Thursday, August 4, 2016, 5:30 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Zeal for Your House.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Hebrews 10:19-39 (NASB).
The Confession of our Hope (vv. 19-25)
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Under the Old Covenant relationship between God and his people, a physical building built by human hands was the house of God. It was called the Temple. Within that temple complex, as best as I can recall, were the outer court (or courts), the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (also called the Holy of Holies), which was the inner sanctuary. In the Most Holy Place was placed the Ark of the Covenant in which was the presence of God. There was a very thick veil which hung between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. Only the high priests could go into the Most Holy Place, and then only once a year, I believe. They went in there to sacrifice for their sins and for the sins of the people.
When Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, though, the veil that hung between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place was supernaturally torn in two. He is now the veil through which we enter into God’s most holy presence. He was also the sacrificial Lamb which was sacrificed for our sins once for all, so we don’t need those yearly animal sacrifices anymore. And, he is our high priest through whom the sacrifice was given for our sins, and through whom we now have access to God the Father. Now the temple is his body, and as his followers, we are part of that body. We, who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of our lives, are his temple. The Spirit of God now dwells within us. So, the inner sanctuary in which God’s presence is felt now lives within all of us who know Jesus Christ.
Thus, the church, which is the temple of God, is not a building or a church denomination or a corporation of the federal government. What I mean is that First Presbyterian Church or Westside Baptist Church are not the church. These are institutions of human origin. The church is a living organism with Christ as her head. And, the sanctuary of God is within the lives of Christ’s followers. God does not dwell in buildings built by human hands. Thus, when we enter a building called “church,” we are NOT entering God’s house nor have we suddenly walked into the presence of God, because God’s presence lives within us and is always with us, and we, the people, are now the Lord’s house, his temple. Through the blood of Christ, shed on the cross for our sins, we now have direct access to God any day or time or place.
So, since God provided his Son as a sacrifice for our sins, so that we could not only escape the ultimate punishment of sin (eternal damnation), but so we could be delivered out of slavery to sin and could now become servants of his righteousness, those who have not yet entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ through faith should do so. And, those who have believed in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of their lives should continue in him, and we should hold fast (firm) our faith and commitment to Christ with unwavering devotion. And, we should encourage one another to do the same, for many have drifted away.
For If We (vv. 26-31)
For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
The Bible is real clear on this subject. We are not saved from our sins just so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die, with nothing in between. So many people today are preaching a “Do nothing” gospel. Purportedly they are trying to steer people away from works-based salvation teaching, but they have swung the pendulum the other direction, and they are teaching no repentance, no obedience and no submission to Christ and the cross. Basically, their gospel message is a free-for-all, i.e. “a chaotic situation resembling a free-for-all especially in lacking rules or structure” (M-W Dict.). They teach that nothing is required of us and that God is pleased with us no matter what we do.
But, that is not what the Bible teaches. If we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk (conduct our lives) in darkness (sinful lifestyles), we are liars, the Bible says (1 Jn. 1:6). A saved life is a changed life. It is a life transformed of the Holy Spirit of God away from sin to God. So, if we go on sinning willfully after we accept the truth of whatever gospel we are listening to, we are not any better off than we were before. We are still in bondage to sin and bound for eternity without God in the lake of fire. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Coming to Christ means we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are resurrected with Christ in newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:24). The righteous requirement of the law will be fully met in us who walk not according to the flesh, but who walk according to the Spirit, for if we walk according to the flesh we will die, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity (See: Ro. 6:1-23; 8:1-14).
Your Confidence (vv. 32-39)
But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
But My righteous one shall live by faith;
And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.
But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
There are those who profess the name of Jesus who were never born of the Spirit of God. No heart transformation ever took place, because they were not crucified with Christ in death to sin, but they continued in sin thinking they were just getting out of hell and that they would now have the hope of heaven when they die with nothing required of them in between. But, then there are those who genuinely came to faith in Jesus Christ, and whose lives were transformed of the Spirit of God, and there was evidence that a life change had taken place. Yet, many of these have since wandered off and have left their “first love,” and have gone backwards in their spiritual walks and have become one with the world once again. So, this is a warning that if they continue that direction that not only will God not be pleased with them, but they will face some form of judgment of God; some kind of divine discipline and correction or, worst case scenario, they will lose their salvation.
So, don’t allow the trappings of this world, even within the worldly church, to pull you down and to get you to leave your first love. And, don’t buy into this “Do nothing” gospel that convinces so many that they can continue in sin and still have the hope of heaven when they die. Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Always remember that!
Zeal for Your House
An Original Work / August 1, 2016
Based off Jn. 2:17; Ps. 69:9
Zeal for Your house, it consumes me.
Lord, I love my times with You.
I love to worship You and sing Your praises.
Time in Your Word brings me closer to You,
List’ning to You speaking to me,
Gently guiding me in truth.
Lord, You are my life’s example,
Showing me how I should live.
I love to walk with You where’er You lead me.
No greater joy have I when serving You.
Loving, giving, resting in Your strength,
I’m yielding to Your will.
Zeal for Your house, it consumes me.
See the church turned upside down:
Marketing ventures taking place of worship,
Men of the gospel turning into clowns.
Gospel message made appealing,
So the world will feel at home.
Lord, we need a great revival.
Turn their hearts, Lord, back to You.
Open the blind eyes, turn them all from darkness,
Lord, to the light. May they return to You,
Turn from their sin, forsake idols,
Be restored to God again.