Confession of faith
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE BELIEVE
We are a diverse group of people who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Each of us had a personal encounter with Christ. Some came to faith in Jesus through the testimony of a friend or family member, others because they wished to read the Bible, still others because they listened to the preaching of the Word of God. All together, we are united by faith in Jesus and by the strong desire to want to give glory to God!
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe in the countless promises of God contained in His Word, in His words of life, peace, justice, love and forgiveness.
In this regard, our faith is based solely on the Bible which includes 66 books gathered in the Old and New Testaments. Furthermore, we believe that it is truly the Word of God, complete and inspired revelation of God, for all peoples of all times, and the only and authoritative norm for the life of anyone who believes. In this regard, you can read our confession of faith rooted in the Scriptures and centered on the Gospel below.
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
- WE BELIEVE that the infallible rule for the interpretation of Scripture is Scripture itself (1Cor. 2: 7-14; 2Pe. 1: 20-21; 2Tim. 3:16);
- WE BELIEVE that the Bible is the only infallible authority in matters of faith and conduct (Mt. 5.18; 24:35; Jn. 10:35; 16: 12-13; 17:17; 1Cor. 2:13; 2Tim. 3: 15-17; Eb 4:12; 2Pt. 1:20-21).
- WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit has guided human authors so that, through the filter of their individual personality and their writing style, the Word of God for men could be transcribed and documented (2Pt. 1: 20-21) without errors as a whole and in detail (Mt.5: 18; 2Tim.3: 16).
- We BELIEVE that there is only one true interpretation, although there may be several applications of each passage of Scripture. The meaning of Scripture takes shape in the diligent application of the historical-grammatical interpretation method guided by the Holy Spirit (Jn. 7:17; 16: 12-15; 1Cor. 2: 7-15; 1Jn. 2:20). It is the responsibility of believers to carefully ascertain the true purpose and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that correct application is binding on all generations. However, it is the truth of Scripture that judges men, and never the other way around.
- WE BELIEVE that there is only one living and true God (Deut. 6: 4; Is.45 : 5-7; 1Cor. 8: 4), infinite and omniscient spirit (Jn. 4:24), perfect in all its attributes, one in essence, existing from all eternity in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Mt.28: 19; 2Cor.13: 14), each worthy of adoration and obedience in equal measure.
- WE BELIEVE that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and arranges all things according to his own plan and grace ( Ps. 145 : 8-9; 1Cor. 8: 6). He is the Creator of all things ( Gen.1 : 1-31; Ef.3 : 9). Absolute and almighty Lord of the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence and redemption ( Ps. 103 : 19; Rom. 11:36). He is Father within the Trinity and in his relationship with humanity. As Creator, he is the Father of all men ( Eph. 4.6 ), but he is a spiritual Father only for believers (Rom. 8:14; 2Cor. 6:18). He foreordained everything for his glory ( Ef. 1: 11). He constantly supports, directs and governs all creatures and events (1Ch. 29:11). In his sovereignty, he neither begets nor approves of sin ( Acts 1 : 13), nor is it lenient towards the responsibility of intelligent and moral creatures (1Pe 1:17). He saves from sin all those who come to Him through Christ Jesus. He adopts as children all those who come to Him and, by virtue of adoption, he becomes Father of those who saved (Jn 1:12; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4: 5; Eb.12 : 5–9).
God the Son
- WE BELIEVE that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellences and shares the same substance and eternity as the Father (Jn 10: 30; 14: 9). We believe that God the Father created “the heavens and the earth and all that is in them” according to His will, through His Son Jesus Christ, by virtue of which all things also exist and subsist (Jn. 1: 3 ; Col.1 : 15-17 ; Eb.1 : 2).
- WE BELIEVE that in His incarnation (God who becomes man) Christ renounced only the prerogatives of Deity, but not the divine essence, neither by degree nor by gender. In His incarnation, the eternal second person of the Trinity agreed to assume all the essential human characteristics, thus becoming God-man ( Fil.2 : 5; Col.2 : 9).
- WE BELIEVE that our Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin ( Is.7 : 4; Mt.1: 23-25; Lu.1 : 26-35), that He was God incarnate (Jn 1: 1-14) and that the purpose of His incarnation was to reveal God, redeem man and reign over the kingdom of God ( Sal .2 : 7-9; Is .9 : 6; Jn. 1:29; Fil. 2 : 9-11; Eb.7:25-26; 1Pt.1:18-19).
- WE BELIEVE that, in His incarnation, the second person of the Trinity has laid down his right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God, that he has assumed the role of Son and that he has made himself servant even without stripping himself of his divine attributes (Fil.2:5-8)
- WE BELIEVE that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption by shedding His blood and sacrificial death on the cross. This was voluntary, substitute, propitiatory and redemptive (Jn 10: 1; Rom. 3: 24-25; 5: 8; 1Pe. 2:24).
- WE BELIEVE that, on the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from punishment, from slavery and from the power of sin and that one day he will be freed from his own presence; he is declared righteous, receives eternal life and becomes part of the family of God (Rom. 3:25; 5: 8-9; 2Cor. 5: 14-15; 1Pe. 2:24; 3:18).
- WE BELIEVE that our justification is secured by His physical resurrection from the dead and that He has ascended to the right hand of the Father, where he now intercedes as our advocate and high priest (Mt.28: 6; Mo.24 : 38-39; At.2 : 30-31; Rom. 4:25; 8 : 34; Eb.7 : 25 ; 9:24; 1Jn. 2: 1).
- WE BELIEVE that by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God fully manifested the deity of His Fiand showed that he accepted Christ’s atoning work on the cross. The bodily resurrection of Jesus is also a guarantee of life for all believers (Jn 5: 26-29; 14:19; Rom. 4:25; 6: 5-10; 1Cor. 15: 20-23).
- WE BELIEVE that Jesus Christ will return to welcome His church, which is his body, at the time of the rapture and, after returning with His church in glory, will establish His millennial reign on earth ( At.1 : 9–11; 1Tes.4: 13-18; Ap.20 ).
- WE BELIEVE that God constituted the Lord Jesus Christ as Judge of all humanity (Jn 5: 22-23) and consequently:
a. of believers (1Cor.3: 10-15; 2Cor.5: 10);
b. of the inhabitants of the earth who will be alive on his glorious return (Mt.25: 31-46);
c. of the dead in sin before the great white throne ( Ap. 20: 11-15).
MEDIATOR between God and man ( 1Ti 2 : 5), head of his body, the church ( Ef.1 : 22; 5:23; Col.1 : 18), and King of the universe who is to come to reign on the throne of David ( Is.9 : 6-7; Ez.37 : 24-28; Lu.1 : 31-33), he is the ultimate judge of all those who have not placed their faith in him like Lord and Savior (Mt. 25: 14-46; At.17 : 30-31).
God the Holy Spirit
- WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit is a divine and eternal person, who has all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1Cor. 2: 10-13), emotions ( Ef.4 : 30), will (1 Cor 12: 11), eternity ( Eb.9:14), omnipresence ( Ps. 139 : 7-10) , omniscience ( Is.40 : 13 -14), omnipotence (Rom. 15:13) and truthfulness (Jn. 16:13). In all his divine attributes and in essence he is equal to the Father and the Son (Mt.28: 19; At.5 : 3-4; 28: 25-26; 1Cor.12: 4-6; 2Cor.13: 14; Ger.31 : 31-34; Eb.10 : 15-17).
- WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit does the divine will in relation to humanity. Its sovereign action can be recognized in the creation ( Gen. 1 : 2), in the incarnation (Mt 1:18), in the written revelation (2Pt. 1: 20-21) and in the work of salvation (Jn. 3: 5-7).
- WE BELIEVE that a unique work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when he proceeded from the Father, as promised by Christ (Jn 14: 16-17; 15:26), to begin and complete the building up the body of Christ. His work is expressed in convincing the world of sin, justice and judgment, in glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and in transforming believers according to the image of Christ (Jn. 16: 7-9; At.1 : 5; 2: 4; Rom. 8: 29; 2 Co 3 : 18; Ef.2 : 22).
- WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign author of regeneration, when he baptizes all believers in the body of Christ (1Cor. 12:13). The Holy Spirit also dwells in believers, sanctifies them, instructs them, gives them the necessary strength to perform their service and seals them for the day of redemption (Rom. 8: 9-11; 2Cor. 3: 6; Ef.1 : 13).
- WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit is the divine Master who guided the apostles and prophets in all truth when they set out to write the revelation of God, the Bible (2Pt. 1: 19-21). The Holy Spirit abides in every believer from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born again from the Spirit to be filled with the Spirit (Rom. 8: 9-11; Ef.5 : 18; 1Gv.2: 20-27), i.e. controlled by him.
- WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit dispenses spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit does not glorify himself or his gifts by means of showy manifestations, but glorifies Christ by completing his work of redemption of the lost and of edification of believers in the most holy faith (Jn. 16: 13-14; At.1 : 8; 1Cor.12: 4-11 ; 2Cor. 3:18).
- We believe, in this regard, that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in bestowing all his gifts for the improvement of the saints and that speaking in tongues and the manifestation of miraculous signs in the early days of the church were meant to bear witness and to authenticate the role of witnesses to the divine truth of the apostles; they were never intended as distinctive characteristics of the life of believers (1Cor. 12: 4-11; 13: 8-10; 2Cor. 12:12; Ef.4 : 7-12; Eb.2 : 1-4).
- WE BELIEVE that man was directly and instantly created by God in his image and likeness. Man was created without sin, endowed with rationality, intelligence, will, self-determination and moral responsibility before God ( Gen.2 : 7, 15, -25; Jas. 3: 9).
- WE BELIEVE that the divine purpose in creating man was that man glorified him, enjoyed full communion with him, lived his life according to the will of God and thus fulfilled his plan for man in the world ( Is.43 : 7; Col.1 : 16; Ap.4 : 11)
- WE BELIEVE that, because of Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and to the Word of God, man has los his innocence, has incurred the punishment of physical and spiritual death, has become subject to the wrath of God and by nature corrupt, totally unable to choose and do what is acceptable to God regardless of divine grace. Without the possibility of redeeming his condition, man is lost and hopeless. The salvation of man is therefore based entirely on the grace of God, through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ ( Gen.2 : 16-17; 3: 1-19; Jn. 3:36; Rom. 3:23; 6:23; 1Cor. 2:14; Ef.2 : 1-3; 1Tim. 2: 13-14; 1Jn. 1:18).
- WE BELIEVE that since all men originate in Adam, a sin-corrupted nature has been passed on to men of all ages, except for Jesus Christ. All men are pthey are sinners by nature, by choice and by divine declaration ( Ps. 14 : 1-3; Jer. 17 : 9; Rom. 3: 9-18, 23; 5: 10-12).
- WE BELIEVE that salvation is entirely by the grace of God by virtue of the redemption wrought by Jesus Christ, the benefit of his shed blood, and not on the basis of man’s merit and works (Jn .1: 12; Ef.1 : 4-7; 2: 8-10; 1Pe. 1: 18-19).
- WE BELIEVE that God is sovereign Lord over events and that he rules history to fulfill his designs. Scripture affirms both the reality of God’s sovereignty ( At .16 : 14) than that of man’s responsibility (Jn. 5:40; 8:24; 2Tes. 2:10). Our Lord Jesus seems to merge the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man together (Jn. 6: 37,40,44,47,65).
- WE RECOGNIZE both aspects of the truth, even if we don’t understand how they can coexist. All men are responsible for how they respond to the gospel and for the light they have received (Rom. 2: 19-20; Jn. 1: 9). Thus, the right judgment reaches men only if they refuse to accept the Light, since those who reject it do it voluntarily.
- WE ARE AWARE that our limited mind cannot understand how these two realities can both be true at the same time. Only God can do it. As far as our understanding in this regard is concerned, we personally must try in every way to preach the Gospel faithfully to the whole world. This is our part and we must try to do it well. The rest does not depend on us, but on God! The apostle Paul writes: “Oh, depth of God’s wealth, wisdom and science! How inscrutable his judgments are and his ways investigable! 34 Indeed, “who knew the thought of the Lord?” Or who was your adviser? ” (Rom. 11: 33,34).
- WE BELIEVE that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit through which nature and divine life are bestowed on man (Jn. 3: 3-8; Tit.3 : 5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished only by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God (Jn. 5:24), when the penitent sinner, according to the capacity given to him by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine dispensation of salvation. True regeneration is manifested in the fruits worthy of repentance for pious and holy conduct. Good works are the right fruit and demonstration (1Cor. 6: 19-20; Ef.5 : 17-21; Fil.2 : 12b; Col.3 : 12-17; 2Pt.1: 4-11). This obedience causes the believer to conform ever more to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Cor. 3:18). Such conformity reaches its fullness in the glorification of the believer at the coming of Christ (Rom. 8: 16-17; 2Pe. 1: 4; 1Jn. 3: 2-3).
- WE BELIEVE that justification is an act of God (Rom. 8: 30-33), by virtue of which he declares righteous those who, for faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Lk 13: 3; At.2 : 38; 3: 19; 11:18; Rom. 2: 4; 2Cor. 7:10; Is.55 : 6-7) and confess him as sovereign Lord (Rom. 10: 9-10; 1Cor. 12: 3; 2Cor. 4: 5; Fil.2 : 11). This justice is independent of any human virtue or action (Rom. 3:20; 4: 6) and is entirely based on the work by which Christ took charge of our sins ( Col.2 : 14; 1Pe. 2:24) and by which his justice has been imputed to us (1Cor. 1: 2, 30; 6:11 ; 2Cor. 5:21). By virtue of this work God is “just and justifies the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26)
- WE BELIEVE that every believer is sanctified [separate] for God by justification and is thus declared a saint. This sanctification is instantaneous and puts it in a new position, which should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification concerns his spiritual position, not his path or his actual condition ( At.20 : 32; 1Cor.1: 2, 30; 6:11; 2Tes.2: 13; Eb.2 : 11; 3: 1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1Pt.1: 2).
- WE BELIEVE that there is also a progressive sanctification accomplished by the Holy Spirit by which the believer is transformed according to the image of Christ by means of obedience to the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. The believer is enabled to live a life of growing holiness in accordance with the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (Jn 17: 17-19; Rom. 6: 1-22; 2Cor. 3:18 ; 1Tes. 4: 3-4; 5:23)
In this regard,
- WE BELIEVE that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict [the new creation in Christ wars against the flesh], but has all the necessary weapons to bring back victory by virtue of the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in him. The conflict however remains in the believer for as long as he is alive. Any assertion of the uprooting of sin in this life is neither absolutely scriptural. The eradication of sin is impossible, but victory over sin is possible by virtue of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5: 16-25; Fil.3 : 12; Col.3 : 9-10; 1Pt.1: 14-16; 1Gv.3: 5-9).
- WE BELIEVE that all the redeemed once saved are kept by the power of God and are thus forever secure in Christ (Jn. 5:24; 6: 37-40; Rom. 5: 9-10; 8: 1, 31-39; 1Cor.1: 4-9; Eph. 4 : 30; Eb. 7 : 25; 13: 5; 1Pe. 1: 4-5; Jude v.24).
- WE BELIEVE that it is a privilege of believers to rejoice in the certainty of their salvation on the basis of the testimony of the Word of God, which, however, clearly warns against the use of Christian freedom as a pass for a life of sin and carnality (Rom. 6: 15-22; 13: 13-14; Gal. 5: 13, 16-17, 25-26; Tit.2 : 11-14).
- WE BELIEVE that all Scripture calls for a clear separation from sin and that apostasy and materialism will increase in recent times (2Cor. 6: 14-7: 1; 2Tit. 3: 1-5).
- WE BELIEVE that, moved by a deep gratitude for God’s undeserved grace towards them and since the glorious God is worthy of total consecration, all the saved must live in such a way as to manifest their love and adoration to God , avoiding any reprobation of one’s Lord and Savior. We also believe that God commands us a total separation from religious apostasy and from sinful and worldly practices (Rom. 12: 1-2; 1Cor. 5: 9-13; 2Cor. 6: 14–7: 1; 1Jn. 2: 15-17; 2Jn. 9-11).
- WE BELIEVE that believers should be separated from the world by virtue of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Tes. 1: 11-12; Heb.12 : 1-2) and that the Christian life is a life of justice and obedience, manifested in an attitudeof bliss (Mt.5: 2-12) and in a continuous search for holiness (Rom. 12: 1-2; 2Cor. 7: 1; Eb.12 : 14; Tit.2 : 11-14; 1Gv.3: 1-10).
WE BELIEVE that all those who place their faith in Jesus Christ immediately become part of a single spiritual body, the church (1Cor. 12: 12-13), the bride of Christ (2Cor. 11: 2; Ef.5 : 23-32; Ap.19 : 7-8), of which Christ is the head ( Ef.1 : 22; 4:15; Col.1 : 18). We believe that the church, the body of Christ, was born on the day of Pentecost ( Acts 2 : 1-21, 38-47) and will see its fullness at the coming of Christ for his family at the time of the rapture of the church ( 1Co 15 : 51-52; 1 Te 4 : 13-18).
WE BELIEVE that according to the Scriptures, Israel is the chosen people because the charisms and vocation of God are irrevocable. Israel is the root on which the Church is grafted and that “adoption, glory, covenants, legislation, sacred service, promises, fathers and, according to the flesh, Christ belong to this people” (Rom .9: 4; vv.vv.1-5). We also believe that the church is therefore a single spiritual organism shaped by Christ and formed by all believers born again of the present age ( Ef.2 : 11-3: 6). The church is distinct from Israel (1 Cor. 10:32), a mystery not revealed so far ( Eph. 3 : 1-6; 5:32).
WE BELIEVE that the foundation and existence of local churches is clearly delineated and taught in the New Testament Scriptures ( At.14 : 23, 27; 20:17, 28; Gal.1: 2; Fil.1 : 1; 1Tes.1: 1; 2Tes.1: 1) and that the members of the spiritual body are called to be part of local assemblies (1Cor.11: 18-20; Heb.10 : 25).
WE BELIEVE that the supreme authority of the church is Christ ( Ef.1 : 22; Col.1 : 18) and that the conduct of the church, the gifts, the order, the discipline and the worship are established by its sovereignty according to the Scriptures. The biblically designated church leaders, who carry out their ministry in submission to Christ, are the elderly (men, also called bishops, pastors and pastors-doctors; At.20 : 28; Ef.4 : 11) and the deacons. Both must meet specific biblical requirements (1Tim.3: 1-13; Tit.1 : 5-9; 1Pt.5: 1-5)
WE BELIEVE that these leaders are leading or ruling the church as servants of Christ (1Tim. 5: 17-22) and that in their ministry they have authority that proceeds from him. The assembly must submit to their management ( Eb.13 : 7, 17).
WE BELIEVE in iimportance of discipleship (Mt.28: 19-20; 2Tim.2: 2), in the mutual responsibility of believers towards one another (Mt.18: 15-17), as well as in the need for discipline for those members of the assembly living in sin, according to the model established by Scripture (Mt.18: 15-22; At.5 : 1-11; 1Cor.5: 1-13; 2Tes.3: 6-15; 1Tim.1: 19-20; Tit.1 : 10-16).
WE BELIEVE in the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority and control, with the full right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations ( Tit.1 : 5). We believe in the scriptural nature of cooperation between the various churches for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Local churches, however, by means of pastor-elders and the interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the only judges of the extent and method of their cooperation ( At.15 : 19-31; 20:28; 1Cor. 5: 4-7, 13; 1Pt .5: 1-4).
WE BELIEVE that the purpose of the church is to glorify God ( Eph. 3 : 21), building herself in faith ( Eph. 4 : 13-16) through the teaching of the Word (2Tim. 2: 2, 15; 3: 16-17), communion ( At.2 : 47; 1Gv.1: 3), observing the orders (Lk. 22:19; At.2 : 38-42) and announcing and preaching the Gospel to the whole world (Mt.28: 19; Acts.1 : 8).
WE BELIEVE that all saints are called to serve the Lord in the church (1Cor. 15:58; Ef.4 : 12; Ap.22 : 12).
WE BELIEVE in the need for the church to cooperate with God in the fulfillment of his plan in the world. For this purpose he bestows spiritual gifts. First, he gives the church men chosen to equip the saints for the fulfillment of the ministry ( Ef.4 : 7-12); he also distributes specific and unique spiritual gifts to each member of the body of Christ (Rom. 12: 5-8; 1Cor. 12: 4-31, 1Pe. 4: 10-11).
WE BELIEVE that there were two types of gifts given to the early church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, given temporarily in the apostolic period in order to confirm the authenticity of the apostles’ message ( Eb.2 : 3-4; 2Cor. 12:12), and ministry gifts for the mutual edification of believers. With the New Testament revelation completed, Scripture has now become the only proof of the authenticity of the message of salvation. The miraculous gifts that confirmed the divine message and those who preached it are no longer necessary (1 Cor. 13: 8-12). Miraculous gifts can also be counterfeited by Satan to seduce even believers (Mt.24: 24). The only gifts that still exist today are those of a non-revealing nature, that is, those dispensed by God for building (Rom. 12: 6-8).
WE BELIEVE that nobody possesses the gift of healing today, but that God listens and responds to the prayer of faith and that he will respond according to his perfect will for the sick, for those who are suffering and for the afflicted (Lk. 18: 1-8; Jn. 5: 7-9; 2Cor. 12: 6–10; Giac.5 : 13-16; 1Gv.5: 14-15).
WE BELIEVE that the local church is called to observe two orders: the baptism and the supper of the Lord ( At.2 : 38-42). We believe that they must be practiced in the ways and in the timing foreseen by Scripture. The Christian baptism by immersion ( At .8 : 36-39) is the solemn and marvelous testimony of the faith of the believer in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, and of his union with him in death to sin and resurrection to new life (Rom. 6: 1-11). It is also a sign of communion and identification with the visible body of Christ ( At.2 : 41-42).
WE BELIEVE that the Lord’s supper is the commemoration and announcement of his death until he comes, and should always be preceded by a solemn self-examination (1 Cor. 11: 23-32). We also believe that, although the elements of communion are only representative of the body and blood of Christ, the Lord’s supper is nevertheless a moment of particular communion with the risen Christ, who is present among believers in a unique way (1 Cor. 10: 16).
THE LAST TIMES (ESCATOLOGY)
WE BELIEVE that physical death does not lead to a loss of our intangible consciousness ( Ap.6 : 9-11), that there is a separation between soul and body (Jas. 2:26), that the soul of the redeemed goes immediately to the presence of Christ (Lk.23 : 43; 2Cor. 5: 8; Fil.1 : 23) and that, for the redeemed, this separation will continue until the rapture (1Tes. 4: 13-17); it will start the first resurrection ( Ap.20 : 4-6), when our bodies and souls will be reunited to be glorified forever together with our Lord (1Cor.15: 35-44, 50-54; Fil.3 : 21). Until then, the souls of the redeemed in Christ will dwell in joyful communion with our Lord Jesus Christ (2Cor. 5: 8)
WE BELIEVE in the corporal resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (Jn. 6:39; Rom. 8: 10-11, 19:23; 2Cor. 4:14) and the unsaved in judgment and eternal punishment (Dan.12: 2; Jn. 5:29; Ap.20 : 13-15).
WE BELIEVE that, at death, the souls of the unsaved are kept under punishment until the final resurrection (Lk. 16: 19-26; Ap.20 : 13-15), when the soul and the resurrection body will be reunited (Jn 5: 28- 29). They will then appear before the judgment of the great white throne ( Ap .20 : 11-15) and they will be thrown into hell, the lake of fire (Mt.25: 41-46), separated forever from the life of God ( From 12 : 2; Mt 25 : 41-46; 2 Te 1 : 7-9).
The kidnapping of the church
WE BELIEVE in the personal and physical return of our Lord Jesus Christ before the seven years of tribulation (1Tes. 4:16; Tit.2 : 13) to kidnap his church from the earth (Jn. 14: 1-3; 1 Cor. 15: 51-53; 1Tes .4: 15-5: 11) and rewarding believers according to their works (1Cor.3: 11-15; 2Cor.5: 10) before his glorious return with the saints.
WE BELIEVE that, right after the kidnapping of the church from the earth (Jn 14: 1-3; 1Tes 4: 13-18), the righteous judgments of God will be manifested on an unbelieving world ( Ger.30 : 7; Dan.9: 27; 12: 1; 2Tes. 2: 7-12; Ap. 16 ) and that these judgments will conclude grandly with the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Mt.24: 27-31; 25: 31-46; 2Tes. 2: 7-12). At that time the saints of the A.T. and tribulation will be resurrected and the living will be judged (Dan.12: 2-3; Ap.20 : 4-6). This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan.9: 24-27; Mt.24: 15-31; 25: 31-46).
The second coming and the millennial kingdom
WE BELIEVE that, after the tribulation, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Mt.25: 31; Lk.1: 32-33; At.1 : 10-11; 2: 29-30) and to establish his messianic kingdom on earth for a thousand years ( Ap.20 : 1-7). During this time, the resurrected saints will reign with him over Israel and all the nations of the earth ( Ez.37 : 21-28; Dan.7: 17,22; Ap.19 : 11-16). This reign will be preceded by the destruction of the Antichrist and the false prophet and the removal of Satan from the world (Dan.7: 17-27; Ap 20 : 1-6).
WE BELIEVE that the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God’s promise made to Israel ( Is.65 : 17-25; Ez.37 : 21-28; Zac.8 : 1-17) to bring him back to the earth which was taken away from him because of his disobedience (Deut. 28: 15-68). As a result of his disobedience, Israel was temporarily put aside (Mt.21: 43; Rom. 11: 1-26), but will be awakened by means of repentance to enter the land of blessing ( Ger.31 : 31-34; Ez. 36 : 22-32; Rom.11: 25-29) .
WE BELIEVE that the time of the Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace and longevity ( Is.11 ; 65: 17-25; Ez.36 : 33-38) and will end when Satan is loose ( Ap.20 : 7).
The judgment of the lostWE BELIEVE that after the millennial reign of Christ and the release of Satan ( Ap.20 : 7), the latter will seduce the nations of the earth and gather them to make war against the saints and the favorite city. Then Satan and his armies will be devoured by a fire descended from heaven ( Ap.20 : 9). Then Satan will be thrown into the burning lake of fire and sulfur (Mt.25: 41; Ap.20 : 10) and therefore Christ, who is Judge of all men (Jn. 5:22), will raise and judge young and old for the judgment beforei to the great white throne.
WE BELIEVE that this resurrection of the dead in sin for judgment will be a physical resurrection. Once their condemnation has been received (Jn 5: 28-29), they will be destined for eternal and conscious punishment in the lake of fire (Mt.25: 41; Ap.20 : 11-15).
WE BELIEVE that, after the end of the millennium, the temporary release of Satan and the judgment of unbelievers (2Tes. 1: 9; Ap.20 : 7-15), the saved will enter eternal glory with God. Then the elements of this earth will be burned (2Pt .3: 10) and replaced with a new land, where only justice will reign ( Ef.5 : 5; Ap.20 : 15; 21-22). Then the holy city will descend from heaven ( Ap.21 < / a>: 2) and will be the home of the saints, where they will forever enjoy communion with God and with one another (Jn. 17: 3; Ap.21-22 ). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having accomplished his redemptive mission, will then deliver the kingdom into the hands of the Father (1Cor. 15: 23-28) so that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1Cor. 15:28 )