Will the temple be rebuilt?

There is great debate among Christians as to whether or not the temple will ever be rebuilt in Jerusalem.  Some are adamant about it to the point that anyone who disagrees is seen as unbiblical and perhaps even anti-Semitic.  But what does the Bible say in regards to this?

In 1 Peter 2:5, Christians are called to be living stones being built up as a spiritual house. They are to offer spiritual sacrifices through Jesus Christ as God’s new priesthood and new place of worship.  When Christ came, He fulfilled the Law (Mat 5:17).  He became the sacrifice for sin; but not only the sacrifice, but the temple also.  In John 2, the Jews demanded a sign as to why Jesus was clearing out the temple, and he told them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  Verse 21 says, “He was speaking about the temple of his body.”  Christ is referred to as the cornerstone and we are living stones that are part of His spiritual house.

Christians agree that animal sacrifice no longer have any place, for Christ fulfilled its purpose as our perfect sacrifice.  But what about the temple?  Some still look for it to be rebuilt.  But it is no longer about location, just as it is no longer about animal sacrifice.  Christ’s church (living stones)—believers—are being built up as a spiritual house to offer spiritual sacrifices. Thomas Schreiner, in looking at 1 Peter, says in his book New Testament Theology, “The temple in Jerusalem no longer plays a central role in the lives of believers.  Jesus is the cornerstone of the new temple which consists of believers in Jesus Christ.”  It seems probable that if the temple were rebuilt then, it would not be for the purpose of the true worship of God, for Christ as the new temple has rendered its need as of no consequence.

And so, we support the Jews that have rejected Christ, we work with—and share Christ with them; He is their Messiah and they will be His people again someday if they believe (Romans 11:23); but we don’t have to share their same perspective in seeing the temple rebuilt in Jerusalem, for it has been rebuilt.  It was rebuilt in three days (John 2:21).