A PECULIAR PEOPLE
A Peculiar People
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:13-14. Messiah Jesus has purified and taken unto Himself those who have said yes to Him – a “peculiar” people. The Greek word translated into English as peculiar is “periousios”, which in today’s vernacular means “possession”. So as Jesus purifies unto Himself a “peculiar people” He’s actually taking them as His possession; they are His. In other words we who have been redeemed are God’s possession, His “peculiar people”.
Since God communicates with His children through His word should we consider any portion of His word as insignificant or of having no bearing on the lives of His “peculiar people” today? Certainly not. We learn how to live our lives and interact with others through His Word. When we read verses that seem to be specifically speaking to Israel (His chosen people) in many cases the application can be viewed as a parallel to that of God’s “peculiar people” today. From the very first page of the book of Genesis to the last page of the book of Revelation God’s principles never change.
“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.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. This verse is used by many who wish to invoke God’s providence on a nation that for all intents and purposes has turned its back on Him. Some Bible teachers and theologians dismiss this particular verse as irrelevant since they believe it was meant solely for the Nation of Israel. In truth the principle of this verse is universal.
“If my people which are called by my name”. Jesus is the Christ, in the Greek this word is “Christos” and it has the same meaning as the Hebrew word “mashiyach”, which is translated into English as Messiah. Both the Hebrew and the Greek words mean Jesus is the anointed One. God entered His creation and became a man, the man Jesus Christ. He did this so mankind, who had been separated from Him because of rebellion, could be reconciled to Him. Those who believe in Him are referred to as Christians; which comes from the word Christ. His “peculiar people” have always been called by the Title placed upon Him.
Throughout the Old and New Testaments our God is One God. Jesus is God and we, His “peculiar people”, are His whether we be Jew or Gentile. When God initially spoke the words “If my people which are called by my name” He was speaking of the Nation of Israel. Today we can view those words as being just as relevant to us, His “peculiar people”, as John 3:16.
“Shall humble themselves”. God’s desire for His children is to be humble of heart. We are not to be abusive, rude, cruel, or arrogant toward our fellow man. As we walk about as ambassadors of the King of kings we put on Christ and walk in the spirit of love just as He walked. At least that’s the idea. There are numerous distinguishing aspects to the Christian life, but it seems humbleness could use some extra attention.
“And pray”. When it comes to our communication with our Creator, the essential ingredient is prayer. Prayer is continually promoted throughout both the writings of the Old Testament and New. Christ’s Ekklesia is admonished to be in constant prayer. Prayer is our way of communicating our thoughts and our desires to God in a very personal way. But corporately we can all be participants in a prayer that resonates across the land in which we sojourn. “When my people will humble themselves and pray…I will hear from Heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.” God wants to be involved in our lives, especially when our lives reflect His glory. This world is not my home, but until I get to my eternal home I must make the best of the place in which I sojourn. I don’t know about the rest of you, but invoking God’s help in that regard seems prudent to me.
“And seek my face”. This part of that particular verse from second Chronicles is the most important part in regards to just how much we desire to grow in the Lord. Seeking God’s face is foundational in our walk with Christ. Here’s a little test; how much of your time, or better yet how much of your most “valuable” time, is spent concentrating on your God and Saviour, Jesus Christ? Where is God in your daily routine? Do you have a priority list of the most important people, places, and things embedded in your mind? Is God simply a floater, never knowing exactly where He fits in on that list? In these days of hustle and bustle it seems many Christians have notched God down on their priority list, in fact so far down that He’s no longer visibly on that list. When we become His possession He no longer stands at the door of our heart and knocks; He takes possession of what has become His and dwells within our hearts.
If you’ve ever heard the expression “I’m not a practicing Christian” you’ve heard someone admit they want nothing to do with God. God knows the heart of every man, woman, and child, He knows who loves Him and who doesn’t. God knows His possessions better than we know ourselves. He knows if we are truly concerned with continually drawing closer to Him, or whether we are simply giving Him lip service. God would surely love for His children, His possession, His people to want Him as much as He wants them. “But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me:” Psalm 40:17a. What the psalmist is saying is that the Lord is always mindful of us, He esteems us, and He regards us as His own possession. Should we not be just as mindful of Him?
“And turn from their evil ways”. If God’s “peculiar people” who are His possession, will humble themselves, pray, and seek His face, and turn from their evil ways. Whose evil ways? Yes my brethren, when we view this passage as being relevant to our own lives, we realize that God is not addressing the lost. It’s our evil ways from which He wants us to turn. These God breathed words were given to call His people, the Nation of Israel, back to national repentance. Even though Israel rejected God’s call to return to Him, there is no reason to think that God abandoned this concept. By all means God is calling His “peculiar people” back to national repentance. Just like the Nation of Israel, His “peculiar people” (Christians) today have gone astray.
Since we are assured our God never changes, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8, why are some folks opposed to Him declaring the same promise (2 Chronicles 7:14) to His “peculiar people” just as He declared to His people (Israel) over 2,500 years ago? God gave the Nation of Israel the land in which they were to dwell. His “peculiar people” of today sojourn not just on one particular piece of real estate but globally. In America, a land that initially was sought as a refuge, a place where Christians could be free from the tyrannies of other nations, kingdoms, and the erroneous doctrines of the Church of England and Rome, we can see God’s mighty hand being the catalyst that brought the pilgrims to America. As America falls farther into the abyss of immorality 2 Chronicles 7:14 becomes more and more relevant.
Even in a land that parallels that of the land of Israel with a similar stiff-necked people who have turned their backs on their Creator, God is still working. He’s calling His “peculiar people” back to Him when they stray. In regards to America which claims the majority of her inhabitants are Christians, God’s calling His possession back to a national repentance. But God won’t wait forever, and while we are in a state of godlessness He may send judgments upon this nation in order to get our attention. Some of the catastrophic events of America’s past history may well have been meant as attention grabbers.
God’s “peculiar people” today are called to action – zealous of good works. At its inception, America was established on God’s inerrant word and was subsequently dedicated to God. Over the years since the Pilgrims came to this land America has, as a nation, turned her national corporate back on God. If indeed God’s “peculiar people” are plentiful in this land we must be the ones to initiate the return to Him.
Will His “peculiar people” come into corporate national repentance anytime soon? Doubtful. For the most part corporate and political America want nothing to do with God, and many of His “peculiar people” have prostrated themselves to the god of this world. “At this particular time in history it’s God’s children who are standing in the way of what God would prefer to do with America.” – Chuck Missler.
God’s redeemed must first turn from their wicked ways. As believers in Christ, we must stop embracing all the foolishness, and sinfulness of this world and turn away from the wickedness now permeating our land. The humanistic worldview is not for Christians. This foolish embracing includes compromising our faith, blatant apathy which has infected much of the Ekklesia of Christ, and of course the trap of biblical ignorance that so many Christians fall into these days. We must grasp God’s doctrines with renewed zealousness, and promote Him and His doctrines as though our lives depended on it, because in truth our lives are dependent on Him, we are His possession. We must shun this new attitude of political correctness, and when it comes to compromising the Word given to us by our Creator we should form an impregnable block wall in the face of those who would have us fall in line with their evil ways.
“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” Revelation 3:17. This verse addresses the Ekklesia at Laodicea but it fits well in describing the current trend of the Ekklesia in America today. For many years now Christians in America have stood idly by as this nation as a whole has continually appeased the evil one. Over and over again we have chosen the “least” of the evils that are continually presented to us for our national acceptance, when in fact we should never have chosen even one evil over another. We should have been resolute in our faith, always standing strong acknowledging and promoting God’s ways as the only choice. If you’re looking for someone to blame for the current state of affairs in America today, look to the compromising, the complacent, the silent Ekklesia.
God promised to heal the land of Israel – He will heal any land where the populous corporately turns from their wicked ways and seeks the face of their Creator. This truth is evident when we read that God turned from His wrath against Nineveh, a Gentile nation established by Nimrod. When Jonah showed up at their doorstep and proclaimed “forty days and your toast” (I’m paraphrasing of course) that generation of Ninevites corporately repented and was spared God’s judgment. Can this happen in America? Absolutely. Will it? Not unless and until we who are God’s “peculiar people” (Christians) realize we must be the instigators.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. God cleanses us because He is faithful and just. We can count on God’s faithfulness. Seeing how far America has digressed as a Nation (having been founded on biblical morals) and how some 85 percent of her populous currently stake claim to being in that category of His “peculiar people”, it’s obvious He can’t count on ours. “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8b. Good question.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed
My eyes are still giving me fits, please continue to pray for me. Your prayers are greatly appreciated. Thank you my dear brethren, God bless