Summary: “It’s all about math,” a teacher once said. Can everything be reduced in its simplest form to mathematics? Weather patterns at this time of year can be fairly predictable; hot, steamy and frequent afternoon showers. The weather forecasters use mathematics
“It’s all about math,” a teacher once said. Can everything be reduced in its simplest form to mathematics? Weather patterns at this time of year can be fairly predictable; hot, steamy and frequent afternoon showers. The weather forecasters use mathematics to predict our weather. Now we even have a television detective show that uses “numbers” as its theme where most crimes can be solved using mathematics that I never even heard of before.
Does mathematics relate to spiritual things? I’d say it does. In Matthew 28:19 we are told to “go and make disciples.” That is a clear case of Jesus’ command to multiply believers. In Acts 5:14 we hear that “Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord, great numbers of men and women, were ‘added’ to them.” I believe that God is in the addition and multiplication side of mathematics but Satan is all about subtraction and division.
Division causes numbers to be reduced. When you divide even the largest number by a relatively small number, the end result is always a smaller number than before. In Mark 3:25, Jesus said that a house divided cannot stand. I hear today of many houses that are divided. Homes are ripped apart by divorce, drugs and abuse daily. The sadness of this reality is that there seems to be no end in sight. Drug abuse, divorce and other sins of division are ever increasing in our society today. What was a happy home is reduced to hopelessness, disparity and judgment.
As believers in Christ, how do we respond? What should be the role of Christian people against Satan’s attacks of division? The answer is clear. First we must be united; united in the hope through our Savior and eternal future in glory. Too many churches and fine Christian folk are divided these days. We have the various denominations that separate one group of believers from another. If I believe this certain doctrine, then I cannot worship God in that particular church. If I don’t follow a certain belief, I can find myself outside of even my own church. Why? Were there Baptist and Methodist apostles? Were there Assembly of God and Lutheran disciples? Certainly not!
I have a favorite question I like to ask; “When does speculation become doctrine and when does doctrine become speculation?”
Very few have ever been able to answer this question without a certain amount of “dancing of the feet.” If what someone says is believable and appeals to our reasoning, we are more likely to accept that as doctrine. If we believe someone’s ideas are crazy, we call this speculation or heresy. I have searched for over forty years and have only been able to find one God, yet there are so many variances of doctrine in our churches. No wonder sharing our faith is so difficult these days! The people we are trying to share our faith with see the division through the many denominations and are dismayed and confused.
This denominational division can be carried one step further within our local congregations. When a church is split over a controversy, Satan has won another battle. The color of carpeting or a decision on how to minister to a social outcast can be a great source of turmoil in a local congregation. Many years of successful ministry in a church can be destroyed by one incident or decision that Satan uses to cause division among God’s believers.
In this world filled with division, I believe that the body of Christ, all believers, should be mindful what we are told in Ephesians 4:4-6 (NKJV) “4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were 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.” There is not a church today that can stand against the attacks of division of Satan if we don’t stand together in Christian unity. We are called, as Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:33, to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…” If we can set aside our petty differences and begin to worship God as the early church did, others will come and see.
Satan’s most effective weapon is division; division of God’s elect that causes the church to become reduced. Whether it is denominational divisions or internal church division, Satan knows how to cause the church to become ineffective in a world that desperately needs to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.
If we understand Satan’s strategy, then we can expose him of his lies and deceit. I realize that there will probably be denominational churches until Christ calls us home in Glory. What I do hope and pray for is that we can unite together for the common cause of sharing this great and wonderful plan of redemption with those that haven’t heard about it.