The “church” per the Bible is the worldwide body of Christ’s followers. While God calls His followers to assemble together, He makes clear His great desire is for His children to “worship the Father in spirit and truth (John 4:23)” which is not restricted to a church building or specific congregation of people. Nevertheless, God’s people often do assemble in church buildings, and there is a grave danger in today’s times concerning countless church buildings. And it is this.
Note in the verse below how God through the prophet Haggai tells the people to rebuild His temple that was destroyed. Though the term “temple” is used, it is a “church” in the sense that it is a physical building occupied by people gathering to worship and serve the Lord. Please don’t focus on the temple rebuilding back then in this message, though I very much encourage you to read about it and most importantly to read the Bible each and every day as you spend time alone with the Lord. Please focus on this. In the verse below, the Lord emphasizes the temple is for HIS PLEASURE and HIS GLORY.
The danger in today’s times is this. Countless churches are raising unbelievably large amounts of money to build unbelievably big and beautiful church buildings and oftentimes getting into debt for the purpose of the pleasure, comfort, and enjoyment of the people and to attract still more people. Tons of these church buildings are filled with entertainment, comedy, rock band like stages, theatre, games, gymnasiums, exercise classes often rooted in false religion, hobbies, etc.
Friend, with a world in dire need of hearing about Christ and receiving help in following Him and in receiving help in the way of physical provisions, is it glorifying to the Lord when so much money, time, focus, and attention is being spent on the buildings we call churches? Whom are we aiming to please, and whom are we striving to glorify? Let us be careful! And for those of us who are falling short of God’s glory in this, let us repent!
Oh, Lord, I am horrified and grieved at so much of what I have myself witnessed and/or heard about in so many American churches and can only imagine this may be the case around the world. If it breaks my heart as it does, how utterly it must break yours! I have prayed and prayed about this and will continue to dear Father as you lead me. And I have at times judged and condemned, and for that I have sought your forgiveness. Lord, please bring any and all to repentance in this.
Please help people reading this to stand up and confront in love those needing confrontation as you may lead them. Please help them to walk away from church congregations if and when it is your desire and please send them where you want them to go. Please oh, Lord, have mercy and help us! Most of all, dear Lord, help us individually to love and glorify you each and every day and to learn to worship you in spirit and in truth as you say you desire. AMEN!
“Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the LORD.” Haggai 1:8
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”” John 4:23-24