impossible to repent – impossible because we have convinced ourselves we are doing the right thing.
No religious group knowingly goes into error. God’s people in the Old Testament went into all kinds of sin and even into idolatry. When they were going down that path did they go thinking I want to commit spiritual suicide and spent eternity in hell? They did what they did because they had convinced themselves it was the right thing to do and all of God’s prophets could not keep them from it. They saw their error as not being error but as being their salvation. They had gradually lost their faith in God’s word until there was no faith left in it at all save on the part of a tiny remnant of believers.
How does one defile the temple of God, the church? I know of no other way other than by departing from that which governs the church – the word of God. When a group of people (a congregation or church) begins to practice things not found in the New Testament, allows liberties God does not permit in his word, begins to teach things contrary to the direct word of God that any man can read for himself, adds to the worship things unheard of in the pages of the new covenant, tolerates sin in the church winking at it or worse yet begins to call sin righteousness then I would fear being a member of such a congregation. God doesn’t just talk to be talking or because he is bored. He said he would destroy him who defiled the temple of God (1 Cor. 3:17) and I for one do not want to be in the vicinity when that happens. Do you? Do you want it to be said that you for one went along with the defiling even if you did not initiate it? Most people ought to get out of the church they are in.
Yet, we have blinders on our eyes and cannot see it. We have hundreds and hundreds of denominations all teaching and practicing different doctrines and yet we say it is fine. Everybody is going to heaven. Yes, they teach differently over there than what we do here but you know it just doesn’t matter they will still be saved in the end. Do we realize what we are saying? It doesn’t matter! Truth doesn’t matter! God’s word doesn’t matter! Yes, I grow frustrated for where is the reason and logic in such beliefs? If a college kid reasoned the way most religious groups do they would last about one semester.
Christ built the church. He is the head of the church (Eph. 5:23). The church is to be subject to Christ (Eph. 5:24). Those things being true then if I come into your worship service and you are doing something I cannot find in the word of Christ (the New Testament) I want to know why you are doing it and upon whose authority. Don’t tell me it does not matter for “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Col. 3:17 NKJV) How do you do a thing in the name of the Lord Jesus when the Lord Jesus has never said a word about the thing which you are doing? Do you think you a mere man can take the authority upon yourself to initiate things into the worship service unknown to the word of God? The sad truth is yes most in Christendom believe that very thing. I will never understand how they reason but this much I do know – the temple of God can be defiled.
In closing Jesus is the foundation of the church, the rock upon which the church was and is built but it is his church, not mine, not yours. He built it and he built it the way he wanted it and not the way you or I might think it should have been built or the way we would perhaps like it to be. It is what it is. Our choice is to accept it as it is and bring ourselves into subjection under his headship, or reject it outright as does the atheist and those of other religions, or defile it as is my fear many have done. The church belongs to Jesus. If we would remember that we would perhaps quit trying to make it ours. We get to be a part of it, a living stone, but we do not own it or rule it and we have no part in making rules for it unless we want to get into the defiling business.
For preaching a little different than what you are use to hearing try the audio sermons of Waymon Swain.