It is time to be truly “woke”
Although God invites everyone to be part of His forever family, those who are hostile to God and His ways will not be allowed to enter in to His heaven. Ladies and gentlemen that includes militant homosexuals and antagonistic atheists as well as many who call themselves Christian.
It is actually somewhat understandable why many people mistrust certain Christians; however, there are other Christians whom it is quite dangerous to despise. Those Christians and their way of living may make you feel a bit uncomfortable regarding life-choices you may have made or may currently be making but if they are actually embarking upon the spirit-walk we are all called to travel in then it is wise to take note and, perhaps, move in the same direction and along the pathway and in the same manner they are.
There is a Christian doctrine which holds that the soul of the fully committed Christian may attain a high degree of virtue and holiness and become Entirely Sanctified with the help of the divine grace of Jesus. That term is not to be confused with Dr. Charles Stanley’s erroneous accusations that those who believe Entire Sanctification is a present possibility in this life are actually claiming to have attained “Ultimate Sanctification.” The Reverend Doctor may have merely misunderstood and not been guilty of maliciously maligning that grace of Jesus which he couldn’t quite comprehend. In some of his sermons I heard him come so close to teaching and embracing Entire Sanctification, often while using slightly different terminology that means the same thing, and then, just as it seemed like he was about to have his “eureka” moment, suddenly he was running back away from it. Why is he afraid of it?
I can remember at least a couple of times, sitting in front of the television saying, “C’mon Doc, you’re only a hair’s breadth away from your breakthrough.” Unfortunately, every time I heard Charles Stanley speak of Entire Sanctification correctly and get really close to actually comprehending the command from God for us to be holy in this life I would hear him turn around and run back toward hyper-Calvinism much like Gollum seeking out his “Precious.” Please understand, I do not lump together all those who hold John Calvin in high regard. I tend to see it as something along the line of: Hyper-Calvinist … Calvinist … Wesleyan-Calvinist. An example of the latter might be Charles H. Spurgeon who said, “There is a point of grace as much above the ordinary Christian as the ordinary Christian is above the world.” He also said of them, who are enjoying that grace, “They are rejoicing Christians, holy and devout men doing service for their Master all over the world, and everywhere conquerors through Him that loved them.”
Now the concept of Entire Sanctification may initially come from the Roman Catholic Church’s doctrine of theosis. The critic may pounce at this point and loudly proclaim, “Aha! It’s not a biblical thing!” My response is, “Sorry, charlie; go back and reread the paragraph above which starts with ‘There is a Christian doctrine…Jesus.’ because the foundation of that doctrine is God’s command to be holy.”
Thomas Aquinas defined a perfect thing as one that “possesses that of which, by its nature, it is capable.”
“Perfection is that which it is better to have than not to have.” – Duns Scotus
Christian Perfection is another term used to speak of Entire Sanctification. It is a doctrine that is chiefly associated with the followers and adherents of John Wesley’s theological understanding. Sometimes the concept is referred to as “sinless perfection,” although a better and more accurate phrase would be “blamelessness before God.”
John Wesley, in his book, “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection,” wrote “…sinless perfection is a phrase I never use, lest I should seem to contradict myself.” He also explained that he viewed it as “purity of intention, dedicating all the life to God” with “the mind which was in Christ, enabling us to walk as Christ walked.” This assists in “loving God with all our heart, and our neighbor as ourselves.”
Wesley did not use the term “Christian perfection” to claim sinlessness nor did he advocate it as a state of being unable to sin but rather it is the being more readily capable of choosing not to sin through finding empowerment from the Spirit of God to abide in holiness of heart and life in accordance with our high calling.
Thereby we may experience a freedom from willful rebellion against God, as well as impure intentions and pride. As we followers of Jesus function at that level of Christian living the world then sees the type of Christian that assures them that God still works in His followers in our day.
Entirely Sanctified Christians remain subject to temptations, and have a continued need to maintain a prayer life that keeps them connected to the One who empowers them to fulfill His command to “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” Charles Stanley correctly understood we cannot attain Entire Sanctification in our own power, and as long as we try to do it that way we’ll never get it; when we understand that the Spirit of God empowers us to live that way then and only then we may be empowered to receive that point of grace.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. — Jesus
I want to know one thing – the way to heaven; how to land on that Heavenly Shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way: for this very end he came from Heaven. He has the written it down in a book. Oh give me that book! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be a man of the book. – John Wesley
Let us imagine a number of men in chains and all condemned to death, where some are killed each day in the sight of the others, and those who remain see their own fate in that of their fellows and wait their turn, looking at each other sorrowfully and without hope. It is an image of the condition of man. – Blaise Pascal
Holiness is a flower that grows not in Nature’s garden. Men are not born with holiness in their hearts, as they are born with tongues in their mouths: holiness is a divine offspring: it is a pearl of great price, that is to be found in no nature but a renewed nature, in no bosom but a sanctified bosom. – Thomas Brooks, Puritan
We must show symathy with sinners, but not with their sins. C. H. Spurgeon
Do not tolerate what Jesus would not tolerate. pastorwardclinton.com
The neglect of prayer is a major hindrance to holiness and the whole world suffers the consequence of the “Christian” failure to be what God has commanded.
The first priority of my life is to be holy, and the second goal of my life is to be a scholar. John Wesley