Summary: Revival will come when people humble themselves and pray. Forgiveness comes when people humble themselves and pray. Healing comes when people humble themselves and pray.
The Biggest “IF” in the Bible
Text: II 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.”
Scripture second Chronicles, 7:1-
One of the biggest words in the human language is the little word, “if”. It is a big word in a child’s life when it precedes the granting of a cherished wish. “You may visit your friend’s if” “You may go to the picnic if” “You may play if” “You may listen to the radio if”. If can be a big word to anyone with a need, especially when we hear, “I’d help you if” or “I’ll help you if”. We learn how big an If can be when we call in a physician on behalf of a loved one, and he gravely shakes his head and says, “Recovery depends upon an if”. We learn how big an if can be when we go to the bank to borrow money. If the banker looks worried you’ll get the loan because h has made up his mind and is wondering if he’ll get his money back. If he smiles, you’re sunk, because he has made up his mind not to let you have it, and he doesn’t have a care in the world. “I’ll stand by you if” and what a big word if becomes. Put an if in front of it and you can agree to about everything and be on safe ground.
I. There are some big ‘ifs’ in the Bible. 1522 of them
A. First Jno 1:9, “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with the other.”
Matthew 9:21, “If I may but touch the hem of His garment I shall be made whole.
If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me.
Col 3:1, “ If ye be risen with Christ, speak those things which are above.”
These are all big ‘ifs’. So much depends upon them.
B. But the biggest ‘if’ in the whole Bible is to be found in second Chronicles 7:14. Back of that if is all that we need, yet that if is the greatest barricade in the whole Bible. God says, “If ye will-then I will.” Revival will come when people humble themselves and pray. Forgiveness comes when people humble themselves and pray. Healing comes when people humble themselves and pray. Speaking to His chosen God says,
II. If my people which are called by my name
A. God’s people are called by His name. A representative of Britain’s government must be careful how he lives because Her majesty the Queen’s reputation is involved. It is an insult to the crown to place a postage stamp bearing a likeness of the Queen in an inverted position on the letter. Here, God’s reputation is involved. David in Psalms 23:3 said “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness on account of His own reputation.” Addressed to God’s people and not to sinners, this if was necessary, for,
B. The lament in Isaiah 63:19 RV is “We have become as they whom though never barest rule.” We have become unGodlike. In ex. 19:5-6 God said “If ye will obey my voice in deed, and keep my covenant, then shall ye be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people.” And in Deut 14:2 God said, “For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto Himself.”
C. Peculiar people have obligations to fulfill. Jesus said, “Ye are the salt of the earth.” If you lose your saltiness you lose your worthiness. We are God’s representatives, the people which are called by His name. Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world. Let your light so shine that God may be glorified by your light.” If your light has gone out how great is your darkness! God’s representatives, people called by His name.
A man was sent to a foreign land to represent the U.S. but he returned before his term was up. He said, “The responsibility was too great. Every time I drank a glass of water the natives watched to see how Uncle Sam drank. Every time I ate, they watched to see how Uncle Sam ate. Every time I walked down the street they watched to see how Uncle Sam walked. The responsibility was too great, so I came home.”
God’s representatives are a chosen people, called to be a holy people, but Christ will not be glorified unless his people glorify Him by a life lived for Him.