Wednesday, December 30th, 2015
The Enemy's Game (Part 59)
Countermeasures: Steeple Denial
Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.' '
And Jesus answered and said to him, 'It has been said, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.' ' Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
Luke 4:9-13 (NKJV)
What would Jesus say about all of earth's fanciest churches? Weren't these grand and glorious structures raised up to honor Him? Haven't countless congregations worshipped in their hallowed halls?
But why did God allow His Own temple to be destroyed twice? Didn't He inspire both David and Solomon to build it? When it was raided and ravaged by King Nebuchadnezzar, didn't He make a way for Zerubbabel to rebuild it?
So why was it besieged and demolished after Jesus died, and where did His sincerely devoted disciples gather? They met in open spaces and the homes of His believers. They met in warehouses and other available buildings.*
Actors, models and talent for Christ: We've witnessed our church's temptations: big shows of wealth, power and glory; leaders exposed in their corruption. Even among our smaller churches, we find envy, strife and backbiting.
But aren't the smaller sins within them outshone by the greater good they bring? Not according to 'The Bread of Life' (John 6:35). A little bad yeast spoils the whole loaf. His seven Revelation Letters address church acts and consequences.**
So must you deny steeple power? Don't today's great churches scale great heights? Certainly, your decisions are yours. I like my church and love my pastor. But we must guard against arrogance and seek the simplicity of Christ.***
To Be Continued...
* Article: 'Why and when did Christians start constructing special buildings for worship?' (Christianity Today): http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/asktheexpert/ask_churchbuildings.html
** His Letters to the Seven Churches in Revelation: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=revelation+2-3&version=NKJV
*** Revelation 21 (see v.22 specifically, or be inspired and read It all): https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=revelation+21&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Enemy's Game series.