Judgment: A Call To Repentance
By Derek Prince (1915 – 2003)
God does not judge us because He is unmerciful. He judges us in order to call us to repentance. If we refuse to see and bow before His judgments, we have failed to respond to God the way He desires. God judges us that we may repent, and He promises mercy to those who do repent.
Let us look at one passage in Jeremiah chapter eighteen, reading only verses 7-10, which clearly demonstrates that God deals with any nation in judgment according to the way it responds to Him.
“At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
“And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; if it do evil in My sight, that it obey not My voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.”
God says in effect, “I will warn you of judgment and tell you it is coming, but if you change, I will withhold the judgment. Or conversely, if I have promised good and blessing to you upon the condition of obedience, and you turn to disobedience, I will withhold the good. I will deal with you according to the way you respond to Me.” This is the way God has promised to deal with any nation.
Do you believe God would deal with the United States like that? Do you think it is possible that God is even now dealing with our nation? Do you think that in many cases we have been very slow and stubborn to see God’s judgments and to acknowledge that we deserve them? God calls us to repent instead of complaining and criticizing. And He promises mercy if we do repent.
This principle of the people’s response is even more clearly stated in Second Chronicles chapter seven in a revelation that God gave to Solomon immediately after he had finished building the temple:
“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;
“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” (see verses 11-14).
That is God’s promise of mercy.
Notice that God holds His people accountable for the state of their land. Generally speaking, church-going people tend to blame the nonchurch-going people for the problems in the world. God says in effect, “The problem is not with them; it is with you. If I can deal with you, I can handle the situation.” God always begins with His people.
First Peter 4:17 says, “...The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God....” God does not start by judging the ungodly; His first judgment is of His people. And God is saying to His people that if I can get My way with you, I will reach the world through you. But if you resist Me, I have no way to reach the world.
Either we become the channel of God’s Spirit to the world, or else we hold up God’s Spirit from reaching the world. The way we respond to God is what decides the outcome.
So God says, “If My people will do what I ask, I will heal their land.” It does not depend upon the ungodly. It depends on the believers. We are the salt of the earth. We determine the destiny of the nation.
I believe there is hope if we meet God’s condition. I take God seriously. I take Him at His Word. If we are faithful as a people to obey the requirement of Second Chronicles 7:14 and respond to God’s historical judgments, then instead of judgment, our nation can receive the mercy and healing that the Lord so desires to pour out upon us.
– Condensed. Reprinted by permission of Derek Prince Ministries.