Zeal for God's House

Zeal for God's House I. It was said that zeal for God's house consumed our Lord Jesus Christ. JOH 2:17. A. David penned those words which the N.T. applies to Christ. PSA 69:9 c/w ROM 15:3. B. The Holy Spirit thus encourages us to consider David's attitude towards God's house. C. What David did for God's house was done with all his might. 1CH 29:2; PSA 132:3-5. II. The gospel church is God's house. 1TI 3:15; EPH 2:19-22; 1PE 2:5. A. It is God's kingdom on earth. MAT 16:18-19; LUK 22:29-30 c/w 1CO 10 & 11. B. It is God's priesthood. 1PE 2:9. C. It is God's nation. 1PE 2:9. D. It is also the temple of God. 2CO 6:16. E. It is the unique receiver and repository of the promised Comforter/Holy Ghost. JOH 14:16-17, 26 c/w ACT 1:4-5, 15; 2:1-4. F. It is the place where God's honor dwells. PSA 26:8 c/w EPH 3:21. G. It is the vehicle ordained of God for the perfection of His saints. 1CO 12:28 c/w EPH 4:11-12; PSA 92:13-14. H. It is a conduit for spiritual correspondence between heaven and earth. GEN 28:17 c/w HEB 12:22. I. It is the place where the spiritual sacrifices of His worship are to be offered. 1PE 2:5. J. It is a body which God has given distinguishing and glorious ordinances to observe. LUK 22:29-30 c/w 1CO 10 & 11 (note esp. 1CO 11:1-2). III. What is your attitude towards God's house? A. Would you hungrily anticipate it as did Hezekiah? ISA 38:22. B. Do you think in your heart, “Great, I've got to go to church” or “Great, I get to go to church!”? C. Do you prepare yourself for worship and instruction with desire, adequate rest, and contemplation? D. If you were summoned before an earthly dignitary or magistrate, would your attitude be better than when you are summoned to appear before Almighty God? E. This line of reasoning was a rebuke to those in Israel who were callous in their service to God. MAL1:8. IV. How highly do you value God's house? A. Do you take pleasure in its stones? PSA 102:13-14 c/w 1PE 2:5. B. Are you glad when it is time to assemble? PSA 122:1. C. Do you long for the opportunity to be in it? PSA 84:1-2. D. Do you prefer God's dwelling place to other things which you find enjoyable? PSA 84:10; 137:6. E. Do you love it more than your house? God does. PSA 87:2; HAG 1:4. F. Do you love it enough to desire it all your days? PSA 27:4. V. How highly do you value the Lord's table? A. Do you consider it optional or amendable? It's not. 1CO 11:2, 24-25. B. Do you consider it a burden to adjust your schedule for it, a weariness to be snuffed at and approached with blemished offerings of service? MAL 1:12-13 c/w ROM 12:1. C. God can find replacements for those who trivialize His suppers. LUK 14:16-24. Zeal for God's House Page 1 D. We ought to discern in it the horrible sufferings inflicted upon the sinless Son of God's body for our sins and be thankful to be humbled by their memorial. 1CO 11:29. VI. God has always expected His people to set aside time to worship Him. At the appointed time, it ought to be done. A. Abel by faith (in God's revelation) recognized a time to offer to God. HEB 11:4 c/w GEN 4:3-4. B. Under the law, God expected His people to reverence His sanctuary. LEV 19:30; ECC 5:1. 1. At appointed seasons of worship, the people were expected to be in attendance. DEU 16:16; 31:10-11. 2. Refusal to comply merited judgment. NUM 9:13. 3. These things are written for our learning. ROM 15:4; 2TI 3:16. C. Under the New Testament, we do not observe sabbath days and holy days as binding upon thesaints. COL2:16-17. 1. However, this does not mean the church is exempt from congregational duties. 1CO 5:4; HEB 10:24-25. 2. The appointed time of worship and performance of church ordinances is at the discretion of each church under the supervision of its pastor. To such, members need to submit. HEB 13:17. D. God understands that circumstances may militate against regular assembly for His worship. DEU 12:20-21; 2CO 8:12. 1. Church members should examine their situations to see if there is something they can do to alter their hindering circumstances. God sees a willing heart, but expects performance also. ISA 1:19; PHIL 2:13. 2. If a person knows he should perform his church duties and has the means and opportunity to do so but wilfully avoids them without good cause, that is a different story. ISA 1:20; JAM 4:17. VII. Some take the position that their service to God need go no further than their pursuit of noble causes and therefore immerse themselves in them to the exclusion of God's house. A. Be cautious about getting so caught up in serving others that you have not time for simple attendance to Christ. LUK 10:38-42. B. The Lord Jesus showed that noble causes must be placed on a lower priority sometimes. MAT 26:7-11. C. It is too easy to be consumed with concerns about our lives and the world around us. We need to remember that God expects His kingdom to receive first priority. MAT 6:31-33. D. If you were Noah, what would have been your first actions after leaving the ark: a party? build your new home? GEN 8:20. E. We can accomplish more for the society in which we live by honoring Jesus Christ's commandments and encouraging others to do likewise than by all the lobbying efforts, legal wranglings and noble causes. PSA 27:4-5. 1. God governs this world with an eye to His church. EPH 1:22; 1PE 4:17. 2. If God's people were to straighten out their lives and religion, God would take care of the society at large. 2CH 7:14. 3. God moves mightily in the affairs of men for the sake of those who are faithful to Him. PRO 16:7; 21:1; PSA 105:14-15. 4. God promised Israel that if they would come before Him at the appointed times in Zeal for God's House Page 2 faith, He would honor that by protecting their inheritance. EXO 34:23-24. 5. Maybe the problem with our country isn't the secular government or the Federal Reserve after all. HAG 1:6-11. VIII. Having a name on a church role is insufficient. Biblical Christianity means responsibility and accountability to other members of the church. A. We are mutually accountable and obliged to recognize other church members' right to correct us. 1PE 5:5. B. No member can say he has no need of the rest. 1CO 12:21; EPH 4:16. C. Public assembly fosters the personal interactions God has ordained for the perfecting of our faith. 1. We are to comfort (strengthen) ourselves together and edify (build up) one another in the faith. 1TH 5:11. 2. We are to admonish one another (put in mind of duties). ROM 15:14. 3. We are to exhort one another. HEB 3:13. 4. We are to provoke one another to love and good works. HEB 10:24. 5. There is no substitute for face to face interaction. 1TH 2:17; 3:10; 2JO 1:12. 6. They that truly fear God will relish the presence of godly brethren and regularly interface with them. PSA 119:63, 74; MAL 3:16-17. IX. God Who builds can also tear down. JER 18:7-10. A. An indifferent church may think it's alive when it's dead. REV 3:1. B. Jesus Christ stands willing to abandon wayward and indifferent churches. REV 2:5; 3:16. C. God is able and willing to relocate His glory. MAT 21:43. D. Without the glory of God's presence, the church's true name is Ichabod. 1SAM 4:21. Zeal for God's House Page 3
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