God’s Expectation of His Church

The church is the place where God’s name should be honored. The moment that you come to church should be the moment that you are preparing to worship Him and show respect for who He is. By doing this, you are much more likely to come away with answers that will bring you with a greater understanding of God and His Word, and apply that knowledge according to His will. Take the time to examine your approach regarding your church and worship time.Jesus had two instances where He had to “cleanse” the temple because of what the people had been using it for.  The first recorded instance is in John 2 and the second follows with accounts in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  First, the account in John 2:
John 2:13-17

13 The Jewish Passover was near, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple complex He found people selling oxen, sheep, and doves, and [He also found] the money changers sitting there. 15 After making a whip out of cords, He drove everyone out of the temple complex with their sheep and oxen. He also poured out the money changers’ coins and overturned the tables. 16 He told those who were selling doves, “Get these things out of here! Stop turning My Father’s house into a marketplace!” 17 And His disciples remembered that it is written: Zeal for Your house will consume Me.

If you look at history, this is the third temple. Solomon’s temple was the first. The second temple was built by Zerubbabel (the leader of those returning from exile to rebuild the temple–as noted in Ezra 2:2; 4:2; 5:2; Haggai 1:1). Then came Herod the Great, who oversaw the building of the third temple. He built the temple to win the favor of the people. Through all of this, we lost the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat, and all of the things that were originally associated with God’s presence in the temple. All of the temples were all ultimately destroyed because the people who professed to follow the Lord were not truly worshiping Him. The Lord was not accepting man’s way of worshiping Him and allowed for the destruction of the temples because of the change of its role and with its people. When it comes to today’s church, God will allow for the closing of a facility that does not honor Him or respect Him. He wants His followers to worship God in a way that glorifies Him, honors Him and shows the proper reverence for Him.

When Jesus went to the temple, it was over a period of time as he was growing up. He understood that the temple was a place of worship, but now, in His ministry, He saw the change of the authority of the leadership had changed and that there was no longer a reverence for God in the temple. The leaders were not looking at the temple as a place to make money and even take advantage of people.

1 Peter 5:1-4

1 Therefore, as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of the Messiah, and also a participant in the glory about to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you: 2 shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God’s will; not for the money but eagerly; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

In order to sell in the temple, there had to be a provision given to the priests in order to set up booths. Under this system, the priests and high priests, many of whom were actually Gentile, were earning money while taking advantage of the poor.

Matthew 21:12-13

 12 Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves! “

Mark 11:15-18

 15 They came to Jerusalem, and He went into the temple complex and began to throw out those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers ‘ tables and the chairs of those selling doves, 16and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple complex.

    17 Then He began to teach them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations ? But you have made it a den of thieves !” 18 Then the chief priests and the scribes heard it and started looking for a way to destroy Him. For they were afraid of Him, because the whole crowd was astonished by His teaching.

Luke 19:45-48

 45 He went into the temple complex and began to throw out those who were selling, 46 and He said, “It is written, My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves !”     47 Every day He was teaching in the temple complex. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people were looking for a way to destroy Him, 48 but they could not find a way to do it, because all the people were captivated by what they heard.

In this second account of Jesus clearing the temple, notice that Jesus, while removing the sellers and the money changers, used the opportunity to instruct and teach the people of the proper way of ministry and worship within the temple, and it was His actions that enlightened the people. His opposition tried to challenge His authority, but it was a futile effort after Jesus had removed the people who were selling in the temple and the money changers.

John 2:18-21

18 So the Jews replied to Him, “What sign [of authority] will You show us for doing these things?”

    19 Jesus answered, “Destroy this sanctuary, and I will raise it up in three days.”

    20 Therefore the Jews said, “This sanctuary took 46 years to build, and will You raise it up in three days?”

    21 But He was speaking about the sanctuary of His body.

The church, today’s modern temple, is supposed to be a place of education about God, Jesus Christ and a place to worship Him.

Isaiah 56:1-8

1 This is what the LORD says:
    Preserve justice and do what is right,
    for My salvation is coming soon,
    and My righteousness will be revealed.

    2 Happy is the man who does this,
    anyone who maintains this,
    who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
    and keeps his hand from doing any evil.

    3 No foreigner who has converted to the LORD
    should say,
    “The LORD will exclude me from His people”;
    and the eunuch should not say,
    “Look, I am a dried&nbhyph;up tree.”

    4 For the LORD says this:
    “For the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths,
    and choose what pleases Me,
    and hold firmly to My covenant,

    5 I will give them, in My house and within My walls,
    a memorial and a name
    better than sons and daughters.
    I will give each [of them] an everlasting name
    that will never be cut off.

    6 And the foreigners who convert to the LORD,
    minister to Him, love the LORD’s name,
    and are His servants,
    all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it,
    and who hold firmly to My covenant—

    7 I will bring them to My holy mountain
    and let them rejoice in My house of prayer.
    Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
    will be acceptable on My altar,
    for My house will be called a house of prayer
    for all nations.”
          8 [This is] the declaration of the Lord GOD ,
          who gathers the dispersed of Israel:
    “I will gather to them still others
    besides those already gathered.”

God wants all people to freely come to church and celebrate God–in the same way, there are some areas where things that don’t involve worship or praise of God need to be cast out of the church.

When you step into church, your consciousness and awareness of God should be awakened. God’s Word is present…it’s now just a process of believing it in its entirety.

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