Friday, October 14, 2011

Unity in the Bride of Christ

One blessing of the Kingdom of God during the millennium and for eternity that I think we can well appreciate in this time of the scattered condition of much of the Church of God is the unity that will exist in the resurrected Church, the wife of Jesus Christ.

We, the members of the true Church of God, when resurrected will marry Christ. The Church of God is to be the bride of Christ. We, who are many, will collectively be that bride. Yet Christ will have ONE wife, not many wives (Revelation 19:7). How is that possible? We will be so united in purpose and love towards each other and so much of one mind to serve Christ that from God's point of view, we will be one, not many. That will certainly be true to a greater extent than now, but not only that, it will be true to a greater extent than has ever been true in the Church, whether under Mr. Armstrong's leadership or anyone else. That is because, for the first time, we will be perfect, without sin, righteous, not subject to the carnal pulls of the flesh, not subject to Satan's temptations. God cannot be tempted, and as full-born sons of God, we will not be tempted either (James 1:13).

Never again will we be divided. Never again will any of us give in to impulses of selfish ambition or disregard for others. We will love each other as we love ourselves. Never again will any of us sin by disbelieving what God says. There will be no heresy, no disagreements over doctrine, no divisions at all. Everyone will be perfectly fit and able to do the job and fulfill the office assigned to him or her with perfect love, wisdom, and competence. We will all be eager and willing to help any of us with advice, counsel, and cooperation. Those over us in authority will love us and we will love those under our authority. We will not lie to each other. We will be like God and Christ because we will be God's children and Christ's bothers and sisters. We will no longer have human nature, which is Satan's nature.

But we must be learning that way of life and that character now.

Jesus Christ wants one wife, not many wives quarreling with each other. Perhaps that is why He placed so much emphasis on love and unity in the Church now. He commands us to love one another (John 13:34-35, 15:12-17). He prayed for our unity not only with each other but with God (John 17:20-23).

"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all thing" (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace" (James 3:17-18). These are good verses to especially keep in mind in our dealings with each other during the Feast of Tabernacles. This is a good time to practice them, and then remember the lesson during the year that follows.

It is that love and unity and fellowship that will help make our eternal lives joyous (Psalm 133:1-3).

We should strive for that love and unity now. But in the Kingdom of God, we will have that love and unity in its fullness for eternity. That is something we can look forward to.

Here are links to related sections in Preaching the Gospel:

The Feast of Tabernacles - the Millennial Rule of Christ, Chapter 2

The Days of Unleavened Bread - Repentance, Chapter 2

God's Purpose for Mankind, Chapter 2

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