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To Christadelphians everywhere,

I believe you are the victim of a spiritual deception.

You will disagree. I have no doubt your mind is made-up and no one can change it. You will be close-minded when others would see the light [2 Cor.3.14 Paul called people 'closed minded']. You will refuse to see while others would be willing to see [2 Cor.4:4]. Those who find security in a false system fail to see the truth. Facts and truth make no difference to them. But this doesn’t stop me from wanting to help. There’s a chance the “Spirit of Truth” will speak to your heart to help you seek the truth. You are zealous for the doctrines of a sect rather than “the doctrine of Christ” [1 Jn.9]. The later we have in the Scriptures; the former we encounter in various systems of human error, which use Scripture to bolster false doctrine.

My concern is (1) Christadelphianism focuses on “the Gospel of the Kingdom” [which was preached ‘only to the Jews’ and rejected by them]. And (2) ignores "the gospel of the grace of God [Ac.20:24]. The former was proclaimed before the death and resurrection of Christ; the latter since His resurrection, and its prominent fact is that Christ was raised from the dead after giving His life for the sins of His people. Hence this gospel could not have been preached while Christ was on earth. It's carefully defined in I Cor.15:1-3 "I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand… how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures [the OT] and was buried, and rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures." Paul did not learn this gospel from man, but the risen Lord [Gal.1:11,12] and "If an angel from heaven preach any other gospel, let him be accursed." Christadelphianism contradicts this gospel suggesting man is might be saved by his works.

I should add (to prevent misunderstanding) that the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached again in the next age, when the Lord begins again to deal with Israel and then it will be preached "for a witness to all nations" [Mt.24:14]. The Gospel of the Kingdom is: "Repent ye, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. It was preached by John the Baptist [Mt.3:1-2] Jesus [Mt.4:23] and the Twelve [Mt.10.5-7], but expressly limited to the house of Israel. The renewed offer of the Kingdom (conditioned upon national repentance), made by Peter in Acts 2 and 3 was only to the Jews, and was by them again rejected. In the coming age all "the promises to Israel will be fulfilled, and the nations also will be blessed through Israel in fulfilment of many prophecies.

Have you had a conversion? I have. Upon believing on the crucified and risen Son of God, who is "the true God and Eternal life[I Jn.5:20], I received the gift of God, which is everlasting life, and passed "out of death into life[Jn.5:24]. Since then I work, not in order to be saved, but because I am saved. Only the saved can work, [Eph.2:10; Titus 3:3]. For all others, "this is the work of God, that I you believe on Him who God has sent" [Jn.6:29]. I also read Scripture, not to get eternal life, but because I have already have eternal life and require spiritual food suitable for one who has been born anew and from above.

It's impossible for the dead to obtain eternal life by their own efforts, (which are dead works). It is only by "the gift of God" as Jesus declared in Jn 4.10 [& Paul Rom.6:23]. This is why I reject annihilation theories. To me "eternal death means something far more dreadful than extinction, or cessation of existence. John saw "the dead, small and great, stand before God" [Rev.20:12]. Although "dead" they nevertheless stand before the throne to be judged. They would not receive God's gift of eternal life [Jn.5:40]. They are "dead" and so cannot go into the realms of life and light, but into the "second death" or what Christ described as the "outer darkness."

I am not surprised if I don’t convince you of the error of Christadelphianism. It’s seldom those who commit themselves to a system of teaching whatever sort and however wide of the truth, are delivered from it. Particularly those who are involved in the great systems of error flourishing today, all of which, though radically differing among them-selves nevertheless seek to justify their teachings by some method of interpretation of Scripture. The great majority are unfortunate people who are drawn into these systems and have no desire whatever to be convinced of error. They become simply zealous partisans of a cult and would compass sea and land to make one proselyte. However, I pray that you are open to seek the truth.

When I say ‘I have eternal life’, you will reply that we can only have the promise of life. It depends on conditions we must fulfill. This is extraordinary coming from those who professes to believe Scripture. When I claim to have eternal life now, it’s based on my identification with Christ in His death and resurrection. This is the counterpart to the truth of the identification of the natural man with Adam in his sin and condemnation. It’s the one who says he has not eternal life that denies the resurrection of Christ [see Rom.6:6-11 8:2, 9-11 Eph. 2:6 Col.3:1 etc].

But apart from this, the Bible teaches in the most dogmatic and unambiguous fashion, eternal life is the present possession of all who believe on the crucified and risen Son of God. He who hears and believes "has everlasting lifeand is passed out of death into life" [Jn.5:24]. God "hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved), and hath raised us up together" [Eph.2:5-6]. "We know that we have passed out of death into life" [I Jn.3:14]. "He that hath the Son hath life and he that believes not this testimony of God concerning His Son hath made Him a liar" [I Jn.5:10-12]. The very purpose of John in writing his epistle was to those "that believe on the name of the Son of God" that they "might know" they "have eternal life". If you believe on His name and do not know this, you have read the Scriptures to no purpose and if these passages do not mean what they say, then words are absolutely worthless for the purpose of imparting information.

I will conclude by making this point. Scripture carefully distinguishes between Eternal Life and Immortality. Your teachers have confounded (and with little excuse for doing so) two things that are different. They are not synonymous. The word "immortal [like its opposite "mortal"] is applied in Scripture to the body. I am at present occupying a mortal body and don’t have yet immortality. At Christ’s Coming I shall be clothed with in-corruption and put on immortality; and receive a body like Christ’s [I Cor.15:51-55 2 Cor.5:1-4 Phil.3:21]. Yet I have eternal life NOW. "The Spirit is Life" [Rom.8.10] and He indwells believers now, occupying their mortal bodies. "His Spirit that dwelleth in you". Here we find the Spirit of Life indwelling the mortal bodies of believers. If you don't have this eternal life, it's because you don't belong to Christ, for "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His".

Many religious people are trying to work for salvation by good works. They are keeping a list of conditions and make Christianity into a religion. True Christianity is not a religion. Religion attempts to reach up to God, Christianity is God reaching down to man. Religion is man’s ultimate search for God, Christianity is God’s search for man, with His answer to man's problem. True Christianity is a relationship, a focus on One Person. In all sects, cults and heresies their leaders point a way to God, but in true Christianity Jesus points to Himself as God. I pray you come to know the Saviour.

Regards.
Mark.


To reply write to mark@answers.net.nz

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