Why should Christians get upstream in culture?: Nehemiah 11
Note: the long Scripture reading can go online for RF Live, but not in the room
- Entropy is true (physically, morally, spiritually
- Western culture is quickly veering away from values that are Biblical or traditional
- The recent midterm election has brought concern/anxiety to many Christians
=Understanding A. what is happening, & B. how to respond is the issue of the day.
Nehemiah 11: Look to past to understand present
- Nation-not all believers but blessed = long time
- They grew indifferent, entitled, lukewarm, and apostate/woke
- God warned (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah)
- God was patient, but eventually the wick of His patience burned down
1). ancient nation invaded, destroyed Israel/Jerusalem (DANIEL)
-141 yrs later – Jewish Nehemiah in Susa, Persian capital, heartbroken Israel/Jerusalem
2). demonic spirit – counterfeit kingdom
-Rev.17:5 “mother of prostitutes”, “Babylon the great” falls (Rev. 14,16,17,18)
-1st NT XN’s’ – Roman Empire = Babylon
=platforms, media, enter, educ, politics, $, gender – every sphere WORLD
GOALS: 1. Close church 2. Comp Church 3. Cut off next gen (gender mutilation)
- Daniel – missionary from Israel to Babylon
- Nehemiah – missionary from Babylon to Israel (open & purify Church) 141 yrs later
Nehemiah 11 Now the leaders of the people lived in Jerusalem. And the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to live in Jerusalem the holy city, while nine out of ten remained in the other towns. And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem. These are the chiefs of the province who lived in Jerusalem; but in the towns of Judah everyone lived on his property in their towns: Israel, the priests, the Levites, the temple servants, and the descendants of Solomon’s servants. And in Jerusalem lived certain of the sons of Judah and of the sons of Benjamin…[lists of families moving for missions]…valiant men…men of valor…heads of fathers’ houses…mighty men of valor…craftsmen.
The City of God vs The City of Man
Matthew 5:14 [Jesus said] “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
-Augustine – book The City of God 426 AD – explained collapsing Roman Empire
1). City of God (light) – Jerusalem/Zion (37x Neh.; 1000x Bible )
- “city of peace”; King Jesus “Prince of Peace”
- Established by God through David as Capital. Temple, world headquarters
Jesus’ 1st coming– dedicated baby, visited boy, set face toward, (Lk. 9:51), ministered in, wept over, died outside walls, rose & walked back into, ascended said wait HS (Acts 1-2)
Jesus’ 2nd coming
- Zech 14:4 “his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem”
- Bible storyline Garden to city – NEW JERUSALEM (Rev. 3:12, 21:2) Garden/Tree
2). City of Man (darkness) – Susa (Neh. 1:1) ruled by Spirit of Babylon
Heaven Down vs Hell up = Kingdom Down
5 Ways the City of God Can Seek to Change the City of Man
Culture wars – motivated by love: Atheist Penn Jilettte: “I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven & hell, & people could be going to hell—or not getting eternal life or whatever—Y you think that, well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward…. How much do you have to hate somebody not to proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”
- Legal – Nehemiah did
- Political – Nehemiah went from cupbearer to king Persia, to governor Jerusalem
- Financial – raised money, money moves culture
Large $ management firms (retirement) e.g. BlackRock, Vanguard Group, & State Street = woke & own 20% in every Fortune 500 Company (Disney’s largest shareholder 15.3%)
- Stakeholders – goal is increased woke social & climate justice
- Spiritual (revival)
Giving, serving, 6-hour sermon “amen”, emotional worship (weeping, kneeling), 1 week Bible camp, praying, repenting
- Cultural – bring light into darkness
– educ, ent, mercy
-cities = Density & Diversity – over ½ world; 2/3 Americans. Phx #5
- -God moves people to cities for missions.
(Ab/Sarah, 10% Neh 11; Jesus 39X Jn sent)
- -Cities are upstream.
James Davison Hunter gov’t, media, $, travel, educ
- CULTURAL CAPITAL
- -Cities have more sin/pain.
more people/anonymity/temptation, less families
- -People in cities are more open to radical change = less traditional.
- -The Christian Church is an urban movement
-Babylon/Persian Empire (Neh.); Roman Empire/”Babylon” (Neh.)
-Rodney Stark & Wayne Meeks by 300 AD upto ½ major Roman Cities XN; “paganus” – lives on the farm.
-Paul & John’s journeys from city to city
What Next for God’s People?
- God’s people must remain legally, politically, financially, spiritually, & culturally active
- Bible believing Churches are a City of God surrounded by the City of Man.
- Real Faith allows our Bible teaching to be upstream & reach the nations.
- Your family needs to serve God w/a plan to raise their kids to serve God (Neh 11 list)
- Raising kids surrounded darkness easier raising surrounded by dimness.
- The darker the City of Man gets, the brighter the City of God shines!
Harvest is ripe!
January – our biggest series ever Real Romance