Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Repair the Temple of God: It's Time to Be Set Apart as Holy

Since the early beginnings of the church, in the book of Acts, the apostles had to deal with false teachers. They had to deal with persecution. They had to deal with Gnosticism and the gnostic gospel forgeries. They had to deal with the bishops of Rome and later the corruption of the papacy. And today we face our own struggles as the church.

Today we deal with leaders in the church of God, who don’t really love or trust the word of God. They prefer to alter the word, to reshape the word, based on their own ideology, and worldview. We face various theological struggles in our day and age, that threaten to divide and destroy the church. More and more we face celebrity pastors who we listened to and respected, now being uncovered as abusive, or sexually immoral. On TV we see prosperity teachers gathering money from unsuspecting victims. And what a terrible witness this is to the world, of the gospel of Christ.

And I sense that God is generating a separation within the churches, between those who truly love the Lord and His word, and those who are just playing church, those who are living in perpetual sin, and those who are teaching falsehood as truth. Over the past six months, as I’ve prayed and studied the scriptures, God keeps bringing me to scriptures that say this: Rebuild the temple. Repair my temple. Build up the temple of God. And I couldn’t figure out what God meant by that. 

So I had to ask myself, what is the temple of God, in the new testament? We are the temple of God. And Jesus Christ means to return to Earth, to claim his people and establish his kingdom on this very Earth. But are we really ready for Him to return? Are we really prepared? 

The temple of God, the body of Christ, is in need of growth in holiness. We need to set ourselves apart for the Lord, and stop living with one foot in sin and one foot in God’s kingdom. It’s time to fully commit ourselves to God, to be totally sold out. No more sin, no more selfishness and self-seeking. 

Is there a sin in your life right now that needs to be removed by the Spirit of God?  God will certainly remove this sin, this defect, this addiction if you cry out to Him day and night for freedom from it.  Many sins are common in the church, especially issues like gossip (speaking evil of others in a spirit of cruelty), back-biting (striking back at someone verbally/physically), dissensions (waging a manipulative sort of quiet war of dissension against someone else, or a leader or a pastor or coworker), lust (entertaining fantasizing in the mind about someone), gluttony (consistently over-eating in a way which dishonors God), various addictions (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, social media, pornography, television, etc), unforgiveness (refusing to forgive completely those who have hurt us), and many other sins of the flesh.  If you struggle with sin as a Christian please realize that God will help you and set you free.  Please also realize that action may be necessary, like meeting with your pastor or a Christian counselor, or attending a group like Celebrate Recovery.  

God has called us to be holy and pure in His sight.  If we do not live in holiness, we will not inherit eternal life. It’s time to be truly holy before God. It’s time to go all the way. Isn’t that what we all long for? 

We long for a time of great revival, a time of great awakening, a time when God does mighty deeds in his church. Do you know what the key to this is? A truly set apart church, a truly holy church, that practices holiness within, and holiness toward the world. It doesn’t start with others, or with some organization, or some set of ideas, it starts with you, and me, deciding that we’re going to take God’s teachings seriously. To truly live for Him, no more half in and half out.

No more 90% to God and 10% for me. 100% all in for God. Total love for God. Total trust in His word. Total surrender to His will. Nothing less will do. Is this possible? Many think it isn’t. But I know it’s more than possible. It’s inevitable, because His Spirit lives in us. Maybe we so much don’t think that it’s impossible, it’s that we realize there will be a cost, which is the death of self. So we really don’t think it’s impossible, we just quietly don’t want to pay the price, of losing ourselves completely in Christ. But imagine what can happen when we do that. Imagine what you will do for Christ when your all in for Him.

This is your destiny my friends. This is what you were meant for, from birth. Your destiny, the very meaning of life is that you would come to know God through Jesus Christ His son, to live for Him, to lose yourself in Him, and thus find yourself forever. Your future, if you give it all up for God, is in the new heavens, and new earth, in the new city of God. Paradise. And that isn’t the end of the journey, that is just the beginning.

Let it cut deep, accept the Spirit’s leading. God is separating us, setting us apart, God is calling us as Moses called his people and his leaders, “Come to me if you stand with the Lord.” Come to Him. Lose yourself completely in Him. Yes, we’ve all sinned. Many of us as Christians have continued to live in quiet, hidden sin. Now it’s time to return to Him. Now it’s time to be set apart. Now it’s time to lose ourselves in His holy love for us. Stand with God. Because we know that the sheep and the goats will be separated. Be one of the obedient sheep, who follows Jesus completely, whole heartedly, sincerely.

I'd like to ask for you who are reading to pray.  Please pray.  Pray hard and pray often.  Don't just pray for five minutes, or twenty minutes.  Pray for an hour.  Pray for two hours.  Pray for eight hours.  Fast and pray all day.  Pray for days, pray for weeks, pray for 40 days.  

1. We’re going to pray for God to make the Salvation Army a holy army of love. 

2. We’re going to pray that God would make each of us holy set apart to Him. 

3. We’re going to pray for the church across America, that the church overall would repent, turn to God, and learn to live in holiness.

4. We’re praying for God to set us apart, just as he set apart the Israelites, just like he set apart the twelve disciples, just like he set apart the Apostle Paul, and just like he calls all his saints to be set apart in these last days. 

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  5. How to Repent of all Sins in your Christian Life
  6. Should I Tithe 10% to my Church?
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