Five walls that need to be taken down.

 

Text:  Zechariah 2:4  Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls.’

 

Introduction:  There are many walls that make it difficult to reach the community.

There are cultural walls, religious prejudices, and walls of preconceived ideas.

But these walls will come down.

The love of Christ manifested through the body of Christ will bring these walls down.

We do not have to fear the walls that the enemy puts up.

Jesus said ‘the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church’.

 

But the walls we need to be afraid of are the walls that we put up, because these walls do not come down until we take them down.

These walls will stop us from reaching the community for Christ.

 

Here are 5 walls we need to take down before we can reach a community for Christ.

 

 

Main Points

1.  The first wall is the Wall of Self Interest.

It is the wall we put up to protect our own interests.

 

Testimony:  When I was first saved – I found it was easy to be nice

I received new life in Christ and I was completely changed.

When I worked among unsaved people I had a wonderful time.  I was testifying about my salvation and they were amazed to see the change in my life.

 

But then I went to Bible School and lived in a residential Bible School with other Christians.

We were isolated from unsaved people apart from when we went out with tracts on the street at night witnessing.

In this environment I found Christians did not always speak kindly to one another.

I found it confusing because I was a young Christian.

I learnt to defend myself; I became critical of others; and I learnt to be hard and aggressive towards those not of a like mind.

This put up a wall in my life that did not come down for many years.

The carnal mind can never do the Lord’s work.

We will not be effective in reaching a community for Christ if we do not have love.

The love of Christ must always be our motivation.

The Christian life is a spiritual warfare but it is fought with self sacrificing love (agape love) and not with the works of the flesh.

Some people say we should not be a doormat for others to walk over.  But Jesus said we should be servants, taking the lowest positions, and love has no limits.

 

The wall of self interest will block the river of the Holy Spirit flowing out of us.

If we desire to live in the power of the resurrected life of Christ then this wall must come down.

When our heart is open then the love of Christ can flow out of us.

 

But we become vulnerable and can easily be taken advantage of. So what!

Nothing can compare with His love for us.

 

2.  The second wall is the Wall of Contention

The Bible tells us to ‘fight the good fight of faith’ but this is a spiritual warfare.

We are not to fight one another.

Contentious people do not attract people to Christ.

They push them away.

 

Illustration:  When we lived on a farm the owners bought a male corgi.

It was a horrible dog.

When I used to take the garbage out to put it on the other side of the farm the dog would come and start biting at my ankles.

I would then try to kick it away and it would jump up on me.

The dog had a low belly and so it was covered underneath with cow’s dung.

When it jumped up on me the dung from under its belly would go all over my jeans.

This happened every time.  Even if I didn’t see the dog suddenly it would appear.

 

Then one day my wife was talking to someone and mentioned the dog.  This person told her there is only one way to handle that dog.  Ignore it. The person said just fold your arms and look away, and the dog will go.

 

The next time I took the garbage out the dog came running towards me.  I put the garbage down, folded my arms and looked in the opposite direction.  The dog stopped and then walked away.

 

Its exactly the same in the Church.

If we allow contentions to arise then we will be covered with the muck of contention.

There is only one way to handle contentious people .  Look away.

 

The wall of contention will stop love flowing in the Church and put a wall up between us and those we want to reach.

 

 

3.  The third wall is the Wall of Doctrine.

Jude wrote ‘earnestly contend for the faith’.

He meant to stand firm upon the rock ‘Christ Jesus’.

Standing firm on the rock of ‘justification by faith in Jesus Christ alone’.

But he did not mean to fight over doctrine.

Divisions over doctrine build walls that isolate the Church.

 

When I went to Bible School, the school sent out a very nice magazine every month and a different student wrote his or her testimony for the magazine each month.  One month I was asked to write my testimony. I was excited knowing the magazine was sent all over the country.  But just before printing I was told my testimony would not be printed because it was doctrinally unsound.

My reaction at the time was that I did not know if it was doctrinally sound or not but I knew what happened to me in the Summer of 1975.   I had made decisions for Christ before this time but I had not received the power of new life in Christ, then one Tuesday night in August 1975 I was at a meeting where a team called 'Living Sound' sang songs about Jesus, and a young preacher got up and preached a gospel message.  Every word he said spoke to me and that night my life was completely changed.  I was born again.  I was never the same again.  I knew that night that something had happened to me that would last for ever.  I was born into the family of God.

It wasn’t theology that saved me, it was the power of God.

I received new life in Christ.  Nobody prayed for me, nobody saw anything happen but I knew that I had been born again.

 

All I understood that night was that Jesus died in my place so that I could have new life.  That was enough.  It can take many years to understand the theology behind our experience but if we have faith in Christ alone then He is able to save. There is a danger of becoming so concerned over our doctrines that we lose the wonderful joy of new life in Christ. 

 

 

4.  The fourth wall is where we isolate ourselves with the Wall of the local church.

The local church should be a base for reaching the community and not a fortress where we keep ourselves from having contact with the world.

We need to separated.

We need to be different.

But we need to be involved with the world in order to reach the world.

Jesus spoke with the publicans and sinners.

He did not wait for them to come to the synagogue.  He went out where they were.

 

The body of Christ needs to be active reaching communities, homes and individuals.

 

 

5. The fifth wall is the Wall of religion

Christianity is new life in Christ Jesus.  ‘If any man be in Christ he is a new creation’.

It is not a religion to follow; it is a life to live.

Instead of living the Christian life with joy and freedom we are taught to be religious.

Prayer is not a duty to perform; it is a relationship with Jesus.

Jesus said ‘my yoke is easy and my burden is light’.

The Christian life is joyous and even in the midst of trials, persecutions and sufferings there is great joy.

It is the love, joy and peace of knowing Jesus that will attract people to Him not a burdensome religion.

 

It is time to break down the walls that stop us reaching the community, and bring the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.