You Are a Temple of God
For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 1 Cor. 3:17 ESV
Prior to Jesus’ coming, the Jews gathered in the Temple. After Jesus ascended, His followers gathered in the newly formed Church of Jesus Christ – which began as gatherings in homes and became formal places of worship and instruction. According to the above scripture, while church is translated from the Greek ekklesia, which means assembly, congregation, the whole body of Christian believers, it can also be inferred that a single believer can be a ‘walking church.’ Stay with me, I’ll come right back to this…
In the mid 90s A.D., the apostle John received a series of heavenly Holy Spirit-induced visions that we now know as the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ – the last place we come in contact with Jesus in scripture.
In these visions, Jesus presents Himself to John as He is now:
“Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” Rv. 1:17, 18. NASB
We see that Jesus has conquered death and is victorious over the devil.
Next, Jesus tells John to write down what He says in seven letters, to be sent to seven different churches, (the number ‘seven’ denoting a divine completeness). They consist of urgent warnings in how to correct wrongdoings that are taking place in each particular church.
So, given that a church is an assembly of believers, any church is at the mercy of the behavior of its congregants. You then, as a congregant (a ‘walking church’), have a direct influence on your church of assembly, as well as anyone you might come in contact with. You are an image of God, yes?
Thus, we can all learn on an individual level from what Jesus is about to say.
When He addresses the first church, He says that they have become ritualistic – more of a rigid religion than a place of love where Christ can be found. Jesus’ remedy is to return to your initial love and zeal for Him, keeping Christ as your centerpiece and to repent of any behavior that diminishes that.
It’s easy for our faith-related activities to become thoughtless robotic habits. We need daily dips in God’s word to remind ourselves of the infinite love that God and Jesus have for us and have been holding us in since we were all just creative thoughts in Their heads.
Jesus finds no fault in the second church. He recognizes that they are living in material poverty, but He reminds them of the far greater rewards of their spiritual abundance. Jesus also lets them know that He is aware of their persecution by devil-inspired unbelievers. He tells them that if they remain steadfast in their faith in opposition to their detractors, their reward will be eternal life.
Not everyone is blessed with material abundance. As long as your lot in life is not due to sloth, you can seek God, knowing that you’ve done your best, and ask Him to provide what you need:
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on….But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Mt. 6:25 & 33. NKJV
The part about the devil’s minions’ persecutions? Unfortunately, that’s a given. The closer you get to God, the more severe and frequent are Satan’s attacks. But don’t forget who’s running the show, and that He’s on your side:
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 Jn. 4:4 NKJV
Jesus speaks to the third church, warning them that they have polluted their doctrine with worldly behavior and false religion. He commands them to exercise immediate repentance.
The only doctrine that belongs in the church is the Bible. As far as repentance is concerned, we all need to have an alarm button in our heart that sounds when we transgress God’s word. Seeing as how we don’t know the time when we will exit this world, we want to make sure we are right with God every second.
The fourth church has allowed a ‘false prophet’ into their assembly, who has been leading congregants down a satanic path. Again He demands immediate repentance, with a full-faith return to Him and His gospel.
You know when a fox is in the henhouse. It’s when they are teaching something contrary to scripture. It is your duty to correct them (or the church make the correction, should your efforts fall upon deaf ears) lest they be expelled.
The fifth church has forced the Spirit to depart from them because of a lackadaisical approach to their church performance. Jesus tells them to repent, return to His truth and live it out accordingly.
Jesus has only praise for the sixth church – encouraging them to remain steadfast on their current path.
Conversely, Jesus had nothing good to say to the seventh church, which was full of ‘lukewarm’ believers who had no conviction and whose focus was on material things. But He didn’t just leave them with admonitions, He encouraged them as well:
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent.” Rv. 3:18 NKJV
Jesus loves you so much, He cares so much, that if you mess up, He’s going to bust your chops to try to nudge you back onto the right path.
At the end of each letter, Jesus had John pen an encouragement to the churches by telling them what their rewards would be if they remain in faith and obedience:
“To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Rv. 2:7 NKJV
“Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.” Rv. 2:10, 11. ESV
“To him who overcomes I will give some hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name which no one knows except him who receives it.” Rv. 2:17 NKJV
“The one who conquers and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations…And I will give him the morning star.” Rv. 2:26 & 28. ESV
“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before HIs angels.” Rv. 3:5 NKJV
“The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.” Rv. 3:12 ESV
“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne…” Rv. 3:21 NKJV
Jesus builds a wonderful case for sticking by Him and walking in His footsteps. Later in John’s visions, He lays some urgency on the matter:
“Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” Rv. 16:15 NKJV
Why the warning? Because Jesus want you to be there with Him:
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…Then I, John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Rv. 21:1 – 4. NKJV
And in our final Jesus contact, we see that Christ will spearhead the way:
“He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly!” Rv. 22:20 NKJV
Well, okay, let’s clear up that ‘contact’ stuff. This is indeed the last scriptural Jesus contact. I hope you have enjoyed and found value in them.
However, we, the children of God, can also make continual and eternal contact with Jesus Christ through the Spirit. Thank God and hallelujah!
Goodnight and God bless.