by Tom Sutherland
The word “vandalism” paints a picture in our minds of senseless destruction, damage, and selfish, ruthless behavior. People who practice vandalism are referred to as “vandals.” They are evil people who willfully damage property belonging to others.
We don’t normally think of “vandals” being children of God, or of God’s children being “vandals,” but the truth of the matter is, when one attends worship services, he will probably be associating with some who are “vandals.” They are believers who are guilty of “spiritual vandalism.” “Spiritual vandalism” is the deliberate, willful damaging of property belonging to God.
I’m not talking about breaking out a window at the church building or carving our initials in the pew, (although these shouldn’t be done). “Spiritual vandalism” refers to the senseless destruction and willful damage done to the temple of the Holy Spirit by believers. This is a far greater crime than vandalizing a church building. The temple of the Holy Spirit is the most sacred and holy essence on the face of the earth.
To be guilty of damaging or destroying the temple of God is a very serious and dangerous thing. In fact, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:17, “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”
Vandalizing the temple of the Holy Spirit is not some crime for which we can be punished by civil authorities. Nonetheless, when anyone defiles the temple of the Holy Spirit, he commits a very grievous offense, and will be held accountable by Almighty God.
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