“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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
– 2 Chronicles 7:14
The other day, as I read an article about the sex scandal that has taken place among Southern Baptists (SBC), I was overwhelmed by a sense of sadness at how we all have grieved God so much. In case you are not familiar, according to an investigation by the Houston Chronicle,
“over the last 20 years since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders … have faced allegations of sexual misconduct. They left behind more than 700 victims, many of them shunned by their churches, left to themselves to rebuild their lives. Some were urged to forgive their abusers or to get abortions. About 220 offenders have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens of cases are pending. They were ministers. Youth pastors. Sunday school teachers. Deacons. And Church volunteers.”
Add to that, and as you may already know, the Governor of Virginia, Dr. Ralph Northam, a pediatric neurologist, basically said during a radio interview, that he had no problem with infanticide—the killing of an infant anytime during its first year. I listened to his interview and with a very kind and gentle voice he said:
“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
We live in a very evil world that is growing darker by the day. And Christians are not exempt from sin which grieves our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:30, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” We, as believers, have all at times grieved the Holy Spirit! What should we, as God’s children, do as we observe an evil world? 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us what to do. 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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Notice this verse is addressed to God’s people, who are called Christians. The Lord tells us that we should humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn away from OUR wicked ways. This verse defines repentance. When we as followers of Jesus sin, we grieve the Holy Spirit. We have all grieved the Holy Spirit much more than we realize. At least, I know I have. Therefore, we should all seek His face and confess our sins knowing that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
As we turn to the Lord and seek His face, pray for the leaders of the SBC as they seek to lead those who have fallen into deep sin to a place of repentance and healing. Pray for the spiritual and mental healing of the victims of sexual abuse. Pray for our country that the Lord would hear our prayers, forgive our sin and heal our land.