On Monday, we celebrated Memorial Day, the annual time of remembrance of those service members who died in defense of freedom. It’s an important time because our nation owes a deep debt of gratitude for those men and women who sacrificed all for the sake of their nation.
Unity is a big part of military life. Troops train together and learn to depend upon each other so that when they enter battle, they know that their brother or sister in arms will be there for them.
I think that’s the kind of togetherness our churches need today because we are in a battle too — and our enemy is brutal. God has called us to be a witness to those who do not know Him. But when we are not unified in Him, we cannot accomplish all that He calls us to do. In fact, a church that is not unified in its message will not be unified in its mission.
What compounds the issue is the fact that our mission is not popular in the modern culture. And too often churches allow the culture to dictate how we proclaim the Gospel. There is simply no room for negotiating in terms of God’s Word. Churches must stand on His Word or they will become powerless. The Bible is and always will be God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant Word and it must unite us in one accord. No compromise!
As we stand on His Word, our churches must also be in relational unity, and that’s the difficult part. I see it all too often — churches getting sidetracked on petty differences and losing focus on our world that needs Jesus. We can’t afford to get caught up in our own issues, challenges and problems so that we become ineffective in communicating God’s message to others. We need unity of spirit and of message.
Christ is our only hope to remain unified. We all have different preferences in preaching style, music, worship, etc. Those differences become moot, though, when we are functioning together, as one people, for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are His servants and we must never lose focus on that fact.
Only in Christ do we have hope of eternal life. And only in Christ do we have hope of being unified. The world is a mess, but the church can’t afford to be. Our task is to tell people about Jesus. But when they look at us — those who are followers of the Risen Christ — they need to see people that are different, people that love each other.
It’s time for maturity. It’s time to cast aside our irrelevant differences, and it’s time to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11) and be fearless communicators of the Gospel (Romans 1:16).
Let’s close with an encouraging passage of Scripture that reinforces our need for Christian harmony. It is I Peter 3:8-9, which reads: “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing” (NKJV).
God wants to bless our unity of purpose, Christian friends. Let’s stay focused on our testimonies and winning souls and forget the minor infightings that can destroy our cause. God bless you as you serve Him!