In preparing my teachings in the Nehemiah series, I’ve been reading “A Passion for Faithfulness: Wisdom from the Book of Nehemiah” by J.I. Packer. In Chapter 2 titled “Called to Serve”, Packer quotes E.M. Bounds, speaking about the church a century ago during his time, relating it to Nehemiah:
“How few the strong men in these days who can weep at the evils and abominations of the times! How rare those who, seeing the desolations of Zion, are sufficiently interested and concerned for the welfare of the church to mourn! Mourning and weeping over the decay of religion, the decline of revival power, and the fearful inroads of worldliness in the church are almost an unknown quantity…Nehemiah was a mourner in Zion.”
This is just an incredible truth, and all the more now a century later in describing the church. We need Christian men and women, like Nehemiah, who have an unquenchable concern over the state of the church in these same areas that bounds like it is described in the quote above. We need people that are driven to their knees in prayer, mourning over the fact that the church has opened its doors to allow the aroma of worldly ways to paint its walls.
I take this challenge personally as the pastor of Hope Community Church. I pray that our congregation, as well as other men and women of the church outside the walls of Hope Community, would regard this challenge as one worth taking on. Men and women of God, be praying for the church, that “the decay of religion, the decline of revival power, and the fearful inroads of worldliness” would not touch its doors, but instead a revival of gospel truth and power would echo in the streets of our community.