Picture this: YOUR CHURCH SANCTUARY.
Do you see it? Take note of the pews or chairs where beloved members sit; reflect on the orderly rostrum where powerful sermons are preached; see the piano and instruments and hear the heavenly songs of praise; look at the light in the room, feel the warmth of its walls, and recognize that sense of sacredness that you experience each time you enter the safety of the temple of God.
Are you with me? Now, keeping this imagery in mind, think about these questions:
- Would you use foul language in the sanctuary? Of course not!
- Would you trash the sanctuary with litter and garbage? Heavens no.
- Would you watch horror movies inside the sanctuary? Absurd!
- Would you allow robbers to steal sacred things from the sanctuary? Never.
After that mental picture of a holy sanctuary of safety and peace, did those questions throw you for a loop? How inappropriate and out of context, right? None of those things fit into the imagery of God’s house.
Now…picture this: YOUR BODY.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (I Corinthians 3:16-17)
When I contemplate the magnitude of this Spirit inside of me, I am overwhelmed to think of His divine dwelling within this meager mortal. Our filthy, run-down, mistake-making, sin-laden bodies…HIS HOLY TEMPLE. Let that sink in.
If we revisit our previous questions, envision your body as the sanctuary of God:
- Would you use foul language in the sanctuary? No, but we may use foul language in worldly, social settings. (Matthew 15:11)
- Would you trash the sanctuary with litter and garbage? No, but we may fill our bodies with garbage like unhealthy food, drugs or alcohol. (Proverbs 23:21)
- Would you watch horror movies inside the sanctuary? No, but we may watch horror movies or evil shows for entertainment. (Philippians 4:8)
- Would you allow robbers to steal sacred things from the sanctuary? No, but we may allow others to steal the most precious parts of our being. (Jacob 2:28)
Are you as uncomfortable with these thoughts as I am? When I picture my body as the temple of God, I realize that there are many worldly things that can easily beset me and cause my temple to be defiled. (Mosiah 4:29-30).
When I envision the physical sanctuary of the church, there is no way I would let evil overtake it. But when I think of the spiritual sanctuary of my body, I think we may allow evil to do exactly that.
Brothers and Sisters, this cannot be. If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy.
Whether we want to acknowledge our behaviors as sinful or not, the fact is we need to make an intentional effort to keep our temple clean. Let us be purposeful in our actions to maintain a holy temple.
The church sanctuary is a place of peace; let peace rule in your heart. The church sanctuary is a place to honor and praise God; be a vessel of honor and praise. The church sanctuary is pure and undefiled; be a pure temple with a clean heart and mind.
Make a daily decision to be a temple worthy to house the Holy Spirit of the living God – which temple ye are.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.