The Destructible and the Indestructible
Luke 21:5, 6
And as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,…

We have our Lord's own authority for comparing the temple with a human being (John 2:19). He, however, compared it with his body; we may without any impropriety make the comparison with a human spirit - with the man himself. We look at it in regard to its destructibleness.

I. THE BUILDING ITSELF, AND OUR BEING ITSELF. The temple was the pride and the delight of every Jew. Among other things that gratified him, he rejoiced in its strength; he felt that it was secure. Generations of men would come and go, but that building would remain. Built of the most durable materials, it would defy the action of the elements; placed in the strong city and guarded with such ramparts, the enemy would assail it in vain. Where it then stood, there after many centuries it would be found. But the Jew was wrong; already those elements were at work which would bring on the fatal conflict, and that generation was not to pass (ver. 33) until that glorious fabric should be cast down and "not one stone left upon another." A very slight thing in comparison with such a great and imposing structure seems a human being How easily destroyed I "crushed before the moth;" "destroyed between the morning and the evening." Yet is there within the compass of the smallest and feeblest man that which is more lasting than the temple, that which will survive the strongest structure that art or nature ever reared. Not that the human soul is absolutely indestructible: "He can create and he [can] destroy it." But it is created and intended for immortality. And if only it be on the side of truth and in the service of God - in Christ Jesus, it is destined for immortality; it will survive the strongest temples and the most impregnable castles; no wrath of man, no lapse and wear of time, no shock of material forces, can destroy it; it is indestructible.

II. ITS STRENGTH AND BEAUTY, AND OUR OWN. The temple was "adorned with goodly stones and gifts." But strong as these massive stones were, and carefully as those gifts were guarded, the day came, and came in the experience of that very generation, when not one stone was left upon another, and nothing of the exquisite offerings was preserved; everything perished in the fire or was ploughed up by the ruthless share. Now, there is one thing which no fire can consume and no violence shatter - a spiritually strong and spiritually beautiful character; a holy and lovely character rooted in Christ and sustained by his indwelling Spirit. Buildings massive and solid, fortunes large and brilliant, kingdoms fortified by great armies and costly navies, - these may be broken to pieces and perish. But the character of a Christian man, who is simply loyal to his Master, cannot be broken. Character that is not rooted in faith and that is not sustained by devotion may fall and be broken, and great and sad is the fall of it. But

(1) let a man build on the foundation which is laid for it, even Jesus Christ;

(2) let him abide in Christ by a living faith;

(3) let him seek the continual sustenance of the Spirit of God; - and no opposing or wasting forces will touch him to harm him. The strength and beauty of his character will remain, will become stronger and fairer with the passing years, will be the object of commendation when the eye of the great Judge shall rest upon them at last. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,

WEB: As some were talking about the temple and how it was decorated with beautiful stones and gifts, he said,

Preliminaries of the Second Advent
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