Mark 11:15-17 NIV
“On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, ‘Is it not written: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations”? But you have made it “a den of robbers.”’”
The Temple of God
We who believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives are the temple of God now. His temple is no longer a physical building, for God does not dwell in buildings made by human hands. He dwells in the hearts of those who have trusted in him to be their Savior and Lord (owner-master).
Collectively, we are called the church, the body of Christ. But not everything that is called “church” today is, in fact, the church, Christ’s body. Much of what is called church today are institutions of man, corporations under the headship of the government (the state), in bed with the church.
Although the true body of Christ, to some extent, may have joined forces with these man-made institutions, the institutions themselves, although called “church” are not the church. For the true church is not of man, but of God, and it is a living organism not an organization created by man.
A House of Prayer
God called us to be a holy people, living lives which are separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are being conformed to the image of Christ. It doesn’t mean we all go live in caves and that we have nothing to do with the people of the world, for the Lord has sent us out into the world with his gospel, but we are not to be like the world in mind and heart.
We aren’t supposed to live like we did before we believed in Jesus, if truly we have trusted in him to be Lord and Savior of our lives. For when we believed in Jesus we died with him to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness. Jesus delivered us from our slavery to sin so that we would now become slaves of him and of his righteousness.
But it isn’t just that we aren’t supposed to lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, slander, and be idolatrous. But we are to live holy lives, pleasing to God. He is to be our life, and we are now his servants and he is our master. Our lives are to be about him and they are to be lived for his glory and praise.
We are supposed to be living like the Bible teaches we are supposed to be living, and as the body of Christ we are to be encouraging one another in the Lord in our walks of faith so that we are not hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We are to be speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and in truth and in love for the mutual building up of the body to maturity.
And we are to be praying for one another and showing love and concern for one another in the Lord and fellowshipping together in the Spirit, not in the flesh. Too much of what is called “Christian fellowship” today is not Christian at all. It is the same as what the people of the world do when they gather together. But we aren’t supposed to be like the world.
A Den of Robbers
So, what changed? Well, first of all the church, the body of Christ, not all but most, decided to incorporate under the government and to become non-profit businesses. Then they all began following certain preachers who were promoting business models for how to grow their churches, across denominational barriers, and across the USA (and in other nations).
Now that they were marketing “the church” to the world, they began to make compromises with the world in order to attract the world to their businesses called “church.” So, they began following marketing books and marketing strategies on how to grow their churches (businesses) by drawing in large crowds of people from the world.
So, they became more worldly so that the world would feel at home among them. And thus, they also altered and adulterated the gospel of Jesus Christ to make it more appealing and attractive to the world and to the flesh. Thus, they removed from the gospel those components which made people feel uncomfortable or offended.
They turned the gospel into something it is not, which is the opposite of what it is, for their version of the gospel does not necessitate anyone dying to sin or living to righteousness and holiness. It merely forgives them the punishment of their sin and promises them heaven when they die, and good clean fun and entertainment while they live on the earth.
So, it is indistinguishable now between the church and the world, for the church has now blended in with and has become like the world. Not everyone has, mind you. There are still Christians who are living holy lives, pleasing to God, who are encouraging one another in walks of holiness and godliness. But we appear to be in the minority, not the majority.
It is really sad seeing so much of the church having gone the way of the world, talking, thinking, believing, and behaving not much different from those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ at all.
He Overturned Them
The Scriptures teach that God will judge the unrepentant, including his church which has not repented of her idolatry and adultery. Some of that judgment will be in the form of disasters, military coups, false flag operations, tyrannical rulers, and a one world government and one world religion being forced on the people of the world (see book of Revelation).
I believe the Scriptures also indicate that through these judgments that we will see revival of some of those who call themselves Christians but who have been living like the world, instead (see book of Revelation).
And I believe we are in that time period now where the Lord is judging his adulterous and idolatrous church in order to bring her back to him in repentance and in renewed faith before our Lord comes back to take us to be with him forever. I believe God is presently cleansing his temple, his bride, to rid her of the thieves and robbers, to return her to being holy.
So, I also believe he is calling out to his adulterous and idolatrous people right now and he is calling them to return to him as their only God. He is saying, “Leave your idolatrous and adulterous ways behind you, and come follow me in my ways in holiness and righteousness and in purity.”
Seek the Lord
An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”