Let’s talk about the road block to Heaven….The devil is aware we are God’s divine heritage and is interested in making us his disciples by all means. This is brought to fore when we recall Paul saying he has “fought a good fight”. 2Tim 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Oh so it was a fight after all. But who was he fighting with? At some point too he admonishes Timothy to be a good soldier of Christ and fight equally. 1Tim 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
But the devil will not fold his hands and watch us walk straight into heaven. He has designed so many road blocks that will hinder us from making it to heaven.
Today we will learn from Nehemiah and apply it to ourselves. In Neh 2:1-5 we learnt of a request by Nehemiah to the King to allow him return to Judah and rebuild the walls of the city of Jerusalem.
THE FIRST ROAD BLOCK: MOCKERY AND CRITICISM
Ne 4:1 ¶ But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? 3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.
Once the devil realizes that you have a mission and you are bent at it, his first road block is mockery and criticism. The intention here is to weaken your grip upon the faith and demoralize you.
· Oh my God, so you don’t drink, you are really missing.
· Must you attend that your church every Sunday?
· Is that the only sin?
· Who told you that being a virgin is still fashionable?
· That your church is old school. It is suppose to move like others are moving.
· Must everything be found in the Bible?
· How can you stick only to your spouse? Once in a while, you go out and take a quickie and return unnoticed.
The list of mockery is endless. Be reminded brethren that it is far better to serve God than serve the devil. Know that Satan is behind those comments. Jesus spotted it out when he call Peter Satan in Mat 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
So many Christians have been destroyed by this single road block. Today they belong to the kingdom of the devil just because they were mocked at for doing good.
The Christian response to mockery and criticism is ignore those involved and continue doing what you are doing. Afterall, the examiner is God and he is the only one with the marking scheme. 2Tim 2:19 ¶ Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, THE LORD KNOWETH THEM THAT ARE HIS. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity
THE SECOND ROAD BLOCK: DIRECT THREATS
Because Nehemiah ignored them and moved ahead and was making real progress, the same group that mocked at him decided to threaten him for making progress.
Ne 4:7 ¶ But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth 8 And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it
You could be in the same shoes. Your presence in a group could hinder their plans and as such they may desire that you be eliminated. Sometimes, the position you take on issues whether social or religious could make people openly threaten you.
People generally hate those who stand for something contrary to the general norm.
The attack could be verbally or physically or even diabolically.
Don’t be frightened. Everything is open and naked before God
Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
2Tim 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution
Psm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
Don’t panic, all of them are under the control of God.
Prov 16:7 ¶ When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
The Christian response to direct attack and intimidation is prayers and a spirit of moving ahead undeterred. Paul gave us a series of tips in Eph 6:10-13, because our warfare today is not carnal.
Mt 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
THE THIRD ROAD BLOCK: ENTICING YOU INTO A TRAP
Ne 6:1 ¶ Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; 2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. BUT THEY THOUGHT TO DO ME MISCHIEF.3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? 4 Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.
Sometimes if mockery and direct threats don’t yield any good result, satan will device another friendly attitude with the intention of rubbishing your integrity and person. It will come is a subtle but with very dangerous implication.
· Is that the only sin?
· Is it not just one bottle?
· Ok you are afraid of back seat in your church
· When in Rome behave like the Romans
· It is you that is calling it a sin, the Bible did not call it so.
· It cannot happen in my house and she is still there
The list is long.
Don’t give the devil any small opportunity. A man took a sip of palmwine from his friend just to prove to his friend it was not poison even though he is strongly opposed to Christian consuming alcohol. The next day the whole village heard that the same man who would not allow them rest about drinking being a sin was found drinking at a funeral service. He had no fair hearing and lost his influence just by one innocent sip.
Don’t mind the number of times the same question will be asked. Let your answer remain the same. Nehemiah was asked the same question 4 times.
Always be guided that it takes a whole life time to be a Christian worthy of heaven and just a silly moment to be a candidate to hell.
A virgin being mocked at by her room mates for still being a virgin in her final year in the university told them that it will take five minutes to destroy her virginity but none of her friends can be virgins any longer having lost it to a man not their husband. To her surprise all the friends started crying.
It is the devil’s work to create road block. The goal of any Christian is to jump and pass
By Mike Udam