As mentioned in this previously published blog post, Congress, Act! I had never realized how early in his ministry Jesus dealt with the moneychangers until I was doing a bit of research for that particular post. When I saw the reference in John Chapter 2, I actually thought it had to be a misprint and looked at John Chapter 12 first. But the reference was correct, it was in John Chapter 2, where it was recorded that Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the temple.
This is significant, particularly for Christians who wonder whether getting involved in political issues is important.
It was before John 3:16, it was before Jesus revealed himself and the new birth to Nicodemus, that he dealt with the ability of the people to freely worship God with their tithes and offerings. He dealt with the moneychangers in the temple first.
In other words, if the church is to share the news of the new birth that Jesus offers through his death and sacrifice at Calvary, they must first ensure the freedom for the people to worship God. How easy is it for Christians to worship the Lord Jesus Christ in Iran? Egypt? China? the Sudan?
Currently, many Christians are considering and debating the rapture and the last times. There are many groups and names to these groups and their varying opinions. Regardless of anyone’s personal convictions, Jesus said, “Occupy till I come.” He calls His people to be good stewards, and certainly, to be a good steward of a country, the United States of America, which up until now, has historically allowed religious freedom, would be part of being a good steward.
I have pointed out before, that the rapture theory was initiated by a Jesuit priest named Rivera (alternate: Ribera) to take the “heat” off the Catholic Pope. You can read more about what I wrote here.
In any case, seeing that Jesus, even though he was the last Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, for the sins of mankind, even though he said in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”, still, in the timing of the gospels, Jesus first dealt with the ability of the people to freely worship God in the temple.
Perhaps that is a message for the Christian church to work for a free and independent Republic and to get involved with fighting corruption in government here, and around the world, so that that freedom can be had and maintained, even if the church is waiting for the rapture.
In the timing of Jesus, maybe we should seek religious freedom for the people while also preaching John 3:16.