There are no denominations (or non-denominations) in heaven. There is only one body of Christ, and it’s not divided. I’ve talked about this before, and it should be an obvious fact, yet why do so many believers act as though it’s not true?
While God loves diversity (after all, He made millions of different types of bugs!), He doesn’t like divisiveness.
I’ve also said this before but it bears repeating because this mindset is so deeply embedded in our Western culture. We’ve exalted individualism so much that we actually think we’re separated from each other. As Albert Einstein pointed out, this idea of our separation is an illusion. René Girard called it the “romantic lie.” The Bible agrees. Nothing is separated from Christ. In other words, there’s no such thing as “outside” of Christ! Everything exists and is held together IN Christ. Paul makes this point very clear (emphasis added):
16 For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [by His service, intervention] and in and for Him.
17 And Himself existed before all things, and in Him all things consist (cohere, are held together). (Col.1:15-16 AMP)
This all sounds very strange to our ears because, for centuries, we’ve bought into a Platonic dualistic version of Christianity and a Medieval Dante/Milton vision of heaven and hell. We’ve made it possible for someone to not be in Christ, but the Bible makes no such claim.
This doesn’t mean that all actually know Christ or have entered into a transformational relationship with Him. They could be totally oblivious to Him, even antagonistic to the thought of belonging to Christ. That’s still a matter of voluntary faith and trust. But whether one believes it or not, the fact remains that Jesus has taken all of humanity to Himself and locked the door behind Him. There’s no getting out, and this reality will either be a “heaven” or a “hell” to you.
Jesus flushed sin and death down a bottomless toilet, once and for all. And He did this because of His unconditional and unfathomable love for all mankind.
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. (2 Cor. 5:14 NKJV)
The point is, we’re all connected together. As Paul told the pagan Athenians, quoting their own poets, ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:28). And if this is true of all mankind, it’s especially true of the body of Christ (believers).
Yet, Scripture does present us with a paradox in this regard. Paul said that we’re individually members of one another. Here are a few examples (emphasis added):
5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. (Rom. 12:5 NKJV)
27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. (1 Cor. 12:27 NASB)
25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. (Eph. 4:25 NKJV)
So there is an aspect where we are unique individuals, yet our uniqueness is never separated from everyone else.
It would be fair to ask, then, is there a practical way to understand this paradox? Actually, there is…mathematically. I think my favorite Quantum physicist, Nassim Haramein, can help us here. I’ve fast-forwarded the clip to where he makes this point using simple geometry (he uses the terms “finite” and “infinite”). Please watch this part first (up to about 5:30), and then we will look at the implications.
Like all analogies, this one is not perfect, but using Haramein’s illustration, we can view the outer circle as Christ (“infinite”), and everything inside this outer circle exists in Him (“finite”), yet all things have individually defined boundaries.
So, if these things are true, and both Scripture and science say that they are, how then should we see one another? How should being individually members of one another define and confine our freedom to do whatever we want? How are we better (or worse) than anyone else?
And who is our enemy if we’re commanded to love others as ourselves? And, by the way, Jesus used a Samaritan, who Israel saw as the most despicable and reprobate people on earth, to illustrate this kind of love (See Luke 10:25-37).
Furthermore, how are we to relate to other believers who we may not agree with? Do we separate ourselves and judge them as false because they’re not “us,” or do we appreciate our diversity, remembering that “the body is not one member, but many” (see 1 Cor. 12:12-31)? Can we see the value of our differences and the purposes of God in that?
21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” (1 Cor. 12:21 NASB)
Can we finally see the absurdity of being divisive when we’re all one in Christ? Jesus said to treat others as you would want to be treated (Matt.7:12). Why? Because we’re all individually members of one another!
Some things to think about as we all traverse the space-time continuum together.