This is a photo I recently took of an old “church”- it makes a wonderful picture. As I stood looking at it, the Lord reminded me, “This is not the Church. This is an old empty building.” Even in the state that this building is in today, if a couple of Believers gathered in it to pray, worship, read scripture, this building would be a Church. The Christian Church is made up of people. People who believe that Jesus is the Son of God, He died on the Cross for our sin, and that God raised Him from the dead – this is what makes a Biblical Christian and it is they who make up the Body of Christ- the Church. One of the greatest deceptions in the Church today is that we need to be united with all who claim to be “Christian” or even those of completely different faiths, unity shows love and peace. However, there is a serious problem with this mindset. You cannot unite the Body of Christ with those who do not believe faith alone, in Christ alone. You cannot unite the Body of Christ with those who do not preach a biblical gospel. When the Christian Church seeks unity with other “churches” for any reason other than the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Church is actually uniting with false churches. Just because there is a building labeled a Church, doesn’t mean they are His Church. The Word of God speaks a lot regarding unity of God’s people. (Psalm 133:1, Ephesians 4:13, John 17:23).
“I in them and you in me, so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” -John 17:23
Look at what Jesus is saying, “I in them…” we know that when a person confesses faith in Christ they receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – the presence of God in the life of every true Believer. The command to love one another and to have unity is to His church, His Body! Those in whom He dwells through the presence of His Spirit. This is not about love and unity for the sake of peace between all faiths, this kind of unity is actually making the Church unequally yoked and we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. Why is that? When we are unequally yoked most often it is the Believer who will change to fit in rather than the nonbelievers- again, INFLUENCE. When the Church finds unity with others who are not truly apart of the Body of Christ, His Church, guess who actually will have the greater influence? Not His Church. There is an entire movement happening within the evangelical Church where because of “unity” people are bringing unbiblical practices into the Body of Christ- false teaching and unsound doctrine all due to being unequally yoked and influenced by those who claim to be Christians, but are not biblical Christians.
Should the Church be united with other denominations that preach a biblical gospel? Yes, absolutely. But if we are tying our churches to others who do not preach a biblical gospel, those strings of unity need to be cut. The unity of the Body of Christ involves the love between Believers in its reflection of the love between the Father and the Son- it is this that should draw the world’s attention to the reality of God’s love and the reality of Jesus as the Son of God, the resurrected Savior. That’s it. Straight Up!