Unity Round Table

The subject of this discussion will be unity, and how can we have it.

Reeves: A text that I have thought about many times over the last three or four weeks is Hebrews 2:11. It says, “For both He that sanctifieth and they which are sanctified are all of one; for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” That is an amazing text. He who sanctifies and we who are being sanctified are all one. And He is not ashamed to call us brethren. Pastor Grosboll, please share some thoughts with us about sanctification and how that leads us to becoming unified.

Grosboll: The world wants unity; they want harmony. And they try to manufacture it in clubs and organizations that use rules and bylaws to try to create unity. Sometimes it creates an exterior unity of purpose. The unity that Jesus is talking about in John 17, when He prayed that His followers might be one, was a unity that involved a unity of character, of thought and of feeling. It is an interior unity. Then the exterior is a result of what is on the inside and not just a veneer over the top. Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Make clean first what is inside the cup and the platter and then the outside will be clean also.” In order for us to have unity on the inside with each other, we have to have unity with Jesus. We have to have harmony of purpose. We can’t have unity of thought, purpose, feeling and character with Him unless we are holy. The Bible says, “Be ye holy because I am holy.” God created us for fellowship with Him, and our greatest happiness is found when we have a relationship, a harmony and a fellowship with Him. However, fellowship with anybody involves the fact that you can both experience the same feeling. You cannot experience the same feeling, the same thought and the same purpose with Jesus unless you have the same character.

Let us give this a practical application. For example, two people get married. The purpose of marriage is fellowship. That is one of the great reasons that marriage was created in the beginning. God said that it was not good for man to be alone. He was to be a social being; he was to have fellowship. So if two people get married and one is selfish and the other unselfish, the more selfish the one person is and the more unselfish the other person is, the less fellowship they will be able to have because they will have a different purpose. There can be no fellowship there because they are going in opposite directions; they are living for opposite reasons. Therefore, in order for fellowship to be created something has to change. Either one has to become more selfish or the other has to become more unselfish so that they have some sameness in their character. We do not like to think about this, but it is actually true that two selfish people can have some fellowship because they are both trying to get something. They have some unity in that striving. If I am selfish and God is unselfish, then we cannot have any fellowship together.

Ellen White says in the book Desire of Ages that the devil could not understand the incarnation. He could not comprehend how Jesus would come and humiliate himself to be a man. He could not comprehend it because he was so different in character. So before we can have harmony among the Adventist people we have to come into unity of character with Jesus. When Jesus was praying for His followers to have unity He said, “Sanctify them through your truth, your word is truth.” There can be no true harmony, no true unity, without sanctification, which has its basis in the truth.

Reeves: Brother Anderson, could you give us your thoughts on why we want to have unity?

Anderson: I know there are plenty of wrong reasons why we want unity. Therefore, it is important that we get the right reasons. The devil wants unity too, and he will get it. But it is a unity, which is totally unlike the unity of Christ. I was just reading this passage from Testimonies, vol. 5, 101. Talking about the unity that the devil has, she says, “With the ungodly there will be a deceptive harmony that but partially conceals a perpetual discord. In their opposition to the will and the truth of God they are united, while on every other point they are rent with hatred, emulation, jealousy and deadly strife.” Now that is the wrong kind of unity.

The unity that comes from Christ is different. It is not what you are aiming for; it is what you get when you are aiming for something else. I remember what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount. He said, “Seek ye first.” That word first is so important. It means that it is the most important thing. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [unity is one of these things] will be added unto you.” For me, that is very simple. When you seek his righteousness—you get your own heart straight with God, you seek the kingdom of God, you do your part in the finishing of God’s work—then unity will come. But if that is not the focus, we will get a unity perhaps, but it will not be the unity of Christ.

Reeves: We do not want to be a part of the wrong unity. People like to parade around and say, I am a good Christian, or pretend to be things that they are not. We do not want to be part of a pretended unity.

Anderson: In a later paragraph she says, “Like will attract like. Those who are drinking from the same fountain of blessing will draw nearer together. Truth dwelling in the hearts of believers will lead to blessed and happy assimilation. Thus will be answered the prayer of Christ that His disciples might be one even as he is one with the Father.” That is unity. Isn’t that beautiful? You achieve unity by drinking from the same fountain of blessing and by having truth dwelling in the heart. You can get another unity another way, but it will not be the right unity.

Reeves: Some of the most blessed experiences that I have ever had in my life have been times when I have joined in group prayer. Unity in Christ is a wonderful experience.

Anderson: Some of the most wonderful experiences of my life during the past five years have been going to countries that I have never been in before, meeting people I have never met before, and yet immediately finding that unity. It is not something that I had to cultivate, but because we were drinking from the same fountain of blessing we felt a oneness of heart.

Reeves: This unity comes with effort. It is not something that just happens automatically. My wife and I get along wonderfully. But there have been times when we had to put a little effort into it. To experience unity there are times when we need to put some effort in it. If we know that someone is possibly upset with us, we are told to go do something about it.

Pastor Shelton, how do you think this unity is going to take place within Historic Adventism?

Shelton: I think we all know there are some severe things happening in Adventism. These are things we need to look closely at. We know we are at a crisis point; something must be done. First of all, we have to admit there is a problem. If we do not admit there is a problem, we are not going to do anything about it. Let us think about John 3 where Nicodemus came to Jesus by night. The best thing Jesus could do for Nicodemus was to be honest. And sometimes that is difficult because of friendship and associations. However, Jesus was so loving and so kind that he simply cut through all the red tape and said, “You need to be born again.” Being born again is the basis of unity. When we are born again and really give our heart and life to Jesus, unity will be the natural outflow. As we often say, an apple tree will bear apples. You do not have to tell it to. It just happens. And the natural thing that happens when you are born again is that your life is changed. Where once you were selfish, suddenly you begin to think about others and you have soul winning on your mind. That is a strange thing to some of us; we were not like that before. Conversion as it came to me was that I had a desire in my heart for others, for souls, where in the past it was “me, mine and I.” I had been in the church all my life, but when conversion really came, I began to see that there were other people out there, and they became so important. Then you begin to think about how you can best work for Jesus. You find the necessity of being linked with those of like minds. Paul said, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” If we have the mind of Christ, we will have unity.

I hear people say, “I have perfected Christian character.” That takes a lot of boldness. Yet if a group of people have perfected Christian character, Jesus has promised he that will come. Evidently, it is not completed yet, or He would already be here. We still lack some things. Unity will come, and it is going to be based on the truth of God’s word. Lots of times we go around parading unity and love for each other. But it is really just something that is on the surface.

The whole issue is that we must be born again and have the kind of conversion experience in which the only thing that will be paramount in our hearts and lives is the winning of souls. I believe that as historic Adventists we need to focus on the truth found in John 17—“Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.” We need to have a born again experience and a heart renewal. If we have a heart renewal, unity will be the natural fruit. We may not be experiencing what we need to experience in Jesus or we would already have this unity. It is an automatic thing. It comes through justification, sanctification, and perfection. Study the earthly sanctuary. The sanctuary is the pillar of the Adventist message. Yet very few Adventists really understand the sanctuary, even some of the simplest aspects of it. We need to get into the Bible; we need to be men and women of the book. If we are not experiencing sanctification—reading the word, praying and letting our light shine—then there can be some real difficulties. I know in my own experience that I lived for many years on what I heard somebody say, someone else’s experience of what I should be doing, rather than experiencing it for myself.

I am encouraging people today that there is a way to have unity. Unity will be accomplished, but it can only be through the truth—never compromise. It comes through knowing what truth is. The Bible says, “To the law and to the testimony.” It is about time we start measuring things up the way the Bible says to measure them up. If we do that, we will see unity begin to develop.

Something important to remember is that not everyone is the toe and not everyone is the eye. We need to realize that God has called different individuals to do a different work, even though it is a unified work. Maybe it is a matter of coming to the point of realizing that God has given gifts to the church and recognizing those gifts as God gives them. Last week I said to an individual, “Do you know why we are having so much trouble, and There is not the unity that there ought to be? It is because you’re operating where you should not be operating.” It is an interesting thought. You are operating out of that place where God has put you, and stepping into someone else’s area. How can you tell someone else what to do and how to do it when God has not called you to do that? But if we function where God has called us, we are going to see unity happen and we will have it based upon the truth of God’s word.

Reeves: You were talking about compromise. That is the deadliest thing to Christians. Yet, God’s law is so perfect and so wonderful that if we will learn to look at His law and determine to have it be a part of us, then with compromise out of the way we will be unified.

You said something that made me realize that there really can be no true unity unless we are committed to Christ. It just will not take place. Sanctification has to take place or there is no unity.

Shelton: We have got to realize that we do not have unity. That means there is a problem; we do not have the mind of Christ. There is not a people prepared to go to heaven, so He cannot come. We still have a work to do here, and it starts with my own heart and my own life. And if I give my life to Christ, I will be able to help others.

God gives people special gifts and he puts them in certain areas to do a specific work. God gives different gifts. All are not preachers; all are not teachers; all are not evangelists. A person came to me and said, I have been seeing all the things that have been happening in the church and the ministry and I just do not know how you can stand all these problems thrown in your face all the time. And I said, You know why you cannot? Because, God did not call you to that office. If God calls you to that office, He will equip you to endure that which is laid there for you; He will see you through. He will enable you to do those things when other people are saying it will not work.

Anderson: There is another aspect to that. Yes, we are called to different functions and we have different gifts. But that does not mean we are separate. It means that we cooperate with each other. I cannot do the work that you are doing, but if I can help you in your work then that is going to help unity.

Shelton: That is the key. The Bible says, “We are all called by the Spirit.” And if the right Spirit calls, the Spirit certainly knows how to put together the right people. An important key is that we need to be humble, teachable and loving. If I am humble and teachable, that simply says that I realize that I am not complete. I need the help, support, prayers and the working capability of my brothers.

Reeves: You said that when we are converted we start thinking about others. If we are doing service for others, we are not thinking about making ourselves the priority. That is when unity starts coming a lot easier, and that is what Jesus was teaching at the Last Supper.

Garcia: In the same line of thought, being born again is being a true disciple of Jesus. What Jesus had to say in John 6 is perhaps the most important message he has given to us. John 6:58-60: “This is that bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth of this bread shall live forever.” These things said he in the synagogue in Capernaum. Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can hear it?’” Before that in John 6:53 Jesus said, “Verily, verily I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, ye have not life in you.” Jesus expressed a very important truth about eternal life—you either have it or you do not have it. There were certain of the disciples that were following Jesus because they saw in him something very attractive. But when Jesus pointed to something specific, they said that it was too hard to hear. And what did they do? We are told in verse 66, “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked no more with him.” It means that there was some truth there that they did not want to hear. And they withdrew from Christ and did not walk with Jesus anymore. Let me ask you a question. If a person does not follow Christ, if a person is not a disciple of Jesus, where can unity come from? Unity is not possible.

Grosboll: When you say that they withdrew themselves, I want to make sure that the people understand that when they withdrew themselves from Christ they made it impossible for any true unity to develop. They still went to the synagogue every Sabbath; they still said I am a member of the church in good and regular standing; I am a member of God’s chosen people. And they thought they were still on the way to the great kingdom of glory when they had just turned their back on it.

Reeves: Elder Berglund, I was very impressed when I was in Sweden. There were several ministries that got together and prayed, and I sensed a unity taking place there in Europe. What are some of the efforts that are being made in Europe to see that all the ministries are working together?

Berglund: First of all, we are trying to get to know each other. And I believe we have realized that real unity will come when we all understand that we are priests in the sight of God and that Jesus Christ is our High Priest. I think we have all experienced meeting people in different churches, and our own churches, with whom we differ on theology. Unity comes to one point and then it stops. Now we have started finding a few people working with the old Adventist message, and we realize that we have the same faith. We still have a job to do in getting to know each other, finding the projects, finding our weaknesses and strengths, and putting together a work. But we are also realizing that unity does not mean that we are all going to do the same thing at the same place and the same time. It means that we have the same message and are led by the same spirit. Then we can organize our activities, help each other, and compliment each other in the work. We are working in different places and different countries, but we have the message and the Spirit. And we have this brotherly love and unity among ourselves. This is what we are seeking to understand and develop.

Reeves: We have not had a lot of examples before us on unity, have we? We have a lot to learn. But the opportunities of unity are so wonderful.

Grosboll: I would like to share a statement written by Ellen White in 1898. It is in Manuscript Releases, vol. 11, 179. It says, “Perfection of character means perfection in unity.” Right before this, she said that one of the reasons we do not see the sick healed among us today is because we do not have unity. Therefore, God cannot do for us what he would like to do for us because we are all going our separate ways. She said in Letter 67, written in 1903, “The work committed to us by the Lord will advance rapidly only when we labor in unity.” Now we predict on the basis of prophecy that there is coming a time when the work will travel speedily “like fire in the stubble,” But she says here that the work will not advance rapidly until we are working in unity. That is something we should pray about. We could see many more people baptized; we could see many more churches established. I personally believe that the time is going to come when we are going to see millions of people come in. I do not necessarily mean in one city or one spot. I am talking about worldwide. But that is not going to happen among a people who are fighting and have not learned to be united in Christ. In order for the multitudes to come in they have to see Christ in the church. In the world There is all this discord and strife, disunity and disharmony, hatred and jealousy. When you visit the people in their homes, there is a heart cry in humanity today for something different and better than this world has to offer. They do not know what it is, but they know there has got to be something better than this. When they see the unity and brotherly love and the harmony of Christians that love each other and help each other, it is going to strike a chord that all of our preaching can never do. In fact, the churches that are growing today are the ones where the people help each other. That impresses people in the world even more than our preaching because it is something practical. We need to pray for this to happen in historic Adventism. Of all people, the world should see among us a brotherly love for each other that they do not see anywhere else. John says in 1 John 3 that we ought to be willing to lay down our life for our brother even as Jesus laid down his life on behalf of us. When people see that brotherly love and they see people that may not think the same on everything or understand all points of theology the same, but they love each other so much that they would die for each other, it is going to have an electrifying affect on the world.

Shelton: We have been feeling the necessity of unity, but I think that if we do not relate to this individually, it will never work. In our local church, the leaders—the deacons and the elders—meet every Wednesday night, and we get on our knees and plead, as the leadership of the church, for unity and for the power of the Holy Spirit so that we can be receptive to the Spirit and to all the souls that are out there. He wants to bring them in but they are not coming in because of the discord in the church. Then on Sabbath, as soon as the preaching is done, the leadership meets in the office again and we pray for unity. And what happened with us was that we saw division come in. We prayed for unity and all of a sudden things began to crop up. Some of the leaders got discouraged and said, Why is this happening? And I said, Because God in his infinite wisdom and love is showing us that we need to make improvements. There are things wrong in our hearts. He is showing us that there cannot be unity when we are harboring jealousies, envying and pride. Some almost came to the point of saying, Let us not pray for unity anymore because it is bringing up all these things. God is just trying to reveal to us what we really are so we can take our problems to Him and some changes can be made. We are going through a lot of tests and trials, but He is beginning to show us our defects because we are so close to the end; we need to be making preparation for the end. He simply revealed to us that we need to spend more time in study and prayer. So, let us start really praying for unity. If the leadership in your church has unity, God will bring people in. On the positive side, when we began praying, we had people who began coming to church as a result of outreach that we have done. One man, during his second visit to church, asked what he needed to do to be a part of God’s remnant church! There are people out there and they will come in, but we have to show them that there is unity and love.

Anderson: I think those tests that you talk about are to find out just how serious you are about unity. Just like if you pray for patience God is going to give you lots of situations where you could grow very impatient, because you will never know if God has answered your prayer unless you can face those trials and come through them. If you’re praying for unity, you’re going to have a lot of tests to discover whether you’re serious about wanting unity above all the other things.

Reeves: So the question is, do we really want it? You were talking about people coming in the church when you started praying, and it made me think. One of the struggles that I had a few years ago when I was a member of a conference church was that I felt like I could not bring interests into the church because of the problems and the apostasy that was there. And something just occurred to me. What if the Holy Spirit sometimes looks at our churches and says, I cannot bring converts to them yet? That is pretty serious. Pastor Grosboll read that if there were more unity the sick would be healed. So the next time we drive by the hospital we should realize that there might not be quite as many people there if we were more serious on the topic of unity.

Anderson: The example of the relationship in the home was mentioned earlier. If we were to work on unity in the same way that a good husband and wife work on unity in their home, I think we could see results. A good husband and wife do not compete with each other. They see their roles as complimentary. Are those of us who are in ministry trying to compete with other ministries? Or are we seeing ways in which we can compliment each other? This is one of the things that I feel we are trying to work on in Europe. We have very small ministries; we cannot do everything. So rather than trying to do everything, we are trying to see whether we can cooperate as a group. And for us that is like the marriage. The husband and the wife see roles in which they can not only fulfill their own positions, but they can also help the family to operate. We are a family, and we do not want strife within the family. We want to be all together in brotherly love.

Berglund: That makes unity very personal does not it? It means that my contribution will have to be that the Holy Spirit is Lord in my life. My sins must be forgiven. I must have victory in my life. Then I am ready to be a part of a unity with other people having the Lord as their master.

Anderson: And how many of us in ministry actually take the active step of going on to another ministry, particularly one that may not be happy about us, and say, What can I do to help you? Have we ever thought of the means that the Lord has given us to run our ministries? Have we thought about tithing those means, and using those tithes to help another ministry? These are practical things in which we can build unity, where we can show we are brothers and sisters in the same family.

Reeves: I like that idea. The Spirit of Prophecy has told us that there is danger in competitive sports. But we come up through the system and we get the idea of teams, and if somebody is on a different team then we are out to beat them. The devil has really sown some terrible ideas in our brains because of competitive sports. We have a lot of things to unlearn.

Grosboll: Pastor Shelton mentioned that in their church they were praying for unity and troubles started happening. I believe that in any situation, in any church, ministry, or group that gets together and prays for unity, that trouble is going to happen. I will explain it like this. If you have a broken bone you are already in trouble. But you want your body to work harmoniously together. So what are you going to do? You are going to have to go to a physician. That bone is going to have to be set, or sometimes you might have to have surgery. Something must be done to set that right; and to have that done it is going to hurt. You may even have to take some pain medication. You are going to have more pain before the situation is corrected, but you have to get the situation corrected. It is the same with a boil. When I was a child, I never liked the idea of having a boil lanced, but at some point it has to be done if it is going to heal. If there is something among us that is preventing unity, it cannot be covered up; the problem has to be solved so that we can have healing. And if we are going to have healing in Adventism, the problem has to be solved so that we can have healing. We need healing. There are a lot of people out there that are hurting, discouraged, bitter or angry. The Lord wants to take us all to heaven, but he cannot take us that way. These things have to be healed, and to be healed we have to pray. Then the Lord starts working so that we can work on our problems. When the problems start coming really fast, and we say, No Lord, I’m not going to work on the problem, it is just like when you have a broken bone and you say, No I do not want anybody to set it because it is going to hurt too bad. You can wait, but at some point down the line you are going to have to have it set if you are going to be able to function normally. So, can you hang on through the pain so that we can have the harmony and the unity that God wants us to have? That is the question that historic Adventists need to ask themselves today. Am I willing to hang on through the pain until we get the unity that God is trying to bring about among us?

Shelton: With a broken bone, if you let it go it begins to try to heal itself in the condition that it is in. The longer you let it go, the more difficult it is to have it made right. It would be easier to approach the issue in the beginning and have it set properly rather than to let it start healing in the wrong. You have to break that bone again. It is more painful to let something go rather than to deal with it as quickly as you can.

Reeves: I broke my knuckle one time, and it healed crooked. They had to go in and break it and pin it. It was very painful. What this has made me think about is that the next time I find myself walking down the hall and I know that at the other end of the hall there could be a little friction with somebody, it would be best to turn around right then, rather than letting the wound heal broken so that it has to be broken later. We need a little discipline in our lives.

Berglund: Perhaps more than anything we need humility. We need to go to the people that might have identified themselves as our enemies and say, I care about you; I love you. And we should pray with them. This humility is totally unnatural if Christ is not the Lord in our lives.

Reeves: It is the born again experience. On the one hand, we are thinking of self. When we are born again we change completely and our thinking of others. There is no humility in self, it is pride only.

Anderson: I would like to tell you a story. Our ministry runs entirely on faith. There was a time when the money stopped coming in, and this was serious. For a period of about four or five months no money came in. We started praying and asking, Lord what is going on? What is happening? And the Lord brought back to our minds something that had happened a year or so before when there had been some friction between us and another brother. The friction was still there, and the Lord put upon us very strongly that we needed to go sort that out. I wrote a letter to that brother, and I expressed deep regret for the situation that occurred between us. I asked him if we could be friends again. He wrote me back a very aggressive letter; He was not ready to make peace. But once that letter had been written, the means started coming back for our ministry again. The Lord does not want us to be at odds with each other, but sometimes we have to take the first steps. Sometimes we get kicked for that and it is an unpleasant and painful experience. But the Lord did the same thing. And He set us the example of how to do these things. That taught me a big lesson.

Reeves: It is like Stephen when he was stoned. He prayed that the sin would not be charged against his persecutors. And yet we are so tempted if we see someone that looks cross-eyed at us to cast him or her off to hell. That has got to stop. We need to be like Stephen. When Saul saw Stephen praying, that made an impression, and big things started happening. I think that if we can get some of this selfishness out of our hearts we will see some of those big things happen. You can see why the angels do not want us to get into heaven as long as we have it. They do not like it. It would not be a safe place if we went there with it.

Garcia: I think Jesus gave us some wonderful pictures in nature so that we would understand what true unity is. One is found in the vine and the branches. Where my office is located I have a window that overlooks a vineyard. The branches are connected to the parent stalk, which is Christ, and everyone who grows on the parent stalk will bear fruit. There will be one final, wonderful plant bearing fruit, if they are all connected. Everyone on this vine has pain, because Jesus says in John 15:2, “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, He taketh away.” That is pain; that is separation. God is doing the separating because He does not find any fruit. And He says, “Every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it.” That means He prunes it; He cuts it. Why? So it bears more fruit. That is exactly what God is doing when we are going through trouble. When we pray, when we do our best, sometimes we find ourselves in trouble. God wants to prune us and show us our defects: He wants to help us. Ellen White says in Review and Herald 1897: “Christian unity consists in the branches being in the same parent stalk.” It is very clear.

Anderson: I like the picture, because unity is a fruit. And you have to have the plant for the fruit. I think many people want to have the fruit without the plant. They want to go down to the supermarket and buy the unity rather than grow the plant that brings the unity up. But without the plant, the fruit is useless.

Reeves: Unity is a very sweet fruit isn’t it? It is heaven ordained. We have talked about the fact that unity takes effort. The world is suffering because we have not experienced unity.

So where do we go from here? I can praise the Lord for the way he has brought us, but there is more to go. What do we need to be doing?

Anderson: We need to get out and work for others. Where we see that we are in disunity with others, we have a duty to do. We have to step out and build the bridges back to these people.

Garcia: I believe that one very practical thing is found in the example of the disciples. Were they united? No, they were not. They had fights. Why was that? They needed to have an experience. And that experience was the cross. Jesus talked to them so much about it. He wanted to share with them the need they had of understanding His great mission for the world and for them. But they did not understand that. Then he was crucified, and things started to happen in their lives. They did not understand it at first. They did not understand why Jesus had to die. But as the days went by, Jesus was resurrected, and He talked to them, then they could see things in a completely new light. Jesus was able to teach them something they could never understand before. They had been proud and had their own concept of how to do the work, but when they went through that cross experience, and became willing to learn from God and willing to receive the blessing—the Holy Spirit—then the Bible says they were with one accord, waiting for the blessing.

Anderson: Sister White said that a plant does not bear fruit for itself. It gives seed to the sower—that is Jesus—and bread to the eater. The eaters are the people out there who need this precious message that we have been hoarding to ourselves for so long. We have to realize that unity is not just for the church. It is for Jesus and it is for the folk out there. That is why this fruit has to be shared by us. We have not finished the work because we are not bearing the fruit.

Grosboll: I just wanted to comment about what you said regarding the disciples not having unity until after the cross. Before they had unity, they had to go through an experience where it looked like the church was going to get destroyed. There was almost no one left. There were a few who could not understand everything, but they hung on to their faith. And I want to appeal to historic Adventists—you may not understand what’s going on right now; it may appear that everything is going to ruin. Ellen White told us in Adventist Apocalypse that there was going to be a time when it was going to appear that the devil had won the great controversy. And we have to have enough faith so that when those times come we can hang on and say, Lord, I know that what you’ve told me is the truth and I’m just trusting you no matter what. When the disciples came to the cross, everybody in Jerusalem thought the cause of Christ was over. Yet that is the thing that brought unity. Sometimes the thing that brings unity is the thing that we think will destroy us all.

Reeves: As we have been sharing here the ideas of unity, I really appreciate a comment that was made about the old-fashioned religion. We serve an unchanging God; from the beginning of eternity He has been unchanging. That is an old-fashioned religion. That is the one that draws us together. And as we examine the law of God we are going to be drawn to each other. We have been told that right up to the end there are going to be people falling off the path. We need to help each other. If we see somebody slipping we have must be willing to help them. Through the grace of God we can all be in heaven and our lives can be used so that others will be there. Then we can spend eternity with the Lord.


Editor’s Note: The content of this article was taken from a roundtable discussion on the subject of unity done here at Steps to Life. The participants were Gordon Anderson (England), Elder John Berglund (Norway), Pastor John Grosboll of Steps to Life (Kansas), Daniel Garcia (France), and Pastor Kenny Shelton (Illinois).