Originally Posted by Robert M Prince
Quote: Picked up from thread - Christianity- Who has the truth????
Originally Posted by ahigherway
I personally liked your thread, and it's unfortunate that there is so much division among Christians. This fact only goes to show that we are not walking in the Spirit as we should, as there is One Spirit.
If we dwelled in Love, the divisons would cease, and the world would see Christ.
Brian, I am convinced that our Saviour desires His followers to seek diligently to lay down our wills and our denominational differences. As a 79 year old semi-retired physician, I wrote the following article about 3 months ago. Any comments will be greatly appreciated,
Bob Prince, MD
ARE DENOMINATIONS IN KEEPING WITH GOD’S WILL?
Many people in our day are convinced that, “If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and accept Him as your personal Savior, you are saved, and that there is nothing you can do to cause you to lose that salvation.”
But our Savior Himself made high expectations of those who would be His true followers. In the 14th chapter of John, He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” also “Whosoever forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple,” Luke 14:33. In Acts chapter 5, St. Peter said that God gives the Holy Ghost to “them that OBEY Him.” So we must repent and have a mind to obey Christ if we are to receive His Holy Spirit, and I believe that Spirit gives us the power to resist committing willful sins. We know that we are prone to make mistakes every day, but that, “If we confess our sins , he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” I John 1:10.
St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians “That ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment,” I Cor 1:10. Now we know that Jesus told His Apostles, “He that heareth you heareth me, and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me” Luke 10:16. He also said, “He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me, and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me,” John 13:20. Also we know that Jesus personally struck Paul down on the road to Damascus and that St. Paul declared his credentials in several of his epistles that he was called of Christ Jesus to be an Apostle.
Jesus also prayed to his Father in John 17:11, that his followers should be one as He and the Father were one.
So if we are to be obedient to Christ and also to take heed to all the admonitions of His Apostles, it seems like an impossible task. But if we truly have the Holy Spirit, then He does the work in us, and we have nothing of which we can boast. According to Jesus, ”When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do,” Luke 17:10.
Does it make any sense that denominational differences are looked upon as being perfectly normal in our day, with people generally believing that almost all "conventional denominations” are branches of the Christian church and that all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their “personal” Savior are assured of going to heaven when they die.
Do we really believe that our all-wise, all-powerful Father in heaven looks down on this earth and approves of all those who claim to have been called of Him to preach the Gospel, even though they are often preaching things that are exactly opposite of what others are preaching.
I personally believe that Jesus gave the perfect formula for solving this gross confusion when he said in John 7:17 that, “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” I believe that if we have truly repented and pray earnestly for Christ and His Father to show us any area of our life where we are not doing His will, they will show this to us and give us the Holy Spirit. That Spirit will make it possible for us to be obedient to them, which is impossible for us to do if we have a carnal mind. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” Romans 8:7-9.
Jonathan Edwards wrote in 1851, “I am come now to the last distinguishing mark of holy affections that I shall mention: XII. Gracious and holy affections have their exercise and fruit in Christian practice. . . John 15:14, ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’. . If the old nature be indeed mortified, and a new and heavenly nature infused, then may it well be expected, that men will walk in newness of life, and continue to do so to the end of their days. . . Some may be ready to object against what has been said of Christian practice being the chief evidence of the truth of grace, that this is a legal doctrine, and that this making practice a thing of such great importance in religion, magnifies works, and tends to lead men to make too much of their own doings, to the diminution of the glory of free grace, and does not seem well to consist with the great gospel doctrine of justification by faith alone. It is our works being the price of God’s favor, and not their being the sign of it, that is the thing which is inconsistent with the freeness of that favor. . . It is not the worthiness or loveliness of our works, or anything in us, which is in any wise accepted with God, as a balance for the guilt of sin. Thus we are justified only by the righteousness of Christ, and not by our righteousness.” (A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections; Worcester edition.)
We know that Jesus said, “Not everyone that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father in heaven” Matt. 7:21. .Jesus made it perfectly clear that, “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings” John 14:21 & 24. And as we said, He told His Apostles that if we hear them we hear Christ Himself, so we are expected to have no divisions among us, as St. Paul admonished the Corinthians.
We certainly acknowledge that Christ has had true disciples in all ages of time since His crucifixion and resurrection, but I believe that, as the time of His return to earth draws nearer, He is calling for those who have truly repented and whose primary goal in life is to do God’s will, that we lay down our denominational differences and follow Him. I believe we should be careful not to judge others too harshly, since they must answer to their maker and not to us. But I firmly believe that if we are truly doing His will, Jesus promised us, “We SHALL KNOW of the doctrine whether it be of God" or whether we speak of ourselves.
If the reader sees anything in this document that is not backed up by scripture, you would do me a favor by bringing it to my attention.
May 5, 2010