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Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 15 Jun 2014
(Before the service a young man gave his testimony of how he was transformed by the power of God and how Jesus changed his life from a radical Muslim to a follower of Christ, when He cried to God for help).
13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;
14 If my people, which are 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 sin, and will heal their land.
15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.
16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
26 When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them;
27 Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance.
This is a marvelous word! I once preached about this very word in Moscow, Russia. God says when we cry to Him in distress He will hear our prayer and help us. As we humble ourselves before Him He will hear from heaven.
Our land is sick, in the ICU, intensive care. God is officially removed from parliament and prayer is removed from our schools. Our land is being devoured by locusts. It is said that locust eggs can remain dormant for over 20 years, until the right conditions arise and then they hatch. When we see God being sidelined even in parliament shouldn't that move us to action to cry to God for help? Only one thing will help our education system, that we repent and cry to God. Even when things appear to improve it's in fact getting worse.
Parents look at your children. One thing only will help that we turn to our God for help for our country, families and our children. If we humble ourselves then God who has sent the locusts will heal us.
God says when He shuts heaven, it's so that we would humble ourselves before Him and then He will hear from heaven and heal us. He will hear our cry, and forgive. His ears will be open to our prayer.
A locust invasion is terrible. Nothing can help us but that we repent and cry to God for help, like the testimony we've heard of how the young man was helped when he cried to God for help.
Many people have tried to arrest the corruption and rot in our country, but nothing has worked. Only God can help us and we must cry to Him. If we don't turn to Him for help we won't find help anywhere else. Things are getting desperate in our country. What do you feel in your heart about these things? Does it move you or doesn't it touch you?
What else can we expect and ask for but that God will show us grace. What can we do young people? God narrows it down to one thing only that He has the cure and we must get it from Him. There is no other solution. We might look left and right for solutions, but our help only comes from the Lord (Ps 121:1-2).
Nothing will help but that we humble ourselves and part from sin. May this word be inscribed on your heart.
You've heard and seen God's work and word. Woe to you if you do not do according to this word. May God work among us.