The beginning of true revival comes when a godly company of believers takes on the Lord’s burden for a church or a city trapped in sin. This godly company fasts and prays, pleading with God to begin rebuilding the walls and gates that will protect His people from every enemy.
Once Jerusalem’s walls were rebuilt and its gates set up, gatekeepers and watchmen were appointed to every house. Walls and gates are no good without gatekeepers who know what can or can’t be allowed in. Thus, Nehemiah says, “It came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed” (Nehemiah 7:1).
Notice that these gatekeepers were not strictly priests. They were laymen—musicians, porters, people from all walks of life. And they were instructed: “Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand by, let them shut the doors, and bar them” (verse 3). God was saying to His people, “My house is going to be a place of light, with no darkness allowed in. Let everyone and everything that enters here be an open book, subject to the light of My Word.”
I say to every elder reading this message, including the elders at Times Square Church: Don’t ever allow yourself to be blinded to God’s Word by your close ties to any minister. You have been appointed by God to be a keeper at the gates of His house. And if anyone brings a gospel into your church that is not according to Scripture, it is your duty to lovingly tell that preacher he is wrong.
As gatekeepers, we are to guard the doors of God’s house in humility—through fasting, prayer and loving concern expressed through the fear of God.
Nehemiah said, “Appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one to be over against his house” (Nehemiah 7:3). According to Nehemiah, guardians were to be appointed not just to the gates of the holy city, but to every home as well. In short, the heads of every household—that is, the parents—were responsible for everything that came into their home.