Superficial conservative Christian members will renounce the faith.
“And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 1 Peter 4:18
“The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity she will have to do in a terrible crisis under most discouraging, forbidding circumstances. The warnings that worldly conformity has silenced or withheld must be given under the fiercest opposition from enemies of the faith. And at that time the superficial, conservative class, whose influence has steadily retarded the progress of the work, will renounce the faith and take their stand with its avowed enemies, toward whom their sympathies have long been tending. These apostates will then manifest the most bitter enmity, doing all in their power to oppress and malign their former brethren and to excite indignation against them. This day is just before us. The members of the church will individually be tested and proved. They will be placed in circumstances where they will be forced to bear witness for the truth. Many will be called to speak before councils and in courts of justice, perhaps separately and alone. The experience which would have helped them in this emergency they have neglected to obtain, and their souls are burdened with remorse for wasted opportunities and neglected privileges.” 5T 463
Many “traditional” Adventists are superficial conservatives!
Many feel satisfied that they are fairly conservative in their beliefs but sadly many times this brand of conservativism does not stem from a love of the standards found in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, but rather from a love of the culture that they were raised with. These types of conservatives often feel it their duty to try to stop people whom they deem to be fanatics because they are radical about following the council God has given His people. They think that as long as we are not radically rebellious by playing rock music in church, etc., they will be safe in their “balanced” condition of conservativism, which embraces the worlds’ standards moderately, but clings to the more elegant forms of church service, dress, and conduct, but generally does not reprove the sins of an upper class congregation. Ministers of these superficial conservative churches will focus on sins of drunkenness, drugs abuse, homosexuality, promiscuity, etc., but rarely will these types of conservative pastors point out the much needed reforms and changes that should to be made in the lives of their members. Superficial conservatives are the lukewarm class that can not see the true status of their condition before God. They think they are growing spiritually by leaps and bounds, but believe that practical things such as dress, diet, or lifestyle, etc. has little to do with their standing before God. But God declares them to be wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Have you noticed why they cannot see their spiritual and physical nakedness, their sins and shortcomings? It is because they are spiritually blind and love to hear their own flatteries bouncing off the walls of their beautiful majestic churches. These flatteries help to distract them from their blindness and eventually will lead them to think that they actually have super eyesight, better in fact than Gods’ prophets. Times have changed, they say. We just need to keep following our leaders!! But God says they need eye salve so they can see things as He sees them. “And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” Matt 15:14
Who are the most effective agents of Satan to stop us from being zealous for God?
“Those temptations are most dangerous which come from the professed servants of God, and from our friends. When persons who are uniting with the world, yet claiming great piety and love, counsel the faithful workers for God to be less zealous and more conservative, our answer must be an appeal to the word of God. When they plead for union with those who have been our determined opposers, we should fear and shun them as decidedly as did Nehemiah. Those who would lead away from the old landmarks to form a connection with the ungodly, cannot be sent of Heaven. Whatever may have been their former position, their present course tends to unsettle the faith of God's people. Such counselors are prompted by Satan. They are time-servers. The testimonies, reproofs, and warnings of God's servants are unpalatable to them, being a reproof to their worldly, pleasure-loving propensities. We should shun this class as resolutely as did Nehemiah.” ST, January 3, 1884 par. 15
Who are these superficial conservatives?
“The class represented bythe foolish virgins are not hypocrites. They have a regard for the truth, they have advocated the truth, they are attracted to those who believe the truth; but they have not yielded themselves to the Holy Spirit's working. They have not fallen upon the Rock, Christ Jesus, and permitted their old nature to be broken up. This class are represented also by the stony-ground hearers. They receive the word with readiness, but they fail of assimilating its principles. Its influence is not abiding. The Spirit works upon man's heart, according to his desire and consent implanting in him a new nature; but the class represented by the foolish virgins have been content with a superficial work. They do not know God. They have not studied His character; they have not held communion with Him; therefore they do not know how to trust, how to look and live. Their service to God degenerates into a form. "They come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness." Ezekiel 33:31. The apostle Paul points out that this will be the special characteristic of those who live just before Christ's second coming. He says, "In the last days perilous times shall come: for men shall be lovers of their own selves; . . . lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." 2 Timothy 3:1-5.” COL 411
Can’t we just relax and sing “God’s still working on me,
to make me what I ought to be”?
“I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of "refreshing" and the "latter rain" to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God. Those who refuse to be hewed by the prophets and fail to purify their souls in obeying the whole truth, and who are willing to believe that their condition is far better than it really is, will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building.[ This means that these superficial believers have apparently even stood up for the Sabbath in the beginning stages of the national Sunday law, because the plagues do not fall till after it is enforced. ] But there will be no time then to do it and no Mediator to plead their cause before the Father. Before this time the awfully solemn declaration has gone forth, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." I saw that none could share the "refreshing" unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. We should, therefore, be drawing nearer and nearer to the Lord and be earnestly seeking that preparation necessary to enable us to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. Let all remember that God is holy and that none but holy beings can ever dwell in His presence.” EW 71
God often can not work with us in our evangelistic efforts
because of the superficial class!
“The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden. What influence would these unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?” 6T 370
Jesus said that the superficial class will not go through the storm ahead!
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as [one] having authority, and not as the scribes.” Matt 7:21-29
But don’t we need to be careful not to become too ridged like the Pharisees in keeping Gods commands?
Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 5 19,20
What is a good earmark of superficial conservative believers?
“Human reasoning has ever sought to evade or set aside the simple, direct instructions of the word of God. In every age, a majority of the professed followers of Christ have disregarded those precepts which enjoin self-denial and humility, which require modesty and simplicity of conversation, deportment, and apparel. The result has ever been the same, --departure from the teachings of the gospel leads to the adoption of the fashions, customs, and principles of the world. Vital godliness gives place to a dead formalism. The presence and power of God, withdrawn from those world-loving circles, are found with a class of humbler worshipers, who are willing to obey the teachings of the Sacred Word. Through successive generations, this course has been pursued. One after another, different denominations have risen and, yielding their simplicity, have lost, in a great measure, their early power.” MYP 354
How can we avoid being part of the superficial conservative class?
“What are you doing, brethren, in the great work of preparation? Those who are uniting with the world are receiving the worldly mold and preparing for the mark of the beast. Those who are distrustful of self, who are humbling themselves before God and purifying their souls by obeying the truth these are receiving the heavenly mold and preparing for the seal of God in their foreheads. When the decree goes forth and the stamp is impressed, their character will remain pure and spotless for eternity.Now is the time to prepare. The seal of God will never be placed upon the forehead of an impure man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of the ambitious, world-loving man or woman. It will never be placed upon the forehead of men or women of false tongues or deceitful hearts. All who receive the seal must be without spot before God--candidates for heaven. Go forward, my brethren and sisters. I can only write briefly upon these points at this time, merely calling your attention to the necessity of preparation. Search the Scriptures for yourselves, that you may understand the fearful solemnity of the present hour.” 5T 216