Evangelism is the central task of the Christian church. God’s
heartbeat has always been his unconditional love for souls—to
the extent that he sent Jesus to die for all humanity (John 3:15,17).
Peter states it clearly by proclaiming that the Lord is “not
willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2
intentionally sent his Son into the world to establish his church
as the catalyst for reconciling lost, perishing souls to himself.
For the church to become what God intended, we must follow his
instructions. That is, the church must be intentional about demonstrating
whar God says it is—his
body of ONE, bound together by love.
Through a harmonious and
unified body, the world will know God sent Jesus. The Scriptures
are clear that the born-again believer is a new creation. This
new creation is one with God the Father and the Son, the Lord
Jesus, having been reconciled to God as a new person. The nature
of the believer is divine, the character of the believer is
true righteousness and holiness, and the purpose of the believer
is to be a dwelling place of God through the Spirit. Here there
is “neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision
nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free”—because
we are all one in Jesus Christ (Col. 3:11, KJV).
the reality of the living Word of God, the church is made
up of believers who are one in nature, character and purpose.
Therefore, they are whole and have all things in common,
regardless of their natural diversities.
In John 17:21-26,
the theme of Jesus’ prayer for the church
is that his body of believers would be one even as he and
the Father are one. This is the only prayer of Jesus that
has not been fulfilled. Satan and his cohorts, as well
as the selfishness of man, are fighting to prevent this
from happening. When this prayer comes into fruition, there
will be a revival in America like none before.
Why? As the world
witnesses diverse people groups loving and caring for one
another, hurting hearts and souls will gravitate to the body
of Christ where they too will become new creatures in Jesus.
This bond of love will be the perfect standard of unity in
the body of Christ. The fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer
of “oneness” for his church will be a demonstrative
witness—causing the world to believe that God sent
Jesus to redeem it.
Thus, achieving oneness in the church
must be the intentional pursuit of every believer. What we
possess differently does not make us unique. What we have
in common, the indwelling Holy Spirit, makes us uniquely
one. Our diversities exist only in our giftedness and administration
of those gifts. We are one in our new nature, new character
and new purpose. Where there is genuine oneness, there will
be no prejudices of separation, jealousy, envy, pride or
schisms in the body, regardless of the skin pigmentation,
language, nationality or gender. The church of the Lord Jesus
Christ is a new race and should not be influenced by the
social ills of a perverted world. The church is called to
lead the world in this change.
is my prayer that God will answer Jesus’ prayer
so the greatest weapon
of evangelism—the oneness
of the believers—will
be unleashed and that the world will know God sent
Jesus to save every person.
Zollie Smith is a member
of the AGTS Board
Directors, president of the
AG Black Fellowship and
of the AG.