Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“The Most High does not dwell in temples made by hands!”
You may have received them, too, those advertisements for travel packages to “the holy land”. Don’t fall for it. There is no holy land on this earth; that was an Old Testament phenomenon. Under the Law of Moses, there were holy buildings, and holy rooms, and holy furniture, and holy utensils, and holy water, and holy clothes, and so forth. God actually sanctified things and places as well as certain people under the Law. In this New Testament, there is nothing holy on earth except sanctified people.
Nothing becomes holy just because men say so. The only way anything or anybody can possibly become holy is if God transfers some of His holiness upon it or them. In the New Covenant, God sanctifies people with the holy Spirit. That is all that Jesus died for, and all that he asked the Father to sanctify when he returned to him in heaven. The New Testament is a covenant of the Spirit, not of the flesh.
Because of Christ, there are no longer any holy places. There is nothing holier about Christian, Muslim, or Jewish church buildings than there is about grocery stores or bowling alleys. They are all just buildings made of wood, metal, brick, and stone. God inhabits none of them. God inhabits our bodies by His Spirit (1Jn. 3:24), and it is His holy presence that makes something holy. “Do you not know,” asked Paul, “that your body is the temple of the holy Ghost that is in you, that you have received from God?” (1Cor. 6:19). And again, “You are the temple of the living God, as God has said, ‘I will dwell in them, and I will walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people’” (2Cor. 6:16).
“God does not dwell in temples made by hands!”, cried young Stephen just moments before he was dragged off to be executed. He was exposing the emptiness of faith in holy places and things, and religious men are irritated by those who expose “holy places” and “holy things” as the useless vanities that they are.