Q. After reading a lot of Facebook comments from Christian friends (which includes pastors), I find a common verse that is often quoted, “If my people who are called by my name….” and there are others as well. And it is my understanding from your teachings, that there are 3 kinds of people and some Old Testament Scriptures like this don’t apply to the Church. And when I share with people that the Church are not “His people called by His name”, they get all defensive.
Which brings to mind when Jesus said “forgive them Father for they know not what they do”. Was He talking about God’s chosen people the Jews and the crucifixion only, since the Church was not in place yet, or was He referring to all mankind in that God sent His Son so that the whole world might be saved? Or is this a plea/prayer from Jesus about all of our “unknowing sins” that we commit?
A. You can usually tell by the context of the passage who the Lord is speaking to or about. For example the first passage you refer to is 2 Chron. 7:14. In it God was speaking with Solomon, telling him how to respond when the Lord sent plagues or droughts upon Israel. It was to be seen as a sign that they had drifted away from Him. He was making a promise that as soon as they turned back, He would heal their land. God has never made a promise like that to the Church because the Church has no land to heal. Our home is not on this Earth. American Christians apply it to America because they’re confusing patriotism with religion. You don’t see Canadian Christians applying it to Canada, or the Chinese, who probably have more Christians than the USA, to China. It was a promise made to Israel.
When Jesus said “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing,” (Luke 23:34) He was referring to the people who had unknowingly put Him to death. This would include the crowd that was duped into calling for His death and the soldiers who were carrying out the order, but not to the leaders who should have known from their knowledge of Scripture that they were executing their Messiah.