by Bill Holdham
“Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” Luke 19:45-46
In another account of Jesus’ dealing with sellers and money changers in the temple, He demonstrated His view of what they were doing by turning over their tables and driving them out with a whip. That was then, when the temple was standing, and the Old Covenant was in effect. Today, the church of God has a new temple and is under a New Covenant.
Around the world there are some massive cathedrals, beautiful and impressive in design. The only one I have ever visited is located in Guadalajara, Mexico, which is supposed to be the largest in the western hemisphere. I would call it very majestic and ornate. Can such a building be called a temple of God; does it honor God and exalt Christ? Absolutely not! They are a tribute to proud man rejecting the worship of God in Spirit and in truth, and placing his confidence in outward appearance.
Moving away from the cathedrals, we see globally, large, small, and every size in between buildings housing church meetings. Do any of these qualify as the temple or house of God? Absolutely not! If the cathedrals, or any other church building are not temples, then, is there a temple of God anywhere on the face of this earth? Absolutely! They’re scattered all over the world. You very likely see one or more most every day.
At this present time, every disciple of Christ is a temple of God, because the Glory of God lives within each one individually; but equally true is that the collective body of Christ, the born again believers from every nation, race, tribe and tongue, make up the temple that Christ is building. The Scriptures speak to this.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
“Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
The world abounds with mega churches and TV “preachers”, men and women, who have large followings and claim to speak for God in His temple. A few are very faithful to the Scriptures and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. But there are many that the only word that can be used to describe them is, “False teachers” and a “Den of thieves”.
Those who claim to speak for Christ, and not only depart from the Scriptures, but lead their followers to do the same, they immediately self-identify as false teachers. When the appeal for money becomes part of their ministry, they self-identify as a den of thieves. The Scriptures speak to these also.
“…There will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” 2 Peter 2:2-4
Commit you life to Christ, pray always, feed on God’s word daily and love everybody. This is the sure and certain way to avoid the “Den of thieves.”
Brother Bill is a Bible teacher and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org