“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” (John 17:20-23)
The disunity I am addressing in this article is not one of denominational preferences. True Christian denominations can find unity in the Apostle’s and Nicene creeds despite doctrinal variations.
The disunity I am addressing is one driven by political issues. Many Christians have allowed the hot topics of the day to turn their eyes off of the Word of God. The zealots of Jesus day were looking for Jesus to overthrow the Roman rule rather than die for the sins of mankind. It is the same way today where many are looking for political and social answers, rather than dealing with the heart of the matter which is dealing with sin.
I have to admit that I don’t have the answer and I really don’t think that anybody on this earth has the answer on how we can solve our problem of disunity in society in these end times. The Antichrist will soon come on the scene and will make people believe that he has the answer, but will fail miserably. Only when Jesus Christ sets up his kingdom on this Earth will unity truly be restored.
I do know for certain that the answer to unity for the Church is in the Word of God. There are certain things that can be gleaned from the Word, but are ignored. I see those who claim to be Christians, but choose to ignore what is written. Instead they go down the road seeking political and social reforms.
I learned a lot by working with missionaries in third world countries. These missionaries spent much time in prayer for discernment on how to distribute the limited resources they had, including how and where to spend their time. When our missionary team first came on the scene in one country, we saw many that were begging and seemed to be very needy. Our hearts went out to them and we wanted to give to them, but the missionary intervened and try to explain to us that all resources needed to go through him. We at first thought that this was cruel and we did not understand that there were infiltrators that only wanted to take advantage of us. Only after working alongside the missionary did we understand that we needed to be discerning on where and how the Holy Spirit wanted us to operate. We needed to be responsible for the resources we were put in charge of so that the kingdom of God would benefit most from it.
In America many sideline Christians tend towards a socialistic view and are all for programs that involve squandering. We need to distinguish between the truly needy and those that are there just to milk the system. Problem is those with a socialistic view point the finger at us (that want to be discerning) and call us narrow-minded, cruel, and uncaring. We are looked at as being a problem, not a solution.
We are given a few facts in the Bible that are there to guide us:
1. “You will always have the poor among you.” (John 12: 8a)
Jesus wasn’t saying we shouldn’t fight poverty or help those in need. He was only giving a description of the way the world actually is, not the way it should be. It is our responsibility, because of the great needs, to see where and how God wants us to best help out the poor.
2. “Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: ‘Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.’ Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)
As an old saying goes, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Give a man a fishing pole and teach him how to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life.”
There is an organization that my wife and I contribute to called World poverty Solutions. Their concept is to change villages and communities by teaching them how to farm successfully in rural areas or how to make a living in urban areas.
3. “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” (Acts 17:6b)
The disciples turned the world upside down and changed it by converting one soul at a time by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They did not try to do it by any kind of a social changes or social reform, or political reform. They did it simply by preaching Jesus. For every soul that makes a true commitment for Jesus Christ, they make the world a better place. When I take a look around me, I see it even in our churches. People have made Uncle Sam their god rather than working hard and making Jesus Christ their LORD. Those with socialistic views believe that society has moved forward by leaps and bounds because of all the implemented social programs. But in reality they have made people turn their backs on God and rely on the government to meet their needs. Heed what Jesus says in Matthew 16:26, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”
We have allowed political correctness to dictate what is proper. Society has now labeled Christians narrow-minded, judgmental, cruel and unloving.
But listen to what Paul said to Titus:
“Even one of their own men, a prophet from Crete, has said about them, ‘The people of Crete are all liars, cruel animals, and lazy gluttons.’ This is true. So reprimand them sternly to make them strong in the faith. They must stop listening to Jewish myths and the commands of people who have turned away from the truth.” (Titus 1:12-14)
As I said at the beginning of this article that I don’t have the answers for our society, but what I do have is the ability to strive my best to unify those Christians around me. What I also have is the answer to is how to live my life according to the Word, even if no one around me does:
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:9-18)