I had the great privilege to go to Rome a few years ago and visit a friend in school there. Rome is a mysterious city. It has a mixture of pagan, medieval, and modern architecture and artifacts. It also has a lot of smog because of those Euro-scooters that so many people over there drive. But the churches that are there are unbelievable in beauty and size. It’s amazing that on every street corner there’s an incredible structure still standing devoted to God.
There’s one building though that stood out to me: the Pantheon. Facing a large public square, it’s a large round building with massive columns. It used to be a place of pagan worship, filled with statues of pagan gods.
But you know what? 1400 years ago it became a Catholic church. And it still is today. When I looked around, I noticed that there were no other ancient buildings still standing in the vicinity. Yet here was the Pantheon, still being visited, and still a place of prayer and worship to God. I came to find out that it was the only building constructed in the Roman Empire that is still standing. And then it struck me why:
Because Jesus lives there.
When the Lord was brought into the Pantheon, the good in the Pantheon was not destroyed. The Pantheon was transformed. The false gods were driven out, and Jesus took His place. And while all the other pagan buildings are long gone and forgotten, the Pantheon still stands.
This happens in the human heart. Jesus wants to live inside us. He’s the only One that can promise us eternal life and deliver on that promise because He lives forever. If we let Jesus in, He is not going to destroy us. He’s not going to throw out all the good in us and send us to a miserable death. He took that for Himself. He’ll remove the false gods that keep you back from living life, and He’ll make His home in you. “I am come that they may have life and may have it more abundantly.” (Jn 10:10)
And 1400 years from now, you too will still be standing.