Unity upon the Three Angels’ Messages – Pt 6

Appeal and Conclusion

A conviction is felt that this series should be concluded with a personal appeal for unity under the banner of the Three Angels’ Messages. The appeal is for all the different groups that subscribe to the Three Angels’ Messages (be they of the main organization, from among the “independent (or self-supporting) ministries” or the “reformed groups”) to place greater focus on the mission of saving souls for the kingdom of God.  We should place no greater focus on denouncing each other than we place on denouncing the other religious bodies of Christendom.  While we respectfully disagree with the other churches of Christendom in their views on such important matters as the Sabbath, the state of the dead, the final punishment of the wicked and other teachings, we seek to teach and enlighten in order to win, rather than to denounce them.  That is the right thing to do, but oftentimes we take a less charitable attitude towards each other.  Is such an attitude of God?  I think not.

It is obvious that varying levels of conviction exist with respect to some of the finer points of doctrine and management. As a result, a general amalgamation of these various entities, organizationally, is not likely to occur.  Under the gospel, it is acknowledged that there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” (1 Cor. 12:5, 6).

At least, all indifference, suspicion, exclusiveness and negative publicity should cease. This is not suggesting that actions which are deemed to be sinful or unbecoming should not be pointed out in love. But offenders should be approached personally, and such matters considered in the appropriate fora.

It should ever be remembered that the “beam” should be taken out of our own eyes before we attempt to take the “mote” out of the eye of another (Matt. 7:5). There should be less eagerness to denounce. Let us concentrate our efforts on building up the faith of believers and calling sinners out of the kingdom of darkness. The field is wide. Millions of people are hungering for the gospel of salvation and many are ignorantly trampling upon the law of God. The coming of the Lord is soon and there is much work to be done.

Whether or not we wish to acknowledge it, the fact is that the venom of the beast and his image will not be unleashed against one of these groups only, but against all Sabbath-keeping Adventists. Therefore, we all would do well to heed the Divine injunction to “press together” (2 SM 274)[1]. We need to “arouse to comprehend the situation and view the contest before us in its true bearings” (5T 716)[2].

The devil has surely stolen a march on us in thus scattering the little flock and creating a spirit of indifference towards each other. How could the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist church organization, for example, justify a greater spirit of openness to establish common ground with the progressively falling churches of Christendom while stoutly denouncing and dissociating themselves from those who are clearly of a similar faith? This has got to be the work of the enemy. How can we not see this?

The devil has stolen a march on us! May the Good Lord forgive us! The longer we take to recognize our responsibility in contributing (whether actively or passively) to the disunity among our brethren and make a decided effort to press for unity at whatever level we are capable of exerting an influence, the longer it will be that we remain in a self-righteous Laodicean condition and hold the Lord’s work to ransom, at the peril of losing our own soul salvation.

Let us all be reminded that the church was purchased dearly by the blood of Christ and it is His burden that “they be one” as He and the Father are one (John 17:21-23). The grand object of the gospel is “that in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him” (Eph. 1:10). Therefore, any failure on our part to cooperate with this process can only prepare us to be misfits in a universe where “one pulse of harmony” will beat “throughout the realms of illimitable space” (GC 678)[3]. In short, we would be preparing ourselves not to be there.

It is my sincere conviction that we should give preeminence, in our ministry, to the truths which have made Seventh-day Adventists a distinct people and by which, we have been specially denominated by God. As we do this and as we grow daily, both individually and collectively, approaching the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13), our differences will gradually pale into insignificance until they cease to exist.

Until then, we may give God thanks and take courage from His promises, among which we may consider the following which was said to ancient Israel:

“In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.” Jer. 3:18.

“The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.” Isa. 11:13.

 

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15).

 

For further information, please visit Patience of the Saints at http://thecommandmentsofgodandthefaithofjesus.com/

Questions and comments may be sent by e-mail to: commandmentsofgodandfaithofjesus@yahoo.com

 

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[1] White, Ellen G., Selected Messages, Vol. 2, p. 374

[2] White, Ellen G., Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 716

[3] White, Ellen G., The Great Controversy, p. 678

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