What has arguably destroyed more congregations of the Lord’s church than any other cause? DIVISION, typically caused by an unwillingness to lovingly deal with the inevitable differences in opinions, personalities and preferences in the church. What Jesus said is truer than ever, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation: and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand" (Matt. 12:25).
Few things distress and dismay God more than seeing a local church fracture and split. So how can we prevent such a disaster from occurring? The answers are clearly revealed in the scriptures:
ALWAYS follow Jesus’ guide to conflict resolution - Matt. 18:15-20.
NEVER return evil for evil – 1 Pet. 3:9.
Be PATIENT with each other’s imperfections - Eph. 4:2.
FORGIVE as you’ve been forgiven - Col. 3:13.
RESTORE erring Christians in a spirit of gentleness – Gal. 6:1.
WORK HARD to maintain the unity of the Spirit - Eph. 4:3.
WITHDRAW fellowship from divisive members - Rom. 16:17.
LOVE as brothers, be tenderhearted and courteous - 1 Pet 3:8.
WARN wayward members just as you would anyone heading for danger – 2 Thess. 3:15.
BE WILLING to sacrifice your personal rights for the sake of unity – Rom. 14:21.
TREAT every member as if they are superior to you - Phil. 2:3.
PRAY for each other – Jam. 5:16.
LOVE each other (despite failings & flaws) as God loves us - 1 John 4:11.
Applying a few of these divine directives will increase unity in the church. Applying them all will guarantee it!