“Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say,`We are delivered to do all these abominations ‘? Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” says the LORD.
(Jer 7:8-11 NKJ)
Is your church a den of thieves?
A thieves’ den is not the place where thieves practice their thievery. It is the place where they go and hide after they have done it.
What is Jehovah addressing? The people are engaged in every kind of wickedness, fornication, thievery, murder and false worship, and then they come to the house of God and they get absolution. They get forgiveness. They “are delivered to do all these abominations.” But this is to absolutely corrupt the purpose of God’s worship. What God desires is a holy people to dwell before Him in righteousness. Forgiveness is all for that purpose, to work in His people repentance and change. Guilt drives us away from God, so while guilt remains, real change is not possible. So God sent Christ to die for our sins, so that repentance and change could take place in His people. But to hear the message of forgiveness, and take comfort, and continue to live in sin and evil, and say, “I am delivered to do all these abominations” is to make the Lord’s house a den of thieves.
We know Jesus’ attitude toward such a thing. A whip and flipping tables were involved.
If your church does not preach the urgent need for repentance and change, if your church does not follow that preaching up with real church discipline for the unrepentant, if your church heals the hurt of people a little bit by preaching, “Peace, peace” when there is no peace, then your church does not understand what the Good News of the Kingdom of God actually is, and your church may very well be a den of thieves. Call them to repentance or leave, for judgment is coming.