Jesus prayed to the Father concerning His true followers, “I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one—I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfectly united, so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them just as You have loved Me” John 17:22-23. Why does it seem that there are so many divisions among those who claim to be in Christ? The answer to this question can be summed up as follows:
First, there are many who falsely believe they are Christians because they prayed a sinner’s prayer, are members of a local church, read the bible, pray, and even tell others that they are a Christian. Regrettably, anyone can follow this script, whether they are in Christ or not. The local church system is filled with millions who claim to be Evangelicals, Baptists, Protestants, Pentecostals, Bible-Believing, Non-denominational, and the list goes on. However, none of these labels will get anyone into heaven no matter how religiously one practices the doctrines and traditions that drive these institutions. Only a full surrender, walking away from a life lived for self in this world to serve the kingdom of heaven, will produce the spiritual transformation (rebirth) needed to become a true child of God. Being part of the local church system is simply being a part of religious practice. Jesus said, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet lose or forfeit his very self?” Luke 9:23-25.
Secondly, there are many who rightly claim they are in Christ, but they are spiritually immature. Moreover, this lack of spiritual maturity blinds them from the truths of the kingdom of heaven and they end up mingling with those mentioned above who follow man-made doctrines and practices that are self-serving and produce nothing more than religion. Paul wrote about this, “Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly—as infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for solid food. In fact, you are still not ready, for you are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and dissension among you, are you not worldly? Are you not walking in the way of man? For when one of you says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, as the Lord has assigned to each his role.” 1 Corinthians 3:1-5. “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain, because you are dull of hearing. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to reteach you the basic principles of God’s word. You need milk, not solid food! For everyone who lives on milk is still an infant, inexperienced in the message of righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained their senses to distinguish good from evil” Hebrews 5:11-14.
Consequently, we need to put away childish and immature thinking and learn to be perfectly united if we truly wish to serve the kingdom. Therefore, we must learn to live for Christ, united as one Body, one Church, just as the early believers did. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. A sense of awe came over everyone, and the apostles performed many wonders and signs. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they shared with anyone who was in need. With one accord they continued to meet daily in the temple courts and to break bread from house to house, sharing their meals with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47.
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