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 in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 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 have loved them as You have loved Me. (John 17:20-23)
The Churches Of Men Have Failed Jesus
When Martin Luther nailed his statements of denial on the church door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany, a great period of reform began that set in place generations of spiritual failures. The work of Luther began a process of fighting against the oppressive dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church and served well the legacy of church history. However, what began as a movement of reform also created the bastion of religious error that is prevalent today as the Protestant movement. In the past five hundred years, new churches have sprung up from reformers seeking to carve a new path of religion for man. Today, there are myriads of churches with different names, practices, creeds, patterns and beliefs that decry the prayer of Jesus to His Father. All believe to be part of a greater picture of unity with the appeal of Jesus Christ and the Bible as their guide. Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodist and a host of others owe their beginnings to a legacy of five centuries of existence. Before Jesus went to the cross, He spent time in prayer pleading with His Father that His followers be one and especially mentioned those who would live generations after His death. Looking at the religious world today, men are denying that prayer.
Jesus prayed for the eleven that gathered around Him but He also prayed for those who would believe on their words. As the church grew, disciples would come to know the power of the gospel message spread through the world by the apostles and teachers of the First Century. For two thousand years the church of the Lord has remained in place with humble disciples worshiping in the pattern of truth laid down by the Holy Spirit. Jesus prayed for all these followers to be united as one under the single banner of one truth. The Lord’s desire for every Christian was to be one as He and the Father were one. Everything Jesus did in His life was in harmony with His Father. They spoke the same thing because they had the same purpose. Is it possible to look at the religious diversity today and suggest there is unity of speech and purpose? Religious leaders have fooled people into believing that while they all carry different names, beliefs and practice that harmony exist. This is a lie. A Baptist is a Baptist because they believe the Baptist doctrine. Lutherans are not Baptists because they follow a different creed. Becoming a Methodist requires following the Methodist faith, not the Presbyterian dogmas or teachings or the Episcopalian doctrines. And yet religious leaders want us to believe the religious world is one?
Religious diversity denies the prayer of Jesus. The Son of God prayed that His followers be one so the world can see the glory of the Father. Driving down the street seeing fifty different churches all claiming to be the church of the Lord does not show the glory of God but the foolishness of man. The world does not believe in Jesus because those who are so-called followers of Jesus Christ cannot find themselves on the right page of anything. Five hundred years have passed and man is more divided than ever before. Everyone seems to want to get their niche in the scheme of religious diversity with so many different kinds of churches appearing in communities across the land. When a man wants to be a follower of Jesus Christ, unity must prevail. There is one pattern for one church given by one Lord from one Father. That pattern is found in the only book that will show a man truth: the Bible. The Roman Catholic Church epitomizes the apostasy foretold by the Holy Spirit and has spawned the illegitimate children of error dividing the religious world into fragments of self-made, self-serving churches who deny the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus prayed that His followers be one. If all the believers in the Son of God would go back to the Bible for absolute authority, the churches of men would crumble under the weight of truth. Authority is established by the word of God. His pattern is the only pattern for worship, faith, doctrine and what man must do to be saved. The church of Jesus Christ is a body of believers who are united in what they say, how they worship and what they believe. Speaking the oracles of God is speaking words that come from the pages of God’s word. If it does not come from the Bible, it is a lie. When you examine the churches of men and do not find what they teach and practice in the Bible, they are a lie. If the name of your church is not in the word of God, it is a lie. Jesus did not die so that men could choose the church of their choice and worship as they saw fit. He died for all men to be one thing: ONE. He prayed for unity. Let us all seek that unity in the word of God and the word of God alone.