Temple Baptist Church - 2-22-2009
A. As I was reading the Bible the other morning, this phrase “holiness becometh thine house” stood out to me as never before. What a wonderful gift the Lord has given to us: the Bible! You can read and re-read a hundred times the same passage and the thrill of it all is still there.
B. I began to think upon the changes that have taken place in the “house of the Lord” in my short lifetime and it alarmed me. Even we Baptist preachers have “gotten used to the dark!” With eyes on numbers and finances, we have kept in what should have been cast out and let in what should have been kept out!
C. As I look back through history in the Bible, I see the decline in holiness that so “becometh” God’s house. God’s house began with the Tabernacle in the Wilderness where God met with man through blood sacrifices. God’s house was holy! God’s men had to be holy! (Otherwise they died before the Lord) What man offered had to be holy! It had to be the best; be proven; and offered in the right way in order to be accepted. God killed men who offered “strange fire” before the Lord. God killed high priests what ministered in ungodliness.
D. Later came Solomon’s Temple. God met with man there. Once again, holiness became the house of God for a while but men began to offer sacrifices while serving other gods. (Solomon) This Temple was destroyed as Israel went into captivity for 70 years because of their sinfulness.
E. Zerubbabel’s Temple was built at the end of the Babylonish Captivity. During the “Silent 400 years,” Phariseeism took root and “whited sepulchers” began to minister before the Lord. These were the men who cried, “Crucify him!” In the days of our Lord, He twice cleansed the Temple while proclaiming that they had turned the “house of prayer” into a “den of thieves.”
F. In the days of the apostles, we find that false teachers and wicked people who had a “form of godliness” began to permeated the church. Men like Alexander the Coppersmith, Hymenaeus and Alexander, and Diotrephes were prominent in churches around the known world.
G. If “holiness becometh thine house,” then “unholiness” does not become His house!
1. Unholy Preachers Do Not Become God’s House!
1 Timothy 3:1-7 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
2. Unholy Members Do Not Become God’s House!
2 Timothy 3:1-5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
3. Unholy Dress Does Not Become God’s House! People today come to church as if they were going to some worldly entertainment center such as Six Flags. You do not have to wear a three piece suit to come to church but this is still church! I seen more uncovered flesh in God’s House at times than I do at Wal-Mart! Dips and splits, exposed chests and bosoms, etc. have become the norm. When you bend over and are immodest, you are not dressed right! If you cross your legs and are immodest, you are not dressed right! If you look more like a man than your husband looks, you are not dressed right! Whatever happened to “peculiar people?”
1 Timothy 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
4. Unholy Music Does Not Become God’s House! The lyrics and beat of the world do not belong in God’s House! Men still write some good music but Christian Rock is still Rock! The new Contemporary Music is shallow and worldly! Music is important in worship and must be kept holy.
Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
5. Unholy Bibles Do Not Become God’s House! God only wrote one Bible and if it is the Word of God it is perfect. If it is perfect then “things that are different are not the same.” Infallibility, immutability, inspiration, preservation, and purity demand one Bible! We will never allow another to be preached or taught from here at Temple.
Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.
Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD [are] pure words: [as] silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
6. Unholy Methods Do Not Become God’s House! The church methods of soul winning, praying, and teaching have changed to programs that entertain. “Win the lost at any cost” has been expensive! Worldly methods now permeate the church and produce worldly people!
Jeremiah 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
Isaiah 55:9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
7. Unholy Doctrines Do Not Become God’s House! We are to teach and preach God’s doctrines, not denominational doctrines. I am a Baptist but first and foremost I am a Biblicist! I love being an old fashioned Baptist preacher but where the Baptist err, I stick with the Bible! We are not ecumenical! We are not liberal! We are not compromised!
John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Conclusion: If “holiness becometh thing house” then “unholiness does not become God’s house!” I am not “going off” tonight but I love and care for this church. I want our children to know what it is like to be raised in a good, fundamental church. I want people who visit to be exposed to “old time religion” regardless if they approve or disapprove. I want Temple Baptist Church to been a church that honors God!
(1) Not everyone will approve of Temple! (2) Not everyone will like Temple! (3) Not everyone will stay at Temple!