It pleases the Lord when we honor the place where He resides. Since the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, the “house of God” is any building or gathering place where two or more people assemble to study the Word of God, to teach others spiritual truths from the Bible, and to praise and worship the Lord.
‘You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord.’ (Lev 19:30)
Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil. (Eccl 5:1)
And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ” (Mt 21:13)
From these passages of Scripture we can recognize a number of truths.
The Lord tells us to reverence (respect; regard with awe) His sanctuary. A sanctuary is a refuge, safe haven, or place of safety. When we meet with fellow Christians to praise and worship God and to partake of His Word, we are in a place of safety and protection. Our collective attitude of honor and respect contribute to the free flowing of the Holy Spirit to minister in our midst.
It isn’t a building that is the church—it is the people and the gathering of God’s people together that forms “the church.” The sanctuary, the House of God, and the church are all synonymous terms. Any place or building where God’s people gather together to give Him honor and praise can be understood to be “the church”; whether it’s an event room at a bowling alley, a rented meeting room in a hotel, or a family room in a private home.
The Word also reminds us to behave wisely as we enter into the meeting of the body of Christ. How do we do that? We “draw near to hear” with a heart full of obedience and true worship.
Lastly, the Scriptures remind us that the church is a “house of prayer” and that its main purpose is a spiritual one and not a monetary one. God forbid that a body of believers would focus upon money instead of honoring God and His Holy Word.
It is very understandable that God would ask us to show honor and respect for any place where He meets with His people—all who call Him Savior and Lord. Remember that GOD IS PRESENT when His people come together in His Name. God bless you.