If God’s People, Who are Called By His Name-Who are God’s People

The basis for this series comes from a very well know passage from the book of 2 Chronicles.  This passage occurs right after Solomon has just finished dedicating the temple he has just built for God to dwell in.  In the preceding chapter Solomon has asked for God to hear and forgive the people of Israel, if they sin against God and ask for God’s forgiveness for their sin.  And God replies in this manner:

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, 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.

2 Chronicles 7:13-14 NIV

Does it not feel like the world is currently going the very things that God is describing as happening to people.  Are there places in the world currently going through droughts?  Yes of course there are.  And is the whole world not suffering through a great plague and that has appeared to come out of nowhere?  Again the answer is yes.  Do we all not want to see healing come to our land?  Of course we all do want to see healing come to our land.  And thankful for us this passage holds the secret to providing the healing that your land is need of.  And what is that secret?  Very simply revival.  And that revival has to start somewhere.  And that somewhere is with the people of God.

Who are God’s People?

Solomon in 2 Chronicles 6 asks God to hear the people of Israel, whom he constantly referred to as God’s people Israel.  Based on Solomon’s own request it would appear that the great promise we see God give in the very next chapter only applies to those who are Jewish by birth.  And that would leave out all those who are not Jewish.  Then who are the people that God has called by his name?  And to answer that question is going to require a little bit of digging.

The first thing we have to look at is who the writer of the books of Chronicles would have thought the people of God were.  And the obvious answer is of course the people of Israel.  Why you ask? And how do we know this you ask?  The very simple answer is because that is what God himself said to the people of Israel.  In fact these are God’s exact words, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people” (Leviticus 26:12 NIV).  However, that still leaves out everyone who is not of Jewish descent.

Then how do those of us who are not of Jewish descent fit into this equation.  Is God really going to leave us out of the picture all together?  No, of course not.  But that still leaves the question who are the people of God.  And to get the definitive answer to that question we need to leave the Old Testament and fast forward several thousand years to the first century AD.  And during that time frame we need to look at the writings of a man by the name of Paul.  But not just any first century AD man by the name of Paul.  That’s right I am talking about the apostle Paul.  The man who would be responsible for taking the gospel to the Gentile world, even though he himself was of Jewish descent.  So what does Paul tells us are the people of God.  Here is what Paul had to say:

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you all one in Christ Jesus.  If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29 NIV)

So according to Paul it is not a matter of genetics that determines who are the people of God, but rather it is whether or not you belong to Christ.  What then does it mean to belong to Christ?  To belong to Christ very simply means that you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and savior.  So the answer to our earlier question of who are the people of God.  Is very simply this those who belong to Jesus, by accepting him as their Lord and savior.

Now, my question to those of you who are unsure about whether or not you belong to Jesus is simply this.  What is holding you back?  If you are reading this, or listening to this, then you clearly want to be part of the solution to the world’s problems.  What I am really asking you is this: are you ready to give your live to Christ?  If you are, then all you have to do is pray this very simple prayer:

Dear God, I know that my sin has separated me from you.  Thank you that Jesus Christ died in my place.  I ask Jesus to forgive my sin and to come into my life.  Please begin to direct my life.  Thank you for giving me eternal life.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer and truly meant it, then you are now part of the family of God and God now calls you one his people that calls by name.

Tomorrow we will look in general at the process God has given us to achieving healing in you land.  And then over the next few days we will look into the process in greater detail.

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