Importance of Character Perfection

There are many in the churches today who believe our characters will be changed by Jesus when He returns at the second coming. But we will show you on this page that this belief is not only error, but dangerous too. The majority of professed Christians today are in the Laodicean condition, because they feel no need to get ready for heaven, and this condition will cost them eternity! So this teaching of character perfection is vital to understand today.

Let me begin by showing you a big problem with this belief that our characters will be changed by Christ when He returns. Think about this - if Christ is simply going to change our characters when He returns, then why didn't God just change Adam and Eve's characters after they sinned? It would have saved a whole lot of trouble. And we can go back even further than that, to the very beginning of sin. Why didn't God simply change Lucifer's character after he sinned? Afterall, if Jesus will instantly change our characters at His return, then He could have simply done it in the beginning.

Let me tell you why. If God instantly changed anyone's character after they sinned, then that would be forced conversion, and forced submission, which would go against God's own character and the free will He has given to all. Also, if Christ is going to change our characters when He returns, it means He can do it for every single being, which means all can go to heaven!

Do you see the problem this error creates? It goes against the very plan of salvation and the character of God. Not only that, we have inspired council that tells us our characters will remain with us when we go to heaven and will not be changed at the second coming:

"None who have had the light of truth will enter the city of God as commandment-breakers. His law lies at the foundation of his government in earth and in heaven. If they have knowingly trampled upon and despised his law on the earth, they will not be taken to heaven to do the same work there; there is no change of character when Christ comes. The character building is to go on during the hours of probation. Day by day their actions are registered in the books of heaven, and they will, in the great day of God, be rewarded as their works have been. It will then be seen who receives the blessing. 'Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.' (E.White, Review and Herald, Aug.25, 1885)

"Now is our day of probation, and we are now to perfect characters that will stand the test of the judgment. When Christ comes, there is to be no change of character; this mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption shall put on incorruption; and those who are alive and remain upon the earth will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, if their characters are blameless and pure. Transformation of character must take place during the precious hours of probation." (E.White, Signs of the Times, Aug.29, 1892)

Now have a careful think about the following Bible verses:

Revelation 22:11 ...'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.'

This is the close of probation that occurs BEFORE Jesus returns at the second coming. And what does it confirm? It confirms that those who are still sinning when Jesus returns will NOT be changed, as they will REMAIN 'filthy'. This is such an important truth to grasp, as many are heading down the 'comfortable', sinful road to destruction and know it not! Sister White confirmed above that our characters will not be changed when Jesus returns, and the verse from Revelation 22 also confirms clearly that our characters remain.

We have already explained why Christ will not change our characters when He returns. Now let us look at why it is vital that we have our characters changed and perfected by Christ on a day by day basis right now, before the close of probation and before He returns. Look at the following verses:

Revelation 21:27 ...'And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.'

Revelation 22:14-15 ...'Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.'

So nothing that defiles can enter the gates of heaven and the new city. Only those who are 'doing' the commandments can enter therein (Revelation 14:12). Now think about this. Many professed Christians in the world today are continuing in sin and are addicted to at least one thing. Some are addicted to playing games, phones and Facebook, etc. Some are addicted to chocolate and indulging in bad food. Some are addicted to lusting after other men or women. Some are addicted to watching television [sinful TV at that!]. And the list goes on.

Now what is going to happen when you get to heaven and there is no Facebook, no computer games, no chocolate, no meat, no cakes, no television, etc? If you are still addicted to those things when you go to heaven, what is it going to bring about? SIN! And what if you are still lusting when Jesus returns? What will that cause in heaven? SIN!

Do you see the problem? If we do not change and perfect our characters now while we have been given the chance, then we will end up wanting the same things in heaven that we are lusting after now. And that will cause sin to rise again! This God cannot and will not allow to happen.

Nahum 1:9 ...'What do ye imagine against the Lord? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.'

So many professed Christians continue to indulge in things that will not exist in heaven and the new earth. There will be no meat eating. There will be no chocolate, cakes and sweets. There will be no television, phones, Facebook, internet, or worldly music. So what will heaven be like for the majority of professed Christians today? 'Boring' and 'frustrating'! And that will end up causing sin to rise again. Which is why God will not allow anyone in heaven that is not 'fit' and 'ready' for heaven. God cannot risk allowing someone into heaven who will cause sin again. Which is why it is vital that we perfect our characters today IN Christ, before the close of probation, when our characters will be 'set'.

What would happen with most people today if you provided only fruit for them to eat? They would not be happy! So what are all the meat eaters and chocolate and cake eaters going to do in heaven?! This is serious friends!

Please see in connection with this, our important HEALTH MESSAGE page.

"Ahhh!!" I hear some people say ... "But what about the thief on the cross and all those other 'sinners' who died and will go to heaven without perfected characters?" ... Oh but they will have perfected characters IN CHRIST. You see, God knows the hearts of every single being, and He knows that the thief was truly converted on the cross, but didn't have a chance to live the converted life. But we have the chance to live converted lives in Christ and be fully transformed. And that is the point. We have all the opportunity and power available to us for character perfection. And if we don't use this opportunity while probation lasts, then we are in danger of being pronounced 'weighed and found wanting'.

Just remember how much Christ sacrificed for you. Well, how much are you sacrificing for Christ?

"There is help for every soul in God. There is no respect of persons with God; for every soul for whom Christ has died is precious in his sight. Jesus loves every soul, from the least to the greatest. The entire family circle is precious before him, and whatever he permits to come upon us is for the purpose of perfecting our characters. He desires that we shall bring the solid timbers into our character building in this life, that nothing may mar our religious experience, or unfit us for the future immortal inheritance. We are to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Jesus said, 'This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent." (E.White, Signs of the Times, Mar.28, 1892)

James 1:3-4 ...'Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.'

But is it our own perfection that God looks upon? No! God forbid! It is the perfection of His Son Jesus that He gives to us when we co-operate with His will.

All is not lost friends, as we have a help in Jesus that can overcome all temptations and traits of character. The Son of God came not just to redeem us from our sins. He came to provide a way for us to overcome them completely. And through our co-operation with Him and surrender, He will change our characters now, day by day, and fit us for eternity. But please don't put it off. Please don't think that your character does not need to be changed, as this will end up in ruin.

"Body and soul belong to God. He gave his Son for the redemption of the world, and because of this, we have been granted a new lease of life, a probation in which to develop characters of perfect loyalty. God has redeemed us from the slavery of sin, and has made it possible for us to live regenerated, transformed lives of service." (E.White, The Youth's Instructor, Nov.8, 1900)

"My dear brother, you should set your face to be a man after God's own heart. What others may venture to do or say that is not strictly in accordance with the Christian standard should be no excuse for you. You must stand before the Judge of all the earth, not to answer for another, but for yourself. We have an individual responsibility, and no man's defects of character will be the least excuse for our guilt; for Christ has given us in His character a perfect pattern, a faultless life." (E.White, Testimonies for the Church, Volume 4, p.357)

"God's law is a copy of His mind and will. The sins forbidden there could never find a place in Heaven." (E.White, Bible Echo, Apr.16, 1894)

So How do we gain the Victory over Sin?

Many will still say ..."Oh no, it's just not possible to keep the commandments and stop sinning." ... And yet the scriptures are clear that there is power available from God, through Jesus Christ, to enable us to gain complete victory over sin.

2 Peter 1:2-4 ...'Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.'

Just as Jesus in His earthly life relied on His divine Father, and was a partaker of His Father's divine nature. We too can become partakers of that very same divine nature! This is the 'promise of the Father' which Jesus confirmed He would give to the disciples in Luke 24:49. The promise to impart God's Spirit to them (and us) which would enable us to be 'partakers of the divine' and overcome sin.

Jude 1:24 ...'Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.'

2 Peter 2:9 ...'The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.'

Romans 8:37 ...'in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.'

Galatians 2:20 ...' I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.'

How do we gain the victory? By submitting to the Lord Jesus Christ each and every day. By running to Him in prayer when we are tempted. By making every effort ourselves to turn from sin. Then the Lord will help us and empower us, through His Holy Spirit to overcome all sins. And we will be transformed into His own image and character. We will become 'partakers of the divine nature'.

John 15:4 ...'Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.'

"In the first verse of the third chapter of Hebrews we have an exhortation which comprehends all the injunctions given to the Christian. It is this: 'Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.' To do this as the Bible enjoins, to consider Christ continually and intelligently, just as He is, will transform one into a perfect Christian, for 'by beholding we become changed." (E.J.Waggoner, Christ and His Righteousness, p.5)

"As an earthly parent encourages his child to come to him at all times, so the Lord encourages us to lay before Him our wants and perplexities, our gratitude and love. Every promise is sure. Jesus is our Surety and Mediator, and has placed at our command every resource, that we may have a perfect character." (E.White, In Heavenly Places, p.18)

But the Bible did warn us that there would be people in the last days proclaiming that we would not be able to get the victory over sin ... 2 Timothy 3:1-5 ...'This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.'

Friends, a time is coming soon when the door of mercy will shut forever. And it will happen at a time when we will not know. And as Revelation 22:11-12 confirms, if you are still living in sin, you will remain a sinner and be lost! Oh friends, we cannot go along with the mainstream view that we will continue in sin. We MUST claim the promise of God, that we will be filled with His Spirit and made to be 'partakers of the divine nature', overcoming sin and 'being more than conquerors' through Jesus Christ. Will you claim that promise today? Are you willing to turn from your sins and give up all for Christ? He is waiting for a people in these last days who will show the world the TRUE character of God. A people who will 'follow the Lamb wheresoever He goeth' (Revelation 14:4). THEN you will be pronounced a 'saint', as Revelation 14:12 says. Someone who KEEPS the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus Christ.'

Matthew 7:21-23 ...'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.'

Ephesians 6:10-11 ...'Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.'

2 Timothy 2:19 ...'Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.'

In connection with this page, please see our important page on CHRIST AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS,
and also our HEALTH MESSAGE page.