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Building Godís House  

Building Godís House
		

		 
1. About 600 years before Christ, 
		Judah was taken captive to 
		
			Babylon...
		
   a. 
		
			Jerusalem with its temple was plundered and burned
		
   b. Seventy years later, the Jews were allowed to return
		

		 
2. It was the Lord's intention that the Jews rebuild the temple...
		
   a. He stirred up Cyrus of Persia to let them do this.
		

		 
               Ezra 1:1-5 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:  2"Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3Whoever 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 rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israeló he is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in 
		
			Jerusalem." 5Then rose up the heads of the fathersí houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the LORD that is in 
		
			Jerusalem.
		

		 
   b. But once the people returned to 
		
			Jerusalem, other things began to
		
      take precedence.
		

		 
3. God then sent Haggai to the Jews with a simple message...
		
   a. The message was "Build the temple!"
		
   b. The message has an application for the church today
		

		 
Turn to Haggai 1:
			

		 
I. HAGGAI'S MESSAGE TO 
			
				ISRAEL
		

		 
   A. THE ATTITUDE OF THE JEWS...
		
      1. "The time has not come for the Lord's house to be built" Ė v. 2
			
      2. Their reasoning can be inferred from Haggai 1:3-4 - Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, 4 "Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?
	
         a. They were too busy building their own homes.
		
         b. They put building their own homes before the Lord's house.
		
      3. Their attitude is made clear in Haggai 1:9 - You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house(C) that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.
		
         a. While the Lord's house lay in ruins...
		
b. ...every one was concerned with their own home!
	

		 
   B. THE MESSAGE OF HAGGAI...
		
      1. "Is it time to dwell in paneled homes while the temple lies in
		
         ruins?" Haggai 1:4
		
      2. The Lord's challenge: "Consider your ways!" Ė Haggai 1:5
		
         a. Things had not been going well. Haggai 1:6 Ė You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.
	
         b. They should have been building the temple - Hag 1:7-8 - "Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. 8Go 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
		
      3. Because they had put building their homes before the Lord's
		
         house...
		
         a. They prospered little; what little they had the Lord blew
		
            away - Hag 1:9
		
         b. The Lord even called for a drought in judgment upon them
		
            - Hag 1:10-11 Ė Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. 11And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and(D) on all their labors."
		

		 
[The preaching of Haggai proved successful; in reverence the people
		
obeyed and completed the construction of the temple (Hag 1:12-15).
		

		 
II. HAGGAI'S APPLICATION TO THE CHURCH
		

		 
   A. WE FACE A SIMILAR TASK...
		
      1. Not the building of a physical structure
		
         a. For God does not dwell in temples made with hands - Acts 17:24
		
         b. The 
		
			temple of 
			God is now the church Ė 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 - Do you not know that you are Godís temple and that Godís Spirit dwells in you? 17If anyone destroys Godís temple, God will destroy him. For Godís temple is holy, and you are that temple.
	
      2. Though a spiritual structure, God's temple is still undergoing
		
         construction
		
         a. The foundation is the work of Jesus, apostles and prophets
		
            - Ep 2:19-22 - So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are  fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the( apostles and prophets,  Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
		
         b. It grows as people are converted by the preaching of the
		
            gospel - 1Co 3:5-9 - What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed,  as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7So( neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9For we are Godís fellow workers. You are Godís field, Godís building.
		
         c. It grows internally as those converted do their part. 
		
      -- So we have a similar task to "Build the temple!" (a never-
			
         ending task)
		

		 
   B. HAGGAI'S MESSAGE IS VERY APPLICABLE...
		
      1. Does the Lord's house lie in ruins, while we run to our own
			
         homes?
		
         a. The Lord's house (the church) does lie in ruins if we...
		
            1) Allow other things to keep us from doing our part to
		
               evangelize the lost
		
            2) Neglect to do our part in edifying the body of Christ
		
         b. Whatever our abilities and opportunities, we have a
		
            responsibility in the building of the Lord's house today
		
            1) It may involve teaching or serving.
		
            2) It may involve going or sending.
		
         c. Through exercising our abilities we can build the temple of
		
            God today; otherwise the Lord's house will lie in ruins!
		
      2. Is it time to dwell in paneled homes, and let the Lord's house
			
         lie in ruin?
		
         a. Evidently some think so, if they say:  "I will serve the
		
            Lord as soon as I..."
		
            1) "...finish my schooling"
		
            2) "...get on top of the responsibilities of my job"
		
            3) "...raise my children"
		
         b. In each case, is not the bottom line the same?
		
            1) The Lord's house lies in ruin
		
            2) While we go about our own way with our own lives
		
         c. In Haggai's day, it was not time to put other things before
		
            the Lord's house; nor is it time to do so today!
		
            1) We must put the 
		
			kingdom of 
			God first - Mt 6:33
		
            2) We must put the Lord first - Mt 10:37-39
		
      3. Might we need to "consider our ways"?
		
         a. Are things not going the way they should?
		
            1) Perhaps there is a divine reason for the "drought" in our
		
               lives?
		
            2) Perhaps the Lord in His providence is telling us
		
               something!
		
         b. If we will put the Lord and His kingdom (house) first...
		
            1) God will provide our necessities - Mt 6:31-33
		
            2) God will multiply our seed for sowing - 2Co 9:6-11
		
         c. If we neglect the Lord's work...
		
            1) We won't have God's providence helping us
		
            2) We may even experience God's loving discipline. (Just as those in Haggaiís day did.)
		

		 
Invitation:
		

		 
Are you doing your part to build the Lord's house?
		

 




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