Two Sundays ago (24 May 09), I preached at Kum Yan Methodist Church. My text was from 2 Chronicles 7.14 which says, "If my people who 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 sins and heal their land."
My main thesis is that if a land is sick (morally & spiritually), it is not the Government or the Devil or our Genes to be blamed; rather it is the church that must take responsibility for its failure to be salt & light in the world to prevent its decay and deterioration. God's word ("If my people") puts the responsibility for the healing of the land on God's people, not someone else.
While the sermon thesis may sound negative (even judgmental), it is in fact a positive message of hope and privilege that the church is God's healing agent in the world. We ought not to blame the Government or the Devil or our Genes for the moral & spiritual conditions we are now facing. If the church would do the following things, the healing of our land will take place:
1. acknowledge our responsibility: "if my people who are called by my name"
2. humble ourselves before God: "humble themselves"
3. spend time in God's presence: "and pray"
4. love God, not use Him: "seek my face" (not his hands; seek the Giver rather than the gifts).
5. repent from sins of commission & omission: "turn from their wicked ways"
The promises of God's blessing are as follows:
1. Our prayers will be answered: "I will hear from heaven"
2. Our sins will be cleansed: "forgive their sins"
3. Our land will be made whole again: "heal their land".
To be God's people is both a privilege and a responsibility. We can as much fulfill as obstruct God's purpose of blessing for the world. The decision lies not in the Government, nor the Devil, nor our Genes. The decision is in our hands--whether to be God's agent of societal transformation or not. The Good News is that the Church can make a difference--when it fulfills God's 5 conditions stated above.