For March 7, 2019
The Bible depicts a time in history, immediately before the Lord Jesus Christ’s return, when a callous disregard for the incredible, intrinsic value of other human beings, coupled with wanton lasciviousness and random, escalating violence would be commonplace.
It has been shown that ours is a segregated society where class and culture are often the mitigating factors deciding how and where we choose to live. Unfortunately, where we choose to worship is often scrutinized in this manner as well. Here, we allow sin to separate us into divisive factions that resort to violence to settle the most harmless of disputes.
Even worse, many professing Christians attempt to exchange our radical yet fundamental Kingdom principles for world-centered ideals at the expense of our extraordinary Christian witness.
Two of the more insidious examples are status and prejudice, which deceive us into making false assumptions about and/or imposing unreasonable, arbitrary restrictions on others.
In other words, here we can falsely assume that someone’s faith in God is invalid because they do not share our culture. Or we can choose to disassociate with certain people because they do not share our social/economic status and/or political affiliation (and/or vice versa); even though we profess Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior.
Unfortunately, there are some communities that have Christian churches on every street corner within a one-mile radius, and yet they share similar doctrines, liturgy, and rituals. How can we testify to the world that we are one body in Christ and yet maintain our divisiveness as though we were soldiers guarding a military base in enemy territory?
My brothers and sisters, this should not be when the Bible depicts a way of living that juxtaposes the hostile tendencies of this fallen world: How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1 (NIV)
Imagine living in a world where we not only demonstrated benevolence towards others, but we also valued each other equally. This would create an environment where we practice civility, respect, care, support, and goodwill towards each other consistently. That would be wonderful!
The Lord introduced such a magnificent Kingdom to a sinful, clandestine world almost two thousand years ago where His people are one—even as He is one with the Father. (John 17:22) Today, this glorious Kingdom remains a radical, counter-culture to a fallen world as it values unity and harmony among all its citizens regardless of culture or class.
He made us one with God through His vicarious death and triumphant resurrection. As result, the Bible teaches that we are united in Christ and serve the one true God:
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 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 4:3-6 NIV)
While the world promotes and celebrates factions and dissension, we Christians promote and celebrate peace and harmony. We understand we share the same identity and lineage as we are created in the image of God, and we share the same ancestry: Adam and Eve.
As such, since our ancestors fell, we understand that none of us are righteous before God in our own merit. Thus, we all share the same fundamental need for a Savior who will impart His amazing grace to us as we place our faith in Him.
More than ever before, this world needs to be reminded of the unifying message our Lord and Savior offers all people everywhere. Not only do we have this capacity, but we also have the responsibility to offer this world a glimpse of Heaven with its rich diversity of people united in Christ.
In this way, we can show that we are the blood-washed and blood-bought Saints who are one in Christ in Heaven forever, just as we are one in Christ on earth today. Now that we know that we are precious in His sight, let us view one another through His gracious and forgiving eyes.