Local Christian News
News Release: March 9, 2020
Can Christians Unite? A Story of FOCUS
Unity among Christians is our witness to the world. This has become the motto of the non-profit organization, FOCUS - Fellowship of Christians United to Serve. The scriptural basis of FOCUS is from the last prayer of Jesus before his crucifixion to His Father as related in John 17. He prayed for His disciples and for all believers: “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:20-23). Jesus rose from the dead and, before ascending to Heaven, spoke to His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit to give them the power to live out His work and to spread the gospel to all the world.
In today’s world of literally hundreds of thousands of Christian churches and denominations, each with different beliefs and doctrines, unity seems far from the prayer of Jesus. Disunity within Christianity is contrary to God’s will and is a scandal to the world. The work of God cannot be completed in disunity. D.L. Moody has said, “I have never yet known the Spirit of God to work where the Lord's people were divided.”
How can this be corrected? The first answer is to seek God’s guidance, His grace and to pray faithfully; but we must also act, making concrete steps forward. We have heard the saying that Jesus is not coming back for a haram but for a spotless bride. Charles H. Brent wrote: “The unity of Christendom is not a luxury, but a necessity. The world will go limping until Christ's prayer that all may be one is answered. We must have unity, not at all costs, but at all risks. A unified Church is the only offering we dare present to the coming Christ, for in it alone will He find room to dwell.” In a world that seems to have lost its way, Christians are beginning to come together.
This does not mean that we come under one denomination or organization. But we are to pray and serve together, to respect and get to know each other as one family. Patricia Shirer states, “Unity does not mean sameness. It means oneness of purpose.” We are not called to be the same but to recognize the various gifts given by the Holy Spirit, our identity and diversity. Just as God gave individuals unique characteristics and gifts, He has given churches and denominations unique characteristics and gifts. We rejoice and accept the variety of gifts of each member, each church, each denomination to the service and building up the whole church. But simultaneously, we recognize our oneness in the basic truths of our Christian faith: Jesus as our Lord, the Trinity of God, scripture as the Word of God, our oneness in purpose.
The mountain region of north Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee has made several concrete steps forward to bring about Christian unity through monthly Awake America prayer meetings, the National Day of Prayer, supporting services for various needs of the community and through the FOCUS organization.
FOCUS began with a handful of people as a grass-roots organization in 2015 with an annual festival to bring the various ministries and churches together to share our unique gifts in one place, one day with the entire community. It serves year-round with a website and Facebook page to share Christian news, scripture verses, events, and ministries. Upcoming is the 5th annual FOCUS FEST on April 25, 9:00 AM – 2:30 PM at the Union County Farmers Market, Blairsville, Georgia. Find more information at https://www.focusonjesus.today and FB: FOCUS Festival of Christians United. Become an answer to Jesus’ prayer!