I had been saved and called to preach in 1974 by God’s grace and for God’s glory. However during my years in college while pastoring my first church in 1976 I attended the Evangelism Conference for the state of North Carolina in Asheville and my life as a preacher was altered for eternity. I was astounded as I heard Dr. Stephen F. Oxford expound the scriptures in that conference. Dr. W.A. Criswell was also apart of that meeting. Dr. Olford challenged us from II Timothy 4 concerning expository preaching and I surrendered totally to only preach in that manner for my entire life. I can honestly say that Text-Driven Preaching has been a conviction that y Gods help has been my guid from then until now. Dr. Olford’s Definition has been my guide: “Expository preaching is the Spirit-empowered explanation and proclamation of the text of God’s Word with due regard to the historical, contextual, grammatical, and doctrinal significance of the given passage, with the specific object of invoking a Christ-transforming response.” With this definition always before me, my ministry was changed, especially as I adopted the practice of preaching book by book through the Bible.
The events recorded in Second Chronicles give us the history of Israel for a period of 427 years. The Book parallels much of I and II Kings while including significant details of the division of the Kingdom into two distinct kingdoms- the north and the south. I agree with Dr. A.T. Pierson a preacher and missionary statesman who said, “History is God’s Story.” The Lord opens our eyes to view the rebellion, retribution, but also the appearance of revival. So that the testimony of God’s dealings with the nation are somewhat repeated throughout time in other nations.
All of the Bible is written for us, but not all the Bible is written to us. When studying and preaching in the historical books remember that the promise, principles, precepts and paradoxes of the Word are always applicable to each generation. The theme that stands out is the possibility of revival during days of apostasy and and anarchy. There has been recent debate among Southern Baptist concerning the reference to II Chronicles 7:14, whether it can be applied to the United States or the church Remembering that context is essential to proper interpretation and all scripture is profitable to each of us therefore either extreme positions are unacceptable. Balance is always a key that keeps us between the ditches of ultra-dispensationalism and covenant theology. Dr. W.A. Criswell influenced my thinking from the perspective of interpreting the Bible literally when it speaks literally.
II Chronicles 7:14
- The People of Revival
- Identification “My People”
- Association “Called by My Name”
- The Path of Revival
- A Path of Brokenness “Humble Themselves”
- A Path of Prayerfulness “Pray”
- A Path of Truthfulness “Seek My Face”
- A Path of Sinfulness “Turn from their Wicked Ways”
- The Provision of Revival
- Hearing “Then will I Hear from Heaven”
- Forgiving “And will Forgive their Sin”
- Healing “And will Heal their Land”