Now it came about when Solomon had finished building the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all that Solomon desired to do, that the LORD appeared to Solomon a second time, as He had appeared to him at Gibeon. The LORD said to him, 'I have heard your prayer and your supplication, which you have made before Me; I have consecrated this house which you have built by putting My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. (1 Kings 9:1-3)One way to wind up confused or disillusioned is to take every passage of God's word literally. Truth is, the Word(that's Jesus) gave His creation enough credit to include figurative language when He, through His Holy Spirit, breathed His word into the Bible authors.
Take, for example, 1 Kings 9:1-3, where God told Solomon that He would put "My name there(in the house that Solomon built) forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually." Everyone knows what happened to Solomon's Temple; the Babylonians completely destroyed it only about 400 years after Solomon built it. Was it that easy for some army to destroy God's perpetual house? Does God define "forever" and "perpetual" as some limited span of time?
Obviously, the temple in question, a temple built by human hands, did not, and could not, last forever. One theme God revealed for us in His New Testament is the fact that temporal humans cannot create eternal things. Consider 2 Corinthians 5:1, and Hebrews 9:11&24 as clear statements of man's nonexistent, eternal building skills.
Exceptions to our understanding of terms such as perpetual, forever, and eternal, reveal our need to carefully weigh each thought or idea of God's word with the balance of His entire word(2 Timothy 2:15).
But to answer the question in today's title, we look once again to God's answer book, His New Testament, where He dealt specifically with the true temple:
Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.(Hebrews 8:1-2 ESV)Whatever question the sincere seeker might pose, God answered it in His New Testament. Of course, He never said He'd make finding ones answers easy. In fact, while finding answers may give great satisfaction, it's the search that provides the greatest benefit. Many well-meaning believers—such as myself—endeavor to answer all questions others may ask, and many they probably won't ask, but God blesses those who find their own answers through exhaustive Bible study. He made finding answers hard in order to cull out casual enquirers. He wants His heavenly house filled with those who love Him enough to "hit the book," and internalize each hard-won nugget of truth. Are you that student?