John 2:14-17 ESV
“In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, ‘Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’”
The Temple of God
Where is the temple of God located today? It is in the hearts and lives of all who believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, who have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, and who are now walking (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. We are those who have, by the grace of God, forsaken our sins to follow Jesus in obedience.
Collectively we are called the church, the house of God, his temple, but this is not a physical building or a church denomination. We the people of God are his building, and we are living stones in that building, which is spiritual, not physical. And Jesus Christ is our head, our chief cornerstone. And our loyalty is to be to God and to God alone, and we are to serve him with our lives. He is to be our Master (owner) and we are to do his bidding.
The church is also called the body of Christ, for we are Christ’s representatives in this world. We are in him and he is in us and his life is to be lived in us and out through us in our daily walks of faith in him. And we, as his body, are to be of one spirit together, united in one purpose which is to serve the Lord with our lives and to live holy lives pleasing to him, and to encourage and to strengthen one another in that faith.
Our gatherings together are to be devoted to the teaching of the word of God (the whole counsel of God), to the mutual encouragement of one another in our walks of faith, to prayer, and to the breaking of bread in communion and in the sharing of meals one with another, including in one another’s homes. And there should be a mutual concern, one for the other, and of helping to meet one another’s legitimate needs.
When we gather together as the body of Christ we are to use the spiritual gifts we have been given by God for the mutual edification of the body of Christ in order to help and to encourage one another toward maturity in Christ, and so that we are not led astray by charlatans in their deceitful scheming. For God has assigned each one of us a part in the body of Christ for the encouragement of the body, and we are to each part do its work.
[Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Ac 2:42-47; Rom 12:3-8; 1 Co 12; Eph 4:1-16; 1 Pet 2:4-6; Col 1:18; Col 2:19; Eph 1:22; Eph 2:19-22; Eph 5:23-30]
Today there are “money changers” who have infiltrated the gatherings of the church who are turning the gatherings of God’s house (the church, the body of Christ) into a marketplace to be marketed to the world just like any other business and product and for greedy gain. They are leading the people of God to make men (the flesh) their god and they are becoming one flesh, one body with the world and with the ungodly in order to appeal to the world.
All of this is forbidden in the Scriptures: (Jn 2:13-17; 2 Co 6:14-18; Rev 18:1-5; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 5:21; 1 Co 10:7-14; Col 3:5; Gal 5:19-20)
Since the church at large, at least here in America, and not to include all gatherings of the church, has allowed these “money changers” into the gatherings of the church to do their business and to alter the gatherings and to alter the gospel in order to attract the world to their gatherings, there has been a massive moral and spiritual decline in the lives of the people of God who are called “the church” and who profess faith in Jesus Christ.
For the church has now been turned into a business of human origin to be patterned after the world in order to attract the world, and so preachers are now becoming entertainers and clowns, and song services are also being designed to entertain in order to drawn in large crowds from the world, and sermons are now motivational talks that come from the minds of men and not from the mind of God and in order, again, to appeal to the world.
And the gospel of Jesus Christ has been altered to make it more acceptable to the world, and thus they have removed from it God’s requirements for repentance (the forsaking of and dying to sin), for obedience to God, and for submission to Christ as Lord (Owner-Master) of our lives. And they have turned against the Lord, and against his gospel, and against his servants who are still teaching his gospel, and they are turning many away from the truth to follow after the lies of Satan to their deaths.
And so Jesus is sending out his messengers with the truth of the gospel and also to speak out against and to expose the lies of Satan which have infiltrated the church and which have captivated the hearts and minds of many who make a profession of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. And they are calling out to the wayward and adulterous church to repent of her sins of idolatry and adultery and to return to her Lord as her only Lord (Master).
For the gospel of Jesus Christ demands that we die with Christ to sin and that we live to him and to his righteousness. We are to no longer live as slaves of sin because Jesus delivered us from our slavery to sin, but we are now to live as slaves of God and of his righteousness. Also the gospel of Jesus demands obedience to his commands. For, if we do not forsake our sins, and if we do not obey our Lord, we do not have eternal life with God.
So, if you are being told that you can just pray a prayer to receive Christ or that you can just accept his forgiveness of your sins or that you can just acknowledge who he is and what he did for us on that cross and that you are now guaranteed heaven when you die, but that you don’t have to forsake your sins or obey Jesus or honor him as Lord, that is a lie from hell, and if you follow it, you will end up in hell, not in heaven.
So, please know the truth, and please follow the truth, because you will only be saved from your sins and have the hope of heaven when you die if you surrender your life to Jesus Christ and if you live the life he has planned for you in his power and strength. And he demands that we die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness if we want to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with him.
For, if you reject that gospel message, and you decide you like the altered gospel, instead, because it does not demand that you forsake your sins or follow Jesus in obedience, please know that the Scriptures teach that heaven is not your eternal destiny. Hell is! For the life we have been given in Christ is not so we can continue in sin without guilt. It is so we can live for our Lord and for his righteousness because we love him and we want to serve him.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13]
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!