1. God made this beautiful statement to Solomon, the king of Israel. 2. A brief examination of this statement leads us to reach a conclusion that sounds like a beatitude -- "blessed are those who repent." 3. In our lesson we are emphasizing this important principle. Discussion: I. LET US FIRST EXAMINE GOD'S STATEMENT IN ITS CONTEXT
A. Solomon had finished building the temple. B. At the dedication of the temple, Solomon prayed a beautiful prayer. C. In his prayer, Solomon expressed concern for his people in the future when they sinned (2 Chronicles 6:24-31). D. God responded to Solomon's request (2 Chronicles 7:12-15). E. When God punished His people because of their sin, if they repented, God would bless them in return. II. THESE PRINCIPLES ARE FAR REACHING
A. They apply to individuals. 1. In Acts 8 we read about Simon the sorcerer. a. Simon became a Christian (vs.13). b. Later, he wanted to buy the ability to do what only the apostles could do (vs.18-24). 2. These principles are found in the instructions given in James 5:19-20. 3. The prodigal son illustrates these principles (Luke 15:11-24). 4. Concerning individuals, blessed are those who repent. B. They apply to nations. 1. Nations are doomed that forget God (Psalm 9:17). 2. Nations who make the Lord their God will be blessed (Psalm 33:12). 3. Concerning nations, blessed are those that repent. C. They apply to churches. 1. The church in Laodicea illustrates how the Lord feels toward churches that reject Him (Revelation 3:14-17). 2. If this church repented, the Lord would bless it (Revelation 3:18-22). 3. Concerning churches, blessed are those that repent. D. The principles revealed in 2 Chronicles 7:14 are far reaching. Conclusion:
1. In closing, let us be reminded from 2 Peter 3:9 that God wants everyone to repent. 2. Let us also be reminded from 2 Chronicles 7:14 that the basic elements of repentance include: a. humility (James 4:10) b. prayer (James 5:16) c. seeking God's face (1 Peter 3:12) d. turning from wicked ways (1 Peter 3:10-11).