Does God’s House Lie in Ruins?

Thus says the Lord of hosts:  “These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.”  Then the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” ….. Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways.  Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord.”

Haggai 1:2-4, 7-8

After they had returned from Babylonian captivity, God had given the Jews the task of rebuilding the Jerusalem temple and restoring the worship required of them under the Old Testament.  However, they were falling down on the job.  They apparently were more focused on building up their own houses instead of God’s house.

In the New Testament, Christians – and the Lord’s church as a whole – make up the temple of God.  It would be good for us to consider if we are following in these Jews’ footsteps in a spiritual sense.  Are we more interested in focusing on our own thing than building up the house of God which is the church?  Are we putting more time and interest in secular matters than we are in spiritually maturing and thus making ourselves a proper temple of God?

Churches, how many of your teenagers graduate from high school, spend time in college and then move on into their own lives as young adults in their twenties…and never the darken the doorstep of a church building again?  Elders, deacons and preachers…how many times have you fought an uphill battle against softball, volleyball, football, and band practice when planning youth events which are designed to fortify their faith?  How many have planned to knock doors on Saturdays and found the majority of the membership neglecting that outreach in favor of spending a day at the lake?

We sing a lot about seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness first (Matt. 6:33)…but it seems that many of us want to do that only so long as there is not one other possible thing that we could spend our time doing.

As Haggai pointed out, we should consider our ways.  We need to rebuild the house of God which is his church both locally and throughout the world.  We must do so by re-examining and re-shuffling our priorities so that evangelism and spiritual growth rises much higher on the totem pole than they currently are.

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