Remember: Christians Won’t Always Fight & Quarrel

by | May 27, 2021

“Christian, we’re one day closer to heaven.” I try to tweet this every day to remind myself that this world doesn’t have the final say. There is a life, a world, a hope beyond our brief years on this tiny ball of dirt. Heaven-directedness is the orientation of my Christian forebears. This short article is to help us Remember: Christians Won’t Always Fight & Quarrel.

If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:15–17 ESV)

There’s something about heaven that wonderfully adjusts our perspective on this life—its troubles, even its triumphs. I experienced this adjustment lately. A brother I love and respect was talking about two groups of Christians who had a difference in conviction. I honestly can’t remember what the difference was (and that’s kind of the point of this article). Maybe it was the difference between a Baptist and a Presbyterian’s view of baptism. Maybe it was the difference between their views of church government. Like I said, I can’t remember.

The brother went on to say that this difference, debated over the centuries, was well-trodden and the two groups, generally, weren’t going to change their beliefs in this life. “When we get to heaven, we’ll see who was right,” the brother said graciously. But then he added a throwaway comment that has haunted me since he spoke. He added, “When we’ll get to heaven, we’ll see who was right—if we even care then.”

 

If We Even Care

The brother wasn’t saying that the differences we hold aren’t important, or that we’re insincere for holding them. He wasn’t saying that all viewpoints are equally true. He was simply saying that our differences are not ultimate if we are in Christ. They aren’t the point of our existence or what we’ll be centered around in eternity.

And this reminder did something for me. This if-we-even-care quip gave me relief and energy. It caused me to remember that my differences with another Christian weren’t final. Joy, peace, and unity really would win the day. But it also caused me to take stock of how I am living today. After all, if my differences with another Christian wouldn’t be ultimate in heaven, was I acting like they should be ultimate on earth? Why?

Was I more concerned about being united around these differences or being united around Christ? Why?

Was I fighting for this viewpoint as if life and death depended on it? Did they? Why?

Did I love other Christians, with whom I disagree about some things, regardless of their view? Why not?

Put simply, my friend’s throwaway sentence caused me to check and correct the amount of passion and vigor and confidence I was pouring into a position or opinion. I trust you’ve had to do this before. All of us know what it’s like to really care about something in the moment, just to realize later it was actually not as big of a deal as we once thought. The issue could be as small as forgetting to grab something at the grocery store or as a big as how one responds to the pandemic. Either way, we’ve all had to look back and at some point and ask, Was that worth it? Was that issue really worth hurting that person? Or losing that friendship? 

If you’ve ever wondered that, or if you’re wondering that even now, take comfort. There’s hope.

 

The Hope of Heaven: Jesus

The hope of heaven is that Jesus will be the center of everything—our attention and our affections. We won’t be discouraged or distracted by arguments in heaven. They won’t have sway over our hearts or consume us, maybe like they do now. Rather, our eyes will be fixed on something—someone—greater. And we will know great relief for it.

Beloved, it’s so easy to see our differences with other Christians in this life. But in heaven, it’ll be Christ who our eyes are fixed on! And in heaven, it’ll be Christ who Christians of a different tribe will be fixed on! In heaven, your opinions will not hold your affections or allegiances. Christ will. In heaven, it won’t be about who was right or wrong. It’ll be about Jesus and the immeasurable riches of God’s grace we know in him (Ephesians 2:7).

Think about this for a moment. Dream with me. In heaven, the debates, the dissensions, the fighting and quarrelling James speaks of (James 4:1)—all of it will be over. All of it will be at peace. And your joy will not be that you won an argument. Your joy will be that Christ won the victory over death for you. And you know what? He did the same thing for that Christian you disagree with.

“He himself is our peace,” Ephesians 2:14 says. And we will see him.

 

The Challenge of the Present: Remembering Jesus

I wonder if we remembered the peace and the relief that awaits us—if we recalled the hope of heaven daily—what would happen to our fighting and quarreling? How would we see that brother or sisters we so vehemently disagree with now?

John Newton, the slave-trader so amazingly converted, answers these questions. In his letter, “On Controversy,” he describes how Jesus sees that Christian you disagree with:

The Lord loves him and bears with him; therefore you must not despite him, or treat him harshly. The Lord bears with you likewise, and expects that you should show tenderness to others, from a sense of the much forgiveness you need yourself. In a little while you will meet in heaven; he will then be dearer to you than the nearest friend you have upon earth is to you now. Anticipate that period in your thoughts; and though you may find it necessary to oppose his errors, view him personally as a kindred soul, with whom you are to be happy in Christ forever (1).

 

My Christian brothers and sisters, what if we—today—treated our differences as we will in heaven? What would happen?

 


(1) John Newton, The Works of John Newton, vol. 1s, “On Controversy” (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 268–270.

 


Prayer Requests:

  1. Praise Jesus for being our peace (Ephesians 2:14).
  2. Pray Christians in your church would seek the things above, where Christ is seated (Colossians 3:1).
  3. Pray we would live now with others as we’ll live forever with them. Pray that we would view our opponents as Jesus does—now.

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Author

  • Isaac Adams

    Isaac is a husband, father, author and the founder of U?WP. He is the lead pastor of Iron City Church in Birmingham, AL. @isickadams

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