The following post originally appeared at the now-defunct Revival or Riots website and is re-posted with the original author’s permission. Only minor formatting changes have been applied.
In light of stuff I’ve been posting lately about how there’s no need to strive or “press in” to get something from God we’ve already gotten, and that it’s time for us charismatics to stop chasing our tails for moves of God, I think this is a timely post to re-share.
Also, make sure if you have time to download or bookmark the episode of the podcast I’ve attached to this post titled Azusa Now or Azusa Already? and if you’re hard pressed for time, skip to the 11 minute mark where I go even more into contextual and historical background about Solomon’s temple dedication and God’s covenant promises with Israel that no New Testament writer has quoted or applied to any modern day nation because WE believers are the temple in the New Covenant.
And if any of you who were involved in organizing Azusa Now are reading this, please understand I’m not trying to attack, but bring clarity to some things I think are easily overlooked when we gather to pray. Thanks for understanding.
There are literally millions of people and hundreds of ministries that believe and perpetuate the lie that the reason there is no “revival” in America is because of all the sin in the land.
They’ll usually quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 and completely ignore the prefacing verse 13 that explains the context to try and validate their position.
First of all, let’s look at 2 Chronicles. 7:14:
“…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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
The first thing most people look over in this verse is the fact that the “if” is lowercase. This verse is the second half of a sentence.
Why does it say “the chicken that is in the refrigerator”?
Perhaps just reading the second half of a sentence doesn’t actually give you understanding of what the writer is trying to say.
I could be saying, ”I want to eat the chicken that is in the refrigerator.”
I could also be saying, “Oh my gosh, someone placed a bomb inside the chicken that is in the refrigerator.”
Or perhaps I could be saying, “Because it has been poisoned, make sure that you don’t eat the chicken that is in the refrigerator.”
I use this ridiculous example to get you to realize that this is precisely what Christians all over the world do all the time — taking scriptures completely out of their context or intended use to try and validate their “ministries” — and 2 Chronicles 7:14 is one of the biggest culprits for this kind of deception because people don’t realize what the verse before it says as well as because they don’t understand what Christ did by instituting the New Covenant.
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people,” – 2 Chron. 7:13
Whoa, whoa, wait a second.
So the context of verse 14 is “when God shuts up the heavens so there is no rain” or “when God commands locusts to devour the land” or “when God sends a plague amongst His people”?
Do you see it?
God doesn’t do those things under the New Covenant.
Under the Old Covenant, He had to deal with people according to their sins and the Law.
Now He deals with people according to the One who became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21) and forgave the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Now He remembers our sins no more (Heb. 8:12, 10:17) and doesn’t count man’s sins against them (2 Cor. 5:19).
Does that mean ‘everyone is saved’? No. One must appropriate our salvation by grace (what God already did and has provided) through faith (Eph. 2:8).
Does that mean ‘go out and sin and do whatever you want because God doesn’t care’? No. We have died to sin, how can we live in it any longer? (Romans. 6:1)
But it does mean that the issue of ‘sin in the land’ is not stopping God from “moving”.
And also, in v. 14, God said ”if you humble yourself and pray…then I will hear from heaven”.
God’s hearing from heaven was based on their performance under the Old Covenant.
Under the New Covenant, Jesus said, “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”(John 14:14)
Under the Old Covenant, God said, ”if you humble yourself and pray…then I will forgive your sins and heal the land.”
Under the New Covenant, again, He has already forgiven the sins of the whole world because of Christ (1 John 2:2), is not counting man’s sins against them (2 Cor. 5:19),remembers our sins no more (Heb. 8:12, 10:17), and has made us the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).
This is ridiculously good news.
That means that you don’t need to keep offering sacrifices for sin (Heb. 10:1-18)— which is exactly what people are doing when they are hosting these massive prayer/fasting/repentance meetings to try and get God to pour out His Spirit and send revival.
They are buying into the same erroneous mindset that Martin Luther was fighting against during the Reformation —- that we must make penance for our sins through our works.
They believe that it is the sin in the land that is holding back the “outpouring” of God’s Spirit (that actually already happened in Acts 2:16-33).
The way that I usually handle speaking with people who believe this way is as follows:
1. “Are you born again and has God transformed your life from the way it used to be?”
– and –
2. “In the eyes of God, is there any one sin that is worse than another?”
To which of course most people will say “Yes” and “No” respectfully.
I then will follow up with Romans 5:20 — “where sin abounds, grace abounds MORE” and then I’ll say,
“So you’re saying all the sin that was in your life didn’t stop God from coming in and cleaning you up from the inside out?”
They usually will nod hesitantly and then I will ask,
“So that means what you’re saying is that sin can’t stop the power of God..”
They usually will be catching the point by this time because I have actually empowered them to think for themselves about the issue instead of just telling them what to think.
And then they usually will realize that in God’s eyes, sin is sin, whether it is abortion, tax-evasion, gossip, driving 75 in a 65 zone, or whatever…and that the reason for not having “revival” actually has nothing to do with our need to ask God and plead Him and repent over and over.
They will realize that God has given us the responsibility to “be” revival everywhere by setting the captives free (Luke 4:18-19) everywhere we go because the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us (Romans 8:11), because we are one spirit with Christ (1 Cor. 6:17), and because as He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).
I hope this helps clarify some things and sets you free from the lies that keep Christians chasing their tails —- going after something they already have.
A Text Out of Context: 2 Chronicles 7:14 by Aaron Brake at PleaseConvinceMe.com