This week, we are in the midst of praying through the 40-day Jewish season of repentance, Teshuvah.
The word "Teshuvah" literally means to return to the presence of God. It is a season of introspection and repentance for Christians to come into unity with God, as Jesus prayed in John 17:21. However, as Jesus prayed, unity with God also requires unity with each other in Christ (John 17:20-23).
Yet, almost since the beginning of Christianity, believers have quarreled about Christian doctrine and church government. The first Jerusalem Council served as an example of a favorably resolved dispute (Acts 15). However, other disputes resulted in division and treatment of opponents as non-Christians. As Ralph Martin famously said, "The body of Christ is broken."
Today there are many denominations and doctrines which create a great diversity within the body of Christ. Yet, we can still be united in Christ. Lutheran theologian Oscar Cullmann said, "Unity in the church ... is unity in diversity ... recognizing others in all their variety as true Christians."
Pope Francis has said, "Unity brought by the Spirit can harmonize every diversity." Unity in diversity recognizes the contributions of other streams of Christianity and blends them together in a symphony of harmony. It is a unity of the Spirit, not in doctrine or church government.
During the second 10 days of Teshuvah, from Sept. 9 to Sept. 18, we will be praying for God's people and the healing of the broken body of Christ as God's people come together, united in Christ.
- Sept. 9: The blessings of unity (Ps. 133).
- Sept. 10: Unity in Christ (John 17:20–22).
- Sept. 11: Accepting our brothers (Rom. 15:5–7).
- Sept. 12: Do not judge (Rom. 14:13; Luke 6:37–38).
- Sept. 13: Divisions (1 Cor. 3:1–9).
- Sept. 14: Evangelism through unity (John 17:23).
- Sept. 15: Watchmen warnings (Ezek. 33).
- Sept. 16: Appealing to all (1 Cor. 9:27).
- Sept. 17: Salvation for Israel (Rom. 11:11–32).
- Sept. 18: Messianic Jews and the Toward.
- Jerusalem Council II movement (Acts 15).
The unity revival has already begun. In 2014, the pope sent a historic video to Kenneth Copeland, which you can view on the UnitedinChristInternational.com website. The pope's outreach to Kenneth Copeland produced a flood of Christian leaders who traveled to Rome for international reconciliation meetings. There has also been a strong movement for unity among American church leaders. However, the unity movement has not yet reached many of our cities and local churches.
The urgent need to heal the body of Christ must be communicated from the national leadership of movements and denominations to the local churches. The city fathers must become champions of unity, bringing the body of Christ together to impact their communities. The prayer of Jesus in John 17 is not only about unity. It is for unity with a purpose, "That the world may believe" (John 17:21b). Unity is the key to transformation.
We invite you to join with Kenneth Copeland, Lou Engle and Christians of many traditions as we fellowship, worship, pray and work together to transform our communities at the Kairos 2019 conference to be held at Christ for the Nations in Dallas, Texas on Oct. 3-5, 2019. For more information check out the attached short video and visit the Kairos2019.com website.
The body of Christ must be healed to do its work for Christ.
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