The Church Is Alive and Well

With decrees from Cyrus and Darius, the building of the Temple was completed.  They celebrated with a dedication ceremony and there was such joy among the people.

David says in Psalm 123  that he rejoiced when they said let us go up to the house of the Lord.  Jerusalem was a city built in such a way that it created unity when you entered.  The Temple must have been the drawing factor.

To the Old Testament believer, the Temple was where God dwelt.  It was a sacred place and you made provision to visit it every year at least at Passover and if you could at any other feast times.  It was where you brought your sacrifices so that you could receive forgiveness for your sins.

To the New Testament believer, we are under grace and not under the Law.  We have the Holy Spirit who indwells us and we can pray at any time and know that God hears our prayers and forgives us of our sins.  Our church building should hold some degree of sacredness for us too.  It is where we go to worship God collectively with other believers.  It is not the actual building itself but the people who worship with us that gives us a sense of reverential awe.  Many of us over the course of our lives have seen God work in mighty ways in the church setting.  We have seen people come to Christ who everyone thought there was not hope for them.  We have seen families reunited and relationships healed.  We have seen physical healings.  God meets his family there and shows his care and compassion for us.  God loves us as individuals but he also loves his church and we should come to church expecting that God may change lives on that day and it may even be mine.

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