Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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The apostle Paul said, “I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1Cor. 1:10). Just hours before his arrest and crucifixion, Jesus earnestly prayed for those who would believe in him, that “they all might be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they may also be one in us so that the world might believe that you sent me” (Jn. 17:21).
The unity of His children is a matter of the highest concern to our heavenly Father. And His will in this matter is why we have come out of all sectarian religion. Just look around, and you will see that every religion that is of man on the earth is hopelessly divided. And for God’s dear children to join any of the sects within these religious systems, including the one called Christianity, automatically separates that believer from God’s other children who join other sects. Supporting one sect’s doctrine and traditions is to oppose the efforts of other believers who support the doctrines and traditions of other sects. We are opposing each other as long as we belong to sects with conflicting doctrines and rituals.
Since God’s will is for His children to be one, as He and His Son are one (Jn. 17:20—23), then it must be His will for all us who believe in Jesus to forsake all that divides us. He can heal us! But this healing can never happen as long as we cling to our preferred sect.
We, and others like us around the world, are badly misunderstood, and we have been criticized severely for refusing to participate in anything that would divide us from God’s dear people, but I maintain that what we have done is the only reasonable course for the children of God to take. We live in this country, and are divided by geography from most of God’s people in other lands. But we can do nothing about those kinds of differences. But we can do something about our choice to join or not join a denomination and sect. We have been shown by Christ Jesus to love our fellow believers too much to do that.
Admittedly, it will require a mighty miracle for God to unite us, even if we all do His will and abandon the sects which we have joined, but should we not at least make ourselves available to our Father in hope that He might at least possibly do that miracle? In just six days, God created this entire universe out of nothing. Think of what he might do for us if we would just cooperate with Him and give Him a chance! On the other hand, please consider this: If we refuse our Father’s call and cling to the sects and denominations we have chosen, there is no possibility that we will ever be one, as the Father and the Son are united. Is that what we really want?
If we love fervently one another, and if we love our heavenly Father with all our hearts, then surely we will feel compelled to come out of all that divides us and to pray, as one, that Jesus will show us truth that will heal the breaches in our fellowship. Does it make any difference how impossible it seems now? Our God is mighty! He can unite us, we believe, if we will but cooperate with Him. Oh, let’s trust our heavenly Father to help us be what He has always wanted us to be! He can make it possible that we “speak the same thing and have no divisions among you, but be united in the same understanding and in the same judgment.”
The apostle Paul told the saints in Philippi that he wanted them to have the same love, one for another (Phip. 2:1—4). I, and others I know, hold you so dear to our hearts that we have forsaken everything under our control that would divide us from you. Now, how much do you love us?