Jesus gave us two commandments: that we should love the Father first, and that we should love ALL of mankind no matter who they are. Furthermore, Jesus prayed a special prayer to the Father imploring His true followers, the Church, to be united as we serve the kingdom of heaven as “one body.” Moreover, Jesus prayed, “But now I am coming to You, and I am saying these things while I am in the world, so that they may have My joy fulfilled within them. I have given them Your word and the world has hated them; for they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I am not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I have also sent them into the world. For them I sanctify Myself, so that they too may be sanctified by the truth” (John 17:13-19).
The Lord knew that Satan and his many followers (the spirit of this world) would look to divide the living Church through deception, lies, all kinds of envy, strife, etc. It was for this reason Jesus made His plea to the Father, “I am not asking on behalf of them alone (His disciples who were with Him), but also on behalf of those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You. May they also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. 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. Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, that they may see the glory You gave Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, although the world has not known You, I know You, and they know that You sent Me. And I have made Your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love You have for Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:20-26).
This prayer from Jesus was a plea for His Church to remain united and find peace with one another as we serve the kingdom by doing the will of the Father. Hence, the Church today is greatly divided because of lack of faith, human thinking, and continuous attacks from the spirit of this world. The adversary's ploy to divide and conquer is evidenced by the many denominational division around the world, each believing themselves to hold the truths to Christian living. Instead, we now have what can be best described as a “Christian Religion” that is splintered and driven by manmade traditions and doctrines. This is nothing new, even the early Church suffered from its effects. The Apostle Paul gave instructions to the believers in Ephesus declaring, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).
Furthermore, Paul wrote a similar letter to those in Corinth, “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree together, so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be united in mind and conviction. My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: Individuals among you are saying, “I follow Paul,” “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:10-13).
Regrettably, today's modern “Christian Religion” is nothing more than a multitude of Laodicean assemblies who follow false doctrines that appeal to these spiritually lethargic institutions. Instead of seeking to find unity in the Body of Christ (the Church), they would rather defend and preserve their traditions and manmade beliefs than to open their hearts and minds to the true teachings of Jesus. It is no wonder the members of these congregations remain spiritual babes in Christ. They never spiritually mature because they embrace human teachings that stunt their spiritual growth.
Paul said it best, “But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So, neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building” (1 Corinthians 3:1-9).
The true followers of Jesus should not behave in this manner, as this is the way of this world, to embrace petty differences instead of seeking unity and peace. We who are called by God should seek to unite in love and purpose as we serve the kingdom of heaven as one body. Therefore, “We who are strong ought to bear with the shortcomings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please Himself, but as it is written: “The insults of those who insult You have fallen on Me.” For everything that was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope. Now may the God of endurance and encouragement grant you harmony with one another in Christ Jesus, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:1-6).
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