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Shouldn't some strife and division be expected this side of heaven?

Quick Answer

Apparently not. The Bible calls for unity and inspired counsel calls for strife and division-free unity.

Bible Answer

John 17:21 "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."

Acts 2:1 "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting."

1 Corinthians 1:10 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."

Ephesians 4:1 "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

Inspired Answer

There is no more reason for strife among the people of God as to who shall be greatest than there is reason for strife among the members of the body as to which shall be greatest. Christians are members of Christ’s body, and there is to be between them no division or contention. All are to have one common interest. All are to co-operate with Christ in the great, grand work of restoring in man the moral image of God. Every Christian will strive to work out his own salvation, the salvation of his family, and the salvation of those with whom he is associated. This is the work devolving upon all. Those who are regardless of their God-given responsibility in this life will find no place in the redeemed family in the kingdom of God. {Lt57-1902.7}

Further Thoughts

Christ wants His true body of believers to be free of strife and division. This would obviously seem impossible from a human perspective, but what is impossible for you and I—genuine unity between individual believers—is totally possible with God, and is the reason that such unity is the greatest proof that Jesus came to earth from heaven. We see an example of that unity in the early church following the day of Pentecost. It goes without saying that such unity is only possible when believers are thoroughly dead to self and living for the glory of God.—Dan