Can you feel the energy? Here we are standing among 50,000 Christians in a stadium celebrating JESUS together. It’s hard to understand until you’ve experienced it, but there is an electricity in the very air surrounding us as you hear the Name of Jesus called out in unison. HIS Name echoes all around us.
We have come together to worship the Name above all names. We have come together to praise HIM with music and our voices in song. Lifting our hearts together as one to sing HOLY…HOLY…. HOLY is the Lord God Almighty.
We quiet down and then the speaker begins by starting the meeting in prayer. He asks everyone to turn to the person next to him or her and take his or her hand. After the prayer we would all listen as men of God rightly divide the Word of God so we could all be fed, learn and mature as Christians.
Then near the end of the meeting we all held hands again as the music began and we lifted our voices in unison to sing a song called …we are one family ….we are all one in Christ. Still clutching hands we would hear drums beating out a marching cadence…we would hear trumpets sounding and waves of orchestral music. This symphony would heighten emotions as only music can. Then the spotlights would begin randomly flowing over the throng of people and the speaker would call out groups singularly to raise their hands…
How many Baptists, how many Lutherans, how many Catholics, how many Methodists, how many Presbyterians, how many,….how many… With each call of a denomination hands would separate and be lifted high indicating their affiliation and allegiance to their denomination.
Before the announcement the hands were connected one to the other. Their hearts all beat as One with The Lord their God. Then as their group was called they separated hands from one another and raised their hands independently into the air. It was like seeing the WAVE at a sports event. Everyone wanted to be counted among his or her special group.
I am reminded in the book of Acts how quickly Christ; the cornerstone of His Church; the Rock Foundation upon which we stand…began to become a distant memory as eloquent men began preaching.
1 Corinthians 1:10 – 17
“Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you….I have been informed concerning you…that there are quarrels among you. That each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Cephas and I am of Christ”. Has Christ been divided? Paul was not Crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, NOT in cleverness of speech, that the CROSS of Christ should not be made void.”
As you think about these God Inspired Words of the Apostle Paul, he is not referring to the Spiritual Unity we all have together as believers as part of the Universal—One True Church made up of Living Stones.
Instead Paul is talking about the Unity of Doctrine. Doctrine must be the foundation of church life. The commitment we have to Doctrine determines the strength of the church.
Go back to the stadium with me. When everyone had their hands joined together in worship and prayer THEY stood on the ONE foundation of Christ. The minute ranks were broken and individuals hands separated to be raised high into the air…our united mission to reach the lost was severely damaged.
Pick me…no not them…pick me…pick Paul…pick Peter…. pick Apollos…pick Christ…. pick…pick. Now you have a church that has lost its identity. A church whose doctrines are no longer sound. A church whose doctrines have been compromised by thousands of men over two thousand years since the Cross.
Men who have bent doctrine to fit each new culture so that hearts are no longer pierced by the Truth. Truth then is watered down. People no longer understand their need to repent of their sins. Why? Because the church is now based on shallow sentimentalism and superficial harmony; neither of which affords Salvation…but ends in Damnation.
Jesus called us to ONE FAITH based on unchanging Doctrines forming the anchor of Unity within individual minds, external decisions, beliefs in standards, in behavior…in Doctrine…in the Word of God. No individual leaders (or denominations) should be given the loyalty that belongs ONLY to the Lord Jesus Christ. By elevating men we breed contentions, disputes and a divided church.
Christ is not divided and neither is HIS Body… the True Church. Yet today there is a division within the church that did not exist at its birth at Pentecost. The souls in need of the harvest are as prevalent within the walls of the church as they are on the outside.
Within every fellowship, every person is either saved and in a process of maturing or in a process of self-deception and destruction. How horrific is it that people come into church with a desire to understand God; but never truly hear and receive the Gospel that saves?
Too many pulpits are not preaching sound doctrine, nor the Cross nor Repentance. Instead as Paul said they teach “the cleverness of men” and in so doing Mock God by making the Cross of Christ null and void. The church is not a building, nor a denomination, nor a non-denominational group. The Church is made of people, living stones with hearts of flesh that beat as One with the heart of their Savior Jesus.
The Church is made up of children of all ages who have received their Faith as a gift…not by works; a free gift of faith from the Father of the Son of God. We are a family of brothers and sisters who will live in a forever place called heaven. There to experience forever both the joy and the purpose we were created for in the very presence of Almighty God.
There is only One Faith, One Hope, One Baptism…ONE GOD and Father of All. There is only One Church, One Body, One Life in the Spirit. Jesus is the Good Shepherd with only One Sheepfold that is Chosen and Elected by God from those who SEEK HIM within His revealed Word.
JESUS ALONE will build HIS True Church one Living Stone at a time. Based ONLY on the revelation given to HIS Prophets and HIS Apostles as recorded once and for all in the Old and New Testaments. Not by men, nor the words of men or the religions of men.
So stop waving your hands in the air, instead reach out and hold the persons hand on either side of you and form the True Circle of Life. Together we are strong…separate we are weak. Now more than ever those around you need to see God within you. If you know Christ then you bear the Image of the One True GOD… and the Holy Spirits Light is now within you. Stop being one candle in the darkness. Let the HOLY SPIRIT turn you into a PILLAR of FIRE then LET IT SHINE….LET IT SHINE !