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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Fall Edition, 2014

God's Cure For Religious Sectarianism

“According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Ephesians 1:4-5).

In man-made religions there is, and always will be, sectarianism. This is evident everywhere: in Islam there are Sunnis and Shiites; in Christianity there are Catholics, Protestants, and Eastern Orthodox; in Judaism there is Orthodox and Reformed: the list goes on.

In contrast to what man creates, stands what God has chosen. God’s choice is called “election.” The biblical statement of election is clear: God has chosen us in Christ, that we should be holy. This holiness is imparted, personal, and practical, as opposed to being solely imputed, wholly borrowed, or merely theoretical.

The sovereign choice of God for our transformation in holiness was made before the creation of the universe. God envisioned in eternity that we should be holy, and that this holiness would be attainable through the mission of Jesus Christ. Saved from sin, by grace, through faith, was thus, by original design, the intended method of God’s election.

The revelation of God is progressive: the fullness and finality of it has now arrived in Jesus Christ. Only God can perfectly reveal God; and God revealing God is what the Christmas story--this human incarnation of Jesus of Nazareth-- is all about: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself” (I Corinthians 5:19). “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Wesleyans believe in a universal atonement: because Christ died for all; God’s will is now that everyone be saved. We are saved when we respond in faith and obedience to the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom. Thus, there is no true revelation of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord among us now, without an adequate conception of this kingdom.

All modern pseudo-Christian cults of false doctrine have one thing in common; they all fail to biblically comprehend the true nature of Christ’s kingdom. One example is dispensationalism. Dispensational teaching has informed us that Jesus postponed His kingdom to the Jews at the end of the first sixty-nine weeks of Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, per the theory of Sir Robert Anderson. It teaches further that, at the end of this present church age, Jesus isn’t returning for a general resurrection, or for the universal judgment, as clearly seen in Scripture; but to set up His supposedly postponed Jewish kingdom, and to reign on earth a thousand years.

Premillennial speculations of all types stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the messianic fulfillment embodied in the new covenant. Dispensationalism’s earthly, (i.e., physical,) versus its heavenly, (i.e., spiritual,) partitioning of Christ’s kingdom into two plans for two peoples likewise derives from ancient pagan philosophies of dualism, (such as Platonism and Gnosticism,) and not from accurately interpreting the Bible.

The kingdom of Christ is His reign in redemption: it is salvation full and free: it is true holiness in heart and life; the reign of the Holy Ghost in the hearts of the wholly sanctified. Postponing the kingdom means postponing holiness! To see the light here, friends, means to experience deliverance from a destructive modern cult of false doctrine Daniel Steele once called, “a substitute for holiness, or antinomianism revived.”

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