Will there be a temple in Jerusalem during the end times?
Certain future prophecies speak of a Jewish temple that will exist in Jerusalem in the world's last days. For example, in talking about future events, Jesus referred to a time, "when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place" (Matthew 24:15). For this to happen, a temple would need to exist to be desecrated (see also Daniel 9:27).
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Second Thessalonians 2:3-4 also notes, "For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God." This passage likewise describes a future evil leader who will take a seat in the Jewish temple and claim to be God. Since this has not yet taken place, it assumes a future Jewish temple.
The major problem with a Jewish temple, however, is that the historical site is now the location of the Muslim Dome of the Rock. Some scholars have suggested the "true" site of the original Jewish temple is next to the Dome of the Rock and that both could exist at some point in the future. Others suggest, based on the traditional location, that something will have to take place to the Dome of the Rock to allow room for this future temple.
Also fascinating is the work of the Temple Institute in Israel. This group has painstakingly prepared the blueprints and all of the items needed to quickly rebuild the Jewish temple. Because Bible prophecy predicts the desecration of the temple will take place at the three and a half year point of the Tribulation, the temple will have to be in operation before this time. Today, nuclear power plants are built in three years, so it is certainly possible with modern technology and the Temple Institute's advanced planning for the temple to be reconstructed within this time as well.
While only God knows the unfolding of these events, the Bible is clear there will be a future Jewish temple. We may not understand how the temple will be rebuilt, but God is certainly capable of bringing about changes in the world to cause His plan to be fulfilled.
One important application from this question is that these future events could all occur very quickly. The Bible calls people to come to Jesus for salvation today (2 Corinthians 6:2). Further, those who are already believers should be living holy lives and continuing to share Christ with others (Matthew 28:18-20).
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