Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” (Matthew 12:25) The apostle Paul in writing to the Corinthians said, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the same of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)
There must unity in matters of faith. We must “speak the same thing.” Matters of faith have already been settled in heaven. No one has the right to alter, tamper with or otherwise change the scriptures. The excuse is often made, “God did not intend for us to see things alike?” Can we see things alike? We see things alike in mathematics. Two plus two equals four everywhere in the world. We see alike in science. The formula for water is H2O. It is the same all over the world. We can see things alike in religion when we go by the scriptures. Several years ago, while looking for a place to put a tent for a gospel meeting, I came upon a very interesting thing. On a dead-end road there were two church buildings opposite sides of the road. They taught different doctrines and wore different names. However, it was obvious that they that they used the same blueprint in building their meeting houses, for they were identical almost to the smallest detail. How could they do that? They went by the plan. When we go by the God’s blueprint for the church, we will have the exact same thing today, as existed in the first century. Yes, there must be unity in matters of faith.
There must also be unity in matters of judgment. Even in matters of judgment or opinion, we must be “perfectly joined together.” There will be differing opinions about things where God has not legislated, but even there, unity must prevail.
Division thwarts God’s plan and purpose for the church. Under the figure of a body, the unity of the church is set forth. “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another.” (Romans 12:5) For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12) A body divided cannot accomplish its purpose and goals. We, as a body of people, will never evangelize the world for Christ without unity of purpose. The church moves like a train with the brakes on when there is division and strife.
Division is a discouragement to the novice. Here is a fine couple that learns the truth and obeys the gospel. They come into the church and they are on fire for the Lord. Division and strife in the church would soon put the fire out. Those who cause division will answer in the judgment for the innocent souls who became discouraged and quit.
Division also is a great cause of infidelity. Jesus prayed that his followers be one “that the world might believe.” (John 17:21) Division produces atheism and infidelity. Not only are people confused in other lands, but often children of homes where there is religious division are led into irreligion. The confusion that exits in the world is not of God. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:3)
Division breeds luke-warmness. This is the tepid waters in which the sin of lukewarmness thrives. Let's avoid luke-warmness and division at all costs!
We'll continue this series next week. May the Lord bless you and keep you!
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