A Strong CityBro. David Chancellor
1/21/2001 6:00 PM
We have a strong city. It says, "salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks." Man for years upon years have built walls in hopes that they will keep the trouble out. They have yet to succeed. Why? Because the trouble is inside. Walls are put up for a protection and defense. Bulwarks are thicker walls; so thick that people could walk on them. Even then, the walls didn't protect them. This verse speaks of salvation being the wall. The things man have built to protect the church have been failures. Yet, there has never been one unsaved person who has been able to get into God's kingdom around the wall. It keeps out what is not as God would have it to be, and let's in what is. If we let the wall do its work, the church will be alright. The prophet was letting the Jews know that God was setting up a city and would let in who he would let in and this included saved Gentiles. Those who keep the truth and walk with God are part of the city. Those who don't, aren't. The only way into the city is through the door - Christ. Sometimes, many years ago, people camped around the city, but they weren't inside and didn't have the protection the walls afforded. God is our strength. Our efforts to prop things up and keep things going are futile. Man may try to put some things in place to keep out the wrong. Every time that was done - it became a hindrance. If we put our trust in God, he will keep his church pure. You have to come through the door, or you don't get in.
Acts 2:46, 47
"... the LORD added to the church..." It is GOD that must add you to his church. Man can't add you to God's church. It is good that God keeps the record book - nothing gets past him. The only way in is to be saved. It doesn't matter where you get saved - as long as you do. God wants to be on display in you. Everyone Christ saves, he wants to be seen in. He must shine in the heart of each saved person. If you are saved, you are a member of God's church. It may take a while for others to get past your past and recognize the work that has been done, but just as soon as you get saved, God knows it.
When Isaiah spoke this, there was much uncleanness in the city. The holy city encompasses the church. Those that don't know God can't get in. God has absolute control over the borders of his city. The unclean won't be able to slip by him. God is able to stop those that would creep in. He put judgment on Ananias and Sapphira. God is able to take care of his church still today. With Christ as the door, nothing can sneak in, and he will reveal those in a congregation that may be a "pretender." He can still take care of his church.
"The highway of holiness." It has the same door as the holy city, and the unclean can't get on it. You can't walk here except you come by Christ. We don't have to be all-wise or super-smart to walk with God. We may not understand everything, but we can stay with God. The way he leads is safe. The devil can't get on the way of holiness. He may be on the side, but if you stay in the way, and stay close to God, you will be safe. We are protected by the wall of salvation. Without a change, those who are lion-like or fox-like, can't walk here. We may have questions, but we need to keep our trust in God. If we stay close to God, no matter what happens around us, we will keep our joy. Our strength is in God. It is all we need to keep us going.
God put the wall of salvation, Christ is the door and with all we can do, if Christ isn't there, there is nothing we can do to keep the city. With the walls man built, all the watchman could do was prepare them to shut the gate. The watchman couldn't keep the city. He could make it known that troubles were there. The minister can make you aware of the pending problems, but your keeper needs to be God. Without God, even a warning won't keep you. God's church has existed and endured, but only as men found God, did things get better. Without God, the city can't be built or kept. It can't be kept without God. We could put organization in place, but as the organization goes on, it isn't the city. Man's organizations are not God's holy city. They are nothing compared to what God has built. Mankind doesn't see the picture like God does. God knows how many are in his church. It is very likely that we will never know everyone that is in his church. It is not our place to build or keep the church. The pastor can give warning, but it takes God to keep us. God can still keep the city. No one can get in without salvation. "He knows them that are his." We don't have to worry about claims. God knows. It is God in the heart that makes the difference. He wants to shine through us for the world to see. Holiness is living a pure, clean life in a sinful world - not pulling off into a hole somewhere. God can keep us - just as he kept Christ. Stay with God and he will keep us and bring his church through with victory.