The Church Built by Human Hands
Isaiah 66:1-2 ESV
“Thus says the Lord:
‘Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
and what is the place of my rest?
All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the Lord.’”
God does not dwell in buildings built with human hands. First Baptist Church or Second Presbyterian Church or Third Methodist Church, although they have the name “church,” are not the church, the dwelling place of God. The sanctuaries in these buildings called “church” are not holy ground, either. When we enter such buildings, we are NOT entering the HOUSE OF GOD.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is not telling you the truth, whether willfully or not. For the church is the collective body of Christ, which is comprised of living stones, the people of God, who have put their faith in Jesus Christ via dying with him to sin and living to him and to his righteousness, by the grace of God, in the power of God, according to the will of God.
The true church is built on the foundation of the prophets and the apostles (of the Old and New Testaments) with Jesus Christ as her chief cornerstone. And Jesus is the one who is building his church, his bride, not humans. We the people are the church, not the building, not the church denomination, and not the business called “church” incorporated under the state.
Even though this is true, it is not widely accepted. And even if some people acknowledge that this is the truth, many of them don’t function collectively as though they believe it is the truth. For, it has been so ingrained in us since childhood that the church is the building with the steeple and you open the doors and there are all the people (rhyme includes hand motions).
And I recall being told as a child and as an adult that when I entered into that building called “church” that I was entering the House of God and that the room called “the sanctuary” was holy ground. And it has been drilled into us that forsaking the assembling of ourselves is equal to not attending one of these institutions called “church” in buildings called “church.”
But many such gatherings today have little to nothing to do with God’s church, his bride, his body, with him as her only head. For they are social gatherings of people from the world and from all walks of life often coming together to hear cool (popular sounding and well performed music) and motivational and entertaining speaking (talks or sermons).
People often join these groups because they are looking to connect with other people socially, or because of their religious traditions, or because they are looking for good family fun, entertainment, activities, and motivational messages. And many people are joining them because they feel comfortable in such non-threatening, friendly, and non-judgmental atmospheres.
And this is because the majority of what is called “church” here in America is a blend of Christianity with the culture of the world so that the world will feel at home in “the church.” And so they have altered the gatherings of the body of believers to include the world and to attract the world, and thus they have also altered the gospel to make it more acceptable to the world.
Thus, they have largely removed from the gospel God’s requirements for repentance, obedience, and submission to him as Lord, choosing to call those “works-based salvation” which is to be avoided. And they are largely teaching that a mere profession of faith in Jesus Christ is enough to save us from our sins, to free us from the punishment of sin, and to secure heaven for us when we die, regardless of how we live while we are still on the earth.
He Who is Humble and Contrite
Isaiah 66:2 ESV
“But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word.”
God is not interested in these buildings (edifices) falsely called “church.” He is not interested in church denominations. And he definitely is against his people partnering with the world and with a worldly government to market his church, his body, to the world as though it is any other commodity to be had for the taking.
God is also not interested in our religious performances. He doesn’t care about our “church attendance” if it means we are attending these worldly gatherings which are a mixture of Christianity with the ungodly world. And he doesn’t want his tithe or offerings to go to what is worldly and what is promoting worldliness and fleshly living, either.
For, the whole purpose for why Jesus died for us on that cross was to deliver us out of our slavery to sin so we could now be slaves of God and of his righteousness, by the grace and will of God, and in his strength and power. For He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, and so we would live for him and no longer for ourselves.
Jesus didn’t die on that cross just to forgive us our sins. He died to transform us! He died to turn us from darkness to the light of his righteousness, and from the power of Satan to God’s holiness, that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (Rom 6:1-23; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; Ac 26:16-18).
His grace to us is not free license to keep on in deliberate and habitual sin without guilt or remorse or punishment. His grace, which brings us salvation, trains (instructs) us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for his return. For, Jesus gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
For, we are now his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared in advance that we should walk in them. We are to always be abounding in the work of the Lord. And we are to obey the Lord by working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in us, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
[Eph 2:10; 1 Co 15:58; 2 Co 9:8; Gal 5:6; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:9-14; 2 Thess 1:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:21; Tit 2:11-14; Jn 15:1-11; Tit 3:8; Jas 2:17]
So, the Lord is not interested in our edifices (buildings, structures) or our performances or our religious rituals and ceremonies. And he is against gatherings supposedly in his name which do not honor him as Lord (owner-master) and which deny him, and which dilute his gospel to make it more appealing and acceptable to human flesh.
What he is for are those who are humble (meek, respectful) and contrite (repentant) in spirit and who tremble at His word, who fear (revere, obey) him and who take him and his word seriously. He is for those who honor him as Lord (owner-master), who are dying daily with him to sin, who are denying the flesh, and who are walking (in conduct) according to the Spirit, by God’s grace, in his power (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24).
These are the ones who will receive the completion of their salvation for their sins when Jesus returns and who will live with Him for eternity.
Songwriter: Andrew Lloyd-Webber
Who takes away the sins of the world
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Give them rest, grant them rest
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem
Lamb of God
Who takes away the sins of the world
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Grant them eternal rest
Dona eis requiem
Caution: This link may contain ads