Behind Denominational Lines

One of the things that has me praying and thinking lately is the way that we have divided battle lines within the church and one of the things that we have struggled with is the battle among denominations as to who is right and who is wrong.

I feel that at this point we all need to stop and take a look at the scripture.  One of the most disheartening things that is happening now is the complete division that many churches have taken from other congregations, and in some cases, the refusal to worship together as one.

If we look to scripture we see that we are all part of The Church…the Bride of Christ.  In scripture there is no division of Baptist or Christian, or Methodist and Presbyterian.  There is nothing but the singular Church, and even though there are different churches, they all communicate and fellowship together, sending ministry partners between congregations to encourage and share in the same Gospel message.

Where has this mentality gone in today’s church?  Why are we so willing to divide the church over issues that have no spiritual basis or bearing on our Christian life? What can we do to ensure that we pursue God’s will for the church?

I feel that one of the scriptures we can look to is found in Matthew 7:3 – “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

We all have issues, we all have things that we can change, and we all have concerns that need to be addressed.  The problem is, we are all preoccupied with telling others what they can fix, no matter how small the issue, while we sit there with our own, unresolved issues that need immediate response.

For us today, as the Church, we must get back to the way of the Church.  We have to put aside our differences and join together on the true calling of the life we are called to…that is to share the Gospel and bring others to the Kingdom by showing them the love of Christ and sharing with them the sacrifice that He made on the cross.

That really is what it is all about, none of us deserve heaven…we are all sinners.  Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God,” but Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Today, we need to cross denominational lines, drop our defenses, and embrace the grace that we were saved under.  We need to share together in the love of Christ and stop bickering about the small stuff.  Today, I encourage you, fellowship with one another, stop judging others based on what “church” they are a part of, and remember that we are all part of The Church.  We are all the Bride of Christ, and He is coming soon to claim His Bride.

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YOLO

One of the statements that have really gotten under my skin is, “You Only Live Once (YOLO)”. This statement is being used by the younger generations to explain why they are taking part in many things today in this world. The world has given folks the opportunity to live as they wish, do what they feel they can do, and in many cases leave them with no penalties for the wrongs they are making.

I feel that this is something we should pay attention to as Christians, because the truth is you do live once, but that life is forever and what you do during your time here on earth determines where you will spend eternity.

I know that this is a topic that many feel is touchy and difficult, but as a minister of the word, I cannot skip over what the scripture tells us about our future. 2 Peter 2 tells us about the reality of Hell, saying in verses 4-10:

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.” – 2 Peter 2:4-10

God did not even spare angels when they sinned, but we have a way of forgiveness that was given to us in the form of Jesus Christ. Christ lived once, and died once, for all that would believe to receive the gift of eternal life that is only offered through His blood and saving grace.

Today, when you start to do something and think to yourself, “You only live once,” I would encourage you to remember that Hell is real and is reserved for those who do not accept the grace and love of Christ. You may only live once, but why not spend your time living for the One who died once, for all!

Remember today that your choices may determine your future. The YOLO mentality may leave you standing before Christ without the chance to change your future. Make the decision today to make the change and live for him!