Unity. It's an issue the Lord has put heavy on my heart—because it's heavy on His heart. Last week I suggested that the real reason we don't see revival is not because we haven't petitioned heaven enough and not because God doesn't want to send revival.
As I said last week, I believe one of the reasons we don't see revival in America is because the discord, disharmony and strife—the lack of unity—is hindering a move of God. I see so many trying to build their own kingdoms instead of working to build the kingdom of God. I see so many trying to attract people to their church instead of trying to attract people to Jesus. My brethren, this ought not be so.
That said, unity doesn't mean we compromise with sin in the church to avoid stirring the waters. Unity doesn't mean we ignore deeper issues that will ultimately bring destruction to the people's lives. Unity doesn't mean preaching a gospel of inclusion. Unity is not letting preachers from faiths that are out of line with the gospel of salvation in your pulpit to share a message. We cannot compromise the gospel at any cost.
Paul Confronts Peter's Hypocrisy
We find a good example with Peter and Paul in Galatians 2. Peter came back to Jerusalem from Antioch, Paul “withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed” (Gal. 2:11). What did Peter do that deserved such a public confrontation? His actions were betraying the gospel in which he claimed to believe.
Peter was breaking bread with Gentile believers until the Jews showed up—then he separated himself from them out of fear. Following Peter's example, the rest of the Jews also shied away from their newfound brethren. Paul says even Barnabas, his running mate, was carried away with the hypocrisy. Because they were not “straightforward about the truth,” Paul called Peter out.
“If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” (Gal. 2:14-16).
Confronting Sin in the Church
Paul continued on from there, reminding Peter that Christ died for the Gentiles just as He did the Jews. Did Paul break unity with Peter by doing this? No, in fact, he guided Peter back into unity with Christ. The Bible does not record Peter's reaction but I am quite sure he and all the other offenders heard the Holy Ghost in Paul's exhortation and repented.
Some will argue that by calling out sin we are breeding strife and disunity, but the exact opposite is actually happening. When we call out the immorality in the church; when we call out the compromise with antichrist agendas in the church; when the Holy Spirit leads us to call out any type of sin in the church we aren't breeding disunity but opening the door to reunify the church with Christ's truth.
Indeed, it is those who are embracing immorality, compromise and various other sins that are causing a rift in the body of Christ. That said, we need to confront these issues with a spirit of humility—not superiority and arrogance. We need to be motivated by love when we call out sinful behaviors in hopes that we will be heard and that hearts will turn back to the unadulterated truth.
Love doesn't always sound like your mommy's voice tucking you into bed at night. Sometimes loves sounds like a blasting alarm that you dread hearing when you wake up in the morning. But it's for your own good. The point is this: We can't unify with churches and believers who aren't unified with Christ. Where compromise exists, there is no true unity. But our aim should always be to reconcile all things to Christ for the sake of true unity that will bring the revival we've been praying for. Amen.