Build While You Fight
Don't Stop Building for God!
By David J. Stewart
"But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it ... They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. —Nehemiah 4:7,8; 17,18
What a precious truth from the Word of God! It was the year 455 B.C. and the Israelites were busy rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem had been utterly destroyed by king Nebuchadnezzar back in 586 B.C. So now Nehemiah is overseeing the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem for security. When the enemies of God's people heard that the walls were being rebuilt and the breaches (openings) closed up, they were furious. So the enemies of God came "TO HINDER" (Nehemiah 4:8) the work of God. The builders of the wall could have easily stopped building and instead gone to fight the enemies of God's work; but they stayed the course.
The New Testament Church has many enemies today, who if we let them, will distract us from getting the work of God done. It is so easy nowadays to get sidetracked from doing God's work. The Bible says that every builder working on the wall had his sword girded by his side, AND SO BUILDED. Literally, the builders of the wall has a spade in one hand to build, and a sword in the other to fight. They were building in spite of those who had come to hinder the work of God. This is exactly what believers must do today. When the Devil comes at us with all the hordes of Hell, we must continue building while fighting the good fight of faith. Nehemiah and his men could have spent all their time fighting, and the wall never would have been completed. Thankfully, they did finish the wall, in a record 52 days in fact (Nehemiah 6:15).
The Church has many enemies today, of which we must continually be on-guard; but we must not allow them to HINDER us from doing the work of God. The work of God is rooted in the Word of God, and encompasses spiritually building people through churches, Sunday schools, bus ministries, prison ministries, ministries to the deaf, rescue missions, et cetera. The work of God is soul-winning! So many churches today have been sidetracked by the cares and riches of the carnal world. The average church doesn't go soul-winning. This is a sin. They are not wise (Proverb 11:30).
The Salvation Army has deteriorated into a mere social organization, having more Army than Salvation. Every year at Christmas time, society is bombarded with Santa Clauses from the Salvation Army, ringing their bells and begging for money. I've yet to meet even one Salvation Army Santa who presented the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or handed out Gospel tracts. The Salvation Army is so preoccupied with fighting poverty, social ills and environmental disasters that they have stopped building for God. This is a shame. Go visit any Salvation Army website and search for something on how to become a born-again Christian... good luck! They have been sidetracked from doing God's work. Jesus said in Luke 9:60, "Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God." The Salvation Army is in the business of buying the dead, i.e., they've become nothing more than a humanitarian aid program. This is apostasy!
I wrote this article to encourage Christians to stay-the-course, i.e., don't stop doing the work of God! If your church or ministry doesn't preach the Gospel, promote the Word of God, pass out Gospel tracts and make a diligent effort to win lost sinners to Jesus Christ, then you are NOT doing God's work. We need to constantly be on-guard about getting side-tracked from God's work. Churches all across America are so busy hosting fund-raising banquets, practicing for the choir, repairing their buses and building new buildings that they've forgotten about SOULWINNING!
Whatever burdens, trials and hardships may be afflicting you personally, or your church, please don't make the grave mistake of allowing the circumstances to control you. Act; don't react. The Devil will provide us with 100 excuses not to do the work of God; but the world is dying and going to Hell without Christ, and if we don't warn the wicked, who will? The average church today is nothing more than a business, i.e., a non-profit corporation. Ironically, such organizations profit quite well. God's work is soul-winning. If you stop preaching the Gospel, then you have certainly stopped building.
“I love sports. ... Occasionally I have a few heroes and one of my heroes is Jim Ryun, the miler. I pulled for him to in for 4 years to win the Olympic mile race. To me it was the highlight of the Olympics. It was the only thing in the Olympics I had to watch. ... I wanted to watch him (Jim Ryun) win. And you recall how that in the preliminary race, the trial run, Jim Ryun should have won the race hands down. But he tripped over a fella, and fell. I'll never forget it. I was watching. He fell over a runner, and fell to the center. He was groggy for awhile, he got up. He'd worked 4 years, running miles and miles a day, dedicated to one goal, one goal, one goal... get that Olympic medal.
And now everything has stumbled and fallen on the cinders of a track. He's yards behind, no way to catch up, he's half a lap behind, What did he do? Anybody else would have got up and just walked to the side. He got up, 200 or 300 yards behind, and kept on going. He kept on going. He came in last, but didn't quit. He didn't quit. He crossed the finish line. And I thought, there is the greatest miler that's ever run a mile in this world's history. There's a man who'll run a mile faster than any man in history coming in a miserable last, but he didn't quit. You may not can win, but you can finish.”
SOURCE: Pastor Jack Hyles, from the excellent sermon WHEN SATAN IS AT HIS WORST.
Archaeologist uncovers Scriptures' famed wall
Emergency dig finds tower built by Bible's Nehemiah
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com | November 11, 2007
Present-day wall of Jerusalem
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may want to see Israel wiped off the map and its Jews sent to Europe or Alaska, but an archaeological discovery announced this week marks an event recorded in the Bible when his country – Persia, at the time – literally helped put the Jewish people back on the map in their capital city of Jerusalem.
Dr. Eilat Mazar, one of Israel's top archaeologists, ended her presentation Wednesday to the 13th Annual Conference of the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies on "New Studies on Jerusalem," with a surprise announcement. She had discovered remnants of the fifth century B.C. wall built by Nehemiah, the account recorded in the Old Testament book of the same name.
According to the biblical account, Nehemiah served as cupbearer for the Persian King Artaxerxes in the city of Susa. The Persians had conquered the Babylonian empire that had destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and taken most of the inhabitants of Judah into captivity in what is now modern Iraq.
The account reads:
In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence.
And the king said to me, "Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart."
Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, "Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?"
Then the king said to me, "What are you requesting?"
So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, "If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' graves, that I may rebuild it."
Nehemiah's rebuilding of the city began with its walls, a project that was resisted by hostile neighbors who had occupied the area around Jerusalem in the Jews' absence.
But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and that the breaches were beginning to be closed, they were very angry. And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.
With tools in one hand and weapons in the other, Nehemiah's workmen toiled dawn to dusk, completing the wall in a record 52 days...
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