By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel
Cleansing of the temple is key to individual lives when realization comes into focus that such refers to Christianity and living a sanctified life in Christ. The apostle Paul brought it closer to home, to the believer, in saying: You are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people (2 Corinthians 6:16).
Apostle Paul also stated that the believer's body is the temple of the Holy Ghost (or that of God's Spirit) which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own. For you are brought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (1 Corinthians 7:19-20).
The price paid was the precious atoning blood of God's only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. When one is received into the household of faith; through repentance and acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior, they are no longer their own and are to glory God in body and spirit.
I was intrigued with a fact that stood out in God's Word; in reference to the cleansing of the temple. Jesus went into the temple of God and began casting out them that sold, and bought in the temple. He said: It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves (Matthew 21:12-13).
Jesus was in disdain of the corruption of religion that lacked purity of life and power of God; and could not tolerate gross perversion in the temple. Temple dues could only be paid in sacred coinage, and it was necessary to change one's money for such. This exchange was a source of extortion.
The fact that stood out; while reading of this incident, was that Jesus cast out not only those who sold but also those who bought in the temple. The buyer was just as guilty as the one who sold because they were encouraging the injustice to be tolerated.
We live in a time when much is being consumed; even within the house of God, especially in many Western nations, that has nothing to do with spirituality or the soul of man. In many instances the house of God has become more of a social gathering than a house of worship. The spiritual concept of the church is being replaced by worldliness.
The apostle Paul warned of a time when one would not endure sound doctrine but would turn away from the truth (2 Timothy 4:3-4). He told Timothy, a young evangelist, to not neglect to preach the word; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine (2 Timothy 4:2).
Preaching is the God-ordained means to prevent defection from the truth. Some who have been called of God to promulgate His Unadulterated Word have become slack in doing so. It could be because of the unpopular stand of identifying the sinful nature of man; in a nation that openly flaunts God's Word.
It could be because one has failed to push back the plate of acceptability (as the case of those who bought in the temple) by accepting the ungodly cultural changes of today. A man of God, who promotes the truths of God's Word, will not be a popular person; but the prophets of old, were not popular either in declaring God's Word!
Cleansing of the temple; that of the believer in Christ is required on an individual basis not according to what one's neighbor, or fellow believer, is consuming. On Judgment Day all will have to give an account of their own actions to God (Romans 14:12).
Unto the believer, one will appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ; to receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done whether it be good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). For the sinner (who has not accepted Christ) it will be the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-13). The cleansing of the temple (of all sin) has to take place in this life; for there will be room for repentance on the Day of Judgment (Revelation 22:11-12).
Whatever condition one is found; when that final breath of life is taken, will be how one will be judged (Revelation 22:11). Scripture admonishes one to lay aside all filthiness and abundance of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word (James 2:21). One need not buy what this world is attempting to sell in the way of ungodliness; for if one does so, they become just as guilty as the one who is selling (as illustrated in the cleansing of the temple).
God's Word reveals that the believer in Christ is to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Be not conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may proof what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).
God's will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It implies His guidance or direction in all decisions. His will for the believer's life is to become a "living sacrifice" with daily dependence on Him, resulting in one's transformation into the image of Christ.
Let us pray for America, and other once godly nations, that they continue not in the ways of darkness; rather in the light of the glorious gospel of Christ. Many, who were once influenced by God's Word, have now grown slack in even acknowledging that Word. The need for a cleansing of the temple and a return to God is most urgent.
The influence of the ungodly has grown; with the influence of the godly seemingly diminishing, because of sin abounding. However, God's Word tells us that where sin abounds; grace does much more abound (Romans 5:20).