EFCA Statement of Faith, Article 10: What I Believe.

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We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen.

                                             Article 10, EFCA Statement of Faith

 

            The gospel is the good news that God has made a way for sinners to be reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; Eph. 2:1-9). All of mankind has fallen short of God’s perfect standard (Rom. 3:23); but the gospel is that Jesus Christ came (John 1:14), lived a perfect life (Is. 53:9; Heb. 9:14), appeased God’s wrath against sin (Rom. 3:25; Heb. 2:17; 1 John 2:2, 4:10), and places His perfect righteousness on all who believe in and receive Him (Rom. 4:5). Jesus Christ is the only source of eternal life (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Furthermore, God’s gracious provision of salvation through Jesus Christ requires a response. Jesus commands people to repent and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15). Repentance is the act of turning from sin while simultaneously looking to God for grace and forgiveness (Acts 17:30-31; 2 Cor. 7:10-11). Believing the gospel entails that we believe its true content (Gal. 1:6-7), receive Jesus Christ as ultimate truth (John 14:6), and commit ourselves to following Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30; Luke 9:23, 14:27).

All people are commanded to believe in the gospel (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 1:15). In other words, every person from every corner of the earth is accountable to this gospel message (Ez. 18:32; Acts 17:30; 2 Pet. 3:9). However, Scripture tells us that many will not turn from their wickedness to God (Matt. 25:32-33; Rev. 20:11-15). The end result of not believing in the gospel and continuing in rebellion against God is eternal conscious punishment in hell (Matt. 7:13, 11:20-24, 25:46; Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:10, 13-15, 21:8). Meaning, those who have rejected God through their sin will be constantly aware of God’s eternal wrath against them. As creator and sustainer of the universe (Gen. 1; Heb. 1:3), God is completely just in His punishment of those who have rejected His Son (Rom. 9:19-24); even those who have never heard the gospel message (Ps. 19:1-4; Rom. 1:18-25, 3:10-18, 23).

On the other hand, eternal joy, blessedness, and peace await those who have received Jesus Christ and submitted themselves to His Lordship (John 3:16, 11:25-26; Eph. 1:11-14; 1 Pet. 1:8-9; 2 Pet. 1:11; Rev. 21:1-7). This eternal joy that awaits us as Christians in the new heavens and new earth will not be derived from indulging in whatever we wish without consequence (Eccl. 2:1-12; Ps. 73:25-26), but rather from seeing Jesus face to face (1 Cor. 13:12; Rev. 22:3-5), worshipping God with all the redeemed (Rev. 19:1-4), and experiencing life without sin, death, pain, or suffering (Rev. 21:4-5). Whether to eternal death or to eternal life, all people will be raised bodily at a time of God’s choosing to be judged by Him (Dan. 12:2; John 5:28-29; Heb. 9:27).  However, whether He is executing His wrath or His mercy, the eternal destinies of all people will result in the praise of God’s glory throughout eternity (Rom. 11:33-36; Rev 15:3-4).

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