Everyone I have ever met is just like me. We are all a part of God’s family. All made in God’s image.
Well, that is not quite accurate.
Starting at Genesis 5:3, Adam fathered children after his own sinful image and not righteous God’s image. To this day many knowingly reject God’s image. In return God gave them up. (Rom 1:28)
But at least everyone I have ever met is God-fearing and good-intentioned.
Well, not really.
I have met some people who have had some blood-curdling intentions and who lie through their teeth. After all, they declare themselves the highest authority. Who will they answer to? (Rom 3:18)
At least most people I know are sincere Christians who are seeking God’s will.
Then again, no.
Going to church makes you a Christian like going to a hospital makes you a doctor. Some people are sick. They use Christianity for their own gain, personal status, and brownie points with their wife. Paul warns Timothy of them in Titus 1:11.
Thankfully, there is a large minority of people who open their Bibles and clearly understand the gospel. It is not baptism, good works, or church membership, only faith in Christ’s blood on the cross.
But now that I think about it, there are entire universities devoted to teaching denominational leaders about the saving necessity of water baptism, good works, tithing, and church membership.
I remember one young girl who was bawling because she could not be saved because her parents told her she was not old enough to be water baptized. What confusion?!
Praise God that a remnant of folks can lay aside their non-essentials and come under the banner of right division and Pauline truth.
Actually, the so-called “non-essentials” such as our final authority, when the church began, our destiny, and predestination weaken the doctrine of the cross and the basis of right division.
Paul says to “teach no other doctrine” and to “hold fast” to sound doctrine in priority over “pleasing men”.
“…not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.” – 1 Thess 2:4
These instructions tend to oppose unity without doctrinal agreement. Emphasis on sound doctrine and the truth will cause proper separation from wrong teaching. There is no need to unite if we cannot agree on the doctrine.
Unity exists after attaining sound doctrine. Unity does not exist where doctrine differs. Under sound doctrine we unite as Ephesians 4:14 says, “not as children”.
There are two ways to achieve doctrinal unity: 1) compromise; or 2) evangelize.
One is worldly and the other is godly. It is popular to choose the former, I choose the latter. Then again, I have not met very many people like me.