“And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.” So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. And I said: “I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned.”
Nehemiah 1:3-6 NKJV
I felt a bit daunted this morning. The signs of the degradation of the human race are coming at us daily, with no end in sight. Each day is filled with more and more horrors, as the Lord is slowly withholding His hand from humanity and soon the world will be given over to its own self destructive will. There is no knowledge of the holiness of God and no regard for the guidance of His word. He has become absent for the very consciousness of His creation.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”
Romans 1:28-32 NKJV
I struggle when I consider the calling of the Christian, to go into all the world and proclaim the message of the Gospel. As the we have been given a great commandment, there are many who have professed the faith, who have turned toward the values of the world, and no longer desire the things of God.
We were to be a city on the hill, casting the great light of Jesus into a dark world, but our light has been diminished, as our city has become run down, with walls crumbling, and little representation of what was meant to be.
I am so thankful for the old testament, for the words of our forerunners and all the types and shadows. This morning I cracked open the book of Nehemiah, and I found companionship in the sadness of the prophet of God, who wept at being informed of the state of his home.
Old Jerusalem is a type and shadow of the church, the tangible forerunner of the New Jerusalem, the bride, to come in the new heaven and new earth.
The church has been crumbling for years, as the world has crept in, defeating its outward structures. The walls that kept us separate from the world have come tumbling down. Many who once dwelt safely there, have entered a captivity of their own desire.
Those who remain, those who have not become captured by the world, are held in disrepute, as they are mocked and reviled for holding on to valuers thought backward.
The world that we live in is in terminus. Even the most godless among us, know that something is coming, so cataclysmic that the events of the coming times will result in a world changed.
Brothers and sisters, let us weep and mourn over what has happened to church. We are called to be sons of God, to be holy, to be righteous, representing our gracious Savior in this sick and dying world. But many of us have abandoned the doctrines of the Bible, opting to follow the fluid values of the culture surrounding us.
Let us come clean with the Lord and admit that we have forgotten our first love. We are nearing a time when the letters to the seven churches in Revelation will have deep relevance in real time. Even now we are seeing the events played out, as many have grown cold, just as the times demand that we be hot.
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”
Revelation 2:4-5 NKJV
We have left our first love, and many of us have become something worse. We have become lukewarm.
““I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
Revelation 3:15-16 NKJV
The task of rebuilding the church of God is truly daunting, but the work must begin, one heart at a time. Churches are made up of people, each having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It is time for personal revival, for each us to shore up our walls of faith. Let us begin to call out to the Lord, to search us, examine us. Let us open our bibles, many long dusty, and let us seek the truth of God.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
Hebrews 4:12-13 NKJV
Let us submit to piercing of the word, as it searches us and reveals the sinful things that are inhibiting us from being the followers of Jesus that we ought to be. Let us pray for each other, that we be willing to restore what has become crumbled.
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