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October 18, 2022 6:00 am
Romans 13 Paul said it is high time to awake out sleep. In other words, can you hear the alarm clock. It's time to wake up, it's time to get out of the bed of complacency.
It is time to make our lives. God is easy to become apathetic in our spiritual lives today on connect with Skip Heitzig Skip shares what you must avoid becoming indifferent to God working in and through you into the program Skip and his wife Lynn share some resources to help get the most out of your Bible study time. Did you know you can download and listen to over 3500 full-length sermons that unpack virtually every book, every verse in the Bible verse five.
So go to connectwithskip.com you want those messages as well as online resource store. We are audiobooks of our teachings that are available. We have a YouTube channel.
Be sure to stay with us after today's message to her the full discussion right now we want to tell you about a resource that will help you grow stronger in your faith rotate around crucial moments in decisions where everything changes, and pivot points here.
Skip, I think in this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while if need be.
You have been grieved by various trials. Peter is actually saying that there are times when God knows you need a trial though to say exactly what you can prepare for inevitable upcoming pivot points in your life receive your copy of its pivot point collection of six messages point package sticks to marriage – depression recovery. The future and moving to a new location, or job. This package includes a personal message of direction on each topic from scant point package is our thank you when you get $50 or more to this teaching ministry by calling 892 1888 orchid online securely connectwithskip.com/offer. We hope will help us take our messages into the top 20 population centers in our country that's our vision for the coming year we help us make it happen.
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Nehemiah chapter to join Skip today's message is not the professor who is college last watt glass you think is a bigger problem in America right now, ignorance or apathy in one young student said I don't know and I don't care. So pretty much that was going on right then and there. Albert Einstein who you all know his name. You know he was the father of modern physics. When he was alive.
Europe was being ravaged by a couple of philosophical systems that was going from country to country, communism and fascism and that he saw what was going on and he made a very powerful statement. Einstein said the world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on evil and do nothing. There comes a time when, as we've already seen in the series, it's time to speak up and to move out. Speaking of evil in Europe during Nazi Germany.
A pastor by the name of Martin. The molar, a Lutheran pastor saw what was going on with adult Hitler and he made a stand against him. Eventually that cost his freedom.
He was put in a concentration camp himself. Martin the molar set this famous little statement.
First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the Socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me. You know that as you look at the Scripture through the old and New Testament apathy among God's people was a problem is couple of examples.
One prophet by the name of Haggai was raised up to deal with the apathetic, indifferent behavior of the Jewish people in Jerusalem.
They had started to rebuild the temple, the sort of got discouraged from doing it.
They eventually said it's not time to build the Lord's temple. Haggai the prophet came on the scene and said you say it's not time to build the Lord's temple is a time for you to dwell in your nice homes. While the work of God is undone. Another prophet by the name of Amos confronted the people of the land who were indifferent to the enemy that was around them and he said woe to those who are at ease in Zion in the New Testament, Jesus gave a parable.
You know what is the parable of the foolish virgins or bridesmaids. They didn't tended to their lamps, they didn't trim their wax. They didn't care much about when the bridegroom was coming and so he spoke that parable to them, and perhaps the classic example of spiritual apathy are the religious leaders at the birth of Christ.
They knew the Messiah was going to be born in Bethlehem. In fact, when Magi came from the east. Following that star and they were going through Jerusalem. They said were looking for the one who is going to be born King of the Jews that rattled Herod's cage. Herod went to his religious leaders and said where is the Messiah going to be born, and they immediately set in Bethlehem of Judeo, for it is written in the prophet and they quoted Micah chapter 5 verse two which predicted his birth in Bethlehem. But that's all they did. They knew what the Scripture said they could quoted verbatim but they didn't go check it out. I mean think of this, the Magi had traveled 1600 miles because somebody was born called the King of the Jews. These religious leaders whose king it was wooden travel 5 miles to Bethlehem to verify that the height of apathy in Romans 13, Paul said it is high time to awake out sleep. In other words, can't you hear the alarm clock. It's time to wake up, it's time to get out of the bed of complacency.
It is time to make our lives count for God because the night is coming fast. Darkness is falling fast and people are moving toward the judgment of God.
Fast, so it's time to toss out our pillow and pick up your sword and marching the battle we need on our constant basis to deal with the tendency toward apathy. How do we do that well. I've had to turn a Nehemiah chapter to get a look at several verses in chapter 2, as well as in chapter 1, and I want to give you five steps to counteract the Giants of apathy versus information we need to know the facts. We need to know what's happening so let's begin with verse one came to pass in the month of Nissan that is not the automobile. That is the month the Jewish month of Nissan which is round, April in the 20th year of the king Artaxerxes when the wind was for him that I took the line and gave it to the king know I had never been sad in his presence before therefore, the king said to me, why is your face sad since you are not sick. This is nothing but sorrow of heart.
So I became dreadfully afraid and said to the king made the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my father's tombs lies waste and its gates are burned with fire you need to know what is going on historically very briefly. Nehemiah is in Persia he's in Iran modern-day Iran ancient Persia. He is there because the Babylonians took the Jews captive for 70 years but after the Babylonians, the Medo Persian Empire came and took over everything, including the captives, including the Jewish people. Nehemiah is one of those who remained in that captive situation, but about 100 years before. Chapter 2 of Nehemiah. The Jews had gone back to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, so they they've already been there for about a century, and he finds out the condition of what's going on now if you go back to chapter 1 in verse 11. You'll notice that Nehemiah said he was the king's cupbearer and you need to know his occupation because this is when the king had the wind brought the forum that was his job. Nehemiah was the cupbearer know that in sonic a great occupation.
You might think. It's like a glorified busboy, I assure you it is not a cupbearer to a Persian King was the most trusted official. Perhaps the king trusted no one more than the cupbearer next to his wife, and that's perhaps maybe even more, depending on the relationship. Another story so Nehemiah was like the personal secretary. He had to be conversant in political matters and affairs of state. He was the one who tasted the wine and then gave it to the king to make sure wasn't poised the King by the way is king. Artaxerxes king Artaxerxes. This one is Artaxerxes launch a minus who is the stepson of somebody you are familiar with Queen Esther Queen Esther married a hash awareness and has whereas had a son name Artaxerxes and that is the king that is in question here. I just want you to get the picture that you have a Jewish man named Nehemiah occupying a very important political position in a Persian court and I just want to take the opportunity to say we need more of that. We need people who are willing to get involved like Nehemiah in a variety of different structures in our country. We need Christians and palaces. We need Christians in politics. We need Christians were active in secular affairs in secular society. We need Christians in courthouses and in brown houses and in White House. Since we need them everywhere because the Bible says Jesus said you are the salt of the earth, and the purpose of salt in ancient times was to keep the meat from rotting and I would say that we need salt more than ever before in our culture.
Here we are in the salt shaker is a great place to be is where we ought to be. But at some point you gotta turn the saltshaker over and get the salt into the culture into the society and let it do its job. So he was there on site in a government position before king Artaxerxes I think it goes without saying that given a position like this. Of importance that Nehemiah had made yet a great job. He was in a luxurious environment, a comfortable lifestyle, but he was a Jew and one day as a Jew because he was a Jew. He hears reports about what is going on in his homeland. He had never been to his homeland.
He never binned is really never been to Jerusalem but he hears a report about what's going on in Jerusalem and it shakes him to the core.
It is been said that a Jew never forgets Jerusalem. The psalmist said in Psalm 137. If I forget you owe Jerusalem made my right hand forget it's cunning. May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth that's him embedded into the heart of a Jewish person so evidently he comes before king Artaxerxes.
His face is sad. He knows that his city is still in ruins because he mentions that the king let's go back if you don't mind a chapter 1 to find out where he gets the information returned back to Nehemiah chapter 1 it says in verse one the words of Nehemiah, the son of half glia it came to pass in the month of kiss love that's around December 20 year I was in Shushan the citadels in the palace that Hannah and I one of my brethren came with men from Judah, and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped what survived the captivity concerning Jerusalem.
It's just a conversation. Hey, what's going on in Jerusalem. I heard you were there will give me the skinny give me the lowdown what's going on maybe expected them to say everything is great about what is happy, but that wasn't the report. Verse three they said to me, the survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach the wall of Jerusalem is also broken down and its gates are burned with fire, and Nehemiah knew the history Nehemiah knew that the city had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. You knew all that he grew up hearing about that. He had also known that 50,000 Jews had returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the city was aware of that but I think you must've thought that it was successful. Things were going well there. So so so what's the report they say not good. The city still in ruins. The gates are still burned with fire, but the point I want to make is that he's asking the questions to get the right information that is always the first step in conquering the giant of apathy. Find out the situation. Find out the facts innocent people won't ask questions because they don't want to know the answer because if they get the questions they have answered and they get the information they might have now a sense of obligation to do something about it so they don't know tell me I don't want to know that old proverb that says he who asked the question remains a fool for five minutes.
He who does not ask a question remains a fool forever, so he asked the questions he gets the information in our day and age it's important that we get information.
However, I think it's safe to say that we live in the information age. It's harder to get accurate information today more than ever before because you're going to get not true journalism anymore. You get opinion journalism to get you to get spin put on it next.
Why today it's so easy to cure your own newsfeed you sort of follow on Twitter those newsfeeds of those people that you agree with or agree with you, and you just get your stream of thought that you want reinforce and news agencies pump out according to algorithms, certain information so it's it's difficult to get a real accurate read on a situation. It's possible but it's I think much harder than ever. But that's the first step information. Get the facts second step reaction. Once you hear the facts you need to let the facts that you hear motivate you, stir you so back in verse two.
The king said to me, why is your face sad since you are not sick. This is nothing but sorrow of parts of the king notices that there is a Reaction Taking Pl. in Nehemiah. These feeling a certain way. Now again I want to go back to chapter 1 and look at verse four is just had a conversation asking about Jerusalem.
They tell and the gates are burned with fire.
The cities in ruins. Verse four of chapter 1, so it was when I heard these words that I sat down and wept. Which is positive from will be so easy for Nehemiah in hearing about a city he has never visited. He is just learned about when he hears that Jerusalem is burned with fire. He would be so easy for them to go home. Well that's sad but is lunch time. I mean he has a very strong reaction.
Facts of the situation motivate him move him that I I I sat down and I wept and mourned for many days I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
I hope you're seeing that Nehemiah let the information become his motivation is stirred by the facts that he hears. He knows what it means he knows that a city that's broken down walls are broken down the gates are burned with fire is vulnerable.
It is not safe.
It is open to attack the security system is not optimal pellet supply that whenever we hear a need and there's there's plenty of need to hear. You know just there's always something going on that seem so desperate in our work.
Our reaction to that need is vital our reaction to the information that we hear is what should at some point stimulate us to action. Now it doesn't always do it, but it should. So here's a easy example.
Let's say you have two roommates there renting a house on their very different personalities.
One is sort of a Mr. clean, fast, hideous freak. Everything's in order. They must be just so.
But the roommate is like a passive slob right side as long as I got like a Florida lie on.
I'm good. Okay, so if if problems come to that house of the roof begins to leak or there's problems in that house.
Which one do you think will be on it first to get a remedy. Mr. clean freak not not not slob God is not going to do it in care, but the one who cares is the one who's going to do something about. So unless you see the problem and are affected by the problem you like to fix a problem. Nehemiah here's the problem. He wants something done about subscription iTunes message series hunting John you Skip this they share some resources to help you get the most out of your Bible study times that powerfully and asked when we fill ourselves with the truth in his word he can move us from indifference to an active and enduring faith in him, skip, can you share some resources with their listeners that will help them go deeper in Bible study and encourage them in their faith.
Can I give you resources yet.
This is like one of my favorite days ever to talk about it because we got you covered. When it comes resources are there's a thing called connectwithskip.com did you know you can download and listen to over 3500 full-length sermons that unpack virtually every book, every verse in the Bible verse by verse. So go to connectwithskip.com if you want those messages as well as online resource store with books that I've done books that you have done Lenny as well. We have you version devotionals of Peter know you version is that's a great Bible app is the number one Bible app in the world and we have streaming devotionals, then we have that podcast connect with Skip podcast.
You can subscribe on spot. If I Apple podcast Google play. We have audiobooks of our teachings that are available. We have a YouTube channel see just keeps going on all the things we have all the things of the YouTube channel.
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