Focus on The Spiritual Temple!

 When we look at all the grand buildings that man has made and all his great and beautiful works, we can get the feeling that it's all so permanent. Looking at the Temple building in their day the disciples of Jesus thought the same thing. When they voiced this thought to Jesus He gave a prophesy for the near and distant future to show we need to focus on the truly permanent.

Mark 13:1 And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2 And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

This event will happen in a tumultuous time with dire consequences for many and Jesus goes on to give a deeper prophesy about the state of the world to come and even more momentous signs to follow. This opening prophesy though would have given the hearers of His day, and those the disciples told immediately afterwards, advance warning when it was fulfilled in AD 70, that the rest of His prophesies should also be taken seriously.

We are living 2,000 years closer in time to the later events that Jesus prophesied about so it probably falls on us to keep a weather eye out for the signs of the times.

Mark 13:33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake— for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”

Jesus tells us to stay awake. This is more a spiritual alertness I feel; being aware of the changes in the world and getting close to God and Jesus because in them only is true permanence. The signs of the times should lead us to focus on the building of the Spiritual Temple, of which each of us is a part!

2 Corinthians 6:16 For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Following on from this talk on the Temple itself Jesus, while sitting on the temple Mount opposite the Temple, goes on to warn of tough times ahead; very tough times ahead.

Mark 13:5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.

We know that these things started in the New testament era but they have continued on to this day and if anything we see them rising to a climax in our day!

Jesus prophesied that there would be wars, earthquakes and famines but that these would, in the time of the disciples, just be the beginning of birth pains! We are two thousand years nearer to the time of the end so should expect to see things being worse, much worse! And indeed we do.

We see national groups that lived at peace breaking out into war. We see ethnic cleansing where the majority ethnic group or religion in a nation attempts to wipe out the minority. We see tribes once living in peace rise up and murder their neighbours. We see Christians being tortured and killed for their beliefs in Asia, the Middle East and South America. Even in the affluent Western World the most persecuted group in any nation is usually the Christians! I've even seen situations where Christians were expected because of their beliefs to be tolerant of other people's intolerance towards them!

But, Jesus warned us that this would happen more and more as we see the end of the age approach. The important thing to notice from the believer's point of view is in verse 7 of Mark 13. Jesus says to us, “Do not be alarmed”. We should know and know that we know that God has us securely in the palm of His hand. Jesus also said, “I will never leave you or forsake you”.

These are promises to hold on to without wavering because as it says in Matthew 28:18-20...

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

That's a promise and a blessing that we can take to the bank as we do what God has called us to do. It does not matter what man may throw at us. God will always be there for us. He has given each of us believers authority and power to preach the word, heal the sick, cleanse lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons.

And if nothing of the level that Jesus saw happening in some areas of the world, especially the Middle East, comes on us, shouldn't we even more be about our Father's business?

Let's be a part of the Church Triumphant as we help in all the areas of ministry available to us in the Church and as we meet people outside in our spheres of influence. Let's do good even in the face of intolerance because our Heavenly Father is good to all.

Best wishes for Grace and the Peace of Jesus.

Another thought...