Q. I recently attended a bible study where the teacher taught that when Christians are first saved, they are in the “outer courts” of the tabernacle and that in order to get to the Holy of Holies and be truly close to God, we must do works, completely die to self, obey Him, and also give up hobbies or interests so that we can be more available to God. I understand most of that , but it’s the part about giving up our hobbies or interests that bothers me. Is there a scriptural basis for this teaching? The teacher didn’t refer to one.
A. The teacher didn’t refer to a Scripture on this because there is no Biblical support for his view. Ephesians 3:10-12 says “His (God’s) intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”
Any believer in Jesus can go straight into the Holy of Holies at any time and commune directly with God. The only precondition is that we confess our sins. When we do we are purified from all unrighteousness and are welcome in the Lord’s presence (1 John 1:9).
We’re not to love anything more than God, but nowhere does He require us to abandon everything we enjoy. In fact he said He came so we could have an abundant life (John 10:10).
Those He calls into ministry find that He removes the desire for things that would distract them from the work He’s called them to, but this is accomplished by the Holy Spirit, not by human effort. In my opinion your teacher has gone beyond the Scriptures in his interpretation.