since most people are not fluent in Hebrew or Greek, we recognize that the King James Bible is a valuable alternative to having to read Hebrew or Greek. This situation happened before in about 250 BC. The Jews who lived in Egypt had lost their knowledge of Hebrew. Then the elders in Jerusalem decided to send seventy wise men to Alexandria in Egypt to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek, for the benefit of the Jews who lived there. The translation that they produced is called “The Septuagint”, or, “the translation of the seventy,” often abbreviated by the letters LXX which in the Roman numeral system means 70. You recognize that “Sept” means “Seven.” And thus the Septuagint was the work of the seventy wise men. You would not call the Septuagint the inspired work of God, for everyone knew that it was a work of men. It was just a valuable alternative to reading the Hebrew Bible. But like everything else that is a work of men, it was not a perfect translation, because it contained errors. Now something similar happened to the King James Bible. It is a work of men; it is not perfect, for it contains errors. Today, with the use of Lexicons and Concordances and computers we can often find the errors that the translators have made, but the changes we would make are mostly minor. Therefore we continue to use the King James Version in the sermons that you hear. But let me now return to Rev 22:19. God said that we may not take away any words that we find in this Book, the Bible. We find here in the Bible that God said in Eph 1:3-5, “

Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Eph 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

These verses tell us very plainly that those who have been blessed by God are those whom He has chosen to be saved, and God chose His elect before the foundation of the world. Therefore, if you discover that you are one of His sheep, then you were always one of His sheep. You cannot become a goat by your bad behavior, for Christ already suffered and died for your bad behavior. Let me say it in another way. Christ will not abandon the church for the bad theology that they have developed there, but Christ may abandon the church because it was always His plan to do so. We must always keep in mind that God is sovereign, and that He knows the end from the beginning. To deny this is equivalent to worshipping another god who is not the God of the Bible. To deny this is changing Him into a responsive god, and that is idolatry. If we believe that Christ has abandoned the church because the church has grievously sinned against Him, we have placed man’s actions above the will of God. Anytime we make God respond to the actions of man, we have taken away His sovereignty to do whatever He pleases. That is a sin of pride. That is a grievous sin, which takes away from the words of the Book of this prophecy. And so, let us review what God promises for those who take away words from the Book of His prophecy, Rev 22:19,

Rev 22:19, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” And so, the promise of God is that this person will not inherit the New Heaven and the New Earth (the NHNE). And since after the rapture there are only two destinations: the NHNE or the Lake of Fire, also called Hell, we can conclude that the promise of God for anyone who adds or takes away from the Bible is Hell, for this person has declared God a liar in several places of the Bible. God also says in Prov 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” And the destruction, or the fall that God has in view, is the incredible fall into hell when Christ returns. You see, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is not going to save you if your salvation plan includes that you must believe that you were saved because you believed. That is a works-gospel, because it is believing in your own works, rather than in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The dangers of the Arminian gospel are all around us, and only the true Gospel of grace alone can deliver us. As you know, Grace means “God’s unmerited favor.” And thus the Gospel of grace alone means that salvation occurs only by God’s unmerited favor, and not by anything else we do.  Let us now look at 2Chron 7:14 from the Hebrew text, and see the truth of the true Gospel shining through it.

#2.       If My People (2Chron 7:12-16, Rom 2:4, 2Chron 6:26-27, 2Cor 7:10, Acts 5:31)

2Chron 7:12-16, “12  And Jehovah appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to Myself for an house of sacrifice. 13  If I shut up the heavens and there is no rain, and if I command the locusts to consume the land, and if I send pestilence among my people; 14  And My people, on whom My name is called, shall be humbled, and shall pray, and shall seek My face, and turn back from their evil ways; then will I surely hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 15  Now Mine eyes shall be open, and Mine ears attentive unto the prayer of this place. 16  And now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there forever: yea, Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually.”

In 2Chron 7:14 the KJV begins with the words “If My People” as if this is a condition that must first be met. But that is not at all how the God-inspired Hebrew text reads it. The Hebrew text says, “And My people on whom My name is called shall be humbled.” In other words, My people shall be humbled by these experiences of “no rain, locusts, and pestilence.” It is not that My people shall humble themselves, but they are being humbled by God through these calamities. It is not the condition “If they pray”, but they shall pray because I am bringing these calamities on them. It is not the condition “If they will seek My face”, but they shall seek My face, because I am the only one left where they can find help. It is not the condition “If they turn back from their evil ways,” or “If they repent,” but they shall repent, for this is what My Holy Spirit will prompt them to do. This we can see clearly for repentance is a gift from God. Let us review this in the Scriptures that repentance is a gift from God. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 2:4 (2X). We have here a passage where God will judge those who judge others unjustly. Let us not be the judges over others, but let us use the Scriptures to apply the judgment on us, for it is God who judges others. The context clearly tells us in 2Chron 6 that when the people have sinned grievously against God, then God brings chastening to drive the people back to God. For example, we read in 2Chron 6:26-27,

2Chron 6:26-27, “26  When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; 27  Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance.” Do we recognize here the words from chapter 7:13, “If I shut up the heavens and there is no rain”? Now tie all this together with the words we find in Rom 2:4. God says in Rom 2:4,

Rom 2:4, “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” And so, what we see here is that the providence of God causes all things to work together for good to them that love God, to them who are The called, according to His purpose. The prompting of God the Holy Spirit leads us to repentance. Repentance is not something that we conjure up ourselves, but it is a work of God within us.

Please turn now in your Bibles to the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 5:31 (2X). Peter and the other apostles were brought before the council of the leaders of the Jews, and they said, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” And then they said in Acts 5:31, “Him (Christ) hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” You see, it is Christ who gives repentance to the Israel of God, so that they might receive forgiveness of sins. And so, what we have seen is that the inspired Hebrew text does not at all support 2Chron 7:14 as an Arminian verse. This is what the KJV translators have made out to be, but it is false.

·         Which Are Called by My Name (2Chron 7:14, Isa 43:11, Acts 4:12, Ecc 7:20, Prov 16:5, Luke 18:8, Deut 18:22)

The Hebrew text reads in 2Chron 7:14, “And My people, on whom My name is called, shall be humbled, and shall pray, and shall seek My face, and shall turn from their evil ways; then will I surely hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Read this carefully now:

“And My people, on whom My name is called.” It does not say, “by whom My name is called,” but it says “on whom My name is called.” What does that mean? What name is this portion of the verse referring to? Verse 12 says it is the name of Jehovah. And who is Jehovah? From a variety of Scriptures we can conclude that the Father is Jehovah, God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ is Jehovah, and God the Holy Spirit is Jehovah.

Therefore, when we read in 2Chron 7:14, “My people, on whom My name is called”, it means “My people on whom the name of Christ is called.” The elect are called Christians. We are of the family of Christ. Therefore we are those on whom the name of Christ is called. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Therefore, when we read 2Chron 7:14 we should no longer think of the Old Testament Jews only, and we should no longer think of those who are blood descendants of Jacob in the present age, but we must think of those who are the elect in the present age, which are elect people chosen from every tribe, and nation, and race, and language. They are the ones that are in view. Let us keep that in our memory, and let us apply this to the rest of the Bible.

2Chron 7:14, “And My people, on whom My name is called, shall be humbled, and shall pray, and shall seek My face, and shall turn from their evil ways.” Do you mean the elect shall turn from their evil ways? What evil ways is this verse speaking about? What period in history particularly shall the elect be vexed with evil ways? This will be in the days that the church will be assaulted with all kinds of false gospels. Particularly we are thinking of the church in the Final Tribulation Period. Look for example at this verse, 2Chron 7:14, how that this verse has been cuddled and cherished by most churches, and all it has done is to bring in the Arminian way of thinking about God and about prayer, and about the free-will gospel of salvation. And God says in Prov 16:5 that this way of thinking is an abomination to God because it brings pride into the picture. We presently are living in the end times. And what do we see, presently? What is the greatest plague that is presently occurring in the churches? Indeed it is the Arminian gospel which is lifted up as if it was the best thing since sliced bread. The Roman Catholic gospel, and the Methodist gospel, and the Charismatic gospel, and all the other deviations from the true Gospel are no longer called “an accursed idolatry.” Instead those people are embraced as brothers in Christ. So, let us be aware of this evil. In the future our church will also be overrun by these gospels that are plainly abominations in the sight of God. We know this because the Lord Jesus told us that the last days will be like the days of Noah just before the flood, and like the days of Lot just before the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrha. In the days of Noah out of the entire world population the number of righteous people was only eight. It may be eight souls out of perhaps two million people. In the days of Lot only three people were saved out of four cities. This reminds us of the words of the Lord Jesus who said in Luke 18:8, “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” It is a rhetorical question. The answer is NO! There will be very few who will be faithful when the Lord Jesus comes again. The number of faithful people, or the number of saints, will have dwindled down to almost the small fraction that we can read about in the days of Noah. But let us now get practical about it, and think of applying it to our church.

When we see the number of people in our church get smaller and smaller, and when we see that the true Gospel is not popular with the younger generation, even in our church, and we see this same phenomenon in most other conservative churches, and when we see the wickedness in the world increase, do not despair but rejoice, for the Lord is coming soon. Look at the most recent example of which we were all witnesses. Thirteen years ago a false prophet called on all the people in conservative churches to depart out of their churches. Many people obeyed the call. For example, out of our church about 30% left. But now, after the false prophet has been proven false by the words of Deut 18:22, have we seen any of those people return? NO! Not one has returned. It simply tells us that the true Gospel is not popular with any of today’s generation. If your pastor is sent to retirement because the church runs out of funds, rejoice, for the Lord is coming soon. You may have noticed that I never preach for money. I will not do that, for if the Lord wills that this church must close, then I will gladly go on retirement, because the Lord’s will is more important than anything else. And so, these are the evils that beset us in these last days. But let us keep rejoicing, because the Lord is coming soon. Do not go astray by following false prophets who claim that they know when the Lord will come again, for no man knoweth the day or the hour. This is what the Bible says in many places. Keep studying the Bible, for this is what keeps us rejoicing.

#3.       Then Will I Hear from Heaven (2Chron 7:14, Tit 3:4-7, Luke 22:44, Rom 4:25)

Please turn again to 2Chron 7:14, and there we read in the second half of the verse:

2Chron 7:14, “Then will I surely hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Think now of the word “Then.” What moment in time does that seem to refer to? Let us first of all get into the frame of mind that this is a New Testament verse, for the words “My people on whom My name is called,” refers to Christ and His people. The Old Testament is not just for a people who lived a long long time ago in land far far away, and so it does not touch us any more. The Bible was written to touch us in our soul. The Bible was written to glorify Christ, and when we become Born Again we are glorifying Christ by becoming His cherished Bride. This is how we should understand the words, “Then will I surely hear from heaven.” Most certainly it cannot apply to the words, “Then will I forgive their sins,” for there was only one day in all of history when sins were forgiven, and that was when the Lord Jesus Christ hung on the cross on Friday, April 3 in the year AD 33.

God the Holy Spirit will be sent to those people who were made ready to receive the Gospel. 2Chron 7:14 does not refer to a people who once were saved, and then they fell away, and then they became saved again. 2Chron 7:14 refers to people who were never saved before, but because they were of God’s elect God chose to save them. God brought calamities in their life, God humbled them, God caused them to call upon His name, God caused them to pray to Him and not to an idol, God caused them to seek His face by reading and studying the Bible, God caused them to be at their wits end and in desperation call on His name. Then God the Holy Spirit did a marvelous work in them by making them Born Again, and by giving them faith, and by applying the finished work of Christ to their soul. And so, the answer to the question: What is the meaning of the word “Then?” What moment in time does this refer to? It refers to the moment that this person becomes “Born Again.” Then suddenly God poured His spiritual blessings on this person. These are not material blessings, but spiritual blessings. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to Titus, Tit 3:4 (2X). God gave us here a wonderful description of what He did to those whom He prepared for salvation through calamities and troubles and by drawing them closer to Christ as we found in the first half of 2Chron 7:14.

Tit 3:4-7, “4  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

What is the meaning of verse 4? “After that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared.” The kindness and love of God was manifested at the cross of Christ. The Father drew us with kindness to the Lord Jesus. This kindness of the Father was not always pleasant, for it was laced with calamities. Why was this necessary? It was necessary because we came into the world with hard hearts and with deaf ears. We could not hear spiritual things. We could not hear that the love of God was already shed for us through the blood of Christ. Spiritually speaking, for some people it was necessary to club them over the head with a two by four. This was the kindness and love of God our Saviour. He paid on behalf of the guilt of our sins beginning in the Garden of Gethsemane, until He died on the cross less than 24 hours later. And because He was God He was able to pay what we were unable to pay. He paid the full price on behalf of our sins. The full price means the price which God has set for the wages of sins; it was the second death in the lake of fire. So horrendous was this payment that we read about His suffering when the Lord Jesus prayed in Luke 22:44, “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” We will never know how great the sufferings were that He endured on behalf of our sins, but they must have been very great, for His sufferings had to satisfy the righteousness of God as payment for our sins.

When we read in 2Chron 7:14, “And Will Forgive Their Sins” it means that the payment that Christ made on behalf of our sins must have been equivalent to the payment that we would have to make when we would have to pay for our own sins. This is what the righteous Judge demands. This payment was the equivalence of an eternity in Hell. This was what Christ had to pay. And when was this payment completed? We read in Rom 4:25, “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” It means that the entire process of atonement was not completed until the Lord rose from the grave. When He was raised again, this was the time when our justification was completed, when we had died to the law and we did rise with Him. And now the law can no longer accuse us, for we have died to the law. There is no more law that can accuse us before God.

We read in 2Chron 7:16, “And now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there forever: yea, Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually.” Did God make a mistake? Did God not know that Nebuchadnezzar would take over Jerusalem, and that Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard would burn Jerusalem and the temple until there was nothing left? After 70 years the remnant of Judah returned to their land and rebuilt the temple and rebuilt Jerusalem. But even this second temple would not qualify for the description that God gives here in 2Chron 7:16, for this second temple was destroyed by the Roman legions in AD 70, never to be rebuilt. But if God has chosen and sanctified this house, and if God has placed His name there forever, could God not have prevented that the temple would be destroyed. And indeed, God could have prevented that destruction. Therefore, when we read 2Chron 7:16 we should realize that God wants us to understand this verse in a different way, not in a historical way. Reading this verse in a historical context would obviously lead to contradictions. But God intended the temple in Jerusalem to be a picture, or a shadow, of the church. And now we remember that the Lord Jesus said in Matt 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (Petros), and upon this Rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Do you mean, “Upon this slippery rock” called Simon Peter, will I build My Church? No way! Peter, also called Cephas, means “a stone” a little stone. But Christ was pointing to Himself when He spoke of the Rock, and He used the word “Petra’, meaning a huge Rock out of which the city of Petra has been carved. It was in this sense that the Lord Jesus has chosen and has sanctified this house, that His name may be there forever: yea, His eyes and His heart shall be there perpetually.” And herein rests a warning not to tamper with the church till the end of time. Anyone who dares to proclaim that the church is dead will inherit the Lord’s wrath before the end of time, and afterward he will inherit the Lord’s wrath forever more in the lake of fire, because he has taken away from the words of the Book of this Prophecy. And God’s promises are certain and shall surely come to pass. Therefore we must fear the Lord and not be careless about the words He spoke. Our God is a proactive God, a loving proactive God, but if we are guilty of eliminating words from the Bible we inherit His wrath.

AMEN.                 Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.