Google+ 01/24/13 Stop Admiring the Stones!

Luke 21:5-6

 

Some of his disciples began talking about the majestic stonework of the Temple

And the memorial decorations on the walls.

But Jesus said, “The time is coming when all these things will be completely demolished.

Not one stone will be left on top of another!” 

 

It often amazes me what and who we admire.  We spend great amounts of time and money idolizing the very things that are temporal and will pass away quickly.  Professional athletics is one of those baffling things.  I love sports and competition of all kinds.  What I don't love is the inordinate amount of money we spend on these things and the amount of money we pay to the participants.  Cities are literally bankrupted over the competition to keep a sports franchise by building a bigger and better arena or stadium.  Many churches, both old and new, are more concerned about how the building and furniture looks, versus the quality of the ministry that goes on inside those "beautiful" walls.  As a matter of fact, many churches do very little ministry today because they are so strangled by debt because of the "stones" they are admiring.  In our Scripture today, the disciples fall prey to this very trap.  Their conversation begins to center around the incredibly large edifice that adorned the Temple.  Historians tell us that some of these stones were up to 60 feet in length!  Remember, these were all carved by hand and moved by men to the site of the temple.  The disciples began to look at and focus on the memorials that were on the walls.  Remember that in most ancient temples and cathedrals, there were many people buried there.  There would have been numerous remembrances to look at and admire.  Don't miss this point.  The disciples are in the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but they become focused on a building.  This fact is often repeated in our modern day society.  It is not a cliche to remind everyone that the church is not the building.  The church is God's people.  Jesus reminds the disciples that the temporal things they are focused on at the moment, will be gone very soon.  Jesus was referring to the fact that Jerusalem would soon be destroyed and there would be the ultimate judgment on society when Jesus returns.  Both of these would have made the disciples tremble as they should.  Jesus encourages us to look at our lives differently.  As it pertains to our churches, let's stop focusing on the large mortgage payment and the beautiful building and adornments.  If we are not careful, these very same "temples" will be empty as they are destroyed.  All the pomp and circumstance is not much good if we can't afford to tell people about Jesus, both on Sunday and during the week.  I believe it has been proven that in our society today, most people do not come to church because of how the building looks.  The fastest growing churches today all belong to one "denomination."  You may be surprised because it is not Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or any other well-know denomination.  It is the new denomination called "we don't own a building."  This frees these ministries from large mortgage payments and debt and allows them to focus on more outreach.  It is working.  It seems Jesus was the founder of this "denomination."  Today in our Scripture, Christ tells His disciples that what they are focusing on will soon be gone.  Heed the warning of Jesus.  Focus on the people, particularly on those that are lost and need to hear the voice of Jesus through us.  Spend your resources on evangelism and discipleship.  Why?  Because all else will pass away as Jesus tells us.  Stop admiring the stones.  Even the best ones will soon be gone!