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Wishful Thinking? Part 1

Daniel McGrath Valmy Karemera


As Seventh-Day Adventists, achieving unity with other denominations and religions can only be wishful thinking. But what about within our own church? Discover how to achieve biblical unity in a diverse, wordlwide church. Learn practical principles for engaging in fulfilling Christ's desire for oneness in His remnant people.


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him him him him this message was presented to FG Y Z two thousand and eleven other resources like this is online menu I see where I had a father had a face unless it is estimated that that you are willing and able to give us your Holy Spirit will recognize the slang that it's only by her spirit that the church will be unified and so we pray that right now you'd be in this room do it each person here but help us to hear from you and to be open to meeting and speaking to our hearts got us in our discussion made this meeting glorified and pray in Jesus name heart so yesterday we we had our two hours block of seminars talking about divisions in the church and and I think the very general tone is that there are so many divisions it would be a miracle if both the Lord could unite us I don't think that's the case I think I think the Lord can unite his people I think you will and and because there are differences there'll always be people who will be fighting against women and no battling for the Lord and that's important so I hope you didn't leisure yesterday thinking that we should just ignore the differences theological differences and just put them on the back burner and hope that they go away but some were saying bio about what you got out of it was that differences don't have to divide the church and a few came away with not understanding that even though two people might disagree they can still be denied because that's what we saw in the early church yesterday so you have your Bibles were looking at unity in the church going back to acts chapter one the Bible outlines several ways that the church was united acceptor one and we looked at and probably every session verse fourteen and this is the famous famous passage for unity in the church verse fourteen accept one says these all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication with the women Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brothers so here we have the Bible the first thing the Bible says about this group of people was that they were continually what continually before prayer and supplication they were continually what in one accord Greg is in the Bible and tax verse fourteen and they all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication so in prayer and supplication they were both unified in unity together the Bible presents over and over in the book of acts this phrase one accord where is talking about they are unified as a church in acts chapter two verse one says they were all with one accord in one place of announces unified prayer there are unified in purpose for the Holy Spirit we saw through your yesterday you saw that nudity was a condition for receiving the Holy Spirit and that he would accept it to verse forty six so continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house they ate food with gladness and simplicity of heart so if one accord not just in prayer but also in what I was not just praying together every day there were visiting house to house ministry to each other 's needs in one accord in unity that he has a chapter four verse twenty four the Bible says so when they heard that they raise their voice of God with one accord and said Lord you are God made heaven and earth the sea and all that is in them and begins to pray this prayer and to quote Scripture when you get down to thirty one and when they had prayed the place where they were assembled together was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the word of God with boldness you have unity and mission they are able to pray and they pray for for boldness when the Holy Spirit came on and the they began to preach and proclaim the message and thousands of houses multitudes were added to the church so that is unified in prayer that not just unified in purpose or in fellowship but also unified in mission this is the early church this is what drove the message the Avent was a pianist message because it's the same message but the message of Christ's gospel forward with the unity of the church and chapter five verse twelve and through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people and they were all with one accord in Solomon 's porch my billboard difficult to see that they were all with one accord in Solomon 's porch in general they're here they're preaching their laying bare their people you know the story that are lying about how much money they said they would give a die right here can come than all the church and through the hands the apostles many signs and wonders are done and and all with one accord in the every one of them together in one accord with his brother and chapter eight verse six find one accord again the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip hearing and seeing the miracles which he did Philip is his preaching Christ becomes down to the city preaches Christ and of them and they heeded his word his doctrine the Bible says the things that he spoke to them about Christ and they were in one accord so even here in the doctors that they presented there was unity and agreement fellowship prayer mission doctrine together chapter fifteen verse twenty five is the last person on the one accordance exit relook at there is there's some problems in the early church that they're facing with Jews and Gentiles and so they have this council in Jerusalem in verse twenty five they said it seemed good to us being assembled and what your guest one accord being assembled with one accord to send chosen man to you with our beloved Barnabas and Saul as so they're saying that in this council they decided to take action and they were all in agreement the administration of the church was all in agreement as far as the mission of the church and what they should do the solution and so they set with one accord with one heart with one purpose they sent Paul and Barnabas as so in prayer and fellowship in supplication and intercession in mission in being in Doctor any minute administration the church was unified as a whole Novak accepted for we need to define what unity is accepted for the Bible says that in light of Pentecost the multitudes being joined to the church chapter four verse thirty two miles says that now the multitudes of those who believed were of one heart and one soul neither did anyone see that it that any of them of the things he possessed was his own but they had all things in common and with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and great grace was upon them nor was there anyone among them who lack for all who were possessors of lands and houses sold them and brought the proceeds of all the things that were sold on the Internet the apostles feet and they distributed to each one as he had need right here the Bible gives us just a little definition of what disunity looked like it wasn't a synthetic unity that they were putting aside their differences are there disagreements on doctrine they were together the Bible says in verse thirty two of one heart and one soul energy Gloria Ephesians chapter four verse thirteen you'll notice that Paul writing to this church in Ephesus he says that the unity consists of our faith and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ it's not a direct quotes you have to looking up to make sure that I'm accurate so we all come into the unity of faith and the knowledge of the son of God the gift of the Spirit of apostles and teachers all the things before our for the unification of the church why is Christian unity so important have you ever thought about unity of why unity is important I think if you asked me to her three years of don't I wouldn't say anything probably isn't the most important thing I'm sure that there are other things that we can classify as more important community but for the early church this was our reality and a condition for receiving the Holy Spirit we look at yesterday that this unity that continuing fellowship that they had in unity may the devil scared at a few if unity is a condition of receiving the Holy Spirit if you can create a false unity or if you can create division you can stop the Holy Spirit import out and that's exactly what the devil is trying to do Jesus in John chapter seventeen go there in your Bibles prayed for unity for the church and there are several reasons why think this is important because of what they tell us about God was jeopardizing John seventeen are you paying attention John chapter seventeen eight are not subpoena second John Chapter seventeen verse will start in verse eleven the Bible says now I am no longer in the world but these are in the world and I come to you holy father she threw your name those whom you have given me that they may be what one as we are so Jesus before he is crucified in the closing scenes of his history he is praying for his disciples any praise of God not that that you know they'll be vegetarians although a elegance at springboard not these other things he prays for building one Jesus could operate any right because of parade for whatever he wanted but Jesus knows what's important for the church three José to his knees unto the father he says father I pray that this church that you given me may be one as we are this is not the kind of unity that exists between husband or wife but oneness between God the son and God the father is perfect perfectly complete and I think will spend eternity in heaven learning about what that looks like how two different distinct individuals can be one of three separate distinct beings can be one one heart one purpose violence as I pray that they may be one in verse twenty one the Bible continues in Jesus prayer continues Sony verse twenty I do not pray for these alone but also for those who will believe in me through their word that they all may be one as you father are in me and I you that they also may be one in us that the world may believe that you sent me to principles that we learn from these two verses in verse eleven we learn that it is God only who can unify his church God is the one who keeps his followers unified in verse twenty one we read this and the name eighty one that they may be one in us that this is the reason why that the world may believe that you sent me so unity between Christ's followers between the church of Jesus Tweet Adventist today was just ran down to application testifies that God sent Jesus into the world to save sinners unity is a powerful argument that Jesus is real we review this statement review and Herald November six ninety six have designed by the unity of his people to impress upon a sinful world as well and also to reveal the heavenly intelligence the fact that Jesus Christ has not died in vain leasing unity testifies that Jesus death was not in vain Christ came to this world and died to save people and the unity that we have together testifies that it was real that it was vibrant and that you and I can have life in Jesus perhaps the most powerful argument that Jesus did not die in vain were twenty one says that they may believe that you sent me somehow and someway the unity that the church can have lets the world know that God is real we like the quote be atheists of our time that secular risks of our time and say no these are the reasons why Gardner exists and we we quote all kinds of things from science we offer classes in our seminaries about issues and origins and how creation makes sense and I believe those are important because creation does make sense but somehow even beyond all of that in the church was unified the question of is God real wouldn't even be addressed it wouldn't need to be addressed in the Christian church because we know that although the science is great and I believe creation testifies that God made the world and that Jesus came to this world to die for us unity also testifies to the same man Jesus prayer doesn't stop these verses he goes on verse twenty two and the glory which you have which you gave me I have given them that they may be one just as we are want the glory of God brings unity now he this idea how the glory of God equals character but last night if you read the message you know that are ready okay and you probably got it sealed and cemented in your mind that God 's glory is his character but notice what it says and the glory or the character that you have given me I have given to them guys placing his character and his people in his church and the disciples throughout all generations that they may be one just as we are one God 's glory God 's character brings unity to the church it is his righteous character that constitutes the glory of God and it is the same glory that Christ prays may be given to his followers upon your Jesus is praying that his character would be in his disciples that the same character of God will be impressed upon their hearts and this character of Jesus brings unity we looked at our first module doesn't matter where you went you understood what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit means to have the presence of Jesus the power of Jesus but also the very likeness of Jesus and this likeness of Jesus brings unity Bible doesn't stop here are still in John chapter seventeen looking at verse twenty three I in them and you in me that they may be made perfect in one and that the world may know that you have sent me and I have love them as you have loved me unity testifies to the world of God 's love and it doesn't just testify to the reality of God the unity Richard testifies to the love of God I am down healing me that they may be made perfect in one that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them as you love me unity testifies to the love of God this again this request of Christ has no limit to its fullness many of John seventeen the prophet is writing the request of Christ has no limit to its form the unity that we can experience between believers has no limit is an amazing promise it has no limit to its fullest he desires that his follower so revealed to the world his spirit of unity and love but before this unity can exist among them there must be a genuine renovation of every part there must be a vital connection with God the character must be formed after the divine similar to the request has no limit to its fullest but it is not a request it's not a prayer that's just to be answered because Jesus prayed we can choose to experience this oneness this unity if we do this genuine renovation of our hearts if we choose to be connected with Christ the character must be formed after the device in which it don't we want this unity as a church we have to thought in our hearts and our lives after the divine character issue that we can't does have unity be unified or experience oneness by doing nothing by ignoring issues we need the character of Jesus and only as we get his character will he ever be unified we have theological argument they are not and they will continue till the end of time believe me they will but the only way to be unified as microspheres the only way we said yesterday and we only looked at one and say were looking on the second stop create divisions the Holy Spirit we stopped create synthetic fake unity and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will be stopped this unity of faith in the son of God that the apostles enjoyed and shared together this was the very definition of unity in their experience of a quickly the devil realized that he had to change the definition division started springing up in so the very different different people would try to solve the problems and and if I can just take you for a moment on a brief history this is a summary version of history is by no means complete you have to do some research by yourself but when you get about eighty ninety five the churches in current Corinth is experiencing some more problems printing becomes messy of Corinth was already in trouble placement Paul is writing but they were expressing more discord when Clement of Rome wrote to them that he defines unity in three weights he says that you did see the waiting unity of my following three things the guidelines of Scripture the life and teachings of Jesus so far so good right the example of the apostles Peter and Paul any things that unity is not the Pentagon obedience or unity is not seen as Mike is not saying you need to follow Peter and Paul because they are the Viacom know the Bishop or the first the first pope saying unity is from the Scriptures from Latin teacher Jesus from the example of the apostles Peter but when he writes to the Roman church he leaves part of that out and so even in eighty ninety five the concept of unity of faith is still there you can still see it then finally you get through a tenacious of Antioch in one hundred fifteen A.D. he wrote letters dealing with schisms in the church I said that the way to solve is a submission to the authority of the bishop brings protection against the sinister reviews the vision the bishop as we would view the pastor soon as local congregation are experiencing this unity and he says if you just listen your pastor who beautify a pragmatic approach to unity if one person is telling you what makes the church unified and you do that you know your thoughts that a radius of lines and one thirty to two hundred eight said unity is preserved by adhering to three things the Scriptures both the old and New Testament apostolic tradition the historic Fisk historic episcopate Tuesday and aim he says that the correct interpretation of Scripture is in the tradition of the apostles you see the shift authority taking place from unity of faith and the knowledge of the son of God to listening to the tradition of the apostles and then he said that unity takes the suffer you into by following the unbroken apostolic succession so Peter and Paul than thirty apostles down the line this is how you preserve unity through the Scriptures and through apostolic tradition is a hard preserve unity now it's only a slight shift at this point but it's the beginning of a major difference unity by following the unbroken apostolic tradition and site grading and two hundred and fifty eight was when he got you is famous for histories on the unity of the church dealing with an African backbenchers who were sacrificing to other gods this is what he is writing to the Christian believers who have been compromising and he taught that the cornerstone the cornerstone of unity was found in Peter to the apostles he carried the unity views of Ignatius still further away from unity of faith worship and in a spirit in the direction of unity of organization pay attention to unity of organization without lights centering on the office of the Bishop art so what is unity gone from unity of what they needed in the knowledge of the son of God unity of worship faith in the inner spirit to the direction of unity and organization unity centers on the bench up now and the sacraments where the bishop is he says where there is the Bishop there is the church and then he reversed what Churchillian statement of where the Holy Spirit is there is the church to where the church is there is the Holy Spirit the suit is doing same with virtually instead where the Holy Spirit is their charges when I need to get around and said where the church is there the Holy Spirit and then he took a step further and setting where the bishop is there is the church so we sent during the unity of the church around the bishop then Basil the great in three hundred live three hundred twenty nine three seventy nine said unit seeing is a spiritual friendship nourished by humility it's realized the communion of the bishop in love which is the guarantee of the presence of the church we review this one statement from the book boon or bane acumen is a boon or bane unity based on the appalling global conception of the new humanity linked together by faith in and knowledge of the second Adam Lord Jesus Christ consequently receives in favor of a horizontal Episcopal solidarity you should stop in and over the centuries the church right it went from the apostles continuing in faith and knowledge of the son of God in one accord together to a synthetic unity that exists around an office of an individual and the individual tells you what unity is what unity looks like this is the history of how the devil has saved true Christian unity one of the prerequisites for the Holy Spirit conditions for the Holy Spirit to making it impossible for the Holy Spirit to five because now today the rest of the Christian world centers unity on an organization not on faith the organization is the unity universal unity of organization instead of universal faith in Jesus Christ that brings you to pave the way for the pure metal papal concept of unity which would dominate Christianity for well over a thousand years and when that unity disintegrated the same structure emerged with the ecumenical movement that we have to and the world is compromising their doctor when I say the world ending the world of Christianity outside Adventism giving up what they have what what they've held to since the Reformation and going back to Rome we talked about that yesterday unity of organization has emerged to be the genuine unity while the real unity of faith has all been done away with today Accu metazoan is leading then to forsake ideological intransigence in the nineties it means that that religions with how the doctrine of the foundation of their beliefs have given them up things that are unmovable and nonnegotiable have been given up for the sake of unity only ask you if what you're giving up his nonnegotiable just for the sake of unity view get real unity no so they're giving up nonnegotiable 's for what for nothing that's why Adventists linking with other denominations is just wishful thinking it can never happen because we cannot forsake our unique Adventist message just for the sake of a synthetic unity that you follow the biblical definition document is an exalted unity but tends to play down holiness God provides us through the generalized mission so that the evangelistic dimension begins to shrink this is what people are giving up their doctrines for something that's never going to last I think our White House something remarkable to say about unity in the church and unity and the speaking specifically about ecumenism there's this one statement from the great controversy if unity can be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness then let there be difference and even more that's a strong statement right let there be different and even what we can go to war over our differences if it meant compromising our position adventurism has the most unique message in the world we are the absurd if you don't believe as we are the answer to every problem that the world faces wondering what problems the protests looking out and visit is the solution to the world to the problems of differences that the rest of the world is experiencing is because they've given up their doctor and dentist in averages because we will not compromise our doctrines are nonnegotiable for synthetic unity we have something even better than than something synthetics and being man-made we have faith in Jesus Christ and he is the one that unites us a man why would we give that up to join an organization why are we giving it up to join organization doesn't make any sense let there be a difference and even more today I haven't visited his unified in organization we have an organizational structure of the church that is unified of the guy gave us the structure God gave us the organization but were not unified in thought there are differences in Adventist thinking that keep us separate and we use these these differences to keep us divided we have yet to experience the unity of faith in the Adventist church that brought about Pentecost I believe it can happen I believe that God can unify us despite our cultural differences despite whatever differences there might be he can unify us because we have a unique understanding of Jesus Christ 's last times we have a message that the world needs and because Jesus himself created for us to have this unity if nothing else Jesus as prayed for you and for me in this room today to experience the unity and if I can pray that my prayers answered you can pray get yours prayers answered can Jesus pray and get his prayers answered a man you a is something that we can experience not at the expense of giving up our doctor unity is something that we can experience because in our knowledge of Jesus Christ on a review this something that LOI says about unity so this thousands who now reject the message of salvation would accept Christ if they could see the beauty of his character reflected in his followers and if we could see the beauty of Christ reflected in us millions of people thousands of people excuse me would accept Christ just by seeing the unity that we thought people preaching about to say which is important in Iraq what if people could see the beauty of the character reflected in his followers she says thousands who have rejected the message of salvation would accept Christ they just see that unity they would accept Christ he goes on to say that then can we be surprised that the enemy the devil should put forth every effort in his power to create dissension alienation and strife in the Church of God that they may not reveal to the world the glory of the character of Christ the devil knows this and so is putting forth every effort to divide the church would you create a false unity so that people think are unified think the Holy Spirit is poured out but in reality its faith in the Holy Spirit can't report out the devil is doing everything he can and then she goes on it is time that the people of God brought fervent love for one another into their daily experience and when the love of Jesus is abiding in the heart it will be revealed in every action differences of opinion will disappear there are differences of opinion in the Adventist church there were differences of opinion in the early church but it didn't prevent them from experiencing unity differences of opinion with the here for South will no longer seek the supremacy that the church may become a right and shining light and have been looking on they see that there is a body with one spirit one hope joined together one great center Christ and unity is something that we can experience of the church today you know how it doesn't happen does happen by giving up we believe we might have differences of opinion within the minister on certain things but those things do not present the Holy Spirit from import I'm thankful to the Lord for that because if we had to wait until everybody was on the same page we would never get but when the Holy Spirit is poured out he takes care of the differences I don't know how he does what he does with heaven looking on they may see that there is a body with one spirit one hope John together want to one rate such scraps this is the unity that we pray for this is the unity that we hope to experience at UIC this is the unity that we want to see in our church our church that has been divided over so many things we want to see unity happen again it has not happened since Pentecost and if it has happened it's been very localized serving great Reformation throughout history where the message is gone with great power but we've yet to see the unity that comes from Pentecost and that will come in the lottery and just maybe God has brought you here because he wants to unify the church and you're sitting here listening to the seminar and sing with all of the divisions that we saw yesterday both outside of Adventism inside Adventism how can we ever be unified will this is the answer were unified I buy our faith in our knowledge of Jesus Christ that's the only way and that's all there needs to be because Jesus is the center and needs to remain the center I want to split up into two groups of twos or threes right now and we want to pray that the Lord would unify his church you know what the issues are you know what divides our churches but somehow I believe that the Lord will use us to bring unity because we want the character of Jesus when he gives us that character unity comes so pray today for unity pray that the Lord will pour out his Spirit on osseous church so that we can experience the unity of faith unity that comes from Jesus that you desire you want that unity want to see that unity in our church to spread of immigrants into the phrase really think about fifteen minutes on those this prayer and then not we'll take a break and bring a non- dismisses him seamlessly CYC supporting ministry on the same thing as she seeks to inspire young people I Bible makes price-sensitive Christians the downloadable other resources visit us online and see what I see when the lodging


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