Religiile din România pe județe – Baptiști, Penticostali, Ortodocși si Atei

Multumesc lui Catmiel Hozan pentru atentionare!

Privind aceste date, gandul zboara la ceea ce a spus Domnul Isus in:

Matei 9:35-38

35 Isus străbătea toate cetăţile şi satele, învăţînd pe norod în sinagogi, propovăduind Evanghelia Împărăţiei, şi vindecînd orice fel de boală şi orice fel de neputinţă, care era în norod. 36 Cînd a văzut gloatele, I s’a făcut milă de ele, pentru că erau necăjite şi risipite, ca nişte oi cari n’au păstor.

37 Atunci a zis ucenicilor Săi: ,,Mare este secerişul, dar puţini sînt lucrătorii! 38 Rugaţi dar pe Domnul secerişului să scoată lucrători la secerişul Lui.„

Parca ni s-a parut ca suntem mai multi crestini evanghelici? Chiar asa de multi sunt plecati in strainatate, cu serviciul? Doamne, mult este de lucru in Romania. Ridica lucratori din poporul Tau, care sa vesteasca Evanghelia tarii noastre!

Statistica folosita este de la recensamantul din 2011.  Am vazut unele comentarii, la sursa si la alte articole legate de aceste statistice, ca la recensamantul 2011, unele persoane nu au fost intrebate de religie. S-ar putea ca statistica sa nu fie perfecta, dar totusi ne da o oarecare privire in ansamblu religiilor din Romania. Si ne dam seama ca mare e campul Evangheliei de care Domnul Isus vorbea acum 2,000 de ani.

Am listat judetele top din aceste denominatii/religie/atei. Judetele cu culoarea gri si albastru deschis sunt judetele cu procent scazut al religiei selectate. Iar judetele cu culoarea albastru inchis sunt judetele cu procent ridicat al religiei selectate:

1. Penticostali

Penticostalii 2011 rodiagnusdei

Judetele top la numar de Penticostali:

  1. 47,773 – Suceava
  2. 37,960 – Bihor
  3. 28,922 – Arad
  4. 26,094 – Timis
  5. 20,975 – Cluj
  6. 20,257 – Bistrita-Nasaud
  7. 16,541 – Maramures
  8. 15,375 – Hunedoara
  9. 11,202 – Botosani
  10. 10,724 – Brasov
  11. 10,358 – Salaj
  12. 9,993 – Satu Mare
  13. 9,361 – Mures
  14. 8,979 – Caras-Severin
  15. 7,654 – Galati
  16. 7,073 – Dambovita
  17. 6,422 – Alba
  18. 5,956 – Vrancea
  19. 5,492 – Bacau
  20. 5,384 – Prahova
  21. 5,050 – Bucuresti
  22. 4,922 – Sibiu
  23. 4,585 – Iasi

2. Baptiști

Baptistii 2011 rodiagnusdei

Judetele top la numar de Baptisti:

  1. 21,934 – Bihor
  2. 14,700 – Arad
  3. 10,808 – Caras-Severin
  4. 8,680 – Timis
  5. 8,293 – Salaj
  6. 7,139 – Cluj
  7. 5,537 – Hunedoara
  8. 3,079 – Suceava
  9. 3,117 – Sibiu
  10. 3,048 – Alba
  11. 2,210 – Bistrita-Nasaud
  12. 2,094 – Maramures

3. Ortodocși

Ortodoxii 2011 rodiagnusdei

Judetele top la numar de Ortodocsi:

  1. 711,117 – Prahova
  2. 663,513 – Iasi
  3. 619,298 – Dolj
  4. 576,592 – Arges
  5. 568-094 – Constanta
  6. 532,807 – Suceava
  7. 507,506 – Timis
  8. 486,439 – Galati
  9. 482,016 – Dambovita
  10. 473,096 – Cluj
  11. 470,560 – Bacau
  12. 439,055 – Brasov
  13. 423,441 – Buzau
  14. 407,159 – Olt

323,217 – Gorj

4. Atei

Ateii 2011 rodiagnusdei

Judetele top la numar de atei:

  1. 8,067 – Bucuresti
  2. 1,854 – Cluj
  3. 1,125 – Timis
  4. 896 – Iasi
  5. 885 – Brasov

Puteti sa

  1. intrati la sursa aici – http://www.incont.ro/
  2. Selectati o religie din meniu, din partea stanga sus.
  3. Treceti cu mousul peste judetul preferat si va va arata cifra membrilor acelei denominatii, din judetul respectiv.

Comentariile dumneavoastra sunt bine primite la acest articol si la toate articolele noastre!

How to disagree: 7 types of disagreement ranked (Illustration)

— From refuting the central point to name-calling

Here is a hierarchy of disagreement based on essayist and programmer Paul Graham’s relatively brief and helpfully straightforward essay “How to Disagree“ via twentytwowords.com

Grahams-Hierarchy-of-Disagreement-685x513

Print and Save Bible Timeline

TO ENLARGE CHART: click on photo. Click again to enlarge.

from http://visualunit.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/bible_timeline1.jpg

A W Tozer – One cause of our moral weakness today is an inadequate Christology

chart from www.1689commentary.org

THE LORDSHIP OF THE MAN JESUS IS BASIC

by A. W. Tozer


WE ARE UNDER CONSTANT TEMPTATION these days to substitute another Christ for the Christ of the New Testament. The whole drift of modern religion is toward such a substitution.

To avoid this we must hold steadfastly to the concept of Christ as set forth so clearly and plainly in the Scriptures of truth. Though an angel from heaven should preach anything less than the Christ of the apostles let him be forthrightly and fearlessly rejected.

The mighty, revolutionary message of the Early Church was that a man named Jesus who had been crucified was now raised from the dead and exalted to the right hand of God. „Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Less than three hundred years after Pentecost the hard-pressed defenders of the faith drew up a manifesto condensing those teachings of the New Testament having to do with the nature of Christ. This manifesto declares that Christ is „God of the substance of His Father, begotten before all ages: Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world: perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting: Equal to His Father, as touching His Godhead: less than the Father, as touching His manhood. Who, although He be God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by the taking of the manhood into God. One altogether, not by the confusion of substance, but by the unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ.”

Even among those who acknowledge the deity of Christ there is often a failure to recognize His manhood. We are quick to assert that when He walked the earth He was God with men, but we overlook a truth equally as important, that where He sits now on His mediatorial throne He is Man with God.

The teaching of the New Testament is that now, at this very moment, there is a man in heaven appearing in the presence of God for us. He is as certainly a man as was Adam or Moses or Paul. He is a man glorified, but His glorification did not dehumanize Him. Today He is a real man, of the race of mankind, bearing our lineaments and dimensions, a visible and audible man whom any other man would recognize instantly as one of us.

But more than this, He is heir of all things, Lord of all worlds, head of the church and the first-born of the new creation. He is the way to God, the life of the believer, the hope of Israel and the high priest of every true worshiper. He holds the keys of death and hell and stands as advocate and surety for everyone who believes on Him in truth.

This is not all that can be said about Him, for were all said that might be said I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. But this in brief is the Christ we preach to sinners as their only escape from the wrath to come. With Him rest the noblest hopes and dreams of men. All the longings for immortality that rise and swell in the human breast will be fulfilled in Him or they will never know fulfillment. There is no other way (John 14:6).

Salvation comes not by „accepting the finished work” or „deciding for Christ.” It comes by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, the whole, living, victorious Lord who, as God and man, fought our fight and won it, accepted our debt as His own and paid it, took our sins and died under them and rose again to set us free. This is the true Christ, and nothing less will do.

But something less is among us, nevertheless, and we do well to identify it so that we may repudiate it. That something is a poetic fiction, a product of the romantic imagination and maudlin religious fancy. It is a Jesus, gentle, dreamy, shy, sweet, almost effeminate, and marvelously adaptable to whatever society He may find Himself in. He is cooed over by women disappointed in love, patronized by pro tem celebrities and recommended by psychiatrists as a model of a well-integrated personality. He is used as a means to almost any carnal end, but He is never acknowledged as Lord. These quasi Christians follow a quasi Christ. They want His help but not His interference. They will flatter Him but never obey Him.

The argument of the apostles is that the Man Jesus has been made higher than angels, higher than Moses and Aaron, higher than any creature in earth or heaven. And this exalted position He attained as a man. As God He already stood infinitely above all other beings. No argument was needed to prove the transcendence of the Godhead. The apostles were not declaring the preeminence of God, which would have been superfluous, but of a man, which was necessary.

Those first Christians believed that Jesus of Nazareth, a man they knew, had been raised to a position of Lordship over the universe. He was still their friend, still one of them, but had left them for a while to appear in the presence of God on their behalf. And the proof of this was the presence of the Holy Spirit among them.

One cause of our moral weakness today is an inadequate Christology. We think of Christ as God but fail to conceive of Him as a man glorified. To recapture the power of the Early Church we must believe what they believed. And they believed they had a God-approved man representing them in heaven.

Haggai and the rebuilding of the Temple in 520 B.C. by John Piper

A SURVEY OF THE MAJOR AND MINOR PROPHETS – HAGGAI

Historical Background of the Book. The Jews had been held captive in the land of Babylon for about 60 years. Around 540 B.C., King Cyrus of the Medeo-Persian Empire displaced the Babylonians. Being favorably inclined toward the Jews, he allowed about 50,000 Jews to return to Canaan around 539 B.C. under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua (Ezra 1-2). Around 536 B.C., they began rebuilding the temple which had been destroyed by the Babylonians 50 years prior (Ezra 3). However, they encountered opposition from the local inhabitants to the north, the Samaritans, Gentiles the Assyrians had placed in the area after displacing the Northern Kingdom. By decree of King Artaxerxes, Cyrus successor, construction on the temple was halted around 535 B.C. (Ezra 4).

biblequestions.org

The Author and the Audience. Around 520 B.C., the word of the Lord came to Haggai (Ezra 5:1). Little is known about him. Some scholars suggest he may have witnessed the destruction of the temple by the Babylonians. His audience was Zerubabbel, Joshua, and the Jews in Jerusalem.

Outline/Major Themes. The overall theme of the book of Haggai is two fold: 1) the Jews have not prospered because they have neglected the rebuilding of the temple and 2) they needed to repent, get to work, and finish the job.

  • Ch. 1:1-11 The call to repent and rebuild
  • Ch. 1:12-15 Zerubabbel’s response of repentance
  • Ch. 2:1-9 Encouragement since the rebuilt temple would be filled with God’s glory
  • Ch. 2:10-19 The people would be restored and blessed 
  • Ch. 2:20-23 A promise made to Zerubabbel which has messianic overtones To the Jews’ credit, they resumed construction and completed the temple about five years later (Ezra 5-6).

Messages for Christians. In the events surrounding the book of Haggai, we see echos of several New Testament themes:

The lingering consequences of sin – The overall temple complex built during Zerubbabel’s time was smaller than Solomon’s and had less gold and precious stones. The ark of the covenant, the 10 commandment tablets, and the mercy seat had been lost or destroyed along with the first temple. Likewise today, Christians can repent of sin, but sometimes sin has lingering consequences (e.g., weakened spiritual influence, unplanned pregnancies, an increased appetite for sinful things).

The ends don’t justify the means – The Jews did not accept help from the idolatrous Gentiles to the north. According to the New Testament pattern, congregations today are to be financed by the free-will offerings of Christians (not by selling merchandise or services to the general public nor by financial appeals to non-Christians such as bake sales, garage sales, or rummage sales). Always put God first (Matt. 6:24-34; Matt. 13:7, 22). Don’t become weary in doing good by external persecution or by internal indifference (Rev. 2:4-5; Heb. 10:24-25; Gal. 6:9).

„The way Haggai motivates the Jews to build the temple of God has a powerful application to our own efforts to build the Church of God. I want to focus mainly on the message Haggai delivers in 2:1–9. But since the book is small, we can take a quick tour through the two chapters to see how 2:1–9 fits into the lay of the land.”

You can listen to the following in audio sermon format at Desiring God.

Take Courage: You Build More Than You See

John Piper at  Desiring God

In 586 BC the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, and took most of the Jews into exile. About 50 years later Cyrus, the Persian, took Babylon, and brought the Babylonian Empire to an end. The next year (538 BC) he allowed the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. All of this was owing to the sovereign hand of God fulfilling the prophecies of Jeremiah (Ezra 1:1).

Return to the Land

Among the returning exiles were (probably) the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. Ezra 5:12sums up for us what these two contemporaries accomplished:

Now the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel who was over them. Then Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and Joshua, the son of Jozadak, arose and began to rebuild the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and with them were the prophets of God helping them.

So Haggai and Zechariah were sent by God to assist in the rebuilding of the temple. This work was begun, according to Haggai 1:15, on the 24th day of the sixth month of the second year of the reign of Darius, which in our dating is September 21, 520 BC. So you can see that about 18 years went by between the return of the exiles and the rebuilding of the temple. This delay is what brings forth the message of Haggai.

The way Haggai motivates the Jews to build the temple of God has a powerful application to our own efforts to build the Church of God. I want to focus mainly on the message Haggai delivers in 2:1–9. But since the book is small, we can take a quick tour through the two chapters to see how 2:1–9 fits into the lay of the land.

Structure of Haggai

The book is clearly divided into four distinct messages from the Lord, each of which is precisely dated. The first message, delivered by Haggai to Zerubbabel, the governor, and Joshua, the priest, is dated (according to 1:1) in the second year of Darius (king of Persia), the first day of the sixth month (August 29, 520 BC). This message extends to the end of chapter 1. The second message is found in 2:1–9 and is dated (2:1) on the 21st day of the seventh month (October 17, 520 BC). The third message is found in 2:10–19 and is dated (2:10) on the 24th day of the ninth month (December 18, 520 BC). Finally, the fourth message comes in 2:20–23 on the same day as the third one. One of the things that we see when we look at this little book long enough is that the first and third messages are similar and the second and fourth messages are similar. This morning we will only have time to survey the first and third so that we understand the context for the second message (2:1–9).

Neglecting the Temple of God

The first message in chapter 1 reveals to the governor and priest and people that the reason they are all frustrated is that they have tried to make their own lives comfortable while neglecting the temple of God. Verses 4–6:

Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now therefore consider how you have fared (or: consider your ways). 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 earns wages to put them in a bag with holes.

So they lived in perpetual frustration and discontentment. Nothing satisfied. We can’t pass over this lesson easily. It’s for us, too. If you devote yourself to sowing and eating and drinking and clothing yourselves and earning wages, but neglect your ministry in the body of Christ (the temple of God, 1 Corinthians 3:1617), you will live in constant frustration. If you spend your time and energy seeking comfort and security from the world, and do not spend yourself for the glory of God, every pleasure will leave its sour aftertaste of depression and guilt and frustration.

The reason I mention the glory of God is because of verse 8. Haggai’s remedy for frustration goes like this: „Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may appear in my glory, says the Lord.” Both then and now the real problem is not the neglect of a building but indifference to the glory of God. The temple of the Old Testament existed for the glory of God. And the Church today exists for the glory of God (Ephesians 1:61214). Indifference to the growth and spiritual prosperity of the Church and its mission is always a sign of failure to love the glory of God. And the sour fruit of this failure is a life of chronic frustration. He who seeks to save his life will lose it to continual frustrations; but he who loses his life for the glory of God and the good of hiscause will find life, deep and fulfilling. Verse 9 sums up the situation in Jerusalem: „You have looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? says the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while you busy yourself each with his own house.”

Then in verses 12–15 Haggai reports that Zerubbabel and Joshua and the people obey and begin to work on the temple, on the 24th day of the sixth month. So, after 18 years of neglect and frustration, the people begin to learn their lesson: „seek the kingdom first, and all these other things will be added” (Matthew 6:33).

Half-hearted Obedience

Now, skipping over 2:1–9 (the second message), look at 2:10–19, the third message. Verse 10 dates it in the 24th day of the ninth month, three months after the work on the temple began. Things have not gone well. Evidently the attitude of the people is that mere contact with the temple makes them clean in God’s sight while, in fact, they are living in sin. The holiness of the temple is not rubbing off on them. On the contrary, their sin is desecrating the temple. That’s the meaning of verses 11–14, a kind of parable applied in v. 14 to the people like this: „So it is with this people and with this nation before me, says the Lord; and so with every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.” So, even though they have begun to obey the Lord by working on the temple, their work is unclean because of sin in their lives.

So what Haggai does in response to this imperfect obedience is point the people back to the great turning point in their experience when they began to work on the temple. Verses 15–17 tell the people to consider what they should do now, in view of how life was for thembefore they started building the temple. „Pray now, consider what will come to pass from this day on (i.e., how you should live now, remembering) . . . I smote you and all the products of your toil with blight and mildew and hail; yet you did not return to me, says the Lord.” In other words, recall how miserable and frustrated you were in your disobedience before you began to lay stone on stone in the temple. The implication is: surely it is utter folly to go on in sin now, if it cost so much then. So verses 15–17 call the people to consider what they should do now, in view of how life was for them before they started building the temple.

Verses 18–19 are more positive: they call the people to consider how they should live now, in view of how life has been for them (not before, but) since they began to build the temple. „Since that day,” the prophet asks in verse 19, „is the seed yet in the barn? Do the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree still yield nothing? From this day on I will bless you.” I think what he means is this: it has only been three months since you began to build. The seed is not in the barn but in the ground. The time for fruit-bearing is coming. I am not against you. I am for you and will help you. So consider your ways. Cleanse your hands, and keep working on my house. I promise to bless you.

So we have heard Haggai’s first and third message. They are similar in that both of them seek to motivate the Jews to build the temple by showing them how frustrated they were before they began to obey, and how much blessing they can expect from God if they press on in their work with clean hands. What is at stake is the manifestation of God’s glory, not merely brick and mortar and timber.

A Paltry Replacement?

Now, let’s go back and look more closely at the second message in 2:1–9. According to verse 1, the message comes on the 21st day of the seventh month, a little less than a month after the people had begun to build. It seems as though the work has slowed or come to a complete stop, because Haggai’s message is that they take courage and get on with the work (v. 4). What makes this message so practical and relevant is that we can see ourselves so easily in the workers. And God’s encouraging words become very easily words of strength for us, too.

Verse 3 shows why the people have become weak and discouraged in their labors. Haggai asks, „Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not in your sight as nothing?” The workers are discouraged because the memory is still alive of how glorious the temple used to be. Less than 70 years ago it stood in this very spot, the apple of God’s eye, the magnificent achievement of Solomon, for centuries the center of holy worship. But instead of inspiring the people, this memory made the people look at the pitiful edifice they were building and feel hopeless. „How do you see it now? Is it not in your sight as nothing?” What’s the use, they say. We can’t match the glory of Solomon’s temple. We’re wasting our time. Nothing beautiful or worthwhile will ever come of it. We got along without it in Babylon; we can do without it here. Better to have the beauty of a great memory than a paltry imitation. So their hands are slack in the work.

Does that sound like anything in your experience? I think anybody who has ever undertaken a work for the cause of Christ has felt that kind of discouragement: the sense that you work and work and the product seems so paltry. You pour yourself into a thing week after week and month after month and the fruit is so minimal. Then you look back in history or across town and see the grand achievement of others, and your temple seems so trivial. And you get discouraged and are tempted to quit and put away your aspirations and drop your dreams and put your feet up in front of the television and coast. Who wants to devote his life to a second-rate temple?

Bethlehem is a prime target for discouragements like these. This church is the Solomon’s temple of the Baptist General Conference. There once was such a glory here that across the Conference Bethlehem is still thought of mainly in the past tense: once the biggest church; once she gave almost 50% of her income to missions; a thousand people used to be in Sunday School; the spawning ground of great spiritual leaders. Perhaps some Sunday School teachers remember the halcyon days of Bethlehem and grow weary and discouraged over their small ministry. Most of you have known the discouragement of feeling that what you are doing for Christ is of so little significance that you may as well quit.

Take Courage, Work, Fear Not

If that’s you, this message from Haggai is tailor-made for your heart today. God confronts the discouragement of the people, first of all, with a heartening command in verse 4: „Yet now take courage, O Zerubbabel, says the Lord; take courage, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; take courage, all you people of the land, says the Lord; work.” God clearly does not agree with their assessment of the situation. If they think their work on the temple is of so little significance that they can quit, they are very wrong, for God says, „Take courage, . . . work!”

He gives two arguments why they should take courage and work heartily. And both of these are crucial for us as well. The text continues in verses 4 and 5: „Work, for I am with you, says the Lord of hosts, according to the promise that I made you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit abides among you; fear not.” God’s first argument why they should „take courage,” „work,” and „fear not” is that he is with them. For most of us the value of a job increases with the dignity and prestige of the people who are willing to do it. How could we ever, then, belittle a work when God says he is with us in it? When God is working at your side, nothing is trivial.

But the promise is not only that he will be at your side; he will also be in your heart encouraging you. Look back at the end of 1:13. „I am with you, says the Lord. And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord.” If we will ask him and trust him, God not only works with us, but he moves in to stir up our spirit and give us a heart for the work. He doesn’t want crusty diehards in his work; he wants free and joyful laborers. And so he promises to be with them and stir them up to love the work.

But not only that. When he refers in 2:5 to the promise or covenant (literally: word) made at the Exodus, he shows that his presence is the same powerful presence that divided the Red Sea. Exodus 19:4 says, „You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.” So when he promises to be with the people in their work, he means: I will use all my divine power like I did at the Exodus to help you and strengthen you and protect you. Therefore, take courage, work, fear not.

But there is one other encouraging thing about this promise. For those Jews whose minds were all taken up with the glory of Solomon’s temple, this promise may have had a very special impact. Just before David’s death he encouraged his son, Solomon, with words very similar to Haggai 2:4 and 5: „David said to Solomon his son, ‘Be strong and of good courage and work. Fear not, be not dismayed; for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work of the service of the house of the Lord is finished”‘ (1 Chronicles 28:20). The implication of this similarity is that the same God who worked with Solomon to build his great temple is also at work with you now. Therefore, take courage, work, fear not.

The second argument God uses to encourage those who think their work only produces paltry results is found in verses 6–9:

For thus says the Lord of hosts: once again in a little while I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land; and I will shake the nations so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with splendor, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of hosts. The latter splendor of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts; and in this place I will give prosperity, says the Lord of hosts.

In other words, take courage, work, and fear not, because you build more than you see. All you see is a paltry temple. But God promises to take your work, fill it with his glory, and make your labors with a million times more than you ever imagined.

Fulfillment of the Prophecy

How was this prophecy fulfilled? Like most prophecies, it was fulfilled in stages, and the final fulfillment is yet to come. By the time Christ had begun his ministry, Herod had rebuilt Zerubbabel’s temple so that it was truly magnificent. The temple was destroyed in AD 70, but Jesus had said in John 2:1920, „Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up . . . But he spoke of the temple of his body.” Jesus said there is a direct continuity between the Old Testament temple and himself: once God met his people in the temple, now God meets us in Jesus Christ. Some interpreters believe a glorious temple will again be built in Jerusalem and stand through the millennium as Christ rules on earth (cf. Ezekiel 41ff.; 2 Thessalonians 2:4). That may be, but the final state of eternity is described inRevelation 21:22. When the new Jerusalem descends, John says, „And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.”

The point is this: God had a purpose for a temple. The Jews of Haggai’s day could not see it all, and what they could see seemed so paltry. So God came to them with a word of promise: Take courage. You build more than you see. The heavens and the earth and sea and land and all treasures are mine. I will take the fruit of your little labor and make it glorious beyond measure, no matter how trivial and paltry it may seem to you now.

There is a principle here that applies to you and me: God takes small, imperfect things and builds them into a habitation for his glory. O, how we should take courage in our little spheres of influence! And is this not the message of Advent and Christmas? What more appropriate word could God have said to Mary as Jesus was growing up: Take courage, young mother, you build more than you see. And so it is with every one of us. Nothing you do is a trifle if you do it in the name of God. He will shake heaven and earth to fill your labor with splendor. Take courage, you build more than you see.

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