(John 13:35 – ESV)
The world cannot get along, but we in the church are called to get along, even in difficulty, and especially in difficulty. We cannot just run away or practice avoidance or do those things those in the world do. We have to show ourselves as truly changed by Christ because now we can get along and cooperate when situations and people make it difficult. That is one main way we show the power of Christ. Being a Christian means being involved with His Body, and it is expressed locally as church assemblies. We must show that we are different, not just as individuals but also as local units. Where other people cannot get along, we must show that Christ has given us the power where we can. This is how we show the world we are true disciples of Jesus Christ, by loving one another even when some of us are unlovable at times.
You cannot avoid this Word from Christ, to avoid it is to avoid Him and His power in your life, and to deny His Lordship, and to prove that you are not a true disciple. You cannot be some part time lover of Jesus; you know that don’t you? Well, you cannot be some part time lover of His people, and that is what you are trying to do if you won’t commit to a local church. You just want to play nice when you see someone out, or keep a few friends who you talk about God with. That isn’t what Jesus was talking about. He doesn’t think part time lovers are true disciples.
If you aren’t involved in a local community of believers then you cannot be having the love for one another that Jesus was talking about. You would just be having friends with a common interest, but no covenant bond that requires sacrifice, sweat, and sanctification, as you had to deal with the ups and downs of relationships. If you are not doing that you are doing no better than the world, those who just take up and leave whenever it gets uncomfortable.
You must be willing and intentional in your devotion to Christ by becoming involved with an imperfect church made up of imperfect people like yourself. You must be learning to live the redeemed life in community, showing the love of Christ, the love that loves despite what has happened to us, the love that loves the unlovable, the love we must show the world we have for one another or we deny Christ.
If the world cannot see us getting along in situations that they wouldn’t be able to, then why would they want to join a local church, even if they wanted Jesus? Oh I see; you agree with them, you don’t want to be at a local church either. I guess you just don’t really want to be a disciple either. If you are not learning to love people more you are not learning to love God more. That is what Jesus would say to you.