LESSON: LUKE 19:41-44
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are. 1 Corinthians 3:16‒17
When Christ ascended into heaven, He did not lock up His kingdom in the land of the Jews; He spread it out into the whole world through the Gospel which was preached and heard everywhere. But, like the Jews, we deny and persecute God’s Word and put to death the Christians who confess and preach it. The Romans were the first to do this, but their example has been continued by the pope, the bishops, princes, monks, and priests right up to our day. For five hundred years or more, no one was permitted to preach God’s Word without, at least for appearance sake, reciting the text of the Gospel from the pulpit. But these preachers mostly extracted the doctrine of men from these texts or dragged it into these texts. Whenever anyone raised objections to this, he was silenced with fire and sword.
Daniel’s word about the “desolating sacrilege” is certainly important also for us. This “desolating sacrilege” is the false doctrine current in the Church, that men must save themselves by performing all the works imposed on them by the Church and its hierarchy, and by falling in line with all the machinery that has been set up in the Church to force men into obedience to this “desolating sacrilege.”
The pure doctrine of the Word is the doctrine which we proclaim—that we are saved from sin, death, the devil, and all misfortune through Christ and established in God’s kingdom through the Word and faith.
Where this is preached and believed, Christ dwells and reigns in the hearts spiritually without means. There the Holy Spirit also dwells with all the blessings and fullness of God’s riches.
PRAYER: O Lord our God, You have warned us in no uncertain manner that false doctrine can be sacrilege. May we never fall into the sacrilege which sets aside the clear truth of Your Word and substitutes for it the doctrine of men, ending in spiritual sin. In Jesus’ name. Amen.