Clean out God's Temple
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” I Corinthians 6:9-10
It is shocking to hear of an open homosexual being appointed as a bishop in the Episcopal church. At least I hope it is still shocking to most of us.
Paul reminds us in I Corinthians 5:9-11, “ I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people-- not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.”
I feel for those members who must make a
choice. Sometimes as members of the body of Christ, we have to walk away
from the corporate church to which we belong. We may have invested many
years of blood, sweat and tears in an organization, physical buildings
and various charity programs. This isn't easy to do.
Josiah had to remove idols and shrine prostitutes from the very temple of God.
“He took the Asherah pole from the temple of the LORD to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem and burned it there. He ground it to powder and scattered the dust over the graves of the common people. He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes, which were in the temple of the LORD and where women did weaving for Asherah.” II Kings 23: 6-7
In my group Bible study, we learned how the people of Israel would worship the idols of the land and then go to the temple that same day and worship God. I was challenged by the question, “It's easy to be critical of how the Israelites worshiped God and yet sacrificed their children to Baal, but what sinful patterns of belief or behavior are you holding onto?”
That question really hit home and has caused me to make some changes in my life. Things that may on the surface look minor to us, I realized are major to God.
While it may be easy to point out the sexual sins of others, we must remember the words of Jesus, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28
Do we condemn the sins of others on one day when we went to see a movie with indecent scenes in it earlier that week?
Sexual immorality surrounds us on television, in movies, in songs, and in ads that flash before our eyes or ears everyday. It appeals to the nature of self-gratification.
We must constantly be on our guard and turn off the radio, or television shows that have content or commercials that glorify sexual immorality. Do not go to movies that have any sexual immoral content. If all Christians did this, then the producers would get hurt in the pocket book and have to make some changes.
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” I Corinthians 6:18-20
Clean the temple of today out and be on guard
on what you allow back in.