Rebuilding of the Temple - 01/18/2003
Can I ask why this rebuilding of the temple would happen in Gods economy?
The death of Christ as a once for all sacrifice for the sin of the world has done away with any need for animal sacrifice. The letter to the Hebrews makes it plain that His sacrifice is for all time. So why a new temple?
Is not the Christian Church (ie true born again believers ) the new Israel and temple of God. Paul speaks about this in 1 Corinthians.
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Greetings Gareth, and thank you for contacting Contender Ministries. We appreciate your comments and questions. I think you are misunderstanding a very crucial point, but are really not far off overall. Let me explain.
We look toward the rebuilding of the temple -- not as an act honoring God, but as an act that has been prophecied, and must be accomplished in the last days. You are correct that the building of the temple does not truly honor God, as animal sacrifice is a thing of the past that has been rendered unnecessary by the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We do not cheer the reconstruction of the temple. Rather, we look towards this inevitable action as one of the signs of the end times. Events prophecied in the Bible do not all honor God, but that does not void the prophecy.
God's temple is indeed in the hearts and souls of the believers - Jews and gentiles alike (don't forget that there are Jewish believers). God does not give up on Israel though. He has prophecied that they will eventually look upon Jesus ("the one they have pierced") and recognize Him as their Messiah. At that time, Israel will be purified and redeemed to the Lord once again (Zechariah 12:10 - 13:6). Israel has repeatedly sinned against God, as has been prophecied. They will do so again by the rebuilding of the temple. Yet God will bring them back to Himself. His master plan is glorious. So you see, we don't rejoice in sin. We rejoice in the intricated fulfillment of His glorious plan for the redemption of the lost, and in His imminent return.
We thank you for raising this point, as it did need some clarification. May God richly bless you as you contend for the faith.
Ben and Jennifer Rast