Church

Rebuild The Broken Walls of Protection of the Church

walls

The clouds were at a great distance simply moving along slowly growing taller and wider. The once white fluffy clouds began to turn an ominous gray followed quickly by expanding black thunderous billows. We see all the signs of the coming storm and are aware of its devastating power. We begin to fear the sights and sounds streaking and pounding our flesh. We find ourselves out in an open field with nowhere to go. If only we had a simple umbrella for protection.

The storms are here and it is raining. You have no umbrella!

I grew up hearing an illustration of the umbrella of protection. As children, we were to be obedient to the authorities above us (parents and others) and, thus, we would be protected. As long as we remained under the umbrella, we were okay, but if we got out from under it, we would get wet with the dangers of this world.

As we picture an umbrella, let us build this illustration. The beginning simple illustration is that of a family. Ephesians 6:1, Children obey your parents. Children are under the umbrella of protection of their parents. We teach our children to be obedient, no matter what. We teach them to “obey your parents because it is right,” not because the parents are always right. The message given to the children shows the mom and dad above them in this umbrella. This illustration is good for all children for all times, because in the simple act of obedience they find themselves protected. Some may ask, “Protected from what?”

Ephesians 6:1-3, Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Exodus 20:12, Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Deuteronomy 5:16, Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Notice that when children are obedient and honor their father and mother “it may be well with thee.” This is the first commandment with promise. I believe we can take from this truth and apply to this principle. This is the very first truth we teach in one’s life. When the Bible says this is the “first commandment with promise,” it is not saying that it was the first one God ever gave with a promise and there would be more given later. It is the first commandment, that is to submit to authority and that obedience will protect you. Notice God gave Adam and Eve one, and only one, first commandment: do not eat of that tree or in the day you eat you will die. Some ask, “Why would God do that?” Could he not just have never made that tree and never put that before them to obey? There was placed in Creation a protection from evil that would draw man away from God, that protection was submission to God, being obedient. If Adam and Eve had stayed under the umbrella, they would have never seen death. Therefore, the first commandment is exactly right. This is seen as the first commandment in time of life and in priority. The first thing we need to teach our children is to submit to God-given authority for their own protection.

Deuteronomy 4:39-40, Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else. 40 Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, for ever.

Here in Deuteronomy chapter 4, we see that God is above all, the top of the umbrella. Those who submit, or stay under the umbrella, will have it “go well with” them and long days on the earth. God wants us to submit to Him and His set authorities in our life for our own protection.

God started with Adam and Eve and set Himself as their umbrella of protection. He then set up the family and put Adam to be Eve’s protection, she was set in the marriage to be submissive to her husband Adam. The submission word when used for women in the marriage relationship is not politically correct. Nevertheless, we need to understand God simply placing Eve in a prominent position of having an umbrella of protection, her husband Adam, in the middle of a storm. They then began to add children to the home. Those children were placed under the umbrella of protection of their parents. The children were taught truth from the direct Word of God. Once they (Cain) walked out from under it, the storm came and destroyed.

Generations grew. Society formed; governments were likely developed. The Bible doesn’t give us a time or place or more information. However, when God does show establishing government, the principle doesn’t change.

Genesis 12:1-3, Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

When God sets up a nation, he adds to the set up a promise of protection. Israel was to be a nation. Those who bless it shall be blessed; those cursed for cursing Israel. The establishing of this nation was a way in which others who came in submission to it were protected.

1 Timothy 2:1-2, I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Romans 13:1-5, Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

1 Peter 2:17, Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

God has placed governments as an umbrella of protection. It is to be a minister of good; those who step out from under the protections should understand there is wrath on the evil. We are instructed to honor government.

As well, sometime after Adam and Eve, people began to work for other people. In that relationship there had to be a boss; that is how it works. Again submitting to another authority is the right thing. When we find ourselves on the job, we have an umbrella of protection by submitting to the authority of the boss. We need to submit not just to please the boss, but also to work to please God, which should be visible. What a testimony when we do.

Ephesians 6:5-7, Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Colossians 3:22-25, Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

To sum up where we are at this time, we have an umbrella of God protection by being submissive to Him. We then have the submission of the wife to the husband for an additional protection. Children have an umbrella of protection by being obedient to their parents. As the people of a nation, we have an umbrella of protection by submitting to the king. Once we find ourselves working for someone else, we add the umbrella of protection of the boss. We have yet to address one more umbrella.

Hebrews 13:7-9, Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. 8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

Hebrews 13:17, Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

1 Timothy 5:17-18, Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

God has given us another umbrella of protection: the man of God, the Pastor. The church was and is God’s plan. As in all other parts of our life where God saw fit to put an umbrella of protection for us, why wouldn’t He, in a vital part of bringing the message of salvation to the world, have one in the church? There is a spiritual authority in the church. Just like all others, when one is not submissive to this authority the protection is lost.

What happens when we do not submit to the God-given authorities in our life?

The clouds were at a great distance simply moving along slowly growing taller and wider. The once white fluffy clouds began to turn an ominous gray followed quickly by expanding black thunderous billows. We see all the signs of the coming storm and are aware of its devastating power. We begin to fear the sights and sounds streaking and pounding our flesh. We find ourselves out in an open field with nowhere to go. If only we had a simple umbrella for protection.

In a series of messages on building the church, we address this issue in detail. What has happened to our church? Perhaps we are out from under our umbrellas.

In the message, we exchange the illustration of an umbrella for walls. The church needs to do some work on its walls. Throughout our studies of Titus, 1 & 2 Timothy, and Philemon we addressed what happens to a church when they forsake submitting to authorities. Then, we addressed the issue of wall rebuilding through a study of Nehemiah.

We tend to list reasons as to why the church is broken; we also list ways to fix the church. However, until we admit that we have men not following God, wives not submitting to husbands, children not being obedient to parents, people not submitting to the higher powers of government, workers not submitting to bosses, and believers not submitting to pastors; we won’t ever fix the problem. Make all the lists you want, but perhaps a list of authorities should be first on the list.

 

A series of messages can be found here at this web site  https://churchhelps.org/rebuild-walls-nehemiah/

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