Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling, saying to them, “It is written, ‘AND MY HOUSE SHALL BE A HOUSE OF PRAYER,’ but you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” Luke 19:45-46
Jesus enters the temple. What does He see? Not worship, not prayer, but a robber’s den full of those who have found opportunity to fatten their pockets.
A Christian enters a place of worship. What does he see? Not teaching, not singing, but a country club full of those who have found opportunity to satisfy their desires for recreation.
My fellow Christians, let us be very careful not to misuse what has been set aside for God’s purpose. We don’t have temples that we worship in today, but we do have an offering of money that we give to God’s work every Sunday. The pattern set before us in the New Testament is not one where these offerings are used in support of our recreation, but in support of the gospel by those things clearly laid out in scripture such as supporting gospel preachers and evangelistic efforts geared specifically towards Bible teaching, providing for edification and fellowship of the saints through the gospel, and helping needy brethren. Never do we see this money being used for leisurely activities and entertainment.
So, let’s be honest. Are you part of a church or country club? Can the focus of your local assembly be likened to that of a house of prayer or a robber’s den? Is the money you offer being used in support of the gospel or to feed social needs?
Let’s be as Jesus and drive out whatever is taking away from His purpose. There’s nothing wrong with Christians funding and enjoying recreational activities with money not earmarked for the church’s work. However, there is something wrong when we take what belongs to God and use it for our amusement. May we diligently strive not to take advantage of the things that belong to God. Jesus did not take it lightly and neither should we.
When I consider the seriousness of Jesus’ actions against the Jews who were misusing the temple for their own satisfaction, it reminds me to pay close attention to how we use the things that belong to You. My Father, You have commanded that we give of our prosperity upon the first day of the week. This is a free will offering in support of Your work. Help us as Christians to be wise and use this money in ways that are pleasing to You. Let not the church see opportunity to supply recreation, but provide the means for spreading the gospel and edifying the saints. Your church is the ground and pillar of the truth. We will make this our focus and be careful not to go beyond what the Spirit has clearly laid out in Your word. Amen.
Truth in love,