Let's look at some history about the temple first. Jerusalem has seen two temples built on the Temple Mount. The first was built by King Solomon close to 3,000 years ago. It was destroyed by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. The second temple was built under Zerubbabel during the years 520-516 B.C. This was destroyed in 70 A.D. by rogue elements within the legions of the Roman General Titus during the sacking of Jerusalem.
I believe the first question we need to answer is the second one above. Is it necessary to rebuild the temple in order for Jesus to return as King of kings? Our answer can be found in Revelation 19: 6-10 Then I heard the sound of massed choirs, the sound of a mighty cataract, the sound of strong thunder:
Hallelujah! The Master reigns, our God, the Sovereign-Strong! Let us celebrate, let us rejoice, let us give him the glory! The Marriage of the Lamb has come; his Wife has made herself ready.
She was given a bridal gown of bright and shining linen. The linen is the righteousness of the saints.
The Angel said to me, "Write this: 'Blessed are those invited to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.'" He added, "These are the true words of God!"
I fell at his feet to worship him, but he wouldn't let me. "Don't do that," he said. "I'm a servant just like you, and like your brothers and sisters who hold to the witness of Jesus. The witness of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
The second question concerns the temple. If rebuilding the physical temple is not required in order for Christ to return then what import is the temple? Let's look at 1 Corinthians 3: 9-17 Or, to put it another way, you are God's house. Using the gift God gave me as a good architect, I designed blueprints; Apollos is putting up the walls. Let each carpenter who comes on the job take care to build on the foundation! Remember, there is only one foundation, the one already laid: Jesus Christ. Take particular care in picking out your building materials. Eventually there is going to be an inspection. If you use cheap or inferior materials, you'll be found out. The inspection will be thorough and rigorous. You won't get by with a thing. If your work passes inspection, fine; if it doesn't, your part of the building will be torn out and started over. But you won't be torn out; you'll survive—but just barely.
You realize, don't you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God's temple, you can be sure of that. God's temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.
So from these scriptures we see there is no need for a physical temple in order for Christ to return and that the bride of Christ will be the church. Christ is now dwelling through the Holy Spirit in the temple which is the church. In order for Christ to return it is the church that has to be made ready not some physical building.
Since the temple is you then you are what is sacred not some piece of ground or some city or some country. Listen again to what Paul tells us: You realize, don't you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God's temple, you can be sure of that. God's temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.
If you are a follower of Jesus You are the Temple that needs to be ready for His return. If you are a follower of Jesus You are His bride and you must prepare yourself for the wedding.
I'm not sure about you but I doubt I can make myself Holy and without blemish. The good news is the Holy Spirit can do what you and I cannot do.
Jesus Christ is not only returning as King of kings and Lord of lords but will marry the portion of his creation, which is called the church, that accepts Him as King and Lord.
This post was inspired by a sermon given by Mark Warner, Lead Pastor, Vineyard Church in Overland Park, KS.