Jesus wants a clean church

This morning I was reading a small bit of scripture in Matthew 21:12 – 13 where Jesus went into the Temple just after His “triumphant Entry” into Jerusalem on a donkey.

Two scriptures. 50 – 60 words or so, depending on the Bible translation you are reading.  But some very powerful words and scriptures they are.

We know the story, Jesus goes into the Temple and started overturning tables and running people out of the premises.

This text really spoke to me in two distinct areas.

  1. Jesus went against most of the popular “seeker sensitive” and church growth models we see in today’s world.
    1. Churches with book stores and national brand coffee houses.
    2. Churches more focused on making the “Crowd” comfortable than making a place where the Gospel is welcome
      1. So many times we are willing to compromise or change so we can “capture” a new demographic audience.
    3. Along the way we forget a few things:
      1. People need the Lord; not entertained
      2. We need conviction, to understand our need for God; not confections.
  • The Word of God must be primary
  1. Jesus went through the church and cleaned house
    1. Driving out the greedy money changers
    2. Driving out the cheating dove (sacrifice) sellers
  • Overturning chairs and tables
    1. Not what we today would call an “effective church growth strategy”
    2. Today we would have called the police and had this crazy man hauled away.
      1. Wow, in Texas He might of gotten shot!
    3. The church was not focused on what is PRIMARY
      1. It was focused on greed, pride and flesh
      2. Jesus was on a mission to cleanse the church
    4. Jesus went to great lengths to cleanse His Temple.
      1. Here this in our context today
        1. First: Are His churches (Christian churches) clean and properly focused on God and His Word today?
          1. Even today it is more important for a church to be Biblically focused and doctrinally correct that have a big budget or a massive auditorium.
        2. Second: (and this cannot be emphasized enough in our world today) THE CHURCH IS NOT THE BRICK AND MORTAR EDIFICE PEOPLE GATHER IN! THE PEOPLE ARE THE CHURCH!!!
          1. The church gathers together in a place to worship God
          2. Technically a Christian CANNOT “go to church” because they are one of the many parts of the church
          3. Denominations define and divide us into groups by a worldly standard, but every Christian, regardless of denomination, are part of the Lord’s Church.
          4. How God centered is your church?
            1. Look in the mirror.
            2. Better yet, open the Word of God and see if the reflection you see there is a reflection of self or a reflection of God.
          5. Jesus went in and brought great conviction and cleansing to the temple
            1. Have you allowed Him to do the same for you?
            2. Jesus paid a very high price for the redemption of His Church; for YOUR redemption
            3. Jesus is able to cleanse everything not of God out of His temple; to cleanse you!
              1. New life
              2. New hope
  • New faith
  1. A New you!
  1. To “borrow” a phrase from most parents on a long car trip:
    1. “Don’t make Him come down here”
    2. Choose for yourself TODAY that Jesus is Lord and accept every good thing He has for you.
  2. Jesus cleansed His Temple and gave it a central purpose.
    1. A purpose from which every other plan and purpose of His Church grows out into this world.
    2. A PRIMARY focus that remains unchanged today.
    3. This primary focus gives us direction, wisdom, strength, conviction, correction and a deepening relationship with God.
    4. “My House will be called a house of prayer!” – Jesus
      1. Today, prayer meetings are the least attended meeting of the church
      2. Today, the daily prayer habits of the average Christian is almost zero.
  • Today, prayer has taken a back seat to programs, promotions and platitudes.
    1. You Christian, ARE THE CHURCH! You are God’s House.
      1. Are YOU a house of prayer?