Sound Advice On Holiness
By David Gray
Question: Bro. Gray, I am sick at heart and cannot sleep. The anguish is almost unbearable. My son is a minister in the United Pentecostal Church. He was raised to believe in holiness but the last few years he has been influenced by a liberal element and has turned completely against everything he was raised to believe. He now says that we are hopelessly out of date, that all standards and holiness teachings of the United Pentecostal Church must be completely eliminated in order for us to reach this generation. The circle he runs with is determined to change our organization to permit jewelry, painted faces, short hair on the ladies, the wearing of slacks and shorts, no restrictions on televisions, rock music, or attending theaters and ball games, etc. I am so confused and troubled. I love my son but this has put a breach between us. What can I do or say. Please help me Bro. Gray
Answer: My heart goes out to you, brother. You can be assured of our prayers and the prayers of many of God’s people who read this column and are concerned about the horrible inroads the end time spirit of Laodicea, worldliness, and compromise are making in the hearts of some who at one time stood solid and strong for holiness and truth. The sad thing is that oft times the opposition ..rises from our own loved ones. “A man’s ..enemies shall be they of thine own household,” God’s word says (see Micah 7:6,Matthew 10:36).
The spirit that your son has imbibed is devastating. I have seen people turn seemingly overnight. Churches which were once strong bastions of truth and holiness have succumbed. The spirit of the age is sweeping like a plague of locusts over the land, devouring everything it can. Matthew 24:24 is being fulfilled before our very eyes.
The tendency is for us to feel discouraged and defeated. We are inclined to feel as Elijah when he said, “… I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and 1, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (I Kings 19: 1 0).
But God let Elijah know that all was not lost. He said, “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him” (I Kings 19:18).
All is not lost! God has a church, a pure bride that will never bow or surrender to the spirit of compromise and worldliness. God is raising up Elijahs and Daniels and John the Baptists who will stand to the very end.
I believe the United Pentecostal Church is in the crucible. “The fire will try every man’s work of what sort it is,” holy writ has told us (I Corinthians 3:13). The tares will grow among the wheat. ‘Me five foolish and the five wise were all together and were all called virgins. The Laodicea and the Philadelphia churches will continue on together until the Lord spews out the Laodiceans and opens heaven’s door to the Philadelphians.
The Lord Jesus Christ is still the great head of the church! He is in charge, and He knows exactly what to do, and He is doing it! “the fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the gamer; but he will bum up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:12).
There are those who believe that the tide of compromise is so strong that the United Pentecostal Church will succumb and go the way of the denominations before it. I do not believe this is so, but if it should be God still has a church and will raise up a holy seed that will stand before Him in holiness in this end time.
It is true that others who have once stood for holiness have turned liberal and given up. Let me quote from the book “Perfect Love” by J.A. Wood published by the Methodist Episcopal Book Room, Philadelphia, Penn. in 1861:
“How does opposition to holiness usually manifest itself among professors of religion? Often by sneers and taunts to those who advocate and profess it… This accusation is now made mainly by persons within the pale of the Methodist church itself The time was when- the early Methodist preachers had plenty of this kind of treatment from without the Methodist church… Now while that kind of opposition from abroad had well nigh ceased, we have an abundance of it at home…
Let me ask, in the language of John Wesley, ‘Why have the preacher of it (holiness) been hooted at like mad dogs, even by men that fear God, nay, and by some of their own children, some whom they, under God, have begotten through the gospel?’
Rev. Abel Stevens says, ‘Ministers who profess and preach holiness have to encounter suspicion, denunciation, theological and ecclesiastical ostracism…’
I believe there is a class of temporizing, tobacco chewing, and cigar- smoking ministers getting into the pulpit, who neither preach nor enjoy much religion, but are ever ready to utter accusation against any who may profess or preacher Christian holiness.” (Perfect Love, pages 264, 266, 267, 269).
While I do not think those in the United Pentecostal Church who are opposed to our position on holiness outwardly as well as inwardly are “tobacco-chewing and cigar-smoking,” I do believe they are “television-watching and pleasure-loving.” There is no questions in my mind but that attempts will be made to alter our Articles of Faith on these important issues. And if they do not succeed their hope will be to render them ineffective through simply ignoring them and permitting violations to continue unchecked; in other words, to not require compliance with them. To do this Will surely spell the death knell of the United Pentecostal Church as a body upholding the holiness principles of the Word of God in the earth in the end time.
While all this may go on let us remember that there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you” (I Corinthians II: 19). God has always put His seal of approval, anointing, and blessing upon His own, and always will.
“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Hebrews 1:9).
A word about reaching this generation. It sounds good to the natural man to say that we cannot reach people when we look and act so different. The facts of the case are just the opposite. Sinners are sick and tired of the way they are. “Why should I come your way if you are just the same as I am?” they ask.
Those who compromise “to reach the sinners” do not have a track record of accomplishment. Few of our larger churches are of this stripe. Most of them are holiness churches, and of those who are not most were during the years of their growth. Revival, blessing, and growth almost invariably accompany the preaching of Bible holiness.
You will never lose by holding firm to the principles of holiness and truth in the Word of God. God will always stand for those who stand up for Him!
Love your son, Dad. But don’t give in. Continue strong and unbending. Pray for him that the time will come when he will realize that he is on sinking sand and will want to return to the solid rock of the unchanging Word of God. He will need you then. Be there to help him get his bearings once again.
Brethren, pray for the beautiful fellowship of the United Pentecostal Church. Satan wants to destroy it. Let us hold fast against every inroad against truth and holiness. Did not God Himself say to us through the Apostle Paul, “… If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
The above article was published in Apostolic Accent, c. 1992, p. 9
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