Are we One?
by Rev. Jerry R. Holcomb, Ph.D.
Presented by Saint Luke Evangelical School Of Biblical Studies

Have you ever wondered why there are so many divisions or denominations of christians? Well I am convinced that the unbeliever surely wonders why. Each division has their own brand of religion or specialty, or belief. Each one believes he is right and everybody else is wrong. From the unbelievers viewpoint, these Christians are so confused about the Bible that there must not be any validity to it. They argue at the grocery store or where ever and almost come to blows over some difference in belief.

About twenty years ago, in the late 1970's, The Lord started showing me that this is not His will for His children. It seems for the past years, He has gone out of His way to show me that denominations as a whole are just divisions of us Christians. By the way, "Man Made Divisions". In His conversations with me about this, He uses the terms "Division,Walls and Fences".

From His word, we discover that He said that He came to divide the Sheep from the Goats, but not the sheep from the sheep. If we take a close look at the following scripture we can see exactly what His will is for us today.

John 17:
1: These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3: And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4: I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5: And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
6: I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
7: Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
8: For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
9: I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
10: And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11: And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
12: While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13: And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14: I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15: I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16: They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18: As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19: And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20: Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22: And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24: Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25: O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26: And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

From this prayer we see that we should strive to be one, not only with Him , but with each other also. Well, how do we do that? Not so easy from the natural viewpoint, but from His viewpoint, Easy!

From early in my Christian walk, the Lord has dealt with me about this subject. I was reared in a mainline denomination church and my dear mother took me there every time the doors opened. I received Jesus in my heart there, and my spirit was reborn. From early on though, I could see that there were some things that just didn't seem right there. Bickering and fighting over trivial things, and there was not much unity amoung the members, unless they were in total agreement.

As I grew up, I had a friend who was a Pastor in the Denomination, and his wife left him and subsequently divorced him. Not long afterward, he was no longer welcome to be a pastor or even preach anymore. That really upset me as I could not see why he should suffer or be chastized for what his wife did. The standard scriptures the denomination uses for such things just didn't compute for me. This one event sent me to the Lord with a prayer to show me real truth and not just the traditions of men, and to let me be able to see the difference.

For several years I visited around different denominations and read about different religions and the further I went the surer I was that this was not "God's Way". The Lord told me to just get to know Him and then I would see everything more from His viewpoint. From what I'm seeing from His viewpoint is we are not loving each other. This was His command to us and we seem to just speak it but not really get into it.

Our divisions just set up rules, or they may call them "doctrines" and build a big fence around their interpretation of God. They have their own "God in a box". If it don't fit in our box then it is wrong and you are going to Hell....

That sounds harsh, but just think about it. Isn't it true? Isn't it?

There is only one way to get past this stuff and that is to get to really know Jesus. Not to know He exists. Satan knows that. Not to know things about Him per se. Know Him as a person and friend and savior. What He is all about. Why He came to earth and really hear with your ears the things He said.

Okay you say, I do that. Let me ask you a couple of questions. When is the last time you turned the other cheek or if some one required something of you that he was not entitled to, you gave it up and also more. When is the last time you washed someone elses feet. Especially that one in your church you really don't like. When is the last time you gave up everything you have for something the Lord wants you to do. When is the last time you laid hands on someone that is sick and they were healed as Jesus told us to do. When is the last time you stood up to a storm and told it "Peace, be still"? How about walking on water or raising the dead?

Get to know Jesus, really know Him, and you will be doing all that stuff because He said we would. Does all this stuff sound new to you? Some of these divisions I am speaking of have a lot of God's blessings fenced out. They don't believe in that, or all that ceased with the death of the apostles. If you think about it, people who really knew Jesus started ceasing about that time too. Denominations were born and with it rules and laws and traditions of men.

The nature of Jesus is told all through the Gospels. What His kingdom is and how it functions. The parables tell us how things work and if we do them the correct way, then the natural outcome is perfect. As the scripture says, He is faithful and just to perform His word. If He says that planting seed and the harvesting of the crop is how the kingdom works, then we should plant good seed to get a good harvest. What we plant, both good and bad gets us a harvest of both good and bad. Let us go forth and plant seed of togetherness and oneness so that the unbeliever will see the light of Jesus in us, so that they will know that He has come, and will come again. What the unbeliever sees of us testifies of Jesus and our testimony is our actions many times.

Jn:13:34: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Jn:13:35: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Jesus is coming again for His Bride, The Church. Who is the Church? It makes no difference what you believe the church is, the church is just you and I. No building, No Denomination, No one called by any name other than the name of Jesus. Each one of us is the Church of Christ. Not the denomination but the Bride of Christ. From what I am seeing, Jesus wants a bride that is prepared, and pulling together not apart, and being one with Him and doing the things He said when He returns.

And remember "Jn:8:36: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."

copyright 2000 Rev. Jerry R. Holcomb, Ph.D.
Used by permission