Can God’s Church Survive Without True Unity?

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Can God’s Church Survive Without True Unity?

One With Christ in God

It is the purpose of God that His children shall blend in unity. Do they not expect to live together in the same heaven? Is Christ divided against Himself? Will He give His people success before they sweep away the rubbish of evil surmising and discord, before the laborers, with unity of purpose, devote heart and mind and strength to the work so holy in God’s sight?

 

Union brings strength; disunion, weakness. United with one another, working together in harmony for the salvation of men, we shall indeed be “laborers together with God.” Those who refuse to work in harmony greatly dishonor God.

 

The enemy of souls delights to see them working at cross purposes with one another. Such ones need to cultivate brotherly love and tenderness of heart. If they could draw aside the curtain veiling the future and see the result of their disunion they would surely be led to repent.

 

Union With Christ and One Another Our Only Safety

 

The world is looking with gratification at the disunion amongst Christians. Infidelity is well pleased. God calls for a change among His people. Union with Christ and with one another is our only safety in these last days. Let us not make it possible for Satan to point to our church members, saying:

Behold how these people, standing under the banner of Christ, hate one another. We have nothing to fear from them while they spend more strength fighting one another than in warfare with my forces.

After the descent of the Holy Spirit the disciples went forth to proclaim a risen Saviour, their one desire the salvation of souls. They rejoiced in the sweetness of the communion with saints. They were tender, thoughtful, self-denying, willing to make any sacrifice for the truth’s sake.

In their daily association with one another they revealed the love that Christ had commanded them to reveal. By unselfish words and deeds they strove to kindle this love in other hearts.

The believers were ever to cherish the love that filled the hearts of the apostles after the descent of the Holy Spirit. They were to go forward in willing obedience to the new commandment:

As I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34).

So closely were they to be united to Christ that they would be enabled to fulfill His requirements. The power of a Saviour who could justify them by His righteousness was to be magnified.

But the early Christians began to look for defects in one another. Dwelling upon mistakes, giving place to unkind criticism, they lost sight of the Saviour and of the great love He had revealed for sinners. They became more strict in regard to outward ceremonies, more particular about the theory of the faith, more severe in their criticisms. In their zeal to condemn others they forgot their own errors.

They forgot the lesson of brotherly love that Christ had taught. And, saddest of all, they were unconscious of their loss. They did not realize that happiness and joy were going out of their lives, and that soon they would walk in darkness, having shut the love of God out of their hearts.

The apostle John realized that brotherly love was waning in the church, and he dwelt particularly upon this point. Up to the day of his death he urged upon believers the constant exercise of love for one another. His letters to the churches are filled with this thought. “Beloved, let us love one another,” he writes;

for love is of God…. God sent His only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him…. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. (1 John 4:7-11).

In the church of God today brotherly love is greatly lacking. Many of those who profess to love the Saviour neglect to love those who are united with them in Christian fellowship. We are of the same faith, members of one family, all children of the same heavenly Father, with the same blessed hope of immortality. How close and tender should be the tie that binds us together.

 

The people of the world are watching us to see if our faith is exerting a sanctifying influence upon our hearts. They are quick to discern every defect in our lives, every inconsistency in our actions. Let us give them no occasion to reproach our faith.

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About the author

Ellen G. White

Ellen G. White (1827-1915), a cofounder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books during her lifetime. She was more than a gifted writer; she was appointed by God as a special messenger to draw the world's attention to the Scriptures and help prepare people for Christ's second advent. Read her writings at ellenwhite.org.

  • mrwayyne

    In the midst of great divide on multiple issues in our denomination and the platforms reporting on them, I am blessed by this reminder. There were times many years ago, in which I sensed a warmth and unity in Adventism.

    But the fascinations with world culture have caused us to drift from our divine model. Like never before, we must “press together.” In our brokenness, can’t we humbly come to God and seek Him and heal in Him… and unite in Him? Decide to be part of His remnant, doing all we can to perfectly reflect Him and His ways, not our personal agenda. I am praying for our church and its leaders and members. Seek first.. the kingdom of God.

    Have you thought of that kingdom? What does the kingdom of Jesus look like? It certainly leaves the senseless arguments in the pale. Let’s bury our faces in Jesus and His divine Word and instruction for these last few days.

    Thank you Compass Magazine for this timely reminder and plea.

  • David

    I hear pastors and people say, “Unity IN Diversity”, over and over again… What an oxymoron. Discussion about important issues with these people lead to huge arguments. How is this “unity”?