Psalm 122:1 A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
Today is marked as mother’s day on our calendars. We looked at the importance of mothers yesterday. We need to be mindful of the family structure that God has designed on a daily basis. Mothers do have an important role to fulfil in God’s design for the family. Godly mothers will want to be in the house of the LORD today.
The context of the verse we have has to do with the city of Jerusalem and with the Temple. The Psalmist was directed by God to write about the importance of the house of the LORD. There is great blessing described in the Old Testament associated with the Temple.
We do not have a Temple today. God tells us that born again Christians are the temple of the Holy Ghost.
Paul was directed to remind us that the local church is:
I Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Many of those who profess to be saved have lost that sense of awe and excitement about God’s house. From my observation, there has been a steady erosion of the holiness of God among many of those who claim to know Him and love Him. I believe much of the change has come due to the adoption of the multiplicity of perversions on the market. When the authority is gone, the respect is gone. When the respect is gone, the love is gone.
I was watching a funeral service via the internet for an aunt that had recently died. One of the pre-recorded songs they used at the beginning repeated the phrase: ‘It’s not what’s over the door that matters, but it’s what’s in the heart.’ That may sound good, but it is theologically wrong. What is in the heart will dictate where the person will go. The heart of the true child of God has been gloriously changed by God. That changed heart will be glad to go to the house of the LORD. Music plays an important part in the life of many people. Much of the music is of the same calibre as that song. However, when the Word of God is rejected, then the person has no basis except his or her feelings to determine what music they will like.
Today is the Lord’s day. Today is the first day of the week. In the Old Testament the first day of the week had relevance as well. The Sabbath was the seventh day. That day was important for the nation of Israel. It was a special day that God gave to the nation of Israel as a sign of the covenant that He had made with them.
Leviticus 23:15 tells us that the “wave offering” was to be waved on the “morrow after the sabbath”. The wave offering was a picture of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In verse 16 we see that fifty days after that, also on the first day of the week, was the day of Pentecost. In Acts 2 the day of Pentecost was the day that God empowered the saints for the work of the Lord. That was a unique day that will never be repeated. The book of Acts is a transitional book that shows the fulfilment of some Old Testament symbols and prophecies, and also shows the standards that must be in a true local church.
The first day of the week had significance for the Old Testament saints. Jesus Christ rose on the first day of the week and He instituted the change from the Sabbath to the first day of the week with His resurrection. The early churches met on the first day of the week in a special way. They met on a daily basis in the early chapters of the book of Acts.
As we see from I Timothy 3, the local church is the house of God. It seems the “universal church” idea originated with the Catholics. Many false doctrines come from that cult. Many “denominations” separated to a degree from the “mother church”, but when we look at their practices, we see they never really strayed too far from mama’s apron strings.
There is a need for true saints to examine all that they do and believe and make sure that they hold to that which is Biblical and cast off that which is false. As we look at Psalm 122 we find that there was an anticipation of blessing in going to the house of the LORD. As we see from I Timothy 3:15, the local church is also called “the house of God, the church of the living God.”
In the Old Testament there was only one Temple. God directed king Solomon to build the first Temple in Jerusalem. That Temple stood for about 400 years before it was destroyed at the direction of God and at the hands of the Babylonians. A second Temple was built on the same sight some 70 years later. That Temple was still in existence during the time of Jesus Christ on earth. King Herod financed the rebuilding of that Temple over a period of some 46 years. That Temple was destroyed in 70 AD. There was no further need for the Temple since Jesus Christ fulfilled all the symbolism of that place. The Jews had rejected Jesus Christ and thus the nation of Israel was cut off, not destroyed, but cut off by God and the new entity that Jesus established — the local church, was grafted into the root of Israel. In the Millennium, Jesus Christ will oversee the building of the Temple in Jerusalem. Israel will be revived spiritually and they will acknowledge and worship the true God at that time. As we mentioned, the born again child of God is the temple of the Holy Ghost.
Jesus Christ declared that He would build His church upon Himself (Matthew 16:18). It is a mistake to assume that He was talking about a universal church theology. In the book of Acts we see that the first church was in Jerusalem. However, Jesus’ command to the apostles was to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Those who were saved were to be baptized and thus become members of the local church where they resided. The book of Acts shows us the establishment of several local churches. The church in Jerusalem lost its prominence and the church in Antioch became the dominant church. However, there was no “mother” church. There also was no universal church. Jesus Christ directed the apostle John to write to seven churches which were located in Asia. None of them was more important than the other. Each of them had a membership that was addressed. Each of them had a pastor that needed to receive some necessary instructions. Each of them had specific needs that needed to be addressed.
The false idea of floating between whichever church is most convenient on a particular Sunday is not a Biblical idea. The casual idea of attending if it is convenient but if other things come up that is all good as well, is also not a Biblical teaching. Biblical doctrine does not accommodate the careless nature of church theology today.
I received an invitation this week to a meeting yesterday that was suggested to be a very important meeting. It was a political meeting. I might have gone if I had better notice but as it was it did not suit. I responded to the invitation by inviting the person who sent me the invitation to our services today. I told him that we were having very important meetings that he should not miss.
Our governments have grown quite cold toward the whole church issue. They would not know the difference between a Catholic church or a Lutheran church or a Baptist church. They are willfully ignorant. However, those who are truly born again must understand the importance and the significance of the true local church. The person who invited me to yesterday’s meeting stated that we are in big trouble as a country. He is right on that. The answer will not come from a political rally. The answer will come from the faithful and bold preaching of God’s Word. Most are not interested in that answer. As mentioned those who are truly saved demonstrate their true life in Christ by faithfully attending a true local church.
I trust that those who read these devotionals see the importance of the house of God today. There may be some reading these devotionals that are not saved. My prayer is that you will let God show you the blessing you could have in turning to Him in repentance and being saved. Ask Him to guide you to a true local church where you can be baptized and become a member and then serve Him faithfully until He calls you to His heavenly home.
The testimony of the saints is heard with the ear, but it is also seen with the eye. Does what you say line up with what God’s Word says? Do your actions add up with what God’s Word says?