A Divided House

God’s Word – His truth and unshakable principles – can be denied and defied but never destroyed. His truth is as eternal as He is. His commands are never actually broken because they stand firm. If we set them aside, we suffer the consequences. Our defiance doesn’t negate His laws, it breaks us.

Jesus declared: “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.”[1] Another writer of the gospels recorded it this way: “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”[2] God’s people are more divided than the U.S. Congress and the high rate of marriages ending in divorce. Because the family of God so quickly divides and divorces over any disagreement, marriages, communities, states and even our nation has followed the practice of separation and divorce too often demonstrated by the church. The failure on the part of the church to stand in supernatural unity as the family of God and faith has led to the awful division, polarization, and inability of leadership to reason together for the glory of God and benefit of everyone.

Marriages are destroyed, families divide, churches split, leaders are void of wisdom, and all creation trembles because the family of a perfect Father has become dysfunctional. From the moment God created us in His image, He desired intimate fellowship as the result of love between Him and us – His children. He wanted a family that loved Him and one another through whom He could bless the nations of the world. From the moment of creation, the rebellious angel – Lucifer – and one third of the angelic hosts who followed him have attacked the kingdom purpose of God in the lives of all who have been born again by the Spirit to become His family, the church, the body of Christ. Satan attacks God’s plan for your life by assaulting relationships, first with the Father, then with one another. The enemy succeeds through deception, dissension and division first in the church and then in all areas. This must be corrected, beginning now.

I am witnessing signs of hope. For more than 20 years Betty and I, through mission outreaches around the world, working with compassionate people, and through the LIFE Today television program, have been seeing Christians begin to love God and one another the way Jesus prayed we would. Without placing blame on any person or group, I, like so many others, had separated from those who seemed to see truth in a different light than my own group, tribe, or denomination.

Although there were different tribes and groups in the Old Testament life of Israel, God still wanted them to be His unified family, so He could bless the families of this earth through them. So it should be for us through the grace of Christ and the Holy Spirit to bless and disciple the nations of the world. But the truth is, a house divided cannot stand against the forces of hell. Only those who enjoy intimate knowledge of Him and fellowship with Him can hear His voice clearly and stand firm against the gates of hell.

God wants to bring His family together with tribal and sectarian divides no longer keeping us from Him and one another. This goes for fundamental Bible groups and all denominations, including evangelicals, mainline groups, Pentecostals, charismatics, Protestants and Catholics. Luther never intended to split the church. His prophetic role was to correct and bring healing, not more division. All of us in the church need the discipline and training that only comes through the love and grace of God alive in our hearts. We don’t destroy differences and diversity; we welcome them and allow “iron to sharpen iron.” We will all be keener and sharper when we appreciate the fact we do not all see truth the same exact way as we together “look through a glass darkly,” not perfectly at all times.

We are like sheep following the perfect Shepherd. Believers must stop merely defending truth and begin demonstrating the power of it. Stop discussing the Holy Spirit and begin to live in the power of the Spirit. Stop worshipping our view or our tribal leader and pursue Jesus while openly loving one another. We must all seek to be an answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17:23, “…That they may be perfected in unity, so the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” He did not pray amiss. What He asked for matters deeply to Him, His Father and should also to us.

We don’t have to compromise to seek the unity He desired. It is a great compromise not to seek it. I am going to continue meeting with believers outside my group (or tribe) in uncompromising love. I have not knowingly set aside anything in God’s Word to seek fellowship and understanding with other believers outside my particular group. I believe all who have trusted Christ and believe in the authority of His Word are members of His family, the church of the living God. I am reaching out to them and watching God work His grace and truth more clearly into all of our lives. I am witnessing the children of God come together in love for Him and one another. This is when the world will see we are truly His disciples, the shining city set on a hill, and the revelation of Christ in all of His fullness.

Sameness, lack of diversity, and total agreement is not what God desires. He loves diversity and is a Creator of distinctiveness. No two of us are alike. No two fingerprints or snowflakes. It is the enemy of life and truth that promotes “sameness” as unity. Only God can produce the supernatural unity with diversity and difference that both the Father and the world are waiting to see. I am agreeing with Jesus and praying for it. This will prove to be the first step toward the great spiritual awakening so desperately needed in our day.

[1] Matthew 12:25

[2] Mark 3:25

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  1. Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)
    One thing is clear: we do have to draw the line sometimes. We do not, cannot, believe in “peace at all costs.” We are followers of Jesus who called the Pharisees white washed tombs and drove the money changers out of the temple. We are students of the Apostle Paul, who called down God’s curse on anyone who preached a different gospel, the man who publicly confronted Peter. In church history, the Reformation was a monster sized split in the church, and yet many of us are grateful it happened. Therefore, disagreements are bound to happen. Part of our great hope is that one day all our confusion will be gone. What we need to know is how to live with each other in the meantime. One person’s mild difference of opinion is another person’s heresy. What sort of principles will tell us when to be quiet and when to fight?

    A number of Anabaptists suffered the death penalty because, not believing in infant baptism, they were rebaptized as adults. http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/mm.htm

    We must take seriously the instructions of Jesus to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt. 5:13-16).
    If people are going to listen to our message, we must put our Christianity into action. So when persecuted because you are faithfully obeying Christ, follow the example of Christ and accept the persecution that identifies you as a child of God. Because when you don’t return evil treatment for evil treatment, you most faithfully share in the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, who when he was persecuted did not lash out at those who persecuted and even crucified Him, but rather prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

  2. If we are born again then we are all members of the global Body of Christ. We should be contending for unity in our prayers on a regular basis. It will take a miracle but God can do it. Jesus said in John17 that this would lead to the WHOLE WORLD knowing that God sent Jesus to be the savior of the whole world. This could lead to the greatest revival and harvest of souls in human history.

  3. I think you article is very well said and I agree with your points. I do have a problem with the equation of Lucifer as Satan. Lucifer is not a Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic word. This word is a Latin word that was Inserted by St. Jerome and only appears on the versions of the Bible that used the Latin Vulgate to translate. The verse that it was inserted in is Isaiah 14:12 and is in reference to the King of Babylon and how he is tried to set him self up in the heavens. The direct translation should “morning star” which is a reference to the star seen in the morning i.e. Venus, not an Angel. Even if you are to continue to use this mistranslation there is a Greek word, phosphorus, which directly translates into the Latin, lucifer. This word is used When Jesus says “I am the light of the world” in the gospel or by the mistranslation it would be, I am the lucifer for the world. Even in Revelations 22:16 it says the Jesus is lucifer or by the correct translation, the morning star.

  4. I agree with Jim and am paying for it. The world needs guidance

  5. Another good column.
    All of God’s children should have this view and work to this cause.

  6. I always enjoy hearing God speak to me (and others) through you James. What an honor to be used by the Father.
    Keep it up, He is smiling when you do!

    Blessings ~ Daryl

  7. Thomas F. Hall, Jr.

    It is true that God loves diversity. HOWEVER, that “diversity” must not be stretched to include things that God specifically forbids in His Word. When ministers (and others) deny the deity of Christ, teach a “name it and claim it” gospel, are practicing homosexuals, bisexuals, transgender, lesbians, or are adulterers, and state that Allah and Yahweh are the same god, this diversity is not appreciated by God. It is one thing to sin, as we all do occasionally. It is ENTIRELY another thing when the same sin is practiced continually with the knowledge that God has specifically stated that the noted sin is worthy of physical death.

    I listened to Bill O’Reilly, as he was defending homosexuals/lesbians in the armed services and as a “different lifestyle,” quote Jesus’s statement to the woman caught in adultery that went, “Neither do I condemn you.” Bill left off the remainder of what Christ said, which was, “GO AND SIN NO MORE!!!”

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