What We Ourselves Together Can Do

How to Do World Evangelisation

Ezra 4

DATE: 4 Mar, 2001   AM         PLACE: BBC Blarney


I.         Introduction (Acts 17:6). Do you know what this world needs? To be turned upside down. It will either be turned by the Gospel of Christ, or by the judgment of God. The question is, can Christians do it again? We can if we would do it together

II.       Background (Ezra 4:3)


A.      The Jews had been in captivity for over 70 years now.

B.       It is still 530 years before the coming of Jesus

C.       And Jerusalem lays in rubble. The armies of Nebchadnezzar had swiftly swept through the land and destroyed everything in their path, just as God had said it would happen. God had judged His people for their sins, and idol worship.

D.      But now, in the centre of all that rubble, a structure was taking shape. A Temple. Several thousand Jews had been allowed to return to Israel, just for the purpose of rebuilding that Temple, and now it was taking shape. But it was taking a lot of work.

E.       Nehemiah focused on clearing the city, and rebuilding the walls.

F.       Ezra, the man of God, focused on rebuilding the Temple.

G.       Along came some adversaries (Ez 4:1,2) – trouble-makers – enemies of the cross.


1.        Offered to help – how kind

2.        Said they were just the same as the Jews – believed in the same God

3.        Just confirmed those few Jews were not enough to do such a great task


H.      To which two men, full of faith responded, “Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel.” (Ezra 4:3).

I.         What a bold statement indeed! Turning down government assistance. Refusing the help of “kind” people. What is going on? It is called the work of God, and He doesn’t need great numbers, or great wealth, or great strength – He just needs some hearts full of faith ready to obey His word (2Chron 16:7-9)


III.     Some Principles of Missions


I want to compare the great task of rebuilding of that temple with the even greater task of winning souls.


A.      God expects us to win souls


1.        Just like He expects parents to have children, and raise them right

2.        Just as He expects people to pay their bills

3.        God expects Christians to turn hearts and minds of people to repent and follow Christ – God expects it


B.       We really can win souls


1.        Because what we are doing is just delivering a message – We are not the savers – just the postmen. It is the word of God that changes people!

2.        Because what we are doing is just planting a seed – the seed brings life

3.        Because what we are doing is just dropping a hook with bait into the water – Jesus compares it to catching fish, and if ANYONE stays at it long enough, ANYONE can catch fish – AMEN!


C.       The whole world can be reached if we would do it HIS way


1.        Yes I am talking about winning a world of over 6 billion people

2.        But, No, I am not talking about us doing all the work

3.        God’s way has never been that a few would win all – no – the work is to be done by all Christians – and the key is their local church – that thing that we are, when we gather together as a team to fulfil our purpose


IV.    Message – What We Ourselves Together Can Do (Ezra 4)


A.      We Can Assemble Together (Ez 4:3; Acts 1:8-15; 2:41,42,46,47; Heb 10:25)


1.        The world can’t do that – not without drink, and music, and entertainment, and guns pointed at people’s heads, and loads of money making it worth people’s while


a.       Man, it is neat how the Lord puts so many different kinds of people together, and fashions them with each other in a local church!

b.       Oh if only we would let the Lord change us through our church!


2.        We just need to see ourselves as God sees us


a.       As a Team – that is what a church is

b.       With 1 Leader – the Lord Jesus Christ


1)       So many say they follow Jesus, but don’t OBEY Him (Lk 6:46)

2)       If Jesus Christ is your leader, and YOURS, and yours, then we should all be sort of organised around His way of doing things wouldn’t you think?


c.       We have 1 Goal (John 15:8)


1)       No way for one couple to have 6 billion children

2)       But with every couple having children, you can have lots of kids

3)       Same with Christians – each one winning just ONE a year would do it! We only need 34 years to win 6 billion!

4)       Does anyone here know what is holding us back? Apathy!


d.       We have only 1 Enemy


1)       Sick and tired of Christians fighting each other in a church – called DIVISIONS, and CARNALITY

2)       We have the most freedoms and “rights” of all time, and we hate each other with only a passion in churches, and it just ain’t right!

3)       The devil does nothing but spend his time sowing discord among brethren (Pr 6:16-19)

4)       If we just saw what the devil has been doing right in this church, we would get on our knees and repent of being so stinking selfish, and unthankful for the miracle we have in this old building


e.       We have 1 Direction – forward - slowly, deliberately, forward! Always seeking souls, and teaching them this Book!


B.       We Can Believe God Together (Ezra 4:4-6; 4:21)


1.        Zerubabel and the High Priest, Joshua declare an amazing resolve - What God has commanded us to do, He has therefore enabled us to do. Repeat!


a.       In spite of the culture, and the pressures of the people around us

b.       In spite of the wisdom of this world – the counsel


1)       Always trying to prove the Bible is just a myth

2)       Always trying to impress a Bible believer that this modern world has a better answer to life’s problems than God’s way

3)       In spite of the set-backs…


a)       These guys get the government to stop Jews from building

b)       The Jews have to decide what is right to do – they never riot

c)       They get God’s word on the matter (Ez 5:1,2)

d)       They get God’s help (Ez 6:6,7,11,12)

e)       Then they get back to work!


2.        Faith starts with believing this Book (Ex 19:7,8) that God is right, period!


a.       Does anyone here really believe this Book?


1)       That this whole world is going to hell (John 3:16)

2)       That only Jesus is the answer for this world (John 14:6) – for the Jew, for European, for the Muslim, for the Hindu, for the Indian, for the atheist, for the religious, for the catholic, for the protestant, for the Baptist – for every man, woman, and child!

3)       That the mark of a Christian is that we follow Jesus’ instructions, and not our own ways any longer (Lk 9:23)

4)       That the work of a church is not to just get people “saved” but to teach them ALL things that Jesus taught (Matt 28:19,20)


b.       Do you know why first century Christianity was so successful? Because they just believed this Bible – they trusted that God was a whole lot smarter than themselves!


3.        Faith builds as we all pray together


a.       There is NO spiritual battle won without prayer (Zech 4:6)

b.       There are no hearts bonded without prayer

c.       People who say they believe this Book, but make no time for individual prayer, or especially for times of prayer together as a church never really grow – they can’t!


4.        Faith becomes real when we ALL start obeying the Lord together


C.       We Can Labour Together (1Cor 3:6-9). This is where our team-work is activated – becomes reality – where all the preparation comes together.


1.        We labour By Growing – that what church is for – so that we come, learn, and grow. Takes effort to learn this Bible and mature. How many of you stopped eating this past week? Stopped sleeping? Couldn’t could you? Did anyone put off studying their Bible, or skip Bible Study, or miss a Sunday at church? It all takes effort!

2.        We labour By Giving


a.       To the Lord belongs all of our substance – every penny

b.       To Him belongs our very lives and future – we are not our own

c.       Have you ever wondered why people find it so hard to give their money to God, or even give their time to His kingdom? The Bible is very clear that it is because we love this world more than God!

d.       Our giving every week has to Mission’s focused. The reason why I give is for souls. The reason why you should give is for souls!


3.        We labour By Going (Rom 10:13,14)


a.       The world will never come to church – not on its own

b.       The church has to go out into the world

c.       I never would have heard the Gospel if it weren’t for a faithful soul-winner named Maureen Smith making the effort to witness to me and my friends on a Saturday night at a Coffee Shop!

d.       Have you ever counted up how many times our Lord commands His disciples to GO? Hundreds of times! Here is a few!


1)       Mr 16:15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

2)       Mt 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

3)       Lu 14:23  And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

4)       John 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain:


e.       When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone, and mentioned to someone that you wanted to give them a Gospel leaflet, and that you were concerned about where they would spend eternity?

f.        That’s why on Saturdays at around Noon we go out for just a few hours and catch people at home and give them the Gospel – because unless we go, no one will hear!


4.        We Labour By Grinning – it takes a lot of effort to keep smiling when things don’t work right the first time, or the second time – AMEN? This labour is not a labour of profit and efficiency – it is a labour of love, and it ought to show on your face


V.      Conclusion – I think we would all be amazed at what we could do together


A.      We Can Assemble Together As a Team, With 1 Leader – the Lord Jesus Christ, with 1 goal, the winning and training of souls, fighting only 1 enemy, always heading 1 direction, as we follow the Lord Jesus!


B.       We Can Believe God Together


1.        Faith starts with believing this Book

2.        Faith builds as we all pray together

3.        Faith becomes real when we ALL start obeying the Lord together


C.       We Can Labour Together (1Cor 3:6-9). This is where our team-work is activated – becomes reality – where all the preparation comes together.


1.        We labour By Growing

2.        We labour By Giving

3.        We labour By Going (Rom 10:13,14)

4.        We Labour By Grinning – it takes a lot of effort to keep smiling when things don’t work right the first time, or the second time – AMEN? This labour is not a labour of profit and efficiency – it is a labour of love, and it ought to show on your face


D.      And do you know what will be the result of our efforts together? A world turned upside down, once again! I believe this world needs to be turn upside down once every generation, at least. And God has given us the where-with-all to do such a task! Is there anyone willing to join with me, and say pastor, I want to be part of God’s team. I want to see this world changed for good!