1 Thes 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Hebrews 13:12 “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.”
Ephesians 5:26 “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,”
By these verses, we see that we can’t sanctify ourselves any more than we can save ourselves. There is a group of well known preachers on TV and internet today who are saying that the Church of the end times will have to purify (sanctify) itself to present the Bride “pure and without spot” to Christ, but the Word is clear that only Jesus can do that. No Christian, and no leader can do that. We see that also in Ephesians 5:25-27
Jesus does it, not some super race of Christians.
Since we can’t save ourselves, by making ourselves good enough to enter heaven, and are therefore in need of a Saviour, obviously, those of us who call ourselves Christian, can’t sanctify ourselves, as we grow in the Lord, either. Nor does the Lord expect it. That is why He died for us, and why He promises to sanctify us, beginning in this life, and concluding with our passage into our eternal life with Him, so that there is no one entering the Kingdom with human failures and defects.
The Word further shows us that, not only will the Church not be able to purify herself as the Bride of Christ, but there will be a Great Falling Away in the last days within the church, not a great move of purifying which will be done by believers or leaders.
Some verses showing this Truth are:
1 Timothy 4:1 says: “ Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”
In 2Timothy 3:1-5, we see a description of the falling away: “ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
But, even though the end times deceptions will be great, and there will be a great falling of the Church, we need not despair, because Our Lord is ever at work in each of us….beginning at our salvation, and continuing until we meet Our God and Saviour and Lord face to face.
The Lord sanctifies us as we develop our relationship with Him as we make Him the Lord of our lives.
As we look to Him in every detail of our lives, and obey Him, the sanctification will come into each area of our lives as we encounter obstacles in that area.
The obedience is not what causes sanctification. Only God can cause that to happen, but our obedience further develops our relationship with Our Lord which makes the way for Sanctification to happen in our hearts.
It all, always, goes back to Our Lord. Every detail of our life, both physical and spiritual, He holds in His hands. All we need to do is keep our relationship with Him growing—growing in submission to His Will, obedience to His commands, and pure love for Him. He will take care of everything else in our lives.
We need not fret about these things. We just need to rest our lives in His hands, as we concentrate on our great Love for Him (which, also, ultimately comes from Him) and on submitting totally to His will in every detail of our lives.
It is so easy to slip into thinking, and being anxious, about our daily lives. After all, it is all we know with our natural senses. But, doing the daily tasks, and thinking about them, is one thing, while being anxious about them is truly another. We can pray about them, do our work, and leave the rest to Our Lord, knowing that He will let us know what the next step is, as long as He can trust us to obey without question.
By being anxious, and trying to bring about these things by ourselves (both spiritual and physical), we are showing Him that we don’t truly trust Him with the things of our lives, proving that we are not truly His children. This is why Jesus made it so painfully clear that being anxious, and worrying is actually a sin.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
So, even though there will be no “Super church” or “super preachers” as those from the high pulpits would have us believe, we each have a Saviour who will look each of us in the eye with His unwaivering Love, and, as we allow Him to, He will change us into exactly what He wants each of us to be….and all in His time and His methods, as we rest in His Loving Arms.
That is His promise to you and me!