Babylon is Fallen in the Judgment Hour
Why does every generation need to have a new revival and reformation of the issues of the Gospel and Justification by Faith Alone?
The problem is that our sinful natures hate the truth so much that we try to redefine the simple words used to express the gospel so that confusion (Babylon) results in the minds of those who are not rooted and grounded in the word of God.
This is how the Mystery of Iniquity, the man of sin, the "abomination that maketh desolate", and the "falling away" (see 2 Thes 2:1-17) developed within the post-apostolic Christian Church. "Good" Christian men in their efforts to teach sanctified living, began to lose the good news of Christ our Substitute, justification by faith, and the imputed righteousness of Christ.
In its place they elevated the teaching of Christ our Example, sanctification, holy living, and imparted righteousness. When this elevation in emphasis of Sanctification above Justification takes place, the wellsprings of love, joy, confidence, and assurance of acceptance are dried up.
The believer must begin to ask himself, "If my salvation depends upon Sanctification, how can I be sure that I have enough of Jesus in my heart, imparted righteousness, good thoughts, good motives, good actions, and holiness of life to be sure that I have acceptance with God, now and on the Last Day when my name comes up in the Judgment?"
When we begin to believe this way, we are left with either of two wrong choices. 1.) We can deceive ourselves and lower the standard of righteousness and try to convince ourselves that we are meeting the standard (the way of the Pharisee). or 2.) We can be honest with ourselves and admit that we do not meet the standard of righteousness and then despair of ever having peace with either ourselves or God and join the world in sin and pleasure awaiting the Judgment Day with fear and trembling knowing that our doom is certain.
This is how the midnight of the Dark Ages came upon the medieval Christian world of the Middle Ages. The noontide of the "Holiness Theology" (the Papacy) became the midnight of the world and the Christian Church.
More and more ways and methods had to be invented to attain enough Sanctification (with the help of the Holy Spirit of course!) so that they could pray the prayer of the Pharisee "I thank Thee, God, that I am not like other men...". These methods found their ultimate expression in the teaching of Purgatory to burn away (purge) sin that remained in the believer. "Surely", they thought, "God could not allow anyone into Heaven who had any sin remaining in one's character!"
The Protestant Reformation began by re-establishing the primacy of Justification over Sanctification. Men can now rest their assurance of eternal life upon a finished work of righteousness that is imputed to them in Christ Jesus (Justification), not upon an unfinished, lifelong work of righteousness that is imparted to them by the Holy Spirit (Sanctification). The word of God affirms the teaching of both Justification and Sanctification, but Justification must always be the "root" of our confidence with God, not Sanctification which is the "fruit" of our being accepted before the holiness of God.
God is calling this generation to finish the Reformation begun in the 16th century. Those Christians who insist upon absolute and total sinless perfection of character which equals that of our Lord Jesus will be sorely disappointed in the coming time of trouble and final spiritual conflict with the Image to the Beast which is soon to commence and they will side with the perfectionism of the AntiChrist in the final testing time. They compound the problem even more by trying to use the Bible to endorse this false view of sanctification by ignoring or downplaying the clear statements which affirm the Protestant view of the sinful nature of man, the sinless nature of Christ, the finished atonement on the cross, and justification by faith alone.
Keeping the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath day holy is God's will, but this will not save anyone who does not see that the Sabbath Day is the sign of the rest we have, not only in the finished work of creation, but in the finished work of Jesus upon the cross on "Good Friday" and the "righteousness which is by faith".
Justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ is our hope of eternal life, for today, for tomorrow, in the coming time of trouble, when the 7 Last Plagues are falling, when we see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, and when we stand before the Son of God upon the sea of glass. The "Lord Our Righteousness" will be the theme of the Song of Moses throughout eternity.
Even so come Lord Jesus.