Have you ever asked yourself why there are so many different churches and denominations in Christianity today? Why is there so much division and disunity? Why does it seem so difficult to labor together in a spirit of love?
What I'm about to share with you will give you great wisdom for change. It is an end-time plan. It is a plan we saw work overseas very effectively, but I had always thought it could never work here in America or in other developed countries because of the pride of learning and education, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency. It will take great humility to receive this plan.
Let me warn you, though and preface some remarks before releasing this plan. None of this will work unless you are a kingdom-minded person. My first book, Soulish Leadership: Whose Kingdom Are You Building? has challenged many leaders to build the kingdom of God instead of their own (scroll down our book page and watch the 1.34 minute book promo).
A Right Heart
Here are some heart-searching questions a friend of mine asked: What would happen in your community if it didn't matter who controlled, who led or who got the credit for extending the kingdom of heaven on this earth? What if kingdom growth meant the end of everything you are involved in? Could you let go of what is dear to you so that another might succeed? Would you be willing to be nothing for the greater good? To give away your time, talents and money for no other reason than the good it causes others?
These questions reveal the golden key to a greater unity in the body of Christ. It's all in the heart. What is required is not growth of any particular group but rather, Christ's kingdom, free of emotional, spiritual and financial ownership issues.
This is the Christ-like way: Humble yourself as the meek and lowly one did, and serve others as if they are more important than you. This releases everyone into their greatest potential and restores and builds up the body of Christ.
Nothing I'm about to share will work without that qualifier.
Key Qualifying Principles
Second, there are key principles that must be operative in our belief system that will cause this end time plan to work. These foundational principles will unify the body of Christ and create a dynamic vehicle by which we can cooperate with God in bringing forth great change and revival. No matter the form or method of organization of any Christian church or faith-based group, it must not violate these divine principles. These principles must always supersede any human arrangement that might compromise these principles. In other words, any ecclesiastical laws that violate these divine principles must be rendered unconstitutional.
Here then are the qualifying principles:
- The church must acknowledge the supreme headship of Christ, not in word but in deed. There is no place here for a control freak—no vicar, no pope, no authoritarian head who must have the rule and preeminence.
- Every overseer of every church, work and organization must acknowledge the fellowship of the whole body of Christ. This means that no group may restrict fellowship along denominational lines or its own organization. That would constitute division in the body of Christ.
- The church must acknowledge all ministries which God has set it the church (1 Cor. 12:28-31). It should not deny initiative to those whom God has called to special ministries (Eph. 4:11, Rom. 12:3-6). Paul said there were diversities of operations. We can then conclude that every man's ministry will differ in some degree from another's.
- It should stand for the principles of the doctrine of Christ (Heb. 6:1-2).
This is one of the qualifying principles that I believe is the easiest to compromise. We have a false ecumenical unity being massaged today that falls short of Christ's glory. This could be the movement that leads to the formation of one world church.
Although Jesus denounced sectarianism to His disciples, He also alerted them to the division His message would bring. Compare the two following Scriptures:
John answered, "Master, we saw a man casting out demons in Your name and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us."
Jesus said, "Do not forbid him, for he who is not against you is for you" (Luke 9:49-50).
Do you suppose that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For there will be from now on five divided in one house, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, and mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law" (Luke 12:51-53).
Loyalty to the truth can bring unity and cooperation for the common cause of advancing Christ's kingdom, but it can also bring division.
Although it is a near impossibility that we will ever agree on everything in the Scriptures because we all have different degrees of light and understanding from the Word of God, these six elementary principles of Christ cannot be compromised.
- It should be flexible and responsive to revival when and where God should send it. Historically, revivals have come through individuals. Churches may greatly benefit from such visitations if they are sensitive to the Spirit of God.
The End-Time Plan
An interdenominational ministry training school or center that will bring churches together in each city and region is the plan. The objectives would be three-fold.
- To bring about doctrinal order and unity in the body of Christ.
- To meet the spiritual need in a region through evangelism, discipleship and the equipping of ministry gifts.
- To accelerate divine activity, training and the move of God in a region.
Can you imagine if every denomination and faith-based church or group who professes Christ would engage in this type of training? It would revolutionize the landscape of Christianity in America and the nations, and deal a vicious blow to principalities and powers? It will take a miracle of great proportions to break down denominational barriers and church walls, but I believe in miracles. And I believe the prayer of Jesus for the unity of His people will be fully answered before He returns (John 17).
This is just something to think about that has been on my heart. Perhaps there are strong leaders who have a gift, a calling and a platform to catalyze such an aforementioned plan in the body of Christ in these ends of days. It would take great humility in leaders to bring this plan to pass.
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You. May they also be one in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory which You gave Me, that they may be one even as We are one: I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfect in unity, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me (John 17:20-23).
May His glory make us one.
Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, has authored several books with an emphasis on helping to restore the true spirit of Christianity in the Church today, including his latest book, Passing on The Move of God to The Next Generation. Follow him at Bert Farias and Holy Fire Ministries on Facebook and @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.
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