Intro To Nehemiah: God’s Blueprint For Your City’s Transformation
By Jesse Rodgers. An excerpt from his book by the same title.
Let me spare you some time! I am going to cut right to the chase up front. You will know immediately if you want to read on or not.
This is written as a manual for those who are serious about seeing the manifestation of the kingdom of God on the earth. If you are a dispensationalist who believes the kingdom of God is relegated to some distant era or only for the millennial (1000 year) reign of Christ then you might as well put this book down, go back and pick up your toys and continue to play church.
But if you believe the kingdom of God is for here and now then you have just laid your hands on one of the most helpful resources you will ever read. I say that without apology or equivocation.
The book of Nehemiah is about spiritual recovery. It is a pattern of the restoration of the kingdom of God on earth. It takes place in the context of ancient Jerusalem, which was the pride and joy of old Israel. During Nehemiah’s day it was a ravaged city with broken down walls, being regularly ransacked and pillaged at will by adjacent adversaries.
Nehemiah shows us graphically how to take a town, city or combined statistical area (CSA) with broken down walls and ravaged people, and to transform it into a fortified city, a fortress of faith and a garrison of godliness.
It was only after the walls of Jerusalem were restored and the people were dwelling in peace and safety, immune from the direct assault of the enemy, they were able to be spiritually renewed. The same is true in your town or city! Your city must be fortified; the walls must be rebuilt. And in this book you are going to find out what that means and how to do it!
Without being in a walled or fortified city, you can forget about a true revival or spiritual awakening. Until the walls are rebuilt, you can forget about societal transformation or the manifestation of the kingdom of God. It simply will not happen.
Oh, I am not saying you will not see some new people come into your “church”, or even a handful of people being born again. You may even see a single congregation experience significant growth if the staff is managed properly, people are motivated, ministries are marketed well and the “main man” got his mojo on!
But lets not kid ourselves any longer, ok? Transfer growth is not kingdom advancement. Actually, it is a hindrance to the advancement of the kingdom of God. The fact is, there was not a single county anywhere in the United States of America that saw a net church growth during the entire decade of the 1990’s, not one! You can search this out for yourself with David Barrett, the world’s leading church growth statistician.
But you say, “now wait one dog-gone minute here Buddy, my church grew during that time and since.” Oh, it did? Well I’m so happy for you. You sound just like a basketball player who says to his coach, “I got my points, coach”! Coach says, “oh that’s great son. You got your points. We’ve been slaughtered, again. But I’m so glad for you that you got your points! We have lost every single game for the last ten seasons straight and all you can do is make sure that you get your points. I’m just real happy for you!”
Such kind of narrow minded and shallow thinking doesn’t have the kingdom of God in mind or heart either. We have got to get some team players, some big thinkers, and some big planners. An apostolic company, if you will, who can wrap their minds, hearts and hands around their entire city like a wall. And thank the Lord, there are many Nehemiah types which have been born into the kingdom of God for such a time as this!
In America, our spiritual walls of defense lay in rubble at our feet. We are vulnerable and open prey to the direct attack of the adversary. Just like ancient Jerusalem during the period of the Babylonian captivity, its inhabitants were subjected to ridicule and shame, being pillaged and violated at will.
But please listen closely my dear brother and sister, lovers of the Christ and his kingdom. God is opening the eyes of our understanding during this season of time that we may know what is the hope of our calling! (Eph. 1:17, 18) God’s purpose for the church is to be the facilitator of the kingdom of God on earth. All authority in heaven and earth has been given unto Christ and we are heirs of that authority having been crucified, buried, risen and seated with him. You become the heir when the testator dies (Christ), not when you die! We need to get off of our “when-we-all-get-to-heaven” kick, and see some major, and I do mean major, changes. Jesus gave Simon Peter and the church the keys of the kingdom and we must learn how to use them in the here-and-now, they are useless in the hereafter!
In this book there are many kingdom keys which will unlock revelation of the word of God and open up your spiritual understanding. Once you begin to see what the church is, what authority the church really has, what the church is supposed to look like, and how the church is supposed to function in your city, the Holy Spirit will begin to lead you and the spiritual leaders of your city to rebuild the walls and create the covering God intended your city to have. Then and only then can true revival; spiritual awakening and societal transformation take place.
Oh, it is coming. You better believe it is coming! It is coming to a city near you! There are many cities that are already experiencing the power and protection of their spiritual walls being restored. It is the will of God for your city to become a spiritual fortress, a garrison of godliness and a citadel of the kingdom!
It will not be easy. And in this book the process is not sugar coated. Oh, no. The kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force. If you are weak will or faint hearted hopefully this book will help strengthen your hands to war and build. Those who built the wall in Nehemiah’s day had a sword on their side and a trowel in their hand. Building and battling, both are required, neither is easy.
We have not yet seen the church in America, but we are about to. I’m not talking about your little or big congregation or your denomination. I’m talking about The Church United: that city-wide company of the saints with the government of God functioning and covering, a covering of covenant elders who sit at the throne of God and in the gates of the city, an army of believers who follow protocol and understand divine order. I’m talking about that thing against which the gates of hell cannot prevail!
Make no mistake about it; God is on a mission to transform your city from its present condition into a fortress of faith!
Since you made it to the end of this introduction, I have to assume you already have a sword by your side! Keep this book nearby as a trowel in your hand! Welcome to the wall!
Jesse Rodgers www.thechurchunited.com
The above is an excerpt from his book with the same title. Contact Jesse by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org