I visited a local church last night for a benefit singing (I had a wonderful time!) and the congregation was made up of people from many different churches, all gathered under one roof. There was a sweet presence of the Lord in that place and a friend of mine (also from my church) looked at me and made the comment, “Ya know, if all the churches would just come together in unity, there wouldn’t be a devil in hell that could put a stop to us.” So true! The Bible calls for love and unity, one mind and one accord.
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”- Psalm 133:1
But here’s the problem, we can’t even find that under one church roof alone, much less expect it from more than one congregation of churches.
When it comes to one church, the members within don’t live in true unity as they should, creating discord and division through backbiting/gossip/etc. And instead of supporting fellow Christians through love and encouragement, churches tend to separate themselves and have a “We’re better than you are” mentality. Meaning, if you don’t go to our church, you might as well not even be a child of God. No, this isn’t how we want to be, but how the devil wants us to be. Satan would love to drive a wedge between all of God’s children because he knows what we are capable of if we live in one mind and one accord. It scares him (and it should!).
In reality, we should be able to all come together with pure worship for the God that created us all . When we get to heaven, the church that we went to will not matter, but our relationships with the Lord and others will. Once we become determined to unite as the body of Christ (like He called for us to) within our own church, it will be natural for the Church in general to join together as the body of Christ. And there really wouldn’t be a devil in hell that could put a stop to us!
“Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”- Ecclesiastes 4:12
Ready to challenge the devil? Embrace your brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter where they choose to attend church services. Go even further than that and embrace those who have not yet entered in to the salvation and freedom of Christ, and encourage them to do so. Satan really, really hates that!
Well, here I am again… with another old family tale from my childhood for you. Another event in my life that God reminded me of again recently and taught me a lesson with. Hope it’s not too boring. Enjoy!
When I was 5 years old (about to turn 6) my Grandpa, Mom, and little brother all packed up into the car to go visit family in Kentucky. Because of my being enrolled in first grade, my Grandma and I stayed behind. Most would be upset that their trip would require them to be gone over my 6th birthday. But not I! Grandma and I had BIG plans.
One of these big plans, was a trip to Pic N Save, which is now “Big Lots”. I know, I know, bear with me here. I was a kid, and that place was full of cheap stuff to buy with birthday & first lost tooth money!
So we got ourselves dolled up and jumped in the car. I still remember picking out a perfect hot pink back pack and a bunch of rinky dink toys. But before we knew it the weather was changing from a perfect Southern California Autumn day into a cold, dark, windy, and rainy mess. Being that Grandma refused to drive in either the dark or rain, we had a problem. Before we started on our way we prayed. “Jesus, please let us just make it home before the storm. Amen.”
About half way home, the thunder and lightning started. The rain was coming down so hard that we couldn’t see. We were both scared and nervous. Storms like this are rare in our neck of the woods, you see, and she hadn’t driven in these conditions in quite some time. “Oh Jesus, please, protect us and let us make it home safe. Just let us get home before the storm. If we can just make it in before the storm, I know we’ll be okay.”
To not show her upset, she started talking about how wonderful the night in at home would be. There would be hot chocolate and marshmallows. We could watch the lightning show from the window and wear our cozy jammies and slippers. It was to be a grand ol’ time! But once again she prayed, “Lord Jesus, If we can just make it in before the storm, I know we’ll be okay.” I kept thinking, “She does know the storm has already hit, right?” but never said anything. Just went with it.
This went on for a few miles, and finally we were home safe and sound. Sure enough though, as soon as we got in the storm got worse. We did as planned and enjoyed our time together, laughing at how scared we were on the way home from the discount store.
Someday soon, Jesus is going to come back for the church. Life from now until then may get unpleasant. In fact, it’s going to get really unpleasant. The storm is going to hit and things are going to get really nasty. Just watch the news one night and you’ll see it’s already begun, just as we are told in the book of Revelation.
But if we can just make it in before the storm…
What the world is going through now is NOTHING like what it will be. The awesome news is that the body of believers will be taken away right before the storm really gets going. Just like Grandma and I sat all comfy cozy with our hot chocolate, the church will be in Heaven shouting and rejoicing without a worry or a care when the storm hits hard. Until then we must pray. “God, protect us from what is going on, and Jesus come quickly!”
But what if you’re not ready?
All you have to do is ask for forgiveness. Simple as that. Believe in Him. Change your ways. “Go and Sin No More.” (John 8:11)
Before we know it the storm will be over. Just hang tight. Until then, lift up your head, for your redemption draws near… (Luke 21:27) Because we WILL make it in before the storm, and it really is all going to be okay!