Will You Pay The Price For Unity?

“Jesus said to them, any kingdom that is divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.” (Matthew 12:25)

Many churches, organizations — and even our nation — need to give heed to this word from Jesus today. “Any” kingdom that is divided against itself will not stand. The word “any” here is literally “every.” No group of any kind that cannot unify around their common cause will succeed.  This is a principle that applies in many ways:

Abraham Lincoln famously quoted this scripture about the United States in the Civil War. And ominously, it still applies to our country today. If we continue to turn against each other, party vs. party, race vs. race, our nation will not long stand.

This scripture definitely applies to churches as well.  When God’s people are divided against each other, THAT kingdom cannot stand, either. And unfortunately that is just what we see evidenced in churches all across our country. Satan is doing his dividing work, in order to hinder the advance of the Kingdom of God. As Peter said in his letter, we should not be ignorant of our enemy’s schemes. We need to pray (and WORK!) for unity in the church, that our Kingdom work would stand.

Now here’s the rub: we would all say that we “want” unity — we all think that “people” should sacrifice for the sake of a united front — until it comes to something that offends or hurts or costs US!  Then we must have “the truth” or “God’s way” (as defined by us!).  The truth is, we haven’t really learned the importance and price of unity until it costs US something: OUR songs, or OUR preferences which we give up, or until it affects our ministry, or class, or preferences.

Will God’s Kingdom work stand or fall where you are? It will likely depend on whether you realize how important a unified church is, and whether you personally are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to ensure it.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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