20Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching,
21That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.
22I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one:
23I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.
24Father, I desire that they also whom You have entrusted to Me [as Your gift to Me] may be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory, which You have given Me [Your love gift to Me]; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
25O just and righteous Father, although the world has not known You and has failed to recognize You and has never acknowledged You, I have known You [continually]; and these men understand and know that You have sent Me.
26I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character and Your very Self, and I will continue to make [You] known, that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them [felt in their hearts] and that I [Myself] may be in them. John 17:20-26 (Amp)
Christianity as it is supposed to be is not about religion. Religion is an abomination to God. It is about relationship. Our relationship with God and with our fellow believers. Christ’s last prayer for us was the one above that we would be one with Him an the Father as well as one with each other. Oh how the church has failed in these things and yet it is so amazing how God still loves us so much.
Religion has done much harm to this world. Religion will never save a soul. It will never heal the sick. It will never raise the dead or set the captives free. More people have been killed in the name of religion than most of the wars combined.
Religion also sets rules and regulations upon people which are almost impossible to follow. One of the reasons Jesus criticized the Pharisees was because they had taken God’s laws and added to them.
Religion has also seeped into the church today and it is one of the main reasons the church is so divided. Men are listening to their own hearts instead of God. They have lost their relationship with Him and try to replace Him with things that please men instead of those things which please God.
The thing that sets Christianity apart from everything else in this world is the very fact that God Himself comes and takes up residence in us when we come to Him at the cross. It is the only one based on relationship not a set of laws and regulations. When Christ is in you, His law is written on your heart. It is through the relationship with Him that we are changed. We can’t change ourselves. Our hearts will always deceive us.
Christianity is also supposed to be about our love for one another. It was never supposed to be about denominations and building big churches. It is supposed to be about building the church. His church. The cross is and always will be our rallying point. It is the one thing we as Christians have in common. It is the small things that separate us and keep us from being what Jesus prayed in John 17.
God is doing a work right now. He is brining the church back to what it should be. Christ’s return is very soon and He is coming back for His bride. A beautiful bride without spot or wrinkle.