Temple of God or Den of Thieves
12 Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” (Matthew 21:12-13)
In the Old Testament the Glory of God occupied the temple. This was the abode of His Majestic presence. As long as the temple was undefiled God would continue to dwell in the temple and the people of God were subject to His divine protection. When the temple of God was infiltrated with idols; God’s presence would no longer dwell in the temple. This is because God cannot dwell in a place that is not dedicated to holiness.
Today the Glory of God “(Holy Spirit) dwells in believers. The body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. When one is regenerated by the Spirit of God “(born-again)”he or she will become overwhelmingly aware of this divine presence within.This is why so many people testify to experiencing a change of lifestyle at the moment of conversion.
All of a sudden, those old addictions and sinful habits no longer hold a place of domination in the believer’s life. Upon regeneration one becomes immediately interested in growing closer to God.
Reading the Bible, prayer, and fellowship with the saints will become intricately elements of priority. If one will continue in these things on regular basis, the body-temple will not become occupied by foreign idols or Gods.
In short, to be truthful, Christians can find themselves indulging in sinful behavior. It is up to the Christian to decide whether or not their temple is going to be a haven place for a den of thieves or a dwelling place for the presence of God.
Jesus drove the people out of the temple because it had been infiltrated. The temple was not being used for its intended purpose.
When a believer gets to the point where they are no longer convicted by the Holy Spirit, when they are involved in sinful behavior, their temple has been infiltrated. Satan has used his trickery to induce temptation in an attempt to regain a controlling place in the life of that Christian Believer. He will try to make you believe that Bible study and prayer are not important.
A Christian cannot experience fellowship with God when his temple has been defiled. When this happens be persistent in seeking restoration.
Repent, pray and read the Bible! God will hear your cry. He has promised never to leave or forsake you.