THE SPLITTING OF THE CHURCH
A few uninformed persons say that “holiness splits the church.” But this is false. When men love God with all their heart and their neighbors as themselves, nothing can separate them. If, however, people of different sorts and kinds, some saved and some unsaved, are in one organization, it will not require anything much to make them differ in opinion. The real ecclesia, the genuine church, is not so easily split. One of our most brilliant and spiritual holiness writers has remarked in pleasantry that the anxiety of some in regard to the splitting of the church would lead one to think that there was something inside which they were afraid would be seen in case of a cleavage.
Keep to the Bible.
Keep to the Bible idea of sanctification. Let not the adversary dupe you and frighten you from its quest and obtainment. Begin now; seek, search, pray, consecrate, believe, and soon the blessing will fall upon your waiting soul.
Those for whom Christ prayed—“Sanctify them.”
The men for whom Christ prayed were converted men, and were living in justified relation to God. In proof of this statement, let the reader study the context carefully.
A cloudless sky.
In the sixteenth chapter of St. John, the one immediately preceding the sacerdotal prayer, the conversation which is recorded would be impossible were the disciples conscious of guilt. One can not read those sublime verses without the irresistible conviction that the disciples’ sky of soul-consciousness was blue and cloudless. There is no hint in Christ’s discourse that these men are “of the world,” but rather it is taken for granted that they are children of God and heirs of the kingdom.
A specific statement.
It is the sheerest folly for one to maintain that the conversion of the disciples did not occur prior to Pentecost. If words mean anything, Jesus made a specific statement to the contrary. “Rejoice,” says He, “that your names are written in heaven.” In His prayer He says to His Father: “They have kept Thy word”; “they are Thine”; “I pray for them, I pray not for the world.” Notice the distinction which He makes between “them” and “the world.” These men are picked men. They are very different from the great unpardoned, sinful throng outside the kingdom—they are Christians.
The chamber of blessing.