This past year I had the privilege of teaching a series of Bible classes at the Livingston SDA church where I worked as an associate pastor. Now that the year has ended, the entire series of classes is available online for all to enjoy! To give the classes a listen go to www.livingstonsda.church/bible-classes You can also find them on iTunes here or Soundcloud here. Blessings!
Does the Investigative Judgment destroy the assurance of salvation? The short answer is no. The Investigative Judgment in no way contradicts righteousness by faith, salvation through grace, or assurance of salvation. As with any other doctrine it has been abused and misrepresented by many Adventist preachers and their critics but the doctrine itself is far from legalistic. "Adventist authors have emphasized over the years again and again that our standing in the judgment is not based on our works but Christ’s perfect work." Critics continue to charge the doctrine as inherently legalistic but if you just study it for yourself you will see that it is actually one of the strongest deterrents for legalism and, of all doctrines, one that upholds the finished work of Jesus at the cross like none other. Here are some links of mine that expand on this:
If Jesus finished the work of atonement at the cross what is the point of him doing something in heaven for us now? "The issue here is one of semantics. SDA theology places a wider definition on the word atonement than do other Christians... Therefore, it is not a denial of the cross to say that Jesus is doing a work of atonement in heaven. The best way to summarize the SDA understanding is this way: The sacrificial atonement was provided in full on the cross of Calvary. Nothing needs to be added to it. It was perfect. The atonement taking place in heaven is simply Christ applying the benefits of the cross to our individual lives. He is not adding to it. It is perfect and complete and when we come to him we can rest assured that everything needed for our salvation is found, not in ourselves, but in Christ." Here are some posts I have written that can be of help with this question: Did Jesus Complete the Atonement on the Cross?
Why Does God "Need" to Investigate? Many critics charge that God has no need to judge because he already knows who the saved are. This is true, but then why is there a judgment in Revelation 20? This final judgment is a judgment on the wicked. Why would God have to judge the wicked if he already knows who the wicked are? John also says that the wicked “were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books” (12). Why would God judge the wicked out of the books when he already knows who is lost? Does he need to refresh his memory by reading a book? Not only that but John goes as far as to say that “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire” (15). Did God need to look at a book to make sure he was throwing the right people into the lake of fire? Obviously not. The judgment was not for Gods benefit but for the saved to look through the books and see Gods justice against the wicked for themselves. Likewise, the Investigative Judgment is for the benefit of angels to see Gods justice on behalf of the saints. Here are some other blogs I have posted on this question: