You’ve asked a good question. Why indeed should our lack of total surrender to the divine will continue to prolong the world’s suffering? It is time we laid it all on the Lord’s altar and brought the world’s agony at last to an end.
Regarding God’s requirements for succeeding generations, the Bible is clear that different levels of Spirit-empowered attainment are necessary for those receiving different levels of light and truth. The Bible says that God winks of the times of our ignorance (Acts 17:30), and declares that “to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). The Bible also states that “the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Prov. 4:18). On this basis Jesus taught that “for unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48).
I have said this before many times in these discussions, and I will continue to say it. God could use a beer-drinking anti-Semite like Martin Luther to launch the Protestant Reformation, but in contemporary Adventism one with his views and practices wouldn’t be welcome at any gathering I can think of, however conservative or liberal. All of us, I am certain, would agree that Martin Luther’s ideas and conduct are not an acceptable standard for Seventh-day Adventist Christians today.
The reason God gave to the Seventh-day Adventist Church all the light and insight regarding holy living found in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, is because in this antitypical Day of Atonement in progress since 1844, is because the final generation of Christians is to reach a level of consecration and faithfulness not seen before on such a scale. What is more, with evil in the world at unprecedented levels, the sanctification of God’s people must likewise reach unprecedented levels for the purpose of resisting this evil and offering a totally pure and Christ-focused contrast.
And once again, claiming sinlessness is not the issue. Unlike Jesus, no fallen mortal knows his or her own heart (I Kings 8:39); thus it is impossible even for those who attain sinless obedience to know when and if this has happened. The example of Job tells us how one can in fact be declared sinless in conduct (Job 1:1,8,22; 2:10) while refusing to make such a claim himself (Job 9:20-21). For the last generation, only when the voice of God finally turns their captivity and declares, “‘They come! they come! holy, harmless, and undefiled’” (GC 636) will the saints know at last that their victory is complete.