What We Teach

Quick Links - Table of Contents

What We Teach

The purpose of What We Teach is to give a further definition of the doctrinal positions of the elders of Cornerstone Community Church within the broad guidelines of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) Statement of Faith.

For each section, the article from the EFCA Statement of Faith is given first, followed by a more detailed discussion of what we teach. Scriptural references are included as a way of demonstrating that this doctrinal statement stands as an authoritative guide only in so far as it correctly represents the only true authority, the inspired Word of God. Any variations from the EFCA Statement of Faith have been noted. (Click to view the EFCA Statement of Faith)

Before going any further, a comment must be made about the relationship between truth and the one teaching the truth. At Cornerstone Community Church, we are thoroughly committed not only to being teachers of righteousness but also to being righteous teachers. The Bible is very clear that a man’s teaching is to be validated by his conduct. Those whose lives do not display obedience to God have no place in the teaching ministry of the church for they lack the credibility which comes through faithfulness. Paul’s words to Timothy (2 Timothy 2:2) must ring in our ears: “And the things which you have heard from me…these entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

The challenge of doctrinal purity, then, is fought on two fronts. First, we must know the truth and be able to define, defend, and proclaim it without compromise according to the Scriptures. But secondly, we must be teachers whose lives have been transformed by the truth we teach and whose lives continue to exemplify that truth. Again, Paul’s words to Timothy provide the standard: “…show yourself to be an example of those who believe…take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself, and to your teaching” (1 Timothy 4:12-15).

1. God

We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.
What We Teach: We teach that there is but one living and true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Corinthians 8:4), an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each deserving worship and obedience (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

We teach that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and conducts all things according to His own purpose and glory (Romans 11:36). He is the creator of all things (Genesis 1:1-31; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 3:9). The book of Genesis provides a literal account of the origin of the universe. As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe (Psalm 103:19), He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption. He is the creator of all men, but He is spiritual Father only to believers (Romans 8:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (1 Chronicles 29:11; Isaiah 46:9-10) and continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events. In His sovereignty, He is neither author nor approver of sin (Habakkuk 1:13; James 1:13-14), nor does He annul the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own adopted children (John 8:38-47; Romans 8:14-15; 2 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:4-6, 11; Hebrews 12:5-9; 1 John 3:1-3).

2. The Bible

We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.
What We Teach: We teach that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man and that the sixty-six books of the Bible constitute the full written revelation of God (John 16:12-13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). It is God-breathed, verbally inspired in every word, and inerrant (Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). As such, we teach that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (John 17:17).

We teach that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit superintended the human authors and, through their individual personalities and different writing styles, they composed and recorded God’s Word to man exactly as God intended (1 Corinthians 2:12-13; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

We teach that, though there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is only one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal, grammatical, historical method of interpretation under the illumination of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14-16; Psalm 119:18). Thus, the meaning is what the original author intended the original readers to understand.

We teach that the Bible is sufficient for everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) and serves as the source and subject of all preaching and teaching (Psalm 19:7-14; John 20:31; 2 Timothy 4:1-2).

3. The Human Condition

We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled, and renewed.
What We Teach: We teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:7; James 3:9). Man was created free from sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, and moral responsibility to God (Genesis 2:15-25).

We teach that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence, incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-19; Romans 6:23), and became subject to the wrath of God (Romans 1:18-23). He became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace (Romans 3:23; 5:6, 8:7-8; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 John 1:8). With no ability to save himself, man is hopelessly lost (Ephesians 2:1-3). Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ as applied through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5-6).

We teach that God imputed the sin of Adam to all mankind; Jesus Christ being the only exception. Therefore, all men are sinners by nature, by choice, and by activity (Psalm 14:1-3; 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).

We teach that despite man’s sinful nature, he remains under the common grace of a benevolent God (Matthew 5:43-45; Luke 6:35-36). By virtue of man's having been created in the image of God, man is accorded a valuable place in God’s plan and human life is to be respected and protected (Genesis 9:6; Psalm 8).

4. Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus—Israel's promised Messiah—was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.
What We Teach: We teach that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is co-equal, co-eternal, and co-essential with the Father (John 10:30; 14:9).

We teach that by His own will, God the Father created all things through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue to exist and operate (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2).

We teach that in the incarnation God became man. In this, Christ our Lord surrendered nothing of divine essence, either in degree or kind, but only the independent use of His divine attributes. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second person of the Trinity added all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-man. In so doing, He took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9).

We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23, 25; Luke 1:26-35), that He was God incarnate (John 1:1, 14; Psalm 2:7-9), and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem man, and rule over God’s Kingdom (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:29; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 7:25-26; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

We teach that Jesus ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father, eternally interceding for His own (Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 7:23-25).

5. The Work of Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only grounds for salvation.
What We Teach: We teach that on the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, and the power of sin (Romans 6:17-18); and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Romans 3:25; 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18).

We teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace alone, on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ alone, through faith alone, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12-13; Romans 9:11; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our salvation through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary (John 10:18), vicarious (1 Peter 3:18), substitutionary (John 10:15; Romans 5:8), propitiatory (Romans 3:24-25), and redemptive (I Peter 2:24).
We teach that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:38-39; Acts 2:30-31; Romans 4:25) and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father where He mediates as our Advocate and High Priest (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1).

We teach that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that He has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross (John 5:26-29; Romans 1:4; 4:25). Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers. (John 14:19; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23)

We teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the new nature and eternal life are given (John 3:3-7; 17:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 5:24) when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation (Ephesians 2:8).

Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct (Matthew 3:8; Acts 26:20; 2 Timothy 2:25). Good works are the proper evidence and fruit of regeneration (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10) and will be experienced to the extent that the believer submits to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to the Word of God (Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10).

We believe that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in His sovereignty (God’s independent exercise of power and control over His creation) and foreknowledge those whom in Christ He graciously predestines, calls, justifies, and glorifies (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:4-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1-2).

We believe that sovereign election does not contradict or bypass the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:18-19, 36; 5:40; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Revelation 22:17).

All whom the Father calls to Himself come in faith, and all who come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8).
We believe the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative or works of their own part but is solely of His sovereign grace, love, and mercy (Romans 9: 11; Ephesians 1:4-7; 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-7; 1 Peter 1:2).

We believe that justification is an instantaneous legal act of God (Romans 8:33) in which He declares righteous those who through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Romans 3:26; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Galatians 2:16) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5).
This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Romans 3:20; 4:6). It involves the imputation of our sins to Christ (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). By this means, God is both “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26).

We believe that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification, declared to be holy, and identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification (Acts 20:32; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1 Peter 1:2).

We believe that through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, the believer progressively grows spiritually and in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:17, 19; Romans 6:1-22; 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23).

Eradication of sin in this life is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 3:12; Colossians 3:9-10; Hebrews 10:14; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).

Perseverance and Security
We teach that all the redeemed once saved are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. The security is demonstrated through the work of the Holy Spirit by whom the believer is enabled to persevere in holiness (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; 13:5; Romans 8:29-39; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Philippians 1:6; 2:13; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24).

We teach that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation (Romans 8:14-17; 1 John 5:13). However, God’s Word clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty and assurance of salvation as an occasion for sinful living and fleshly indulgence (Romans 6:15-22; 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13, 25-26; Titus 2:11-14; Jude 4).

6. The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
What We Teach: We teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, eternal and underived, who possesses all the attributes of personality and deity. He is co-equal, co-eternal, and co-essential with the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; 13:14).

We recognize His sovereign activity in creation (Genesis 1:2), the incarnation (Matthew 1:18), the writing of the Bible (2 Peter 1:20-21), and the work of salvation (John 3:5-7; Acts 1:5). The general scope of His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:7-9), glorifying the Lord Jesus (John 16:14), and transforming believers into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign agent in regeneration (John 3:8; Titus 3:5), baptizing all believers into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation (Romans 8:9), and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). As He indwells all believers, He sanctifies, instructs, and empowers them for service (2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 John 2:20, 27) and seals them unto the day of final redemption (Ephesians 1:13).

We teach that the Holy Spirit is sovereign in giving spiritual gifts for the perfecting of the saints so as to bring glory to Christ (1 Corinthians 12:3-11; John 16:13-14) through the redemption of the lost (Acts 1:8) and the building up of believers (2 Corinthians 3:18). Further, we teach that the sign gifts (prophecy, miracles, healings, and speaking in tongues [known human languages]) in the beginning days of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth and were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of all believers (1 Corinthians 13:8-10; 14:22; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7; Hebrews 3:1-4).

7. The Church

We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God's grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. (*See note)
What We Teach: Christian baptism by immersion is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer showing forth his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Romans 6:1-11). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible body of Christ. As such, baptism is only for those who have trusted in Christ as their Savior and Lord (Romans 10:9-10). While baptism in no way contributes to the salvation of the believer (Luke 23:40-43), the New Testament clearly describes the fact that all those who came to saving faith in Christ joyfully proclaimed their obedience to Christ by means of water baptism (Acts 2:41; 8:36-39; 16:33).

We teach that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He returns and should always be preceded by solemn self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:28-32). We believe that communion is best understood as a memorial celebration that strengthens believers in their walk with Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16).

Church Membership
We believe that only those who are members of the true church shall be eligible for membership in the local church. To become a member of a church is to formally commit oneself to an identifiable, local body of believers who have joined together for specific, divinely ordained purposes. These purposes include receiving instruction from God’s Word (1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:2), serving and edifying one another through the proper use of spiritual gifts (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11), participating in the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42), and proclaiming the gospel to those who are lost (Matthew 28:18-20). In addition, when one becomes a member of a church, he submits himself to the care and the authority of the biblically qualified elders whom God has placed in that assembly (Hebrews 13:17).

We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:22-33), of which Christ is the Head (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18).

We teach that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament, and that the members of the one spiritual body of Christ are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 11:18-20; Hebrews 10:25).

We teach that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Bible. The biblically designated officers who serve under Christ in leading the church are elders, who must meet biblical qualifications (Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 5:1-4; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9).

We teach that the elders lead as servants of Christ and by example (Hebrews 13:7; Acts 20:28), not lording it over the body (Mark 10:42-45) but leading through the truth of the Word (1 Timothy 5:17-22). The church is to submit to these leaders as they faithfully carry out the oversight entrusted to them by the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 5:1-4; Hebrews 13:17). We believe the church functions most effectively under the guidance of a plurality of elders; and we entrust our elders with the responsibility to provide ministry direction, oversight, and to keep the church moving toward its purpose and ministry objectives.

We teach the importance of mutual accountability of all believers to each other (2 Thessalonians 3:6-15) as well as the need for the discipline of sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (Matthew 18:15-22; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 1 Timothy 1:19-20).

8. Christian Living

We believe that God's justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed. (*See note)
What We Teach: We teach that, out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us, and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all believers should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. As holiness is that attribute which most essentially describes God, so also it is that characteristic which ought to dominate the lives of His children (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:13-21; 1 John 3:1-10).

We teach that the ministries of evangelism (sharing and proclaiming the message of salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ) and discipleship (helping followers of Christ grow in maturity in Christ) are the responsibilities of church leaders and all believers in the church (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:9-15; Philemon 1:6; 1 Peter 3:15). The pattern of disciple making that was established by Jesus Himself during His earthly ministry (Mark 1:16–22; 2:14; John 8:31) is an example to be continued by His people. True followers of Christ become “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19) meaning that those who become His disciples are themselves to be disciple makers (2 Timothy 2:2).  The content for discipleship is God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:3-4) and the conduit for discipleship is relationships (Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 10:24-25).  

9. Christ's Return

We believe in the personal, premillennial, bodily, and glorious 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, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service, and energetic mission. (*See note)
What We Teach: We use the same literal, historical, grammatical hermeneutic for the interpretation of eschatology that we use for every passage of Scripture and reject a “spiritualizing” of the meaning of the Bible. This method does not overlook the use of figurative language but recognizes there is a literal meaning conveyed by figurative language. We believe Old and New Testament prophecy, such as Daniel 7-12 and the book of Revelation, describe literal people, places, and events that will literally be fulfilled in the future.

The Rapture of the Church
We teach the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ before the seven-year tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Titus 2:13) to translate His church from this earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:11) and, between this event and His glorious return with His saints, to reward believers according to their works (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).

The Tribulation Period
We teach that immediately following the removal of the church from the earth (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; 12:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12; Revelation 16), and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Matthew 24:27-31; 25:31-46; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). At that time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged (Daniel 12:2-3; Revelation 20:4-6). This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24:15-31; 25:31-46).

The Second Coming and the Millennial Reign
We teach that after the tribulation period Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Matthew 25:31; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 1:10-11; 2:29-30) and establish His messianic kingdom for 1,000 years on the earth (Revelation 20:1-7). During this time the resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth (Ezekiel 37:21-28; Daniel 7:17-22; Revelation 19:11-16). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet and by the removal of Satan from the world (Daniel 7:17-27; Revelation 20:1-7).

We teach that the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel (Isaiah 65:17-25; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Zechariah 8:1-17) to restore them to the land that they forfeited through their disobedience (Deuteronomy 28:15-68). The result of their disobedience was that Israel was temporarily set aside (Matthew 21:43; Romans 11:1-26) but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:22-32; Romans 11:25-29).

We teach that this time of our Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Isaiah 11; 65:17-25; Ezekiel 36:33-38) and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Revelation 20:7).

10. Response and Eternal Destiny

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.
What We Teach: We teach the bodily resurrection of all men: the saved to eternal life (John 6:39; Romans 8:10-11, 19-23; 2 Corinthians 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Revelation 20:13-15).

We teach that the souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until the second resurrection (Luke 16:19-26; Revelation 20:13-15), when the soul and the resurrection body will be united (John 5:28-29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15) and shall be cast into hell, the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41-46), cut off from the life of God forever (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

We teach that following the release of Satan after the 1,000-year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:7), Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Revelation 20:9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10), whereupon Christ, who is the Judge of all men (John 5:22), will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne Judgment.

We teach that this resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment (John 5:28-29), they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:11-15).

We teach that after the closing of the millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (2 Thessalonians 1:9; Revelation 20:7-15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (2 Peter 3:10) and replaced with a new earth, wherein only righteousness dwells (Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 20:15; 21:1-27; 22:1-21). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Revelation 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another (John 17:3; Revelation 21-22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28), that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1 Corinthians 15:28).

* These sections of the EFCA Statement of Faith have been edited. (Click to view the original EFCA Statement of Faith)