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“Let Us Rise Up and Build”

In Nehemiah 2:11-20, Jerusalem was in rubble. The command Nehemiah gave was, “Let us rise up and build” (vs. 18). It is lamentable that there is decline in churches everywhere. Do we simply blame it on circumstances and accept it with resignation? However you look at the problem, the danger of collapse is real. We talk too much, when the need of the hour is action.

A lot of Christians will respond by saying, “Jesus said the way that leads to life is narrow and only a few will find it.” That statement is certainly true (Matthew 7:13-14), but are we even telling people where the gate can be found? In Nehemiah 2:18, the people decided to do the work. If this church is to grow, the members must decide to do the work. Paul said of the Thessalonians, “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing” (1 Thessalonians 1:8).

Action is needed to help the church grow. Weekly assemblies and Bible classes need to be attended. Bible studies need to be planned in our homes with our own families for our own growth. It takes effort to bring out the potential in every Christian, but that is why heaven is a place of rest.

In Nehemiah 3, we see that everyone was working! What if the people said, “Let Nehemiah and the priests do it; we have busy lives already?” “Let someone else do the work” has been said by a lot of people from dead churches; it has also been said by a lot of people in hell, and we never want that fate for anyone! The people in Nehemiah’s day worked together, and nothing can be more pleasant than doing the Lord’s work in tandem with other Christians.

Nehemiah tells us how the walls were finished in only two months. Nehemiah 4:6 says, “So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.” Colossians 1:23 says, “If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” How did a few Christians, using only weary feet and leaky boats, preach the gospel to the whole world in just three short decades? They had a mind to work!

Every congregation would vastly benefit from a “revival” of spirit. Nehemiah 8 describes how the disposition of Judah was turned toward the Lord. The elements present in their turning are still beneficial now:

  • v. 3 — The PEOPLE were attentive (concentration).
  • v. 5 — The PEOPLE stood (respect for truth).
  • v. 6 — The PEOPLE cried “amen” (agreement with truth).
  • v. 6 — The PEOPLE bowed (humility before God).
  • v. 6 — The PEOPLE worshiped (reverence for God).
  • v. 9 — The PEOPLE wept and were joyful (emotional involvement).
  • v. 18 — The PEOPLE listened daily (consistency of devotion).

Do you see the theme that runs through all of these elements? It is the PEOPLE! When we catch the fire of zeal to build this church, purify it and keep it strong, the devil can rise up against us in vain! How far should we go in this? What about the saying, “All things in moderation”? Nehemiah 4:23 says, “So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.” They did what it took to do it right. It will be far better to get on fire with zeal now, rather than be set on fire in hell later.

Kyle Campbell