If you keep up with news reports in the world of politics today, you’re likely aware that news reporters in this particular arena are generally quite biased, going out of their way to try to make certain people look bad. Sometimes, they’re so anxious to ridicule a targeted politician that they make wild statements that are embarrassingly off base, making themselves look bad instead.
An incident such as this occurs after Jesus casts out a devil from a possessed man (see Luke 11:14). Scribes (reporters) come from Jerusalem to report on the event and, in their zeal to discredit Jesus in some way, they make the statement, “He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils” (Mark 3:22). It’s easy to picture Jesus shaking His head in disbelief when He hears this. What are you talking about? “How can Satan cast out Satan?” (Mark 3:23).
Reflecting on the ridiculousness of the devil casting out devils, thereby working against himself, Jesus makes the general observation:
“If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” (Mark 3:24-25)
Where there is division, people who are supposed to be on the same side are working against each other, greatly hindering their effectiveness. When the people are united, all of their energy is focused in the same direction, greatly enhancing their effectiveness.
An example of this concept was used in the classic novel, “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas. When going into battle, the Musketeers would shout:
“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall!”
It’s easy to see why this was a winning approach.
The Musketeers had their greatest chance of success when:
- They cared about each other enough that each was willing to die for the others
- They each believed in their cause enough such that each put all of his efforts into making that cause a success
- They knew who the enemy was and would fight against that enemy with all their might, never doing anything to help the enemy in any way
Things would have gone quite differently if any of the Musketeers was:
- Primarily concerned with keeping himself safe, not caring what happened to the others
- Not convinced that their cause was valid or in his own best interests
- More concerned with being recognized or being in charge than whether the battle was won
- Willing to make deals with the enemy to benefit himself
Do we have an “all for one, one for all” mindset in the Church today? Or is it more like “some for all, some for this, some for that, and me for myself”? How would each of us answer these questions?
- Do I love my brothers and sisters (and mankind) enough to go out of my way to be a blessing to them? Or am I mainly concerned with receiving blessings for myself?
- Do I fully believe in what the Word of God teaches and base my life decisions on the Word? Or do I minimize or eliminate the parts that don’t align with contemporary schools of thought and/or my own preferences?
- Do I fully support the mission of the Church (to grow the kingdom locally and throughout the world and to bring the message to the Seed of Joseph)? Do I support these with my labors, prayers, and finances? Or am I just interested in the parts of the Church that affect me?
- Do I do my best to live righteously every day? Or is it OK to be a little bad every now and then?
- Who is my enemy in the Church? Is it the brother or sister who was mean to me? The minister who’s always telling me what to do? Maybe even the Apostles who I don’t agree with? Or is there a common enemy for all of us? (Hint: It’s the one who Jesus said won’t cast himself out of people who he has possessed).
If every member of the Church could answer the above questions in the same way (and live their lives accordingly), we would have a powerful, united Church that could move the arm of God, and we would be ready for the fulfillment of the prophecies we look forward to.
We need to understand that for each of us who is a member of the Church, our individual beliefs and choices in life matter. They can help the Church be more united or else they can create cracks in the foundation that will lead to division. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
Let’s ALL do our best to make ONE strong, united Church. We already know that our ONE Lord is standing up for ALL of us. Let’s all stand united for Him!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.