The Book of Nehemiah which appears to be written by the prophet himself gives us a beautiful account of the reconstruction of the walls of Jerusalem which was destroyed by the enemies of Israel.
Though many in Jerusalem and Persia opposed the reconstruction, Nehemiah, by God’s grace, rebuilt the walls and secured the city.
From the events described in this book of the Bible we, contemporary Christians, could learn many things about securing the walls of spiritual Jerusalem (the church) which has been broken down by the enemies of God. You might wonder what I am trying to talk about; read further, you will get the details.
Nehemiah was in the city of Susa in Persia where he worked as a cup-bearer for the Persian king Artaxerxes. This was a very prestigious position and God Almighty placed him in this job exclusively with a divine purpose.
Though Nehemiah was in exile and holding such an eminent position, he did not forget his beloved city of Jerusalem or the people living there.
He was really concerned about the well-being of the city and its people. On one occasion, he enquired about the city when Hanani, one of the Jews who visited Nehemiah.
From Hanani he came to know about the miserable condition of the city and the people. The prophet was really in distress after hearing this news. The following verses will give us more details.
1The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
When Nehemiah heard about the agonizing condition of the people and the city, he sat and wept. Besides, he also mourned, fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Here, we see a man of God who is really concerned about the welfare of God’s people and the Holy City.
If we examine the contemporary Christian World how many people can we find who are really concerned about the welfare of God’s chosen ones and the church?
How many of them do really weep, fast and pray over the moral and spiritual deterioration in the contemporary church? The answer is – just a few and this might really shock you.
for an average born-again believer who belongs to any of the western protestant denominations, the church that he is part of – looks and sounds perfectly like a church of his imagination.
Because, he was born and brought up in such a system, he is spiritually immature to diagnose the ills within its walls. For him, this corrupted spiritual environment is perfectly natural since he is completely alien to the real Holy Spirit filled and led first century Ecclesia of Christ. So, he neither recognizes the ills nor pray about them.
The western society which was founded up on the fundamental principles of the Bible has completely departed from these principles and they no longer live according to them, instead, they are guided by leftist, liberal atheistic ideologies.
These ideologies have also gradually crept into the church and corrupted it. Now what we see in the Western Protestant Church (who call themselves Bible-believing Christians) is the co-habitation of both the Godly Principles and Worldly principles, which, in fact, is completely against the Will and Purpose of God Almighty.
The Protestant Church has morally and spiritually deteriorated to a level that it no longer has the ability to recognize its spiritual deterioration.
For the purpose of being politically and socially correct, the church has accepted many of the worldly principles and values which the Bible condemns and rejects. Now what we see in the Church is – “The Blind leading the Blind” and the end result – You know very well.
So, it is the responsibility of the few still left in the church, who are still holding on to the faith that once delivered to the saints, to weep and intercede on behalf of the church to redeem it from this state of corruption.
Please remember, Lord Jesus Christ is coming for a Bride that is without “spot or blemish”.
But before we start rebuilding the walls, we need to identify the areas in which the Walls are broken.
So, next – I am going to list those areas.
1.Serious neglect of God’s Commandments.
God’s Kingdom, whether it is on earth or in heaven, functions under God’s Laws. A Kingdom without Laws will be chaotic. Unfortunately, contemporary mainstream protestant preachers don’t understand this truth.
In the name of freedom in Christ, they have completely neglected the importance of teaching God’s holy Laws. They willfully misinterpret Apostle Paul’s teachings. They teach their sheep that:
“We are not under the Law but under Grace”.
So, we don’t need to keep the Law. On the contrary God’s Word says:
These mainstream preachers have completely excluded God’s laws from the Gospel that they preach and as a result we see a lawless church where lawlessness is rampant.
Again, the Word of God says – Under the New Covenant – the Law (The Ten Commandments) have moved from the Stone Tablets into the Hearts of God’s people. See the verse below.
33“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.(Jeremiah 31, 33)
But the preachers of main stream Protestant denominations are determined to remove those Holy Laws from people’s hearts and they have succeeded to a great extent.
However, the result is not what they expected. Removing God’s Laws from the church facilitated the entry of God’s enemies into the church.
Now these enemies are corrupting the innocent sheep with their leftist, humanistic, liberal ideologies that the Bible Condemns.
These corrupted carnal mainstream preachers thought that: removing God’s holy laws from the hearts of His people will bring them real freedom.
But what we see now in the church is just the opposite. Those who have been set free from the bondage of sin have become the slaves of sin again.
Therefore, we need to diligently pray that – God will raise up preachers who will preach God’s Word faithfully without any denominational bias or contempt.
Sins like adultery, fornication, pornography, unlawful sexual relationships, extra-marital affairs, unnatural sexual relationships etc. are very rampant among contemporary Christians.
There is also another sin in the above category that is socially acceptable and completely overlooked by mainstream shepherds; which is:
Couples living together before marriage.
In the western society this is very common and well accepted within and without the church. However, as per the Word of God this is nothing but adultery.
Of course, you might justify this saying
“She is my girlfriend, he is my boyfriend, we are going to get married”
But remember: A girlfriend is not your wife and; a boy friend is not your husband. Living together without a marriage commitment is immoral and illegal.
According to the Word of God; these sins are very serious and they corrupt both soul and body. Unfortunately, many of the mainstream preachers never rebuke or reprimand their sheep who are committing these sins.
In the name of love and compassion they tolerate these people. Not only that, many of these preachers themselves get involved in these types of immoral activities. As a result, the Word that they preach has no power to transform or convict anyone.
Therefore, we need to fast and pray for God’s intervention in purifying both these sheep and the shepherds.
3.Love of Money
This is another area that the church needs purification. The demon of greed for money and power has infiltrated the church and corrupting it from top to bottom.
Many of the large western mission organizations collect Huge amounts of money in the name of Christ; but it is being spent for the pleasures of their shepherds.
Only a small fraction of the collection goes for the real mission work. Most of these shepherds live in luxury that matches big corporate leaders while many of their sheep don’t even have enough money for three meals a day.
These preachers who claim to be the servants of Christ live in luxury that Christ did not even imagine about.
They claim to be the servants of a king who owned nothing while HE walked up on the face of the earth. He did not receive anything from anyone, instead, gave away everything He had.
What about the twelve disciples and Apostle Paul? They too followed in the footsteps of their Master. Apostle Paul even worked (as a Tent Maker) while preaching the Gospel. He did not collect any money from anyone for his personal use. Of course, he asked churches a couple of times to donate money, but that was exclusively for the believers who were in difficulty due to a famine.
Here, also I would like to specifically mention another category of Servants. They are the real missionaries. They work 24/7 in different parts of the world in very harsh conditions. Most of them don’t get any support from those big mission organizations that collect millions in the name of harvest.
Most of these missionaries are poor and many of them don’t even have enough money to provide three meals a day. But, despite all the challenges, they toil hard in the harvest field.
We, true believers, need to look for these servants and support them, so that, they can continue the work. These are the people who deserve our support and not the ones who live in mansions worth millions of dollars.
Saints, as I mentioned above, love of money is an evil that is plaguing many of the shepherds these days and it is also one of the root causes of unholy compromises in the church.
Most of the time, these shepherds are hesitant to preach the truth of the Bible, because, they are afraid of losing their church members who support them financially.
So, let us pray that The LORD Almighty will raise up servants who will work for the kingdom without serving the Mammon.
4.Ordaining Ministers who are not chosen by God Almighty.
Ordaining people who are without a calling to be Ministers of God is an area where the enemy gets an opportunity to sneak in.
Many of the problems we see in the church today are the result of people handling responsibilities in God’s house without a calling from ABOVE.
Nowadays it is very common for people to get a degree from a Bible College and become pastors or preachers. For someone to work in God’s house – he should be chosen by God, he should have the calling.
Otherwise he won’t be able to be fruitful in the House of God and this is also one of the main reasons why many fail in their Ministries.
To drive home this point; let me give you an example. In Exodus 31 – here, God Almighty is asking Moses to set apart Bezalel son of Uri to prepare the articles required for the tent of Meeting. The verses below give the details.
1Then the Lord said to Moses, 2“See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 4to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. 6Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you:(Exodus 31, 1-6)
In the above verses we find the Lord Almighty choosing people to do His work and He anointing them with his Holy Spirit, so that, they will have all the required skills for completing the work successfully.
Similarly, in the mission field too; if God chooses someone to do His work, definitely He will anoint that person with the Holy Spirit, so that he can be fruitful in the field.
Another example is in the selection of Mattias in the place of Judas Iscariot.
23So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.(Acts 1, 23-26)
Unfortunately, in choosing leaders for the kingdom of God; we don’t see this kind of selection within the church. As a result, many of them fail. People get into Ministry for the sake of a Career rather than for fulfilling a Divine Calling.
So, let us pray that there will be God’s intervention in selecting Servants for the Kingdom of God, so that, they will be fruitful in their divine assignments.
5.Divorce in the Church.
Marriage is a divine institution that the LORD Almighty had instituted in the Garden of Eden. HE brought Man and Woman together for the purpose of building a godly society on earth. God’s Word very clearly says:
“What God has united man shall not separate”.
4“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ a 5and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ b ? 6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”(Matthew 19, 4-6)
But the church has departed from this commandment and divorce has been accepted as something that is morally and socially right. As a result, divorce is rampant in the church.
As you know, Family is the foundation of both church and society, so when a family is broken both the society and the church is broken. Therefore, we need to pray intensively for the church to be set free from this evil spirit of Divorce.
Saints, I have listed above some of the areas that the walls of the church have been broken down by the enemy and we need to diligently intercede on behalf of the church.
We need to pray that – God will raise up servants like Nehemiah to build these broken walls.
But, like our shepherds if we also overlook these cracks in the walls, God will send someone else to stand in the gap for the church. But He will not let us get away with our complacency. Let me give you another example to prove this.
Please read Ezekiel chapter 9 –this chapter describes a situation(a situation similar to what we see today in the church) in which God Almighty decides to punish the people of Jerusalem, including its leaders and elders.
Only a few people were spared and they were the ones who were grieving and lamenting over the wickedness that were going on in Jerusalem. Read the verses below:
3Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side 4and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”(Ezekiel 9, 3-4)
Therefore, like the few righteous people mentioned in the above verses let us also grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are going on in the church.