Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pillars in the Temple of God

"He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more"  (Revelation 3:12).

I have been reading Jesus' messages to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3, and have really been blessed by all of the deep meanings of each church. Some churches just have warnings (like the churches of Sardis and Laodicea), some just have encouragements (like the church of Philadelphia and Smyrna), some have both (like the church of Ephesus, Pergamos, and Thyatira) but every one has a promise for the future to those who overcome the temptations of their time. The messages fill me with hope. Here are a few samples: "He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death" (2:11), "To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God" (2:7), "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels" (3:5), and "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne" (3:21).

This morning I was pondering the promise for the church of Philadelphia. "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name" (3:12). I can understand how the second part of the verse is a promise. Having God's name and character imprinted upon everyone who overcomes is truly a blessing I would like to have, but what about being a pillar?

Early in my childhood I moved around quite a bit. My seventh birthday was the first time that I spent two consecutive birthdays in the same house. I was used to saying goodbye to those I loved. Sometimes we would be the ones moving, other times friends would be, but in each move, I felt like a part of my heart was being left behind or taken. I wanted to have all my friends and family in one place someday, where we wouldn't have to say goodbye. More recently I have lost some dear friends to death, and I long all the more to be in a place where I no longer would have to say goodbye. As I fell in love with Jesus, I found that more than anything else, I long to live with Him. Although He promises to be with us here on earth, we are separated in that we cannot see Him face to face.

As I think of all those who are dear to me that are separated by time, space or death, it is easy to wonder if there will ever be a time when there will be no more goodbyes...

Then it struck me. A pillar does not move. In fact, a pillar's job is to stay in one place. Christ's promise is to "make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more." As a pillar in God's temple, you would continually live in His presence. He will fulfill every desire, He will "wipe away every tear" (Rev. 21:4), He will bring together loved ones who have been separated, He will do away with every need to say goodbye. What a promise!

"One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in his temple..." (Psalms 27:4).

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