There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
There are so many different Christian denominations. Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Non-Denominational, and the list goes on and on. I myself am Catholic and believe very strongly in my Catholic faith. But I think that all too often, we as Christians tend to place more emphasis on the differences between us than on the truth that connects us. We are all Christians. We all worship the same Lord. We all hold the same belief that God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. We all believe He was born of Mary, that He taught and performed many miracles, and that He died on the cross for our sins. We share in the belief that only through the saving grace of Jesus Christ can we be with Him in heaven.
Sure we have differences in our styles of worship, in our traditions, and in some of our beliefs. But I do not think any of us can say that only those practicing our religion will be in heaven! Certainly I do not expect that only Catholics will be in heaven. Only God knows what is in our hearts and only He knows who will be saved. Even those we might least expect can be saved through God’s grace. Who are we to speculate on the souls of others? While we may hold many differences, we need to look for our similarities…we are all one in the Lord!
For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. (Romans 12:4-5)
I am not suggesting that we all abandon our belief systems. I hold tight to my Catholic beliefs and love the Catholic Church. But I also recognize that be being exclusively Catholic, or Baptist, or Lutheran, or any other denomination, we are separating ourselves and becoming divided rather than united in Christ. Wouldn’t we do more good for the Lord if we joined together as Christians to share God’s love and shine the light of the Lord for everyone? We are called as Christians to show love to one another. If we cannot even do that amongst our own faiths, how do we expect to reach those who do not believe?
The devil loves for us to be divided. He would love for us to hate each other, to refuse to associate with each other, to stubbornly insist on our views and let that interfere with spreading the word of God. Instead of building up walls between us, let us learn to embrace each other for what we have in common. We are all God’s children. Through the Holy Spirit we are one in the Lord, despite our differences. We are all called to be more accepting, more loving, and to join together in Christ so that the world might see the light of the Lord shining through us.
For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13)