BATTLEGROUNDS OF THE RIGHTEOUS
1. 2 Tim. 4:7 - "The good fight" (1 Tim. 6:12). Every Christian a soldier!
2. Every fight is fought somewhere -- BATTLEGROUND.
a. Battlegrounds are the places we must "fight" to build the kingdom of God - 2 Cor. 10:3-6 (battlegrounds the subject of this lesson).
3. Conflict not contrary to life of Christian - It is a part of his life!
a. Life of Jesus was constant "warfare!" (Jno. 2:13-16; 8:59; 10:31)
b. Paul was militant, used much military terminology.
c. Nehemiah - Wanted to rebuild walls of Jerusalem. Under his leadership the Jews had to fight on some of the same battlegrounds which we must make our stand today!
I. BATTLEGROUND # 1: RIDICULE & CRITICISM - Neh. 4:1-3, 6 (2:19-20).
A. Intended To Cause Us To Doubt Our Cause, Our God & Ourselves - 4:1-3; cf. Matt. 5:11-12; 1 Pet. 4:4, 14.
B. Jews Response - v. 4-6:
1. Prayer (v. 4-5).
2. A mind to work - So they did! (v. 6)
C. Common Battleground Today!
1. Acts 14:2 - Paul faced this problem.
2. Even those who should be helping in the work prefer to criticize / minimize the work others are doing!
3. We must pray - Phil. 4:6-7.
4. We must have a mind to work - 1 Pet. 3:13-17; Gal. 6:9.
-If allow R/C to keep us from doing Gods will-Satan winning battle!
II. BATTLEGROUND # 2: OPEN WARFARE - Neh. 4:7-23.
A. Physical Threats - 4:8, 11---Jews Attitude: We Are Ready!
1. v. 13-14 - Armed - Trusting in God.
2. v. 15-16 - Worked - Constantly prepared to meet any challenge.
B. As They Stood Prepared, So Must We!
1. Man are declaring open warfare on the church today:
-Challenge our name (church of Christ, Rom. 16:16); our worship (innovations, Jno. 4:24); baptism for r of s (Acts 2:38); our moral standards (modesty, honesty, purity, Tit. 2:11-12; 1 Jno. 2:15); the Bible as inspired/authoritative (2 Tim. 3:16-17); creation & God Himself (evolution, humanism).
2. By open warfare mean honest, sincere, gentlemanly defense of truth! (Phil. 1:16)
III. BATTLEGROUND # 3: INTERNAL TROUBLE - Neh. 5:1-13.
A. Mistreatment Of Brethren Complained Against & Corrected.
1. Oppression to obtain food to live - 5:1-5.
2. Rebuke & resolution - 5:6-13.
3. Nehemiah dealt w/ problem in a direct, straightforward way - v. 6ff.
B. Factiousness / Strife Will Destroy A Good Work - Gal. 5:13-15, 20, 25-26.
1. Illus.: In any marriage "little problems" arise--Must be dealt with. How theyre handled determines how successful the marriage is.
2. Same true w/ local church - How handled & settled could determine whether or not we win the battle! (Acts 6:1-6; 20:29- 30).
IV. BATTLEGROUND # 4: COMPROMISE - Neh. 6:1-3 (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
A. Compromise Occurs When We Doubt Our Work - cf. v. 3.
1. Nehemiah knew his work was great & right!
2. cf. 2 Tim. 1:12 - Paul was fully persuaded! Are we?!
3. Those who doubt the truth are vulnerable to compromise.
B. Compromise Occurs When We Are Afraid - 6:4-9.
1. Effort to blackmail Nehemiah with lies.
2. Mk. 8:38; Matt. 10:28; Heb. 13:6 - Men can do nothing to us that robs us of our salvation -- Only we can do that (by fearing man rather than God!).
C. Compromise Occurs When We Trust In Our Own Strength - Neh. 6:15-16; cf. Phil. 4:13; Rom. 8:31, 35-37 (God is our strength!)
Prov. 24:10: In the day of adversity will we be strong in the Lord & the strength of His might?! (Eph. 6:10)