Haggai to the western church:
This is something that God brought home to my mind from countless texts and was the product of many, many hours work. The final version I present here was finished April 12th 2002. I was asked by my elders not to distribute it and following the model of Jesus who submitted to his parents until he was 30 I did so.
You nearly never got this because I was warned it would cause more damage than good by people I respect. But time and again I have recieved publications and information about the state of the global church and the lack of concern for it here in the west. So it is that I send this out [which I never, in fact, did]. That is the thrust, that is the concern, please overlook the flaws, forgive me if I aggrieve your heart, my brothers and my sisters. It is for you to read slowly being long. Some 11,000 words, at least 2,500 of which are not mine but direct quotations from scripture or others.
Greetings to you in Christ from my dad, mum and sister and my brothers in Christ Dave Cox and Phil Venables - with whom I have shared this already and because of whom you are tormented by it.
I have been thinking about Haggai, and thought God ought to speak to us today through this man, and would like to pass on the challenge that God has given to me in my self-centred life. The challenge and also the hope - cos it is a unique book in that it specifically covers a period of just under four months from beginning to end (1:1 & 2:18), and during this time there is the most amazing change - from God being against them because of their self-focussedness, and gospel work failing; to them being for God's kingdom and temple, and God blessing them abundantly. This change comes about through a very sharp rebuke and challenge, and my belief is that it is exactly the case today, and so the change also could be, if the sharp rebuke were to be heard.
Weigh what is said, for 'the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets' (1 Co 14:32). "It's better to be roughly right than precisely wrong."
Introduction: CONSIDER YOUR WAYS!Someone told me Haggai has nothing to do with our modern day, materialistic church, they may have been joking, of course. Haggai says, 'I am sick of hearing your pleas for 'revival, revival'.' He says all your little efforts are a waste of time, because you are materialistic and about panelling your own little houses and building your own kingdoms. Therefore, as it stands, I AM AGAINST YOU (says the Lord through Haggai). Go instead and get about building my global temple and my worldwide kingdom which lies in ruin through your neglect - else everything you do I will continue to curse. I think it's relevant.
- Haggai speaks today
- Natural means failing because God against.
- God against because we are: selfish & not for his Kingdom
- Making clear this selfishness & anti-Kingdom attitude
- Understanding the global church and how there ought to be equality
- Contrasting and comparing to demonstrate horrendous inequality & show selfish causes
- An amazing turnaround
- Considering our selfish ways & being about his Kingdom
- Start being about His Kingdom & the Lord will be with us
- 2 tings I almost missed!
- Greater glory in pressing on with current work (though it get laughed at, 2:1-9)
- Made very clear - you are a filthy people (2:10-14) (but I'll bless you anyway, 2:15-19)
- A consideration of how Christ fulfils all this
Conclusion:a very little practical encouragement, negative and positive...
- Reply to a friend's helpful criticism
- For churches already striving in this way...
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