August 10, 2022
GOD’S RECIPE FOR REVIVAL – 2 Chronicles 7:11-16
Sermon: GOD’S RECIPE FOR REVIVAL – 2 Chronicles 7:11-16
In the sermon he delivered on July 31, 2022, Pastor Peter Jamieson provided a powerful and illuminating illustration of how we can produce revival with the assistance of God.
Read 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 and Mark 16:15
Jesus’ command to evangelize has always been and will remain a constant within the Christian faith. According to Mark 16:15, the gospel is to be preached throughout the world; yet most of us seldom or never evangelize. In light of the moral decay that is sweeping the world today, our role as witnesses for Christ has never been more vital! In spite of this, most believers fail to follow our Lord’s command. Pastor Jamieson believes 2 Chronicles, chapter 7, provides the reason behind our failure to obey God: The Church must be revived before the nation will hear His Word.
It is recorded in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 that God told Solomon that at times He may close the heavens and rain may not fall, or command locusts to devastate crops, or send plagues throughout the land of His people. “Then 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 sins and restore their land.”
Read 2 Chronicles 7:11
Over the course of seven days following the dedication of the first Temple, King Solomon sacrificed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep to the Lord. Since there were too many sacrifices and burnt offerings for the bronze altar to accommodate, he had to consecrate the inner court of the Temple for sacrifice. A feast was then held for seven days, followed by a solemn assembly on the eighth day. As recorded in 2 Chronicles 7:11, God appeared to Solomon during the night, warning him of the consequences of straying from Him in sin and idolatry. If His people disobeyed Him, He would either bring drought or command locusts to destroy the land, resulting in famine, or He would cause pestilence to spread among the people. Then God provided him with instructions on what to do if and when this should occur.
Read 2 Chronicles 7:14-16 and 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19
In the course of his message today, Pastor Jamieson expounded on 2 Chronicles 7:14-16. Although this passage was addressed to Israel rather than the Church, Paul makes the following statement in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If someone destroys God’s Temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, which is what you are.” And again in 1 Corinthians 6:19, he says, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” Thus, Scripture is very clear: God’s Temple is no longer a physical structure. Our bodies are the Temple of God, in which the Spirit of God dwells.
Read 1 Corinthians 10:11
It is also noteworthy that, in 1 Corinthians 10:11, Paul also states that “all these things happened to them as examples – as object lessons to us – to warn us against doing the same things; they were written down so that we could read about them and learn from them in these last days as the world nears its end.” Considering that the events in the Old Testament were intended to serve as warnings to those living in the last days, the principles in 2 Chronicles 7 remain as relevant to us today as they were in Solomon’s day. Therefore, Pastor Jamieson believes that God has provided us with an effective recipe for revival and ultimately, evangelism.
The analysis of God’s recipe for revival in 2 Chronicles 7:14 leads to the following conclusions:
1 – …if my people who are called by my name…
What is the first ingredient in this recipe? It is God’s people, which includes you and me. The word ‘if’, a two-letter word, is perhaps the most important word in this passage as it serves as a qualifier. The word ‘if’ is conditional. If what? If my people…
Read 2 Chronicles 7:13 and Matthew 5:13-14
Pastor Jamieson holds that the Church bears sole responsibility for a nation’s state. As recorded in 2 Chronicles 7:13, God responds to moral decline, spiritual apathy, and worldly compromise with drought, barrenness, pestilence, and affliction. North America is currently experiencing droughts, hurricanes, storms, flooding, hopelessness, pestilence, and immorality on an unprecedented scale. In spite of the fact that we are entering the period of God’s judgment upon the earth, there remains an opportunity for evangelism like no other in the history of mankind. It is our responsibility as the Church to be a light and salt to the world.
Read Revelation 1:6
As God’s children, we have been entrusted with the role of kings and priests to serve Him and minister to the people of the earth. We have been appointed as His ambassadors.
Read Exodus 28:9-12
As described in the passage above, the priest was to bear the names of the people on his shoulders before God as a memorial. Likewise, as kings and priests of God, we, the Church, are responsible for bearing the inequity of the people before God. As Christians, if we desire to rule and reign with Christ one day, we must bear the people of our towns, communities, cities, and nations before the God of all creation. Pastor Jamieson believes God is calling on His people to take action.
2 – ….will humble themselves…
The Church is responsible for the state of the nation. A nation’s state is simply a magnified view of the state of the Church. There is no doubt that if the nation is experiencing moral decline, spiritual apathy, and worldly compromise, the same is true of the Church. As Christians, we are called to be salt and light in the world, and we must acknowledge and accept this responsibility. A nation’s transformation begins with the Church. Therefore, before the Church can begin to look outward, it must first look inward.
Read 1 Peter 4:17
In order for revival to lead to evangelism, the Church must take action. Acknowledging responsibility alone is not sufficient if no action is taken. It is imperative that we first humble ourselves before looking for the need, both within ourselves and within our country. The next step is to resolve to bring about change within ourselves. The problem, however, is our inability to change ourselves.
Read Jeremiah 13:23
The prophet Jeremiah declares in this passage that a black man cannot change his skin colour just as a leopard cannot change its spots. In the same way, we cannot change and accomplish good. We can only experience transformation through God if we humble ourselves, recognize our need, and seek Him.
3 – …and pray…
Read Hebrews 4:16
Prayer is a lost art in the church today. Christians have no higher calling than prayer, yet it is the most neglected ministry of the Church. We are only as strong or as weak as our prayer life. Entering God’s presence is the only way to find grace and strength for change.
What a blessing it would be if we could see how prayer formed, conquered, and overcame nations. Wouldn’t it be also wonderful if we could see the lives of those that have been redeemed, salvaged, delivered, healed, divinely inspired, and set free as a result of prayer? Through prayer, God’s eternal purposes have been revealed, understood, and instituted. Yet, the truth remains that we cannot change ourselves, our church, or our nation. Only God can. Throughout history, God has used the prayers of His people as a means of achieving His purposes, but we must first pray in accordance with His will.
Read 1 John 5:14 and Luke 11:9-10
Asking, seeking, and knocking in prayer will enable us to discover God’s will. Whenever we pray in accordance with God’s will, He hears us and responds to our prayers.
Read Mark 11:24 and James 4:3
The gospel of Mark instructs us to ask for what we desire, and if we do so in accordance with His will, our requests will be granted. James, however, warns us that when we seek to satisfy our passions, our desires will not be met.
Let us not forget that in order for a nation to experience change, the Church must first undergo a similar transformation. Therefore, we must go beyond simply praying for needs and seeking answers. Although there is nothing wrong with those things, it is imperative that we seek out and discover the very face of God.
4 – …and seek my face…
Read Jeremiah 29:13-14, 2 Peter 1:3, and Philippians 3:10
The prophet Jeremiah states that if we seek Jesus Christ earnestly, we will find Him. Only Christ can bring about change. Efforts and willpower alone will not suffice. In Jesus, however, we have everything we need, as “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV)
Paul’s primary passion in life was to know Christ intimately, in power, and through the fellowship of His sufferings. The suffering we undergo will eventually lead us to the cross, if we allow it to do so. Are we willing to suffer for the sake of change?
Read 1 Corinthians 1:30
According to the Bible, Jesus Christ is our wisdom. Therefore, wisdom is not a thing. It’s a person. It is the person of Jesus Christ Himself. The righteousness He provides is the basis for our right standing with God. As a result of our sanctification, we are perfectly positioned in Him. Through the power of His Holy Spirit, Jesus transforms us as we seek His face.
Read Galatians 5:22-23, 1 Corinthians 2:16, and John 4:34
Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the Spirit. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Jesus’ character and nature are reflected in the fruit of the Spirit, and as we emulate Christ, we will become like Him. The Lord Jesus said in John 4:34, that His character and nature, or God’s wisdom, is “to do the will of God, the Father, and to complete His work”.
Read Luke 4:18-19
It is only when we humble ourselves and pray, and seek our Lord’s face, that we will receive Christ’s mind and character and be transformed. As a result, the will of God will be our own. The mind of Christ brings about revival, evangelism, holiness, life, freedom, and liberty. If we are willing to seek His face with all of our heart, we will find Him. We are to note, however, that when we stand before Him, our own sin will be exposed.
5 – …and turn from their wicked ways…
Revival is only possible in our own lives, in our families, in our churches, and in our communities when we are ready to repent of all known sin and be converted.
Read Acts 3:19 (NKJV) and Luke 22:32-33 (NKJV), 54-62 (NKJV)
Acts 3:19 records Peter’s words on the Day of Pentecost: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” The word repent and the word converted are two separate actions. In Pastor Jamieson’s view, Peter was saved but not converted until he encountered Jesus on the Sea of Galilee after His resurrection. In Luke 22:32, Jesus said to Peter, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” In the next verse, Peter says to Jesus, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” (The Greek translation of the word returned is epistrepho, which means converted.) After saying these words to Him, Peter denied Jesus three times. He then returned to fishing. In other words, he returned to the way he lived before he met Jesus. In spite of Peter’s assertions, he was not yet prepared to devote himself entirely to Christ.
Read John 21:1-17
The unfortunate reality is that some of us will never move beyond this stage of spiritual development. Though Peter was saved, he was not converted until he encountered Jesus on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Peter and six other men had gone fishing when they saw Jesus on the shore. He prepared breakfast for them and they ate. It was then that Jesus turned to Peter and asked, “Peter, do you love me?” And Peter replied, “Yes Lord, I love You.” However, many of us do not realize the significance of what is happening here. Jesus used the Greek word agape. “Do you agape Me, Peter?” “Do you love Me unconditionally, Peter? Are you willing to lay down your life for Me?”, to which Peter responds, “Yes Lord, I filial You.” This means “I love you like a brother.” It’s a conditional love. Jesus then repeats His question, “Peter do you love Me agape?” And Peter replies, “Yes Lord, I filial You.” Jesus asks again, “Peter do you love Me agape?” Peter finally understands and replies, “Yes Lord, I agape You. I will lay down my life for You.” And then Jesus says, “Feed My sheep.”
It is important to understand that we are not ready to feed God’s sheep until we have agape love for Him. Despite being saved, many of us are still carnal, and have yet to truly see the face of Christ. Authentic repentance and conversion are only possible in the presence of Jesus. Conversion requires repentance. We must be brought to a place where we are willing and able to commit ourselves to His will. Repentance is characterized by a changed heart. We must transition from selfishness to selflessness, laying down everything that hinders our relationship with God.
6 – …then I will hear from heaven…
Read Acts 2:17 and Luke 12:32 (NKJV)
The word then is used in conjunction with the word if. After we have achieved the if, heaven will move and God will accomplish the then. It is God’s desire to pour out His Spirit on us and on the Church. According to Acts 2:17, God will pour out His Spirit on all people in the last days, not only on the Church. We will see the greatest revival in the history of the Church when the Holy Spirit descends upon His redeemed and revived Church, as believers prepare for evangelization and the suffering that lies ahead in these last days. The End Times are not only about the end. They also mark the beginning of Jesus Christ’s reign on earth. God the Father will give us the Kingdom of Heaven, so we need not fear.
Read 2 Chronicles 7:15-16 (NKJV) and Hebrews 13:5
Solomon was told that God had chosen the Temple as His dwelling place so that His name would be honoured forever. However, as Pastor Jamieson explained earlier, the Temple of God is no longer housed in a building. The Church of Jesus Christ now consists of you and me. It is within us that God has built His Temple. As a result, this promise is not only applicable to Solomon, but also to us. As Jesus said, “I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.”
Read Joel 3:14
Time is quickly running out. Will you call upon the Lord today? Will you turn from your carnal ways?
Watch the video here.