John Stott on the Holiness of the Church

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Writing to Christian leaders on how they should view the church, Bible teacher John Stott writes:

“Because of the sacred nature of the Christian community as the dwelling place of God, it must not be dishonored in any way; neither divided by jealousies and rivalries, nor deceived by false teaching, nor defiled by immoral conduct. These things are acts of sacrilege; they effectively destroy the church, for they destroy its unique identity as the holy people of God indwelt by the Spirit of God. And if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple (v.17). This is a severe statement. But then to destroy the church (by dividing, deceiving or defiling it) is an extremely serious offence. So a deliberate act of violence against the church is an act against God. This surely shows that the perpetrator in mind is not a true believer. He will be destroyed in hell, for that is what ‘destruction’ means in the New Testament.”

(Calling Christian Leaders by John Stott, pg. 88-89, Published by OMF Literature Inc. 2010)

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