Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Elder Barton's Lament

Belief in conditional time salvation comes with a consequence. The hermeneutic of reducing apparent conditional passages to concern only temporal affairs has the tendency of changing one’s focus upon heaven to the present-time world in which we live. It was such that long-deceased Elder Thomas Barton lamented, saying “before his death that he was afraid His ministering brethren would not leave him any heaven to go to” (”New Theories”, Sylvester Hassell, 1892).

This is so unfortunate. Much comfort is to be derived from those conditional passages which speak of the Lord’s people attaining to some blessing to be fully realized in the state of glorification, all of which is promptly robbed when it is continuously harped that the only reason to meet the requirements of repentance and faith, coming to Christ, walking the straight and narrow, is to have a better life “while we live here below”.

I for one see how the lamentation of Elder Barton could be easily shared by his descendants today.

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