Seventh-Day Adventists/Ellen White says we are entitled to salvation
Dear Brother Sal:
Ellen White said that one must be entitled to the benefits of the atonement. From the Great Controversy: "But, before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin, and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of his atonement". No one is entitled or worthy of heaven. It is only by God's grace that one enters heaven. It's not because of anything he has done it's all God. "You are saved by Godís grace because of your faith. This salvation is Godís gift. Itís not something you possessed. Itís not something you did that you can be proud of" (Eph. 2:8-9). So this Ellen White taught that we could earn our salvation, that we could be worthy of heaven, what nonsense. The Investigative Judgment is nonsense from beginning to end. Can any human actually say he or she is "entitled" to salvation?
Thanks for you time,
Dear Brother Bill:
I agree that the Investigative Judgment is unbiblical. I certainly am not a defender of Ellen White. She was wrong on many issues. I try to expose her false prophecies, Bible contradictions and additions, as well as her false teachings. However, this does not mean that she was always wrong. While it is true that we cannot earn heaven or as she said be "entitled to the benefits of his atonement" on some level we can be said to be "worthy".
Our Lord spoke of some humans being counted worthy. "Jesus answered and said to them, 'The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection'" (Luke 20:34-36 NKJV).
Our Lord also spoke of some humans who were not worthy of him thereby implying that some humans are worthy. "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me" (Matthew 10:37-38 NKJV).
Our Lord spoke of humans being worthy of walking with him. "You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy" (Revelation 3:4 NKJV).
Paul, who wrote Ephesians 2:8-9 that you quoted, noted that some humans are worthy of the kingdom. "[S]o that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer" (2 Thessalonians 1:4-5 NKJV).
I believe that in Christian charity we should assume that it was to this type of worthy that Ellen White was referring when she stated that some humans are entitled to the benefits of the atonement. I don't believe that she was saying that some humans are worthy of salvation by being able to earn heaven.
Thanks for the question.
God Bless You,