Revelation 21:22 “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”
In his vision of the things to come, John witnessed the enjoining of the new heaven and the new earth culminating in the Lord being the God of his people and dwelling among them forever. Then John noticed that in the new heaven there was no temple because God and the Lamb are its temple. There is no need of a physical structure with God in the midst of his people.
This idea of no temple in heaven save the LORD himself made me think about two things taught to us in the annals of Scripture: 1) Jesus said he would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 2) Jesus builds the temple made without human hands, and 3) our bodies are the temple of God’s Spirit. There are things of God that truly are higher than our thoughts and not our ways. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day accused him of blasphemy because of his claim to destroy the temple and being able to rebuild it himself in just three days. They obviously thought he referred to the Herodian building rather than his physical body. That passage legitimizes John’s statement in Revelation of the Lamb being the temple. Secondly, Paul taught us that we are the temple of God’s Spirit here on earth. He dwells in the hearts of God’s children. The idea is that God builds his collective temple of believers one soul at a time. It becomes completed when all saints ‘enter in” you might say.
Again there is no humanly possible way to fully comprehend God being the temple and also having his children be his temple. Some things in God have to be accepted by faith and taken as truth by faith. The human mind cannot fathom the expanse of all that is God. He tells us in his Word that it has not entered into the hearts and minds of men what God has in store for us. On one level, though, it does make sense to us that there is no need for a temple in the new heaven and new earth. With God being there in the midst of all his people why would there be a need for a physical building in which to worship God? He dwells in our very midst. He is the object of our worship not some building or structure erected in his honor. This reason is why the Sadducees and Pharisees got so hung up on Jesus’ statement of destroying and rebuilding the temple. They focused their worship on the building rather than for the One for whom it was built.
Father, in the great mystery that is you and your people, I am glad to be a part of the body of Christ and thereby a part of the temple for your Spirit in this age. In the age to come it totally makes sense not to have a physical temple in which to worship you because you are the One worshiped not the building that would bear your name. It is not the building that makes people holy but the One who dwells in that building whether of wood and stone as in days gone by or in one of flesh and blood in the present. In the days to come you are the temple and you alone. I worship you and you alone. No thing will ever take your place as King of kings and Lord of lords. You are worthy of our praise. Glory, honor, and power belong to you. Hallelujah! In Jesus’ name, Amen.