The Christ in Prophecy Journal

Division or Unity? Choose Wisely!

2020-2021

As 2020 gave way to 2021, the symptoms of infection continued to linger throughout the body. I’m not talking about Covid-19 and its impact on individuals or our society. The ramifications of the economic shutdown, quarantining, and social distancing will be analyzed for many years to come. Indeed, the ongoing mandates and overreach will continue to be a drag on our society and our economy — and may even grow worse in 2021.

I’m talking about its effect on Christian unity.

An Infection of Division

What has become obvious to many concerned observers is a rising infection within the Body of Christ — the Church. I’m not talking about denominational differences or the necessary separation between the apostate church and those who hold to the faith handed down to the saints. I’m referencing the division that has carried over from the world at large into individual churches and even families, and is clearly tearing down instead of building up.

Peter warned us that the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Inevitably, the easiest way to pick off an individual sheep is to find it away from the flock and away from the Shepherd. But another way to wreak havoc among the flock is to sow dissension and discord, so the flock is distracted from the greater external threat.

The menace of false voices in the end times is so great that Jesus warned that they will attempt to “mislead, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). This danger is age-old. Moses and the sons of Israel sang a song to the LORD that cited Pharaoh: “The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide spoil; my desire shall be gratified against them; I will draw out my sword, my hand will destroy them'” (Exodus 15:9). Those words could just as easily describe Satan’s attitude toward the children of God who have put their faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul admonished us about the schemes of the devil and advised us to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against him (Ephesians 6:11). His words would be chilling if attributed to a dystopian horror movie, but they convey the revealed truth of God: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the spiritual forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Need a contemporary translation? How about this: Our struggle is not merely against a microscopic virus or the frustrating variety of uncertain and often inconsistent measures undertaken to counter it. And, even as we oppose the overreach that many officials have exhibited, we recognize that our eternal enemy will seek to take advantage of this moment to divide and conquer the faithful.

Tim Moore: Our struggle is not merely against a microscopic virus... our eternal enemy will seek to take advantage of this moment to divide and conquer the faithful. Click To Tweet

Commissioned into God’s Army

Christians have long cherished Paul’s counsel to the Ephesians. The passage about taking up the full armor of God has been memorized and applied in countless believer’s lives. But his analogy would be incomplete if an up-armored Christian thought that they were called to be an army of one. We have been commissioned (co-missioned) into a corporate body — with many members, but collectively known as the Bride of Christ. As such, we are commanded to be gracious and patient with one another.

Writing to the Philippians, Paul also pleaded with his spiritual offspring (including not only the believers in Philippi but all of us who follow in his footsteps today) to be “of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose” (Philippians 2:2). What prerequisite would allow Christians to be of one Spirit? Paul said, “if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion” (Philippians 2:1, author’s emphasis added).

Respect and Grace within the Body of Christ

Why am I writing this in the opening days of 2021? Because I have discerned division in the body of Christ.

Too many committed believers who entered 2020 united in their love for the Lord and encouraging one another with an anticipation of His soon return found themselves at odds over mask-wearing and social distancing as the year ended. Focusing on these external frustrations instead of respecting the balance between an appropriate desire for fellowship and a determination to protect others, their communion was disrupted. I’ve even seen close-knit families splitting into factions with mutual respect and grace strained or absent altogether.

We know that Satan is a deceiver of the whole world (Revelation 12:9). We know that he not only accuses us before the Lord (to no avail), but that he also seeks to undermine and belie our faith by disrupting our temporal blessedness (see Job 1 and 2). But God only allows Satan to inflict us within bounds. The LORD will not allow him to afflict us beyond what He knows we can endure. And, since it is God’s will that the Bride of Christ remains unified in love, grace, and purpose, He will not allow Satan to deceive us beyond what we should collectively resist.

Preserving the Unity of the Spirit

This is a moment in time that requires us to overcome our own frustrations and our varying perceptions of Covid reality and live in unity. So, like Paul, I implore us all to:

Walk in the manner worthy of the calling to which [we] have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)

Want a contemporary song to capture the willful decision to live out that Scriptural admonition? Songwriter Peter Scholtes’ “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love” captures the conviction and the testimony we must maintain:

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

May it ever be so.

Godspeed!

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Tim Moore

Tim Moore

Colonel Tim Moore serves as Associate Evangelist and ministry Trustee with Lamb & Lion Ministries.

2 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Thank you for your encouraging words and scripture verses.
    I remember singing that song at my church!!!

  • Wise words Colonel Moore, thank you for reminding us we are of the body of Christ and that must guide our hearts and our dealings with one another.

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