Friday, April 20, 2012

Institutional Church can become......

EXTRA...EXTRA...Read all about it!!  Jesus overturns tables in temple courts!!
Mark 11:15-25
But you have made it a den of robbers..Image Builders rob God of His glory…the glory He deserves and the honor He is due…why?  He is Creator…He is author of life…He sent His Son to be our Savior…He works in our lives!!

Building an image of ourselves is something.  We spend a lot of our lives building upon our names, building upon a career, and building up a family.  And we bring that attitude to church.  We want that for church…to make sure Telephone Baptist Church has a name and an image…that we are all clean, hard working middle classed good old country folk.

Image Builders think that God is pleased when we build an empire.
The Jewish Passover celebration commemorated the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, when the death angel passed over every home where the blood of a lamb was applied to the doorposts of the home (Ex. 12-13). Passover reminded the Jews of the time the angel “passed over.” It also initiated the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so the entire celebration lasted over a week.

Passover attendance for Jewish males 12 and over was compulsory. On the 10th day of Nisan (March/April), a lamb w/o blemish was taken to Jerusalem and on the 14th day, between 3-6 pm, the sacrificial lamb was killed. Passover was a sacred holiday for the Jewish people. It represented the very essence of who they were—God’s chosen people.

It is difficult to imagine how Jesus must have felt when He approaches the temple and finds it filled with merchants and money-changers. You might ask, “What were they doing there?” Multitudes of people flocked to Jerusalem during Passover. People from all over the world traveled to the holy city for the celebration.

The purpose of these merchants and money-changers was two-fold. One, many of the people did not bring animals with them for sacrifice, so they purchased animals there in Jerusalem. Second, all Jewish males and proselytes were required to pay a half-shekel temple tax in the coinage of the temple (taxes were prevalent even in the first century, the worship tax). Furthermore, foreign monies bearing the image of a pagan deity or ruler were unacceptable; therefore, the money changers would exchange their coinage for a small fee.

In days gone by, these activities took place outside of the temple, but now the merchants, animals, and exchangers have moved inside the temple courts. The sacredness of the temple has been bartered for profit and convenience. And as Jesus approached the temple, he becomes angry at what the temple has become.

The temple had become a business/institution and it was built on business.  Let me ask you this….What have we become…what is the product we are producing?
Image Builders are happy with physical results, not the spiritual results.
I mean what is it that we are really trying to accomplish here…to make disciples.  We are worried about the spiritual, a hospital for sinners.  But yet, we focus on the business process because we are about the IMAGE that is Telephone Baptist Church, not trying to do all we can for the glory of God.

For the future, we would love to see the work of God in people.  Salvations and baptisms.  Peoples lives are being changed.  Walking through tough times with people and helping them be faithful and strong in the Lord.

Blessings, Brian 

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