In his letter to the church at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul talks about the division between Jews and Gentiles. He then goes on to say that Jesus, through His atoning sacrifice, “has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14). Jesus’ death and resurrection indeed reconcile us to God, but those things also reconcile us to one another. If we wholeheartedly embrace the vertical reconciliation while ignoring the horizontal reconciliation, we’ve missed a big part of the gospel message.
The Bible declares that Jesus died “to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad” (John 11:52, my emphasis). 1 Corinthians 12 tells us that we are, collectively, the Body of Christ—the expression of Him and His nature—here on earth. How can we truly be that Body if we’re fractured into thousands of different pieces—denominations, etc.—that refuse to acknowledge one another?
I long for the day when we will all truly be one in heaven. At the same time, though, I believe that we should be experiencing at least a dimension of that here and now—certainly a greater dimension than we’ve seen heretofore.
What do you think?