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Lesson # Matt. 21:13
Study Material - Matt. 21:13
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
13 And [kai] said [lego] unto them [autos] , It is written [grapho] , My [mou] house [oikos] shall be called [kaleo] the house [oikos] of prayer [proseuche] ; but [de] ye [humeis] have made [poieo] it [autos] a den [spelaion] of thieves [lestes] . KJV-Interlinear
13 And He said to them, 'It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer'; but you are making it a robbers' den.' NAS
Jesus cites from two Old Testament passages. In Isa. 56:7, is where the reference to the 'House of Prayer' comes from. And, Jer. 7:11, is where the 'robbers den' reference comes from. There is also one more passage implied but not specifically mentioned and that is Psa. 27:4, where David prays for discovery of the Lord, residence with the Lord, and meditation concerning the Lord. And these three requests of David, cover the realm of the spiritual life.
We do not have to visit a building which happens to have the label 'Church' on it in order to have a relationship with God. Our relationship exists within the confines of our soul. That is, it can exist there, if there is a commitment to ones spiritual life.
Remember that there are two lives we can live. Our everyday life in this world, the one with which we are all familiar. Up in the morning and off to work or school, back home in the evening, to bed, and repeat it all over again the next day. This is the day to day drudge we all face throughout our lives.
Then there is the second life, the better life which most do not live because they just are not interested in it or they are embarrassed in pursuing it. This is the spiritual life, which is by far the better of the two. Why? Because God runs that life, the spiritual life. The jungle runs the worldly life and that worldly life is just a roll of the dice.
The first life comes to us by default. We are born into it. The second life, the spiritual life, comes to us by means of our positive volition toward God. We elect it, rather than being thrown into it.
The difference? Commitment. And if you have not figured it all out yet, commitment is what we have been studying for quite a few lessons now.
Look at the world. There are 6.3 billion people in the world. Many do not get an education either because they are not interested or their circumstances do not allow them an education. Everyone has volition and the ability to make their own choices in life. Everyone can commit themselves to learn 'something' if they want it bad enough. You do not have to have a formal school house to go to in order to learn.
Anyway, then there is a large group who go to school. They go through elementary school and some do not finish. Then there is high school. Many attend and graduate and some drop out. Again commitment is one of the factors determining whether a person finishes their fundamental schooling or not.
Next comes college. The numbers drop dramatically now. There is more of a requirement to get through college. There are many barriers. You have to pay for it. You have to make a living while attending college. You have to study and pass. Some drop out, most who begin college do graduate sooner or later.
Then higher education opportunities are available. Post graduate studies for a Masters Degree are pursued by fewer people still. From the original 6.3 billion people, very few pursue a Masters let alone begin that pursuit. After the Masters the field begins to drop even more and some pursue their doctorate (Ph.D.).
Now stay in there with me, because there really is a point to all of this.
Out in life there are many who have interests in life. For some it is a career, for some it is a hobby and so forth. Some people have a deeply ingrained interest in a subject of some type and they pursue learning all they can regarding that subject that they are interested in. It may be sewing, cooking, or even further technologies in advanced surgical techniques, or whatever. The common factor in each of these? Commitment. Those who have a deep interest in their chosen course in life (work or hobby), pursue their interest in order to learn as much as they can, to better themselves, to become experts in their chosen subject. A formal education and certificates are not required in order for a person to learn as much as possible in a subject. What is required is commitment. And commitment comes from the 'desire' to want to pursue a thing in life.
'A house of prayer or a robbers' den.' Which is your life There are two lives we can pursue in life. Can you remember them? The carnal life or this life we are all born into, and the spiritual life. They are mutually exclusive lives. They can run concurrently obviously, but they are exclusively separate lives.
David states in Psa. 27, that he wishes to seek out God (there is his desire), that he wishes to behold God (there is his spiritual growth obtained the through the learning process), that he wishes to meditate on Gods truth (there is the recirculation of doctrine throughout the soul and application to ones life).
The Temple represents a house of prayer, but your spiritual house is in your soul. You cannot pray to God unless you have spiritual information inside your soul. You cannot use that which you do not have. In order to have spiritual information in your soul, you first need to want it (commitment), then learn it (consistency), the apply it (mastery) to your life. Otherwise your soul is a house of robbers. You took life from God and use it to promote your own sin nature.
Commitment is a dedication without compromise. Sure we have all been in school and we have all taken shortcuts from time to time, but in the spiritual life, when you take shortcuts (compromises in spiritual standards) then you are only cheating yourself and no one else. How so?
We are born into this life unsaved. We face life after the grave either in hell or in heaven. And remember that the grave can capture us by accident today or we can live to a very ripe old age We cannot control the circumstances of our death, just as we had no say in the circumstances of our birth.
Our first choice is between two extremes. How would you choose if your choice was between living in a coffin filled with snakes, worms, maggots and such, buried alive forever, in total darkness and all that you can imagine that would go along with that situation, with only your screams and tears. No one to save you. No one to come along to dig you out. Forever you are there because you did not believe in Christ.
Or would you rather live in Disney World with unlimited rides, unlimited spending, forever and ever. I use these two examples to describe the difference between hell and heaven. Sometimes just using the words heaven and hell don't paint a good enough picture to contrast the differences between the two. I think that the coffin and Disney World make a better comparison.
Most people would choose Disney World of course. Now after you have believed in Christ, and have assurance that you will go to heaven, then there is even more available to your life. Just by believing in Christ we are not suddenly whisked off to heaven. We are still here on earth. We have an opportunity to grow up spiritually.
What is in it for us? Yet another set of differences like in the former example, but instead of the coffin compared to the theme park, we use the theme park, Disney World, as our future because we have believed in Christ, but did not advance to spiritual maturity, and then if we 'do' advance to spiritual maturity, we have the entire world of vacation and adventure spots to have without limit.
So by being saved we all go to heaven. But, those who advance to spiritual maturity, there is far more than just the single theme park, there are an unlimited number of vacation spots to visit and enjoy. Revelation chapters 1-3 describe these differences for the spiritually mature believer verses the believer who just did not make an effort to grow up spiritually.
The difference between the two? Commitment. On the one hand too many people allow little compromises into their life. They look at their immediate wants and do not look beyond that point. They maybe study the Bible but they do not commit what they learn to their lives - they compromise the Biblical standards with something more convenient to their life style. They make their soul, a den for the spiritual thief that they are. To those who desire more, then there is true Bible study, true commitment to learning, true dedication to learning all they can learn and more, and they grow up. Then they become winners in the spiritual life and that win is something that they take with them beyond the grave into eternity.
Your life here on earth is not all that there is. It is but a blink of an eye. Eternity (billions, trillions of years) is a far longer time frame that we are preparing our self for. The choice is always yours to make from day to day, until you eventually die. Then your choices end.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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