Hackers breaking into international banks, terrorists taking over cities, abnormal weather patterns . . . a quick glance at our world brings a universal conclusion: it’s in a state of upheaval. And it isn’t just the earth that is in chaos; the heavens are manifesting strange occurrences, too.
The prophet Haggai foretold of a shaking of the heavens and the earth leading up to the Day of the Lord. “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land.‘” (Haggai 2:6, NASB).
Along with this shaking of the natural world, the church is being shaken as well. “Judgment begins with the house of God.” (1 Peter 4:17). Storms are coming and everything not build on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ is going to crumble, leaving a purified remnant of overcomers, ready for the reign of Christ (Eph. 5:27, Rev. 19:8).
One aspect of this shaking is the imminent end of church denominations. Paul said, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed . . . that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor. 1:10-13 – NASB).
The Corinthian church was divided by their affiliations and preferences for different apostles. Paul underscored that these divisions in the Body of Christ should not exist. Paul might say today, “Martin Luther wasn’t crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized into the name of John Wesley?” (I spent most of my church-going years in a denominational church and am by no means criticizing those who attend one, nor any specific denomination – just that the denominations themselves were never meant to be).
Cultural issues are already forcing denominations to splinter. Persecution will winnow the wheat from the chaff (Matt. 3:12). Things will heat up so much that Christians will have to band together, and as it becomes increasingly unpopular and even dangerous to bear the name of Christ, denominational and doctrinal differences will become secondary, until only the name of Christ defines us.
Jesus prayed for unity of the church in His high priestly prayer (John 17). In the same verse in which He asks for unity, He speaks of the coming glory of God (v. 22). Likewise, Haggai talks of the glory of the Lord returning immediately following all things being shaken (Haggai 2:7). It’s exciting to realize that the shaking we’re seeing is leading up to God’s glory returning to His church!
Cool perspective…I liked it.
Thanks, Billie Jo!
This is exactly what’s happening. One’s belief about Jesus will be the dividing line.
Amen. And with Jesus glorified, there will be more of the Holy Spirit’s presence, and thereby more love.