Let Us Go to the House of the Lord – by Eliezer Gonzalez

Feb 20, 2016 1658

Chapel in the Woods, Arkansas

Chapel in the Woods, Arkansas, USA

I was glad when they said to me,

“Let us go to the house of the Lord.” – Psalm 122:1 (NASB)

It is not unusual to hear some Christians call the building where they meet with their church, the “house of the Lord,” the “sanctuary,” or even the temple.” At best this shows a misunderstanding of the teachings of the Bible; at its worst it could reflect a serious misunderstanding of salvation and the central message of Christianity.

The Old Testament is full of expressions that point to how good it is to be in the “house of the Lord.” This expression refers only to the Jewish temple in the city of Jerusalem. It, and everything associated with it, are are called “shadows of things to come” in the New Testament (Col 2:17.) The phrase “things to come” refers to Christ himself, and the salvation and blessings that he has brought to light through his revelation of truth, and through the Cross.

One of the very first things that Jesus did in his earthly ministry was to stand right in the middle of the Jewish temple and announce that he himself was the true temple (John 2). The temple only ever pointed to him. Every temple concept in the Bible, whether on earth or in heaven, only ever points to Jesus and his ministry.

For the Jewish people, salvation and safety and blessings were found in the temple where God dwelt. That’s why it was so good to be there. But Jesus announces that salvation, safety, and blessings are found only in him, in whom the fullness of the glory of God dwells (Col 1:19).

The Jewish people made an idol of their temple. By holding fast to earthy things, they neglected to recognise the True Temple of God, who was among them. Let’s be careful that we don’t follow in their example. By all means, love your church – you can even like the building. But there is nothing special about it unless its people are dwelling in Christ Himself.

If you like buildings so much, what are you going to do on the day that is coming soon, when the Bible tells us that there will be no more temple – not in heaven, and certainly not on earth – because the Lamb of God is revealed as the True Temple? (Rev 21:22).

– Eliezer Gonzalez

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