The Final Diagnosis: Fatal!

Fatal: 1) Causing, or capable of causing death; 2) Having extremely unfortunate or dire consequences; 3) Causing destruction, disaster, or ruin.

Richard watched the doctor’s expressions closely as he thoroughly examined his torso, listening to his heart, then tapping him here and there. It had been quite a while since he had been to a doctor. He always dreaded the possibility of hearing something “really bad” about his condition, even if he was only suffering from a toothache. This time, however, he knew he had to get help. He felt so uncomfortable lately, and was losing weight fast. His strength was failing, and he was always tired. He was sure it was something simple, and would require a simple remedy. He just didn’t know how to deal with it himself.

The doctor hung the stethoscope on the wall, and turned to Richard. His usually cheerful manner had changed a bit.

“What do you think, Scott?” asked Richard, feeling rather nervous.

“Go ahead and get dressed,” replied the doctor. “Then I’ll see you in my office.” Turning, he left his patient in the examination room to finish dressing.

Pausing at the door, Richard swallowed to calm his nerves. He entered the office where Scott greeted him and pointed to a chair in front of his large oak desk. He thought Scott appeared more serious than usual, as he went through the medical reports on the desk. Finally lifting his head, Scott looked Richard directly in the eye, and began to speak softly. “Richard, we’ve been friends for a long time, so I’m going to be quite frank with you.”

“Whoa, Scott!” said Richard, sitting straight in his chair. “That kind of opening scares me!”

“You should have dealt with this much earlier, Richard. According to these x-rays and lab reports, my suspicions are confirmed. You have a large tumor on your liver, and it has metastasized to your lungs. There are several tumors in both lungs, and they are all malignant.” Scott paused, removing his glasses. He looked gently at Richard and continued, “I hate to be the one to tell you this, but then again, maybe it’s best coming from a friend. What you have, Richard, is terminal cancer. It’s gone far beyond anything we can do. I’m afraid it’s fatal.”

Richard stared blankly as if he hadn’t heard. He felt as if the whole world had fallen onto his chest, and was crushing the breath out of him. He looked at Scott, then all around the room, as if he expected someone else to say something. He had known something was wrong, but he didn’t want to face it. Now it was clear. He was going to die. There was no way out of it. He was going to die.

Literally thousands of people every month have had this kind of news, or something similar, broken to them. They are told that their condition is fatal. Countless more will hear the same diagnosis as the years go by. It is a daily occurrence in the medical world. But isn’t there something similar in the social realm? Has there been any kind of examination of how people relate to one another?

Yes. Every newspaper, news report, social documentary, or any other study on human relationships, point out quite clearly that man is a fatally flawed race. It is clear that there is an irreparable, devastating, fatal flaw in man’s ability to get along with one another. There are simple ways in which this disunity comes out. For instance, members of the same family have more than one TV set. Why? Because they can’t agree on which program to watch together.

Or look at the rush-hour traffic on the highway. Which lanes are the most crowded, and which lane has the least traffic? We all know that the express lane has the fewest people. To use this lane you have to be with at least one other person. The horribly jam-packed traffic of the main three or four lanes make it clear that most people prefer to travel alone, in their own vehicle, rather than be with another person, even if it means facing twice-daily traffic jams, bottlenecks, and stressed-out nerves.

So the drivers in the express lane must be people who really care and share, you’d think. In many cases that’s true. Yet traffic reports indicate that there is an interesting problem appearing in the express lane. The law requires that you travel with at least one other person in order to use that lane. Some individuals have gone so far as to place a life-sized mannequin (dummy) in the passenger’s seat, giving the appearance of driving with another person. They would rather be with a dummy than with a real person.

I’m sure these would be rather benign examples to some. Extreme examples would include the fact that all over the world countries or ethnic groups are at war with one another. The utter devastation and tragedy of destroyed human life and relationships can never be fully measured or appreciated. The flaw is fatal. The breach is beyond repair by human wisdom and strategy. No one has yet been able to devise a plan that produced lasting peace between nations or individuals.

How can man put an end to war, before war puts an end to man?

Many desperately seek the answer to that question, especially in regions ravaged by war. Hundreds of thousands have turned to religion to find answers and solutions. Surely in the church you will find God’s answers and His solutions, even for the wrong ways in your own soul. Filled with hope and expectation, as a last desperate measure, these unsuspecting souls enter into something they never fully investigated. Present-day statistics show that this last refuge of hope and security, the church, manifests the same fatal flaw of humanity, perhaps to an even greater degree than any other institution.

The fatal flaw of humanity is expressed in disunity. Man is irreconcilably divided. The message of Christianity is supposed to be unity: one God, one faith, one baptism.1 According to the church, the message of Jesus is love and unity. Any soul desperate for peace, love, and security would turn to the church after hearing that in this place is the end of disunity and fatal divisions that he is daily confronted with. The love of God ought to be thriving in such a place. However, instead there is a growing number of disenchanted Christians. They see within Christianity the same fatal flaw that plagues humanity. The very place where they went to find brotherly kindness, love, and unity is hopelessly divided. There are presently 39,000 different denominations. Are these the ones who are going to teach about love and unity?

There is a place in the Bible that says there are to be no divisions in the church. It says they are to be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. That means they are to agree with each other.2 All denominations know that. Yet they have found a way to not do what is clearly written in the Scriptures. It’s called “agreeing to disagree.” They say that in spite of their differences there is “unity in diversity.”

We should realize that we’re all part of the Body of Christ and that there aren’t any real divisions in the Body. We’re all one.” ~Chuck Smith3

The Word says not to disagree. Denominations say that it’s okay to disagree and have determined to do it, in spite of what the Bible says. Is there any wonder why two billion Christians have virtually no effect on bringing about unity in this world?

Almost 2,000 years ago, a small group of disciples had a very different effect on their society. It was said they “turned the world upside down.”4 They did it by demonstrating their love and unity. The gospel they heard affected them so deeply, they lived together, caring for each other’s needs, and sharing everything in common with each other. Anyone could clearly see them living together and interacting this way.5 What they were doing and how they were living was in total agreement with what Jesus had commanded them to do in John 13:34-35.

They demonstrated a visible love and unity that results from obeying the true gospel. Any desperate person could come into their midst and find forgiveness, love, and unity. That’s why souls were added to their number daily — not just increasing church membership, but people actually living together in a covenant relationship. They found the solution to the fatal flaw of humanity.

Without that solution, people are not able to love one another and live peacefully together because the love of God is missing in them. Humans, as a whole, are able to unconditionally love this way only when the love of God is poured out in their hearts.6 His Spirit pours out His love into the hearts of those who belong to Him. They will always be one heart and one soul.7

Do you think His Spirit is in all those 39,000 denominations that don’t agree? Do you think His love has been poured out in their hearts? It doesn’t matter how sincere they are, He doesn’t pour His love out into divisions. Yahshua Himself said that a house divided can only fall.8 39,000 denominations means at least 39,000 points of disagreement, 39,000 reasons why they cannot worship together in truth and in spirit.9

So, where do you go to get out of all the disunity and devastation all around us? Where do love and peace abound? In that place, where the true gospel is preached, it will have the same effect as in the Book of Acts. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and His Spirit still produces the same results today as He did in Acts.10 His love poured out in your heart will cause you to want to live together with your brothers and sisters, and care for them, and they for you, for the rest of your life.

In the place where all the members are living that way, you will find the true Son of God.11 In that place and environment, the fatal flaw is removed and the wounds begin to heal. The true meaning and purpose of life begins to unfold.

There is a place where the fatal flaw in man can be both removed and healed. If you’re as desperate about that and other things as we were, then we invite you to come visit us for as long as you like. Come and see.

  • 1. Ephesians 4:5
  • 2. 1 Corinthians 1:10
  • 3. Chuck Smith, Answers for Today, 1993, p.157
  • 4. Acts 17:6
  • 5. Acts 2:37-47; 4:32-37
  • 6. Romans 5:5
  • 7. Acts 4:32
  • 8. Matthew 12:25
  • 9. John 4:23-24
  • 10. Hebrews 13:8
  • 11. John 12:26

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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