2Chron 7:14                                     If My People                                     8/19/2012     

 

·        An Arminian Verse (Psalm 2:1-3, 2Chron 7:14, Prov 16:5)

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Second Chronicles, 2Chron 7:14 (2X). 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 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 earth. Most of them would like to bring God down, rather than lift Him up. It is no surprise that God says in Psalm 2:1-3 where we read,

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 earth 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 also the 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 Arminian gospel is really the Gospel of the Bible.

·        An Arminian Verse (Psalm 2:1-3, 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 elevated 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. 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 now 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 God says? Everyone who does not believe in the sovereignty of God is proud by not giving the glory to God but giving the glory to himself, and is an abomination to God, and is not saved. The expression “From hand to hand” refers to the consecutive connection of causes through which the Lord works: though the proud escape one occasion of punishment, yet he is reserved for another, wherein he shall pay the penalty for all his sins.

God also says in Prov 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an 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 you believe that you did it, for that is believing in your own works, rather than in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The danger of the Arminian gospel is all around us, and only the true Gospel of grace alone can deliver us. Let us now look at 2Chron 7:14 from the Hebrew text, and see the truth of the true Gospel shining through it.

#1.       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 I 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 any judgment, for in this way 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 Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 2Cor 7:10 (2X). God compares here two repentances, a man who had his father’s wife but he repented of this wickedness, and the repentance of Judas Iscariot who betrayed the Lord Jesus. Then God says in 2Cor 7:10,

2Cor 7:10, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” The man who had his father’s wife repented and it led him to salvation. But Judas Iscariot did not truly repent; he was sorry for himself that he would go through life as one who had betrayed the Lord Jesus, and so he hanged himself. 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 of it, but it is false. Let us look again at 2Chron 7:14.

·        Which Are Called by My Name (2Chron 7:14, Isa 43:11, Acts 4:12, 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 turn back 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? Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 43:11 (2X). When you see the word LORD with all four letters capitalized, you know that the Hebrew text reads “Jehovah.” And thus we read in Isa 43:11, “I, even I, am Jehovah; and beside me there is no Saviour.” But who is this Savior? Combine this verse with a statement from the New Testament. Since the latest information carries the greater weight, we must give heed to the words of Acts 4:12, where we read, in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. And thus the Savior referred to in Isa 43:11 is both Christ and Jehovah. The Father is called Jehovah, and the Holy Spirit is called Jehovah, and here in Isa 43:11 God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is called Jehovah. Therefore, when we read in 2Chron 7:14, “My people, on whom My name is called”, 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, 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. They are the ones that are in view. Let us keep that in our memory, and let us apply this in the rest of the verse.

2Chron 7:14, “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.” Do you mean the elect shall turn back 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 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 they 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 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.

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, 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. Eleven years ago the false prophet on the radio called on all the people in conservative churches to depart out of their churches. May people obeyed the call. For example, out of our church about 30% left. But now, after the false prophet has been proven false by 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. Keep studying the Bible, for this is what keeps us rejoicing.

#2.       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. 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 drawing them closer to Christ as we found God was doing 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, but 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 as the wages of sins; it was the second death in the lake of fire. So horrendous was this payment that we read 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. 

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 be equivalent to the payment that we would have to make when we would have to pay for our own sins. This is what a righteous Judge demands. 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.

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

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. 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, 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.” But Christ was pointing to Himself when He spoke of the Rock. 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.

AMEN.                  Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.