Let’s go live, today, with Pastor Joe, my brother-in-law. He pastors Grace Baptist Church in Rexburg, Idaho. In light of the Rexburg Temple open house, Joe is seizing the opportunity to speak on the temple.
Todd: Joe, what text did you center on this morning?
Joe: Acts 7. I started in verse 38 and ended in verse 50. Stephen is working with his community to look beyond the temple.
Todd: And your subpoints?
Joe: There were three. 1) Do we need a place to worship? In John 4:19-24, Jesus establishes the way of worship.
Todd: I remember studying and meditating on these very words with my own church family in Idaho Falls. Jesus corrected error and filled the Samaritan woman’s heart with true doctrine on worship.
Joe: 2) Where does God dwell? What is the most sacred place on the earth? Look at Ephesians 2, I Corinthians 6:18-20, and John 14 (about peace). Peace doesn’t come from a place; it comes from the presence of God.
Todd: The phrase, “habitation of God,” in Ephesians 2 is astounding.
Joe: 3) If God dwells in the life of the believer, how are we living out the presence of God? I am thinking again of I Corinthians 6 and I Corinthians 10:31.
Todd: So what are you preaching on next week?
Joe: We will be looking at this question: What is the purpose of the temple in the Old Testament?
Todd: With all the hoopla on the new temple in Rexburg—I think the stores in town are selling little ceramic temples to tourists as souvenirs—what is the main motive that stirred you up to preach this series?
Joe: Some of our people have been asked to visit the temple with neighboring friends and family. But some have declined the offers. People can go see it if they wish. But what about the pressure for those who turn down the invitation.
There is a lot of intimidation in this town to go see the temple. But I want our people to respond with confidence and not arrogance. We want to treat all people with kindness and respect; but even more importantly, people need to get the biblical perspective.
Todd: Joe, what is one of your burdens that you desire to communicate to the community of Rexburg at the beginning of this new year.
Joe: Look to the Word of God on perspective for the temple. That is the main thing. I want people to look to the Word.
Todd: Brother, thanks for the conversation today at lunch. It has been a great pleasure. I am anticipating God to do some mighty things for His glory in Southeastern Idaho in 2008 as we give our strength to doctrine, fellowship, worship, and prayer.
Life is not really life without the holy presence of God. God is life. God is heaven.