Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 1, 2018

“MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS”.

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 11:12-18.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+11&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Then they *came to Jerusalem.  And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves;  and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple.  And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS’?  But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”  The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him;  for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.”  Mark 11:12-18.

———-

In the midst of the strong, sharp physical force actions by Jesus of overturning the tables and driving out the those who were buying and selling, we see warmness, openness, and caring by Jesus’ statement:  “MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS”.

We see within this statement the hope that places of worship are “for all nations“.

“Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”  Ephesians 2:11-13.

Moreover, when we look within the Old Testament Scripture which Jesus quoted to make His statement, we see the warmness, openness, and caring expressed to those who may have thought themselves excluded but who had hope because they kept God’s word.

“Thus says the LORD,
“Preserve justice and do righteousness,
For My salvation is about to come
And My righteousness to be revealed.
2 “How blessed is the man who does this,
And the son of man who takes hold of it;
Who keeps from profaning the sabbath,
And keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say,
“The LORD will surely separate me from His people.”
Nor let the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.”

4 For thus says the Lord,

“To the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths,
And choose what pleases Me,
And hold fast My covenant,
5 To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial,
And a name better than that of sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.

6 “Also the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD,
To minister to Him, and to love the name of the LORD,
To be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath
And holds fast My covenant;
Even those I will bring to My holy mountain
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar;
For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”
8 The Lord God, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares,
“Yet others I will gather to them, to those already gathered.”  Isaiah 56:1-8.

Accordingly, in the very Reformed Doctrine creed that most sharply defines election, namely the Canons of Dordt, we see the the warmness, openness, and caring expressed to those who may have thought themselves excluded but kept God’s word.

Article 16.  Those who do not yet experience a lively faith in Christ, an assured confidence of soul, peace of conscience, an earnest endeavor after filial obedience, and glorying in God through Christ, efficaciously wrought in them, and do nevertheless persist in the use of the means which God hath appointed for working these graces in us, ought not to be alarmed at the mention of reprobation, nor to rank themselves among the reprobate, but diligently to persevere in the use of means, and with ardent desires, devoutly and humbly to wait for a season of richer grace.  Much less cause have they to be terrified by the doctrine of reprobation, who, though they seriously desire to be turned to God, to please him only, and to be delivered from the body of death, cannot yet reach that measure of holiness and faith to which they aspire;  since a merciful God has promised that he will not quench the smoking flax, nor break the bruised reed.  But this doctrine is justly terrible to those, who, regardless of God and of the Savior Jesus Christ, have wholly given themselves up to the cares of the world, and the pleasures of the flesh, so long as they are not seriously converted to God.  FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination of Canons of Dordt.  

Accordingly, we are called to preach “to all nations, and to all persons promiscuously and without distinction”.

Article 5.  Moreover, the promise of the gospel is, that whosoever believeth in Christ crucified, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. This promise, together with the command to repent and believe, ought to be declared and published to all nations, and to all persons promiscuously and without distinction, to whom God out of his good pleasure sends the gospel.  SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby of Canons of Dordt.

“…  ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS’  …”Verse 17.


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