This week’s lesson explores how the concept of “salvation” intersects with the “end time.”
I must admit that I got to Friday’s lesson without a clear understanding of the author’s stance on the relationship between the two. Part of the problem may be that this quarter’s lessons are underpinned by the notion of a punctilliar arrival of the end time (today) rather than an overarching period of history inaugurated at the first coming of Jesus. This presuppositional lens colors the author’s conclusions at times with unusual shades.
I have posted several times on Spectrum. Most churchgoers, even outside SDA, do not know/understand what the word “grace” means (or salvation & gospel)
Because of this ignorance/confusion (and other reasons) there is this fixation on “assurance”. So we hear some pastors/teachers throw to the audience the usual opiate 1 JN 5:13 and yet don’t explain how the verse applies/ is significant…because SDA presenters are so used to cut & paste proof text teaching methods.
Lack of competent biblical teaching results in fanaticism, confusion, paranoia, anxiety, and suffering. This article is just more evidence of these symptoms.
If church members/attenders are not taught correctly about the basic terms then 13 weeks of end time cut & paste doctrine/eschatology leads to all kinds of cognitive disorders including apathy & cynicism.
Are we wordsmithing here (I know it is not a word) or really trying to learn from what Jesus told us? In spite of the actual words that the author may have used I come to a different conclusion. Our salvation does not depend on how perfectly we obey the law but on how sincerely we try to replace our imperfect and sinful tendencies in favor of God’s perfect Will for us. (I deeply know how challenging this is for me).
…and there is the problem. It’s all in HOW HARD WE TRY. It can never be hard ENOUGH. You get that in every SDA sermon. Can you think of any way you can do enough “to replace your imperfect tendencies”? At what point could you say, “I’m doing all I can - I have succeeded”? It’s a losing battle from the start. If it were possible someone should have accomplished it and, if the Adventist story is true, that one person would be in heaven now and the rest of us in that “lake” counting the hours.
We forget, “There is no one righteous, no not one.” Well, there was ONE - so how dos that change things for us? That is the question we need to be pondering.
Same result - not enough - apparently. If the “last generation” is to show perfection (through effort or faith), how does their perfection count for he countless who went to their graves imperfect? If it does in any way, we have made ourselves our own saviour. The last generation can 't have some higher standing in perfection than any other - and to what purpose. If it’s to bolster the faith of the rest of creation as to their confidence toward God - I think they got it at the cross; if not, it’s hopeless for them - and us.
You are probably right here (and I include myself)), but I would not get too hung up about “the last generation”, the only church that teaches salvation by the merits of others (e.g. Mary and the saints) is the RCC. At the end of time we will each stand individually in front of our Maker.
Sirje does have a point, I think, George. This is the bugbear, the occupational hazard, of being a Seventh-day Adventist, in my experience, as I was just saying here.
“The Last Generation” absolutely cannot be avoided if you are a Seventh-day Adventist—along with racism, abortion, sanctuary doctrine issues, integrity issues, discrimination issues, etc.,—it’s all on your plate at the same time.
Agreed, wrong choice of words from my part (how sincerely we “try” vs we “believe”). But as far as the last generation of Seventh-Day-Adventists, we are no different than the first generation of Jews. The righteous will live by faith.
Indeed, this week’s Sabbath School lesson well illustrates the Laodicean condition of the SDA church. It cannot have nor teach true assurance of salvation, cannot take part in preaching the everlasting gospel, and cannot rightly teach about Christian perfection because it does not teach the true everlasting gospel of righteousness nor does it teach the truth about God’s Law. But the truth about the law of God and the gospel of righteousness is coming out despite the church’s efforts to conceal it. You can read about it here: https://kennethneal.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-law-of-god-and-gospel-of.html With this gospel, there is no conflict between the law and grace/gospel. That’s because it is the true everlasting gospel that will soon lighten the earth with its glory.
…faith in what - that God can make us perfect (He already has, legally); experientially? not in this lifetime. That is the point. If it takes only one to end this madness, Christ is our representative - the ONE. The just live by FAITH. Unfortunately, the word “faith” can be understood as both belief and trust. It can’t be belief since the “devil also believes”; so it has to be trust - trust in that Jesus is the first fruits of man’s salvation -accomplished. That may take more faith than a belief in flat earth or that our sabbath keeping will save us.