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Staying United As the World Grows More Divided

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In a world that’s increasingly divisive, the message of unity and purpose stands as a beacon of hope. This is especially true when reflecting on the poignant experience of visiting historic churches in Europe. These once vibrant centers of faith, now mere tourist attractions, serve as a powerful reminder of what can happen when we lose sight of our core mission and conform to the world around us. It’s a call to remember our purpose and stand united in our beliefs and actions.

  • The church needs to stay unified as the world becomes more divided. The pastor notes how divided the U.S. has become politically and culturally, and urges the church not to let that seep in and divide them too.
  • Jesus prayed fervently for the unity of the church, wanting them to be “brought into complete unity.” The pastor argues unity is crucial for the church’s witness – if it’s divided, the world will miss seeing the love of Jesus.
  • To stay unified, the church must focus on their common enemy (Satan, not other groups of Christians) and their common purpose (the Great Commission to make disciples and reach people for Christ).
  • Unity doesn’t mean uniformity – people can disagree on “non-essential” issues and still have unity. But they need to have liberty in those disagreements and “in all things love.”
  • Divisions in the church breed atheism in the world. So for the coming divisive year, the pastor is urging them to stay focused on Jesus and fight for unity as a church.

The lessons from the past and the present converge to form a compelling call to action. We must resist the temptation to conform to the transient values of the world and instead, steadfastly adhere to our core mission and values. Unity, not uniformity, should be our goal, with love as our guiding principle. In doing so, we become a living testament to the transformative power of faith, offering a stark contrast to a divided world.


John 17:20-23

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