Jesus said, “I will build My church.” (Matt. 16:18).

The Big Idea: Noah. Moses. Ezra. Nehemiah.  What did these four men have in common?  They were building an invisible Kingdom, and nothing was going to stop them from accomplishing that task.  What did they see and know that gave them the passion to build, when others around them had doubts, got discouraged, or wanted to give up?

Let’s consider this theme in the lives of these four Bible heroes.


  • The world was in a chaotic state: “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.”  (Gen. 6:11)  Sounds a lot like today’s world!
  • God said to Noah, “Build yourself an ark of gopherwood.”  (v.14)
  • God wasn’t just telling Noah to build a boat. “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark--you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” (v.18)
  • But even though the people no doubt mocked Noah, he kept building.  Why?  He knew he wasn’t just building a boat.  He was doing something to save people’s lives.
  • He would say, “I’m building something, something that’s bigger than me!”
  • The Bible tells us that God “saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly.”  (2 Peter 2:5)
  • Noah was preaching righteousness, but the people did not respond and change their lives!
  • Jesus said, “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”  (Matt. 24:37)


  • When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, journeying from Egypt to the Promised Land:
  • “And Moses spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, "This is the thing which the Lord commanded, saying, 'Take from among you an offering to the Lord. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the Lord.  All who are gifted artisans among you shall come and make all that the Lord has commanded'”  (Ex. 35:4-5)
  • Moses called for all the people who were willing to help build the temple by giving offerings, and giving of their talents.
  • “1 And Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whom the Lord has put wisdom and understanding, to know how to do all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, shall do according to all that the Lord has commanded."  2 Then Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, everyone whose heart was stirred, to come and do the work.  3 And they received from Moses all the offering which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of making the sanctuary.  So they continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning.  4 Then all the craftsmen who were doing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work he was doing, 5 and they spoke to Moses, saying, "The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the Lord commanded us to do."  6 So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, "Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary."  And the people were restrained from bringing, 7 for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done--indeed too much.”  (Ex. 36:1-7)
  • Wow!  What an amazing project!  “Freewill” offerings!
  • If you were to ask them why they were giving: They would say, “We’re building something, something that’s bigger than us!  We’re growing the Kingdom!”


  • “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, 'All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me.  And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah.  Who is among you of all His people?  May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem.'”  (Ezra 1:2-3).
  • The people went up to rebuild God’s house.  (v.5)
  • When they laid the foundation, they praised God.  (Ezra 3:10)
  • The Bible isn’t just about spiritual things like praying and reading your Bible.
  • Ezra was all about rebuilding the house of the Lord.
  • Their enemies were trying to discourage them from building.  (4:4)
  • But the prophets (Zerubbabel & Jeshua) supported the people in their work.  (5:1-2)
  • They would say, “We’re building something, something that’s bigger than us!”
  • They weren’t just building a building, they were building the house of the Lord.
  • This was a place where God’s people could gather together to worship the Lord!


  • Nehemiah heard that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and burned with fire, and he wept.  (Neh. 1:3-4)
  • Nehemiah rallied the people and said, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach.”  (Neh. 2:17)
  • So the people rose up to begin rebuilding the walls.  (v.18)
  • Their enemies mocked and despised them, and tried to discourage their work.  (v.19)
  • They would say, “We’re building something, something that’s bigger than us!”
  • Their enemy said, “Will they revive the stones from the heaps of rubbish - stones that are burned?”  (Neh. 4:2)
  • That was a prophetic picture of what Nehemiah and Ezra were doing.  They were reviving people whose lives were in burnt heaps of rubble.
  • They built the wall halfway because "the people had a mind to work."  (v.6)
  • Nehemiah said, “Do not be afraid of them.  Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”  (v.14)
  • They knew that they were building something that had an eternal value.  They were building for the generations to come!
  • When they finished building, they read the law, prayed, and praised the Lord.  (Neh. 8-9)

Building in the Scriptures:

  • The prophet Isaiah recognized that believers were called to build people. “Those from among you shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.”  (Isaiah 58:12)
  • “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”  (1 Peter 2:4-5)
  • The Kingdom of God is about changing people’s lives!

The Challenge:

Who are we as a church?  Why are we here?  And where are we going?

We’re not here to build a building.  We’re here to build people, and build the Kingdom.

“And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, 'Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?'  When the men had come to Him, they said, 'John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’  And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.  Jesus answered and said to them, 'Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.'”  (Luke 7:19-22)

  • Jesus came to build the Kingdom, to transform people’s lives!
  • When we build the Kingdom of God people’s lives are changed!
  • This is why we want to grow our church, so more people can find hope, healing and restoration through God’s Word.
  • We want to become what Jesus was in this world, “A center of love, designed for the healing of broken people, and a force for God.”


  • What are you building your life on?
  • Are you building something that’s bigger than you?
  • Are you growing the Kingdom of God?
  • Now is the time.  Let’s grow together!

Adapted from sermons by Chris Jordan

Pastor Pete