This We Believe

This We Believe: Last Things



This We Believe: Last Things

As a kid, I remember hearing mother talk about reading The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey. They made the book into a movie narrated by Orson Welles. I watched the movie and felt terror at the idea that the world as we know it was going to end. The view presented by Lindsey was classic dispensationalism and historic pre-millennialism. Later Tim LaHaye continued this view writing his series Left Behind. Both works are fictional, but based upon theological viewpoints I would contend the culture at large assumes they represent the only Christian view of the end times.  

Over the past two months, we have examined our beliefs and basic doctrines in preparation for approving an updated Statement of Faith. The last portion of doctrine to be included is our doctrine of Last Things, or end times. There are many doctrines we believe and hold dear which are clearly and easily defined or described in the Scriptures. What we believe about Jesus Christ from the virgin birth to His death and resurrection are unmistakably plain and evident to the reader. The doctrines of the Holy Spirit, God the Father, the Trinity, the Scriptures, the church, the ordinances, humanity, the atonement, salvation, and resurrection are plain and generally agreed upon among Bible-believing churches. The doctrine of Last Things offers the biggest challenge in understanding what truly is to come. Today we will examine our position, which includes the common truths accepted across a broad spectrum of Christian belief, and we will also look at the varying positions which have been predominant in the church.    

My hope is our study of Last Things will not give you all the information you need to debate a position, but will stir the longing in your soul for Christ’s return. I hope that stirring will drive you to the Word and to prayer. I am not going to give you a specific timeline of events because no one truly knows. We will briefly mention various historically held views of end times, but this will certainly not be comprehensive.

Historically the Pre-Millennial, Pre-Tribulation view has been taught at Calvary. This view may in fact be completely accurate. However, as one digs deeply into the text of Scripture, a clear timeline of End Times events cannot be plainly established. We have reworded our doctrinal statement in a manner which does not exclude this particular view, but is also gracious to other views which have just as much Scriptural grounding and historical support. We have included only those ideas where the Scriptures leave no doubt.

This We Believe: The Church and The Ordinances




This We Believe: The Church and The Ordinances

Today we continue our overview of doctrine with the topic of the church and its ordinances.  When it comes to these doctrines, we are different than many denominations. There are some who don’t believe that the rite of baptism is important and don’t practice it and others believe who baptism is required for salvation. Still others agree with us that baptism is symbolic of what Christ has done, but their mode is different (sprinkle water vs immersion).

This We Believe: Humanity And Atonement




This We Believe: Humanity And Atonement

We believe humans were created by God in His own image as perfect, holy, and upright, able to keep God’s law, yet liable to fall. As the representative of the human race, Adam freely chose to disobey God, thereby plunging humanity into the death of sin, thus all men are now sinners by nature and practice, deserving eternal condemnation and unable to rescue themselves apart from God’s free and sovereign grace through the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe God created humans as male and female and ordained marriage to be a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman. Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

 

It is a very good thing that God created us after His image; it would seem that God places a great deal of importance on us because He created us after His likeness. He created us in a manner that is different than that of animals and that of the angels. While we don’t have a scriptural definition of what God means when He says that He created man in His image, there are some things that we can point out as possibilities

This We Believe: The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit



This We Believe: The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Last Sunday we began our study with the Bible. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to us. The big story of the Bible is Creation, the Fall, Redemption and Restoration. The entire story is written, superintended and sustained by a sovereign God.

 

As we continue This We Believe, we need to remember that just because we do not understand something does not make it untrue. The questions before us today are “Who is God?” and “How has He revealed Himself to us in the Scriptures?”

This We Believe: The Bible



This We Believe: The Bible

In an age where truth is continually assaulted, it is more important than ever for the church to know and embrace what she believes. Our doctrinal statement does not contain every detail of our beliefs, but it is intended to communicate the core truths which bind us together as the Body of Christ.

We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments in the original manuscripts, though written by human authors, were breathed out by God, and are therefore authoritative, inerrant, and sufficient, containing all things necessary to be known and believed for salvation, life, and godliness. 2 Peter 1:19–21 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.