Jesus said an extraordinary and wonderful thing “For God, all things are possible.”
For God, all things are possible. Yet we like to think that some things are impossible for God. We like to think that God can only work through people like us. He can only work through our denomination. Or he can only work through the evangelical movement, or the protestant movement, or the catholic church. Or he can only work through people who believe the same doctrines that we do.
For God all things are possible. So it is not impossible that God would be working in other denominations. In fact we should expect God to be working in other denominations. If we read the parable of the lost sheep, or the prodigal son, we learn that God longs for reconciliation with his lost children and actively works to bring that reconciliation about. The shepherd goes out looking for the lost sheep. The father runs to meet his repentant son and hugs him. So is God actively working in all denominations? Of course he is.
The belief that God only works through people like us is a delusion – and a dangerous delusion. It is like a mental illness. In an individual it might be diagnosed as a narcissistic personality disorder – a disorder in which the victim thinks that they are right in all things and that anyone who disagrees with them must be wrong.
Mental illness stops us from being effective. It makes others wary of us. It makes others want to look the other way and pretend that they haven’t seen us. It isolates us. This is the very opposite of what Jesus wants. Jesus tells us that it is by our love for each other that the world will know that we are his disciples. Love for each other cannot mean love that is restricted to people like us. It must mean love for all members of God’s family.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)