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I’m Not Coming Down

Nehemiah 6:1-3 (KJV)
1 Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;) 2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief. 3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? 

There is nothing more exciting in the world of salvation and righteousness than for a sinner to step up to salvation.  Mary Magdalene, the devil-possessed prostitute, found deliverance and salvation.  The Ethiopian eunuch, a pagan foreign traveler; Cornelius, the leader of an Italian band; Zacceus, the thieving tax collector; the demoniac from Gadara, the great Apostle Paul, persecutor of Christians—all escaped the shackles of sin and the clutches of the devil. 

Just as exciting as the initial salvation is when God calls someone to a higher calling, to preach, to be a missionary, to plant a church, to be a soul-winner, to be a pillar in the church, to be a great example or a powerful witness.  It’s a beautiful thing.  Simon Peter was converted from a cowardly defector into God’s chosen spokesman for the inaugural day of the church. 

Last week we had a man in this pulpit, Bro. Max Manley who had both a great conversion experience and also received a great calling.  He did a fantastic job teaching the Word of God.  We had other ministers rise up from the ashes right here in this church and are now doing marvelous things for God—Bro. Chuck Hurst, Bro. Dave Olsen, Bro. Ed Nichols, Bro. Travis Miller, Bro. Keith Kirk, and of course those who are still here in Toledo working for God.  We have others who have gone on to their reward, like Bro. Victor Bentley, and others who are now retired, like Bro. Paul Dennis, Bro. Roy Well and Bro. David Ward.  Some of their children are now at work in the kingdom.  We have spiritual grandchildren all over the world! 

I wonder how many more great instances of salvation are still waiting to happen right here in this church?  I believe that in the very near future, someone is going to walk down the aisle of this church and be set free from drugs, from alcohol, from a life of crime, from a lifestyle of immorality, and from the power of the devil.  This church is a soul-saving station and is getting ready to see more souls than ever set free from sin.  

Not only that, but I believe that God has young people in this church destined for a higher calling.  Right from the pews of this sanctuary are going to go preachers of the gospel, gospel musicians, missionaries and laborers in the fields of the world.  


The bible tells the story of Nehemiah.  He was the Jewish cup bearer to the Persian King, Artaxerxes.  It was during the time of the exile of the Jews, and Jerusalem had fallen into shambles.  Nehemiah lived far from Jerusalem, but he couldn’t get it off his mind.  It grieved him to think of God’s holy city in ruins.  Of all the men in the bible, Nehemiah probably had the greatest sensitivity to the things of God.  God began to talk to him, and laid a burden on his heart to go back and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  

There are times when the pastor talks to people about a spiritual need in the church.  “Would you take this position?  Would you see that this gets done?”  I love it when someone comes to me and says, “Pastor, I feel a tremendous burden for souls, or Home Bible Studies, or outreach, or whatever.  I don’t have to build the fire, it’s already there.  This past year, I didn’t have to get Bro. Kevin Condon to think about a tent revival.  If I had, it would never have gotten done because it was such a huge task.  He would have found lots of excuses whey it couldn’t be done.  It was too much work, too many people would have to get involved, and it was going to cost too much!  When God talks to a person, though, it’s a totally different story.  Kevin was like a Mac truck; he wouldn’t be stopped! 

What I’m talking about is God elevating you to a place of His calling.  The Bible speaks of a hopeful calling, a high calling, a holy calling, and a heavenly calling.  When you get a summons from the throne room of God, it is undeniable, irrepressible, incomparable and impossible to resist.  Furthermore, it has to be this way.  This is the only way God works!  His gifts and callings are without repentance!  Do you know why?  Because you have never been in a fight like you are about to engage in when you answer God’s call in your life! 

Nehemiah had never heard of Sanballat, or Tobiah or the many other enemies of what he was planning to do.  He was about to find out. 

Nehemiah 4:7-8 (KJV)
7 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, 8 And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. 

Isn’t it amazing that people who never cared about any decision you made in life all of a sudden get beside themselves when they hear you are going to that Apostolic church?  And, as long as you are living a normal, secular life like everyone else, they’re fine.  But as soon as you announce that you are going higher in the things of God, or that you are going to pursue ministry in some way, WWIII breaks out. 

I am convinced that the only people the devil doesn’t bother are the people that don’t bother him!  As long as you subscribe to the philosophy that Bro. Max Manley taught about, you’re fine.  He talked about Moralistic Therapeutic Deism that has become the new religion among young people.  1.  There is a God.  2. Be nice to each other.  3.  The goal in life is to be happy.  4.  God doesn’t interfere in your life. 5.  All good people go to heaven when they die.  If that’s all you believe, you won’t even be a blip on the devil’s radar screen. 

But when you decide to move up higher, look out!  Satan doesn’t want you to find the highway of holiness.  Isaiah 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”  I submit to you this morning, that you not only have to fight to get your calling, you have to fight to keep your calling.  

You have to say, “This is who I am; I’m not coming down!”  You’re not just reforming yourself; you’re not just choosing a different way of life.  You’re not just joining a different church.  You have heard from God!  This is what separates people who get salvation from people who just get religion.  

When you hear from God, you are able to say, “I’m not coming down!”  You are willing to fight off every jeer, every criticism, every temptation, every discouragement, every defection of a friend, every well-intentioned advice from a relative, every attack and every threat.  You go up to your new work, your new life with a new attitude.  This is what Nehemiah did: 

Nehemiah 4:16-23 (KJV) “And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. 17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. 18 For the builders, everyone had his sword girded by his side, and so builded.”

I have a message for everyone who has made a trip down the aisle to this altar.  You’ve repented of your sins.  You’ve been baptized in the Name of Jesus.  You have been filled with the Holy Ghost.  You’ve started out walking on the high way of holiness.  Now, you’ve got to learn to say, “I’m not coming down!” 

Ephesians 2:1-10 (KJV) 1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  

Do you realize where you are?  You have been raised up to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus!  You are breathing rarefied air.  You’re in the company of the redeemed of Christ!  You can lay your head on your pillow at night and sleep with a clear conscience.  You’re making right decisions in life.  You are not bound by alcohol, or drugs.  You can look your husband or wife in the eye and say I am faithful to you.  Why would you every want to come down from the high place where God has put you?  Why would you want to go back to the old life? 

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (KJV) 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mnkind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.  

I’m not coming down! 

I’m saved; I don’t want to be unsaved.

I’m found; I don’t want to be lost.

I’m living for God; I don’t want to waste my life living for the devil.

I’m right; I don’t want to be wrong.

I’m rich; I don’t want to be poor.

No, Devil!  I’m not coming down! 

I Am A Person of Vision! 

  • I have been a pew-warmer, a fence-walker, a spectator for too long.
  • I am getting up, getting right and getting going.
  • I may not see the entire picture, but I see my picture.
  • I can’t try everything, but I will try something.
  • I may fail trying, but I won’t fail to try.
  • I may not make much on my investment, but I won’t bury my talent in the ground.
  • I will act even though I receive no thanks in return.
  • I will pray and leave the answer up to God.
  • I will witness and leave the response up to the person.
  • I will smile even though no one smiles back.
  • I will give because it is right, not because I expect something in exchange for my gift.
  • I am blood-bought, Word-taught and miraculously-wrought.
  • I am divinely created, Spirit-filled, God-called and Heaven-sent.
  • I am saved by grace, programmed to succeed, wired for power and mission-oriented.
  • God is my commander-in-chief.
  • Jesus is my Savior.
  • My pastor is my coach.
  • The Bible is my blueprint.
  • The Holy Ghost is my Guide.
  • The world is my mission field.
  • I will be immune to criticism, unbowed by critics, unmoved by suffering and unashamed of the Gospel.
  • I will obey like Noah, sacrifice like Abraham, fight like David, pray like Daniel, be patient like Job, see God’s greatness like Isaiah, weep like Jeremiah, preach like Peter and reach out like Paul.
  • I have nothing greater to live for and nothing better to die for.
  • I am a person of vision! 

Finally, there is one man I’m glad resisted all calls, all pressure, all temptation to come down. 

Matthew 27:33-42 (KJV)
33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,
34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
36 And sitting down they watched him there; 37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. 39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

If you had been there, which crowd would you have joined?  Would you have said, It’s too much pain, come down.  It’s too hard; come down.  You don’t have to do this; come down! 

Hebrews 12:1-3 (KJV)
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 

My salvation depended on Him staying on the cross! Had He come down from the cross, his blood would have been shed in vain.  There would have been no burial, no resurrection, no ascension.  There would have been no upper room, no Day of Pentecost, no church, no salvation!

He couldn’t afford to let his enemies win. 

He is my example.  I have a cross.  I have a calling.  I have a consecration.  I have destiny!  I’m not coming down!  I can’t afford to let my enemies win! 

I am appealing to someone here today.  You know what you want to do. You know what you need to do.  You are weighing out all the pros and cons.  You’re looking at all the alternatives.  But you will never make a better decision than the one that finds you at this altar this morning. 

If you are in the midst of the battle, you need to come up here and get a better grip on the trowel in one hand and the sword in the other.  Today, we are living too close to the end.  Your work is not complete.  

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