The House of the Lord Lies in Ruins (Haggai 1:2)
Is it time to rebuild the house of the Lord?
The so-called confessing church in America is in critical condition and needs urgent life support. She is very distracted in our day and truly consumed with the false American gospel -- which contains the prosperity gospel, the social justice gospel, and many other false flavors of the gospel which create a very unbiblical gospel and Jesus- 1 Tim 4:1-2-"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,". The confessing Church is weak and is no longer salt and light (Luke 14:34; Matt 5:15-16) to the extremely lost, dark, evil, and dying world.
The world is self-destructing before her very eyes. Evil is called good and good is called evil even in the so-called church-ISH 5:20- "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!". Men and women in our day have openly rejected God and have received judgment as stated in Romans 1:28-32-"And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved (reprobate) mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them."
The Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy gave us insight into what the world would be like in the last days in which we now live- 2 Tim 3:1-5- "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these." I just read to you the evening news in our present day through God's Word, the Bible, written 2000 years ago! These are all signs of God's judgment on America and the world!
The Church has failed to be salt and light, so she is under judgment too. As a matter of fact, the Bible states that judgment starts with the house of God -- with God's people (EZK 9:6; 1Peter 4:17). The greatest judgment on the church today is the famine of the true Word not being taught and preached just as there was a famine of the Word of God from Malachi to John the Baptist, which was over 400 years! As the church goes, so goes the nation! The majority of the confessing church is caught up in some way with a false gospel and proclaims a different Jesus than the Biblical Jesus. And they think they are all saved; but many (Matt7:13,21-23) are not, and need to repent and be truly saved.
The real church [the born again regenerated church (EZK 36:26-27)] are few (Matt 7:14); but are also in a need of repentance from looking too much like the world and from being caught up in "self". There is another judgment from God on the confessing church and the real church regenerate: the famine of prayer! Oh, there is some prayer going on; but it is the wrong type of prayer -- calling for revival of more of what is already broken in the church as well as praying for more of the same false gospel to be spread that causes more unsaved, doubly-dead converts (Jude 1:12). And because of this, the House (confessing church) of the Lord today lies in ruins and is desolate.
The church is not a building. The church is the people of God because the truly regenerated Christian is the temple of God the Holy Spirit (1COR 6:19). When the Church [the House of God] is desolate, it is because the people of God are in rebellion against God. What our troubled, lost world [which is under God's judgment] needs in our day is a vibrant church who walks and lives the Word of God and shares the real Gospel and the real Jesus.
So, is it time for the House of God to be rebuilt? When the nation of Judah had been exiled for over 70 years to Babylon for being rebellious [like the church is today], God showed mercy on them and moved through pagan kings to send a remnant [the real people of God -- the few] back to Jerusalem to build the House of the Lord. They started the work but stopped because of persecution and fear; so, the house of God lay desolate! God in His mercy sends two prophets to His people to awaken them from their blinded sin state: Haggai, and Zechariah!
Now the House of God described here is a building; but God is using the building as a tool to get the real house of God to repent: the people of God -- Israel. Today the real believer is the house (temple) of God because the Holy Spirit dwells in them! We see in the following Scripture that the Word of the Lord comes to Haggai the prophet to call the people of God to repentance by pointing out their rebellious sin. Haggai 1:2-11- "Thus says the Lord of Hosts, 'This people says, "The time has not come, even the time for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt." "Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, "Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?" Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, "Consider your ways! You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes. " Thus, says the Lord of Hosts, "Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified," says the Lord. "You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?" declares the Lord of Hosts, "Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house. Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce. I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands.
We see in this Scripture that the people of God were not concerned about the things of God but concerned about the things for "self". They were self-centered and not God-centered and were taking care of their own needs and had forgotten God! God's judgment was to remove all favor and blessing from them, giving them little; and He was not in their midst.
God's command to them was to rebuild His house. They were now faced with a decision to make. They must decide to either continue in rebellion and judgment or repent and seek God's mercy, compassion, favor, and His returned presence. The church today is in the same position. Will the "self-centered" church continue in sin and judgment or listen to the Lord and repent by turning away from sin and turning towards God?
Judah listened to Haggai and repented- Haggai 1:12-13;2:4- "Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord. Then Haggai, the Lord's messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: "I am with you," declares the Lord."; "But now be strong, Zerubbabel,' declares the Lord. 'Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,' declares the Lord, 'and work. For I am with you,' declares the Lord Almighty".
When God's People humble themselves and turn from their sin and turn to God, God turns to them and is with them (2Chron 7:14-15)! The formula is simple: Humble ourselves; Pray; Seek God; and Turn from our Wicked Ways! God says He will forgive the sin and heal the land; and God does not lie!
So, do you want to be part of the building of the house of God -- the church -- or do you want to be part of her judgment? Pray for God to give you and the corporate church humility; zeal for prayer and for God; as well as the true fruit of repentance!