EFCA Statement of Faith, Article 9: What I Believe

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Here is what I believe concerning Christ’s Return. Please regard this post here for further details.

“We believe in the personal, bodily and premillennial return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivate the believer to godly living, sacrificial service, and energetic mission.” –Article 9, EFCA Statement of Faith 

            Jesus’ final recorded words promise us His return (Rev. 22:20). The gospel promises not only that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus has occurred in the past (1 Cor. 15:20-22; John 21:24), that its effects take place in our lives in the present (Philip. 1:6; 2:13; Col. 2:6-7), but also that there is a future element to our salvation (1 Thess. 4:17; 2 Tim. 1:12; Acts 1:11; Matt. 25:31-46). As followers of Christ we are to expect this “final fulfillment of salvation,” which will defeat the presence of sin, death, and suffering (Rev. 21:4-5). This is our blessed hope (Titus 2:13)!

The return of Christ will be personal. In other words, Jesus Himself will return to earth. On multiple occasions Jesus declared that He would return (Matt 24:44; 25:31; Mark 13:5-6; 24-27; 14:62; Luke 21:36; Rev. 22:20). Moreover, Christ will not have a mere “spiritual” return, but a bodily one. Jesus’ bodily return shows us that all things, not just the spiritual, will be renewed (Philip. 3:20-21; Col. 3:4; Rev. 21:5). The personal and bodily return of Christ points to His humanity and deity (John 20:28; Gal. 4:4). Jesus will also have a premillennial return. Specifically, Christ will return before the period of time when Satan is bound and no longer deceives the nations (Rev. 20:1-10). Jesus also warned us to expect great “tribulation” near the end of the age (Matt. 24:3-31). These events will lead up to His returning (Matt. 24:29-30). However, Christians can rest in God’s sustaining grace through these future events (Deut. 1:30-31; Rom. 8:35; 2 Cor. 12:9; Philip 4:13; Rev. 3:10).

The glorious coming of Christ cannot be predicted and is known only to God (Matt: 24:36). Jesus told his disciples to remain watchful (Matt. 24:42). Elsewhere, we know that the return of Christ is impossible to predict (1 Thess. 5:2-6). Peter also warns us that the second coming of Christ will come like a “thief” (2 Pet. 3:10). Thus, Jesus’ coming will be unforeseen and unpredicted by anyone.

In light of these truths, we are to have a godly response through our lifestyles (2 Pet. 3:11-12). Because the exact time of the coming of Jesus is unknown to us, we are to be focused on obedient faith (Rom. 6:16; Jam. 2:14; 1 Pet. 1:13). We are to watch in constant, diligent expectancy for the coming of Christ, and not become stagnant (Matt. 25:13; Eph. 5:15-16; Philip 4:5; 1 Thess. 5:6; 2 Tim. 4:8; Titus 2:13). Furthermore, we are to steward our time on earth faithfully (Matt. 25:24-30). The return of Jesus is to motivate us to godly living, sacrificial service, and energetic mission (Matt. 25:14-30; 28:19-20; Mark 12:1-11; 1 Thess. 5:9-11; Titus 2:11-15; 2 Pet. 3:14-15; Jude 21; Rev. 2:5; 10; 3:2). We do not know when Jesus will return, only that He will. Therefore, believers are to live as Christ did while on earth. Christians should be laboring in the plentiful harvest knowing that God desires none to perish, but all to reach repentance (Ez. 18:30-32; 2 Pet. 3:9; Luke 10:2). In summary, Jesus’ return is not only our great hope as believers, but also serves as great motivation for loving and serving Him faithfully.

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