The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given one Spirit to drink. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13 NIV)
Near the end of a recent conversation, my brother in Christ offhandedly commented, “You know, if people heard us talking this way, they’d think we were crazy.”
Our discussion had focused on what God wants his people to do while the world is descending into the abyss. At the end of our meeting, I was rewarded with this potential leader’s question, “What do you need me to do?”
I gathered my thoughts while taking in the import and sincerity of what he was asking. “Keep on doing what you’re doing,” I said. The Lord had created in him a momentum in Biblical insight, wisdom and right actions that was unmistakeably geared to the end times.
How do I know we are close to the imminent day of disaster? The news media gives plenty of reasons, yet the biggest I see has nothing to do with the secular world. I believe the end of the West as we have known it is near because the body is coming together. In the past months, I have seen several committed believers seeking a place of service during the time of the end. Hearts are being stirred to join others in the Kingdom and to take part in something big.
Two issues need to be uppermost in the mind of modern saints: First, we must cultivate corporate thinking. Our minds must be renewed to think as a body, for that is how God created us. No one should think more highly of themselves than they ought (Romans 12:3). Instead, think network. Be eager to associate with those of low position, for we are all the body.
…so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. (Romans 12:5-6 NIV)
Having the mind to gather others into small communities for teaching, preparation for persecution and service, runs contrary to the prominent message of Christian individualism (“What can God do for me?”). My counsel to believers is to begin immediately to form natural fellowships for Scripture study. Also, use them for creating bonds of love and loyalty to Christ and each other.
This leads to the second matter, similar to the first: Uppermost in our mind, we must grow in love so we excel at it. Love nurtures a servant’s attitude and heart. Love will conquer and love will endure (1 Corinthians 13).
Put away all malice and prejudice, or else risk being removed for the sake of the body’s health. God’s people will not show favoritism. Love unites Jew and Gentile, slave and free, etc. This is more than unity within our churches. It should not be a surprise, but God’s plan is to reunite Israel, that certainly includes our Jewish brethren (Acts 1:6).
If we are the body, we will manifest many gifts while maintaining “oneness”. There is no doubt we will be part of a unified body of Christ at the end, or we will not be at all!
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants,… (Ephesians 4:11-14a NIV)