“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are”.
[1 Corinthians 3:16,17]
The local Church at Corinth was a troubled Church, about everything that shouldn’t be going on within a local Church was not only going on, but was having a destructive impact upon the Church.
In verses 16 & 17 the Apostle Paul gives a solemn warning to those individuals within the local Church that were literally destroying the Church; God would repay in like kind. If they destroy the Church, which is Holy unto the Lord, God would certainly destroy them in return.
This warning, this threat, this promise from the Lord has not been revoked and is still applicable to those within the local Church today.
It is Dangerous Business to tear up your local Church and everyone member should have it clearly spelled out to them those things they can do that would play a part in destroying their Church.
Strong’s Concordance says the word “Defile” means to, Shrivel, to Wither, to Ruin, to Destroy. All over our nation we are seeing many Churches who were once vibrant and growing have now shriveled up and withered away to almost nothing and many have died altogether.
We can attempt to blame this on The Times we live in, or The World around us, but the hard truth is that the only ones to blame are those within us. The Church has always thrived in hard times and when the world has persecuted her, but she has not an cannot survive the tolerance of those within her that are destroying her from within. The lack of Church discipline has given these destructive forces a free hand to do their dirty work and the only reason the Lord hasn’t killed more of them than He has is because the Lord has left them to be thorns in the sides of those good people who have tolerated them and failed to be good stewards of the local Church.
Let’s look at several ways one can destroy their local Church and be warned.
I. HOW DOES ONE DESTROY GOD’S TEMPLE?
1. By Attacking Her Pastor
(1 Cor. 4:3; 9-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-14a)
2. By Abandoning Her Purpose (Matthew 28:18-20)
3. By Admixture Of Her People
(Matthew 13:36-43; 1 Cor.5:9-13; 6:9-11)
4. By Abasing Her Purity (Matthew 5:13; 1 Corinthians 3:17)
5. By Annulling Her Precepts (Mark 7:6-13; 1 Cor. 3:19)
6. By Absence of Your Presence
(1 Cor. 14:23; Hebrews 10:25)
7. By Abating Her Power (Acts 1:8; Zechariah 4:6)
II. HOW DOES GOD DESTROY THOSE WHO DESTROY HIS TEMPLE? (Numbers 16:31-33)
In Numbers 16 we are told of a despicable character named Korah, whose actions threatened the Church in the Wilderness (Acts 7:38 – the first generation wilderness children). 1 Corinthians 10:11 tells us that God made examples out of this generation, to be a warning to the generations to follow of the probability of the same thing happening to them if they follow in their steps.
Korah is a prime example of what happens to those whose actions are destructive to the Temple of God.
1. The Offender Will Destroy Their Family (Numbers 16:32 – “…their houses”)
2. The Offender Will Destroy Their Finances (Numbers 16:32 – “…their goods”)
3. The Offender Will Destroy Their Friends (Numbers 16:32,35 – “…all the men that appertained unto Korah”)
Korah’s friends that he influenced to follow him in his folly were destroyed along with him.
4. The Offender Will Destroy Their Future (Numbers 16:33 – “…they perished from among the congregation.)
God killed him. The future for those who destroy the Temple of God is precarious at best. It is dangerous business to divide and destroy the Temple of God!
Few Pastors have not been a first hand witness to destructive forces within their congregations and few Pastors have not seen the destruction that these people have brought upon themselves and others as well as upon the Church.
It is a dangerous business to destroy the Temple of God. Some may say that there are many such people they have seen harm the Church and yet they continue on as if they have done nothing wrong.
In that case there are a couple of things that need to be considered.
First, God’s Word will come to pass. They may have seemed to have gotten away with it, but I can assure you that God has not forgotten their evil and one day when they least expect it, the wrath of God will fall upon them and theirs. Fret not, wait upon the Lord.
Secondly, those who have not been punished of the Lord are probably lost people and not the Child of God (Hebrews 12:8), but one day they will have to answer for their evil, if not in this life, certainly they will answer in the next life.
Jesus loves His Church and gave Himself for it. The warning needs to be sounded anew to this rebellious generation that God will not allow you to destroy her and go unpunished.
That warning is not only for the problem Church member, but for the Politician, the President, the Perverts and all others who are so emboldened today that they feel that they can attack the Church and eventually shut her up and even shut her down. Anyone who would be so foolish as to harm (or attempt to harm) God’s Temple can be sure their days will be few and full of trouble. Jesus is building His Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)