In the third chapter of Genesis, God declared that there would be great division among mankind. This column has quoted the following verse many times. Its message will remain through the ages until the final showdown between the Seed of Isaac and Ishmael square off.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed…” Genesis 3:15
‘Put’ in the present context means ‘appoint.’
Jesus confirmed the great division that would be present during His first advent on earth, even within families.
“Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two and two against three. Father will be divided against son…” Luke 12:51-53a
The division will be the result of some within the family committing to the gospel message, versus those who reject the gospel.
When Jesus began to teach the crowds, there was great division; some believed His words while others did not. For example, recall the tradition during the Feast of Tabernacles when a pitcher of water from the pool of Siloam was carried by the High Priest to the temple and offered as a sacrifice on the altar.
On the last day of one such feast, Jesus cried out:
“…If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me, and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37a-38
He was, of course, speaking of the Holy Spirit that would enter into the hearts of those who would believe in Him. However, this teaching caused great controversy.
“So there was a division among the people because of Him.” John 7:43
Recall the controversy over Jesus healing the blind man on the Sabbath day. The man had been blind since birth.
The miracle was witnessed by many; however, some who witnessed the healing still wouldn’t accept Jesus’ authority.
“Therefore some of the Pharisees said, ‘This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.’ Other said, ‘How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?’ And there was a division among them.” John 9:16
Jesus continued to teach that He was the Son of God, inasmuch as He had the power to lay down His life and be raised up from the grave. Some said He had a demon, while others believed, remembering His previous miracles.
“Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings.” John 10:19
And then during the church age, there was great division between the believers and the deniers. Consider the contention caused by Paul and Barnabas when they preached the gospel message to both Jews and Greeks.
“But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren…But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles.” Acts 14:2, 4
Again, the division was caused by preaching and teaching the gospel message of Jesus Christ.
Paul also caused great division when he addressed a council consisting of both Sadducees and Pharisees. He spoke as a Pharisee to authenticate his authority.
“…he cried out to the council, ‘Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee… concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!’ And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided. For Sadducees say that there is no resurrection…” Acts 23:6-8a
So once again the division focused on the word of God and the person of Jesus Christ.
Consider the major divisions within our nation today. One of the most contentious issues is the definition of when life begins for a child. The Bible is very clear. Thus the divisions in America are in fact, between those who live by Biblical teachings and those who do not.
Not much has changed.
How does this affect America’s future?
“But Jesus…said…‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.’”