December 2, 2021 — Rebuilding the Temple

“One of my neighbors who is also part of our church body,” Stan commented one morning, “is very interested in the role that rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem will have in relation to Jesus’ return.”

“I don’t know a whole lot about that,” I responded. “I’ve heard a little about the connection, but it’s not something that drives me.”

“I’m kind of the same way,” Stan said. “But my neighbor is really into the whole subject. He spends a lot of time doing research, reading just about anything he can get his hands on, as well as listening to podcasts and that sort of thing.”

Continuing, he added, “Myself, I’m more interested in helping people build and rebuild their own temple.”

“Build and rebuild their own temple?” I replied. “What’s that mean?”

“Well,” Stan said, “in the first instance, going with something the apostle Paul wrote about our bodies being the temple of the Holy Spirit, as well as the fact that only believers have the Holy Spirit, it seems pretty straightforward to me that I can help people build that temple by presenting the gospel so they can become believers and have the Holy Spirit dwell in the temple of their body.”

“Makes sense to me,” I replied. “That’s the building part; how about the part about rebuilding the temple?”

“The rebuilding part,” Stan said, “I think goes to the heart of being a Christian who is pursuing spiritual maturity by giving the Holy Spirit free and total access to every part of a person’s life.”

“Kind of like,” I said, “having a temple that the Holy Spirit wants to inhabit so He can manifest His fruit? Is that it?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “Sometimes Christians, for whatever reason, need to stop and examine their spiritual walk to assess whether there needs to be some rebuilding. If that assessment gives them the sense that rebuilding is what the Holy Spirit has in mind, it’s time to get going and rebuild!”

Concluding, he added, “It may not be as exciting as the prospect of rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem for Jesus’ return, but ’building’ a personal temple in the first place sure has an impact on the individual’s eternal destination. As well, rebuilding that temple can have a major impact on the person’s life on this side of eternity!”

“Seems to me,” I responded, “that rebuilding a personal temple is kind of like the pursuit of discipleship. You think that’s a fair statement?”

“What do you think?” Stan asked.

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Bible verses to consider:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19.

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because the world does not behold Him or know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. John 14:16-17.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the people you brought into my life to tell me about your free and gracious provision of life eternally with you when it’s time for me to step into eternity. I am forever grateful that I made that faith commitment so the Holy Spirit came into me to provide all  that He has for me in drawing ever closer to you. I confess that too often I do not present the truth of the gospel to others so they can have their own temple for the Holy Spirit. And too often I do not “rebuild the temple” so the Holy Spirit’s fruit is manifested as you intend. Please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead in building and rebuilding the temple just as you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you built the temple for the Holy Spirit to reside in you in the sense that you have by faith accepted all of God’s provision for you through the finished work of the cross? If no, why? If you do have the assurance of being in God’s eternal presence when your time here is completed, how are you doing with the present-day temple of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence? If you sense some “rebuilding” of that temple may be appropriate so the Spirit’s fruit is manifested more as God intends, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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