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Further Study: The God of Grace and Judgment — 3 Comments

  1. There are a couple of interesting questions I think worth asking about the business of judgment for this week’s lesson.
    Scripture states that God is indeed sovereign and knows the end from the beginning. So, why do you think He chose not to end this nonsense of sin right after the cross and save whomever He wanted to save? What reasons would He have in waiting until 1844 to start the judgment process rather than upon Christ’s ascension?

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  2. Your question is a good one, Tyler. That there is an investigative judgment is easy to show from scripture. That it began in 1844 is perhaps not so easy to show from the Bible as it is to demonstrate from the writings of Ellen White and those of the early Adventist church leaders.

    I am not going to weigh in on this. While this may be a crucial issue for our identity as Seventh-day Adventists, it is not a crucial issue for salvation. Unless, of course, one believes that denominational membership is essential for salvation. However, that would be even harder to make a case for as even Ellen White made it clear in her writings that there would be those outside the denomination who would be saved.

    'Even among the heathen are those who have cherished the spirit of kindness; before the words of life had fallen upon their ears, they have befriended the missionaries, even ministering to them at the peril of their own lives. Among the heathen are those who worship God ignorantly, those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts, and they are recognized as the children of God." Desire of Ages, pg 638

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  3. Dear Stephen,

    The way you worded your comment -- that 1844 is only crucial to our denominational identity -- implies to my mind that neither our doctrine nor our identity is of any real or practical importance. Our existence as a people would seem to be merely an end in itself. Even saying that 1844 is not so easy to show from the Bible seems to imply that it may have been an invention of our pioneers.

    As I understand it, the change of Christ's heavenly ministry in 1844 is indeed vital to our salvation, as we are expected to follow Him by faith into the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary. The importance of this teaching would hardly seem to be lessened by the fact that those who have had no opportunity to know these things may be excused, unless the possiblity of salvation for those who have never heard the name of Jesus also renders the preaching of the gospel needless.

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