Matthew 21:12-14 - And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you make it a den of robbers." And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.
The church Jesus founded, the church He wants today, the church He will bless eternally, has room and redemption for everyone of us. He showed this in Jerusalem, where He purified the temple. He not only preached the Law, but He also practiced His love, for we read: "And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them." He had compassion on the sorrowing, the afflicted, even on the blind beggars and lowly lame.
My beloved, He wants you to approach Him—no matter how crushing your grief, no matter how bad your sins. Oh, that in this day of fashionable, class-conscious churches we would remember these four foundations of the faith: first, "God shows no partiality" (Romans 2:11); second, "all have sinned" (Romans 3:23a); third, God "desires all people to be saved" (1 Timothy 2:4a); and forth, "God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Oh, that every sermon, every Sunday, would repeat the blessed Redeemer's invitation and pledge: "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never cast out" (John 6:37)!
Jesus died for you, and He wants you to live eternally for Him. He has help and healing for you, pardon for your transgressions, companionship in your loneliness, strength in your weakness, and love in any lovelessness that may surround you. His Holy Spirit is ready to make you a new creature blessed by joy and peace.
These then are the truths we must preach—not those of new sensations, but the news of salvation, not race theories but grace verities, not the social gospel but the saving Gospel. Let us always remember not man's merit but Jesus' mercy—a mercy not working for earthly revolution but for spiritual regeneration. And let us be praying, always praying, for the Holy Spirit's cleansing of our nation's Christian churches.
By the simple Gospel of redemption which I have offered you in the Savior's Name, the church today can change the world just as surely as it did in the apostolic first century and in the Reformation's sixteenth century.
By God's grace, may we all live lives more worthy of Jesus whose life, death, and resurrection have won our forgiveness and the gift of eternal life.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, send Your Spirit to believers everywhere in the world that they may love You and their neighbor more faithfully. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
From "Christ, Keep on Cleansing Our Churches," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Walter A. Maier, the first Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. How has your church changed over the last 10-20 years? Are these changes helping it reach others for Christ?
2. Why would there be places for money-changers and those who sold things in God's Jerusalem temple?
3. What can you do as a church member to help your church flourish in its mission?
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