Did you know that not everyone believes the same way you do?
I actually laughed out loud as I typed that statement for a couple reasons. First, it’s obvious that not everyone believes the same, all you have to do is take a quick look around. Secondly, and the reason I made this statement, is that because as believers sometimes we think that all followers of Jesus believe exactly the same, more or less….
That is so not true and you know what?
It is okay.
Let me explain.
I had a very interesting conversation with a friend yesterday about the rapture of the church. In my circle of church folk, most believe that the rapture will take place at the beginning of the seven years of tribulation described in the book of Revelation. Then there are a few who believe it will come half way through these seven years. Now back to my friend, who doesn’t believe there will even be a rapture at all.
These are the questions that come to my mind.
Does any of this make a difference for eternity? Does when we believe the rapture will come or if it will come at all, change the status of our salvation?
The answer is no.
The enemy would have us arguing and fussing over trivial things all day, every day if it keeps us distracted from what God has for us. God wants His followers to be unified but that doesn’t mean that we have to agree on every little thing. In fact, it means that we are to come together and love one another, reaching the world for Christ because of and in spite of our differences. Over and over in the Scriptures, God refers to us as the Body of Christ, each with a different part to play, each with different gifts depending on the purpose He has for that individual. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but the world is made up of a vast variety of people. There is no two exactly the same and we are called to reach that world for Jesus. In order to do that, we must each be the united in Christ.
Can we all just get along? Yes, if we are united on the basics of the gospel message. These are the things that matter for eternity…
*God came in the form of a man to dwell among us. Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18-25, John 1:1-14, Philippians 2:5-11
*He was born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:26-38
*He lived a perfect, sinless life. 1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, 1 John 3:5, Isaiah 53:9
*He died a substitutionary death for our sins. Isaiah 52:13-53:12, 1 Peter 2:23-25, Mark 10:45, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 5:6-11
*He was buried and then He was physically resurrected on the third day. John 19:38-20:30, Luke 24, 1 Corinthians 15
*Jesus is the only way to heaven. Romans 10: 9-13, John 11:25-26, John 14:6, Romans 6:23
*He still lives and will return. Matthew 24-25, Luke 21: 5-28, John 14:1-3, Acts 1:9-11, Revelation 1:7, Revelation 22:12
I want to leave you with the words of Paul to the church at Philippi. Philippians 1:27-2:4
27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
2 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Today as you think about disagreements you may have with a fellow brother or sister in Christ, ask yourself, “Does this matter for eternity?” If not, then humble yourself and love one another, knowing that God has called you to be unified to glorify Him.
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