“Evidence of a Revived Heart”
2 Chronicles 7:14
INTRODUCTION What is the meaning of 2 Chronicles 7.14
2 Chronicles 7:14. It’s been called “the most extensive evangelical awakening of all time.” It has been estimated that more than 5 million people were brought to Christ within two years in 1904-05.
On October 31, 1904, Evan Roberts’ heart was aflame as he writes in Wales…
“I was in the six o’clock service, Sunday, and the Spirit brought the case of our young people before me so powerfully, that it was impossible for me to keep my mind from it. It was so for half-an-hour. I had to pray three times for quietness.”
So being extremely burdened for the young people of his church, he conducted his first meeting that night, October 31, 1904.
What things do you think went on that meeting?
ASK: Lots of games, loud music and dancing, golden calf worship? … ?
1. deal with their sin
2. renew their obedience to God
3. be filled with the Holy Spirit
4. and publicly declare their faith in Christ
These “youth events” typically ran anywhere from 3 to 5 hours. After having noticed the difference in their children’s behavior, the parents were so impressed that that little Moriah Chapel was filled to capacity.
On November 9, the English language newspaper in Cardiff announced,
A remarkable religious revival is now taking place in Loughor. For some days, a young man named Evan Roberts, a native of Loughor, has been causing great surprise at Moriah Chapel. The place has been besieged by dense crowds of people unable to obtain admission. Such excitement has prevailed that the road on which the chapel is situated has been lined with people from end to end. . . . His statements have had the most stirring effects upon his listeners. …. One night, so great was the enthusiasm invoked by the young revivalist that, after his sermon which lasted two hours, the vast congregation remained praying and singing until two-thirty in the morning. Shopkeepers are closing early in order to get a place in the chapel, and tin and steel workers throng the place in working clothes.
The Welsh revival of 1904-1905, extended far beyond the ministry of Evan Roberts.
Revival began sweeping through Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, France, as well as other European nations, the USA and Canada.
India, Burma, Korea, the Pacific islands, Indonesia, Brazil, Chile… all were affected.
TRANS: That’s just 115 years ago and we’d love to see that. It’s a work of God, not something we can muster up.
Purpose of Chronicles
That story stirs our souls. Similar to that, 2 Chronicles was written in order to inspire God’s people and revive them so that they might get back on track, regroup and begin to obey God’s words again. So 2 Chron. is meant to inspire people to love the Lord, to obey His word. That’s what the church needs today! Our church included!
In 2 Chronicles 7, God’s people had just experienced the glory of the Lord filling the Temple and then the Lord visits Solomon in the night….
2 Chronicles 7:12–14 12 And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place [the temple] to myself for an house of sacrifice. 13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 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.
TITLE: How the Lord transforms nations through His church … and it starts with us…
EXP: We know this passage was meant for Israel. These folks are under the Old Covenant and God’s promise has to do with their land, locusts and pestilence and disease. If they followed the four conditions of verse 14 (corporate, national humility, prayer, seeking God’s presence, and repentance), then God would forgive them and heal the land of said locusts and disease.
The Passage Applies Today
ASK: Now, is this passage for us? Not in the same way because we’re not under the OT we’re under the NT.
But can we apply this passage to the church today? Yes.
Reason #1 v. 14 it says “my people who are called by my name.” That same phrase occurs in Acts 15:17 and James applies it to Christian Gentiles. So, yes we can draw principles from this passage for today. God is at work among His people today.
And Israel is a nation…
Reason #2(we can apply this paassge today): God is also at work among the nations today.
God is at work among His people the church and God is at work in nations.
ASK: But are we dealing with verse 13? Does verse 13 describe us in any way?
2 Chronicles 7:13 13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence/disease among my people;
ASK: But does God promises 2 Chronicles 7:14 for every nation, specifically healing of the land?
No, because of the fact that we’re under the NT not the OT. Plus, God hasn’t made promises for the USA, but for the land of Israel.
But there is a general truth that we can apply …
Proverbs 14:34 34 Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.
So we arrive at this point..
POINT: Nations will be transformed through the work of God in hearts, not through human creativity or political advancements. Our governor or president or elected officials are not the problem, the church is.
How can we experience the spiritual blessing of God upon our nation? Influencing public policy alone? That’s not a bad thing, but does that alone do it? No. We need these 4 things in the lives of the church broadly, and it starts with us. We are responsible. And we’re responsible for our nation also!
Our moral and spiritual problems in our land and in our country starts with us, the church, anyone who claims to be a Christian. Corporate humility, church wide prayer and the seeking of God’s face, and turning from sin and wickedness. Evan Roberts lead public prayer meetings.
Somebody else said, “If Christians truly want to see God’s blessing on our society, we ought to be models of genuine contrition and humility rather than merely pointing fingers of blame at the evils of secular society.”
Our nation is the way that it is, because the church is the way that it is.
And so it is true that if a nation does not turn and practice its former ways of righteousness, it may one day not exist. One can’t help but think that the judgments on particular nations and empires over the course of human history are due to the sins of those people in those nations and the sins of those people in high office. Why does the Roman Empire no longer exist? What happened to the Babylonians?
Some unknown historian has observed, “The world’s great civilizations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back again into bondage.” When nations fail to observe God’s law, they will eventually be destroyed by their own sin.
Furthermore, there is a giving them over to sin… Romans 1 says. God gives them up, gives them up, gives them over.
And sin is its own punishment. A society simply can’t function without obedience to God’s laws. If there is murder, immorality, rampant corruption, national greed, we won’t exist long. Greed easily displays itself in a nation when the people vote for politicians who promise free money from the nation’s bank account. … that nation will eventually fall from within.
Nations can only be transformed through the work of God in hearts. Hearts form communities, and communities form nations.
And so to make a point here: God is at work in the nations today.
And to prove that point … We know it because we have scriptural example of how God works in nations other than Israel.
For example, God was at work in Sodom and Gomorrah. God destroyed those cities for their wickedness. But Abraham pleaded with the LORD not to destroy them if He found only 10 righteous people there. God was at work in those cities.
Another example … the lives of the nations in the Promised Land before Israel arrived shows that God allows sin up to a point in a nation. God told Abraham that his descendants would live in Egypt for 400 years and then God would bring judgment on Egypt. But why that long, why wait 400 years to judge those nations in that land? Because God says, “… the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete” (Genesis 15:16). God would wait 400 years and then bring Israel into that land to destroy those sinful nations.
God is at work in the nations.
Now, what’s interesting is to ask this question … what were the sins of those nations in the Promised Land before God destroyed them? The Lord Himself describes the sin of those nations that He judged in Leviticus 18 [make a note of that]. After He lists the three kinds of sexually immoral sins and also child sacrifice, which is quite prevalent today in abortion, the Lord then says …
‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these [those 4 sins] the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. ‘For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants.”
The Lord judges nations who practice those kinds of sins!
And the world is heading in the wrong direction!
But as the rapid pace of evil progresses at an alarming rate in our land, when we hug the trees but we kill our children, we exchange the natural function of the genders, you hardly need the skill of the prophet to conclude that unless God intervenes, we are doomed!
ILL: A Gallup poll just came out this past week that said that “one in six Gen Z adults …. which would be those aged 18-25…. “ one in six in that age group today identify as LGBT — the highest percentage of any generation in history — and that number is likely to continue to increase, according to the survey data.” That’s nearly 17% of young people!
The nations of the world are rebelling against the Lord and we’re heading in the wrong direction!
ILL: Christianity Today reports that 2020 was the “worst year yet” for persecution of believers, and the publication reports that the “modern persecution of Christians worldwide has hit another record high.”
But our society and our churches have turned into one of selfishness and complacency, that is self-satisfaction to the point of being unaware of any great dangers. Our society is apathetic, does not seem to have any interest in the atrocities of the sins of our day. Our society is becoming more and more dependent on foreign lands and the people in our society are becoming more and more dependent on everything else other than God, intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. We’re just one step away from bondage and destruction.
So is 2 Chron. 7 for us today? Absolutely. But it starts with us!
As much as it is important to vote and to write to our politicians, the church’s focus should be to follow these 4 things and be the salt and light we need to be. Nations will be transformed through the work of God in many hearts… that work includes …
If my people humble themselves
If my people will pray
If my people will seek my face
If my people will turn from their wicked ways
TRANS: Let’s go through these quickly…
If my people humble themselves
ASK: What is it to humble oneself? If I said, “Go humble yourself.” What would you do?
Humility is what King Josiah did when he got word that the Lord was going to bring disaster upon Judah … the Lord says of him…
2 Kings 22:19 19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD.
What happened was that Josiah heard the words of the Lord and he responded this way because he knew that he and God’s people had disobeyed.
We need what Josiah had…: tenderness of heart, humility, hearing and responding to God’s every word, weeping over our sin…
To help us with humility …
One of the most humbling thoughts that I can think is this… Recognize and ponder this that despite the immensity of the love of God toward you, you still sin against Him.
NT: If humble, get grace. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Divine grace not only is a blessing to you but it also affects the lives of others around you for good; salt and light. Be tender to the word of the Lord and receive his grace, mercy, and kindness and let God’s work in you be spread to others.
Nations will be transformed through the work of God in hearts; that starts with you, and with us. Humble yourself before the Lord!
If my people will pray
ASK: What is it to pray? Talking to God!
Is this talking about only private prayer?
This word for prayer is used of Hezekiah’s prayer, the priests gathering to pray, Hezekiah and Isaiah praying together, even evil Manessah’s prayer that the Lord heard.
Philippians 4:6–7 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
When you’re at peace in your life in the midst of difficulty, that affects others.
MODE: He’s love usd, we’ve sinned against Him, but He calls us to prayer and to work with him in prayer, the God of the universe.
And to affect the nations, He calls on the church to pray to Him together….
Pray the Lord of the harvest!
Matthew 9:37–38 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
ILL: Welsh revival didn’t begin without prayer…personal and corporate prayer.
Even during COVID, we can still meet for prayer! Praise the Lord for that, right?
And so of course, we’re thankful for the opportunities to pray on Sundays and Wednesday nights. I invite you to prayer on Wednesday nights at 6pm. We need God’s grace in our church! We need to ask the Lord to take our assembly to the next step that he desires of us.
Respond! Maybe you need to say “I’m going to start coming on Wed. Night in order to pray with God’s people.” Bible study is from 6 to around 6:30p and then we take requests and pray. We want to see a reviving…we must pray!
If my people will seek my face
To seek God’s face is to seek His presence.
James 4:8 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
When you seek someone’s presence you draw near to them and you can’t help but to listen to what they say. So when you seek the Lord’s presence, you will draw near to him in prayer and fellowship with him through his word and you will find that in his presence is fullness of joy and at his right hand there are pleasures for evermore. So if you seek the Lord then you will find him if you seek him with all your heart. This is a revived heart.
And that kind of heart and passion will be spread to those around us and will transform the nations … “if God’s people who are called by His name”…. seek God’s face…it starts with us, with you. How will you respond?
If my people will turn from their wicked ways
Repentance of course is at the very heart of the gospel. The issue with people is typically not their trust in the accuracy of the New Testament’s account of the death and resurrection of Christ or even the person of Christ, that he’s God in flesh, which is all required for salvation. The problem typically is people’s love of their sin and autonomy. They love their sin and have chosen their sin over a relationship with God.
God is calling on his people who are called by His name … to turn from their wicked ways in order to transform the nations. God uses the church to accomplish this purpose.
There are people in churches who sit and listen to sermons and they need repentance of sin, they need to trust Christ alone, and be saved!
Others in church need to deal decisively with their sin, as was Evan Roberts call.
Where is God working in your life? Is He calling on you to humble yourself, is He calling you to deeper prayer with His people, to a greater seeking of the Lord’s presence in His word, or to repent of some sin?
For me prayer with his people and seeking Him in His word; that’s heightened in me recently.
If each of us responds to this passage of Scripture and seeks to do it, I believe the Lord will bless. If we go about our lives and keep tolerating sin and disobedience, we can’t expect our church to be blessed…we must get humbled, pray and pray together…, seek His face, and turn from wickedness.
CONCLUSION What is the meaning of 2 Chronicles 7.14
If someone truly humbles himself and prays and seeks the LORD’s face and turns from his wicked ways, the Lord will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin…
And I believe that if God’s people will hear that call, it’ll transform the nations…that’s because we’ll all be growing in Christ and our profiting will appear to all. And that’s how transformation happens …. first our hearts, then our church, our community, our county, our state, our nation and the world.
It starts with you!
Repent for the nation!