TITLE: Pay the Price
TEXT: Nehemiah 4:1-6
PROPOSITION: All who serve God will suffer hardship.
KEY WORD: Approaches
READING: 2 Cor. 4:8-10
1. 2 Cor. 4:8-10 Knocked down, not knocked out.
2. 2 Timothy 3:12 We will suffer persecution
3. Nehemiah -case study of how to deal with opposition.
1. The Presence of Opposition.
1. Opposition is always present.
2. Sanballat - king of Samaritians
A. Filled with indignation (became furious)
B. 4:1 "mocked the Jews"
3. Tobiah the Ammonite / with him
A. "Critics run with critics."
B. Both have roots in God's law and people.
Samaritians - 10 tribes - Assyrian captivity
Ammon - son of Lot, Abraham's nephew
4. They ridiculed God and the task.
A. 4:3 If a fox jumped on it, it would fall.
B. MISTAKE: "their" wall - This was God's wall.
C. Matt. 16:18 "I will build my church"
2. How to deal with Criticism.
1. Talk to God, FIRST.
A. 4:4-5 Hear, O our God, how we are despised.
2. "Don't forgive this sin."
A. 1 John 5:16 sin unto death, not pray for it
B. Heb. 6:4-6 It is impossible to renew them
3. Needed: Common Sense.
1. He stayed at the task. 4:6 So we built the wall
A. Don't get "sidetracked" with criticism.
B. "Hand me another brick."
2. WARNING: Sometimes the criticism intensifies.
A. 4:7-8 Insults turned into war, fighting
B. Determined to "hinder it."
1. It is impossible to work for God without opposition.
2. It is essential to face opposition with prayer.
3. Prayer is not ALL that is necessary if the opposition grows and intensifies.
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