Sunday, November 29, 2015
I am sure this post isn't going to sit well with certain people (I can think of one right off the top of my head), but I am just putting this here just to get this off my chest. If you don't like it, feel free to unfriend / unfollow / un-whatever me that you like.
Just so you know, none of this is up for debate. I will not argue it. I am just sharing what I have settled on, and what I believe God has laid on my heart.
Over the last several years, I have teetered between several different "doctrines" if you will. Be it Calvinism, Armenianism, Millennialism, Dispensationalism, etc.
After doing a good amount of studying on my own, I have come to the determination that I am a Pre-Trib, Dispensationalistic, Free Will Christian.
In other words, I believe Jesus will rapture the church BEFORE the Tribulation. If you read Revelation, you will find that the church isn't mentioned after chapter 3. Why? Because it's been raptured away. The elders mentioned as sitting around the throne with the 4 Creatures are representatives of the church. They are there. Not here on Earth.
I do not believe in Calvinism, though I do believe in Predestination. I believe that God gave US the freewill to accept or reject Christ as made evident in both John 3:16 as well as Romans 8:29.
I believe the Bible is to be taken 100% literal EXCEPT where it is clear that symbolism is being used. (Parables, etc.) I believe in a 6 literal day creation. I believe in the Great Flood of Noah. I believe the Rainbow was a gift from God for us as a promise that He will never flood the Earth again. I believe that Hell is every bit as real as Heaven, and that if you are in Hell, you are there to stay. Forever. You are not annihilated. You are not being "punished for a period of time" and then get to go to Heaven.
I believe that much of today's church has fallen away from true faith in God and has become complacent in their teachings in order to appear to larger crowds and increase their numbers. I believe that as Western Christians we have no IDEA what it is like to truly have faith to hold on to.
I also believe that as Western Christians, there will come a time that we will find out what it is like to have to hold fast to our faith. We will be tested. Many of us (I pray not most of us) will fail.
Does any of this mean that I don't respect your rights to believe what you want to believe? Absolutely not. Do I believe I am right and you are wrong? No. I believe that God is right, and we as humans are wrong a whole lot more than we want to believe we are. Do I believe I have all the answers? No. God does. Do I believe that groups like Westboro are going about this wrong? ABSOLUTELY.
Anyway, those are my thoughts. Thank you for taking the time to read them.