Common Faith Questions
Have questions? Here are a few of the most common inquiries.
Am I good enough to go to heaven?
Nope. Not on your own. But the great news is that you don’t have to try to go it alone!
Although it may sound harsh, the Bible says no one is good enough to go to heaven on their own. According to scripture, even our good deeds are like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) It also says that all men have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6), all have sinned (Romans 3:23), and none are worthy (Romans 3:10).
Which makes the love of God even that much sweeter.
You’re not good enough to go to heaven on your own, but Jesus has prepared the way for you. He lived the perfect life you couldn’t live, and died the death you should have died, paying the sacrifice you couldn’t pay.
You’re not good enough to get to heaven on your own, but Jesus is. And he says, “Follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Is Jesus really the only way?
Yes. But don’t take our word for it. Because Jesus himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Many people try many ways to get to heaven. But only one man lived a perfect life, and paid the sacrifice for you. His name is Jesus. Though there have been a lot of great men and women throughout history, none were the Son of God like Jesus was. So none could live the life He lived, die the death he died, and offer you true life like he does.
What makes the Bible different from other religious books? Can we trust it?
We believe you can, but we also recognize that there is a faith step required in that trust.
The Bible is God’s inspired, inerrant, infallible word. God has preserved exactly what we need “that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3-4) in the pages of Scripture. The picture that the Bible itself paints is that Scripture is “breathed out” by God, useful for “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
But to fully trust something, you’ve got to take a step of faith. And trusting the Bible is no different. Read it for yourself. Wrestle with its claims. Live out the truths is calls us to live out. Find out for yourself its trustworthiness.
What translation should I read?
There are plenty of good translations that we’d suggest. Our Pastor typically preaches from the English Standard Version, so if you’d like to follow along with him word-for-word, this is the one for you. It’s a nice, “readable” translation that stays true to the original text.
The New Living Translation is one that’s a little easier to understand, especially if you’re reading through the Scriptures with your children. It’s written on a 5th grade reading level.
Either translation is good.
Though there are many other good translations to choose from, these are two we’d suggest if you’re exploring scripture for the first time.
Is Hell a real place?
Yes, it sure is. Jesus talked about it. He said it was a place where the suffering never ends (Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:48). It’s a curse worse than “being drowned in the sea.” (Mark 9:42) The pain of Hell will produce “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12)
Hell is the place reserved for those who reject Jesus in this life.
Hell is a real place, is scary, and is (unfortunately) coming for many people. This grieves us, and motivates us to live self-sacrificially so that others might see the beauty of Christ that we see.
Can I lose my salvation?
No, you can’t. Here’s what Jesus said:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
Salvation is a gift (Ephesians 2:8) that God doesn’t take away (Philippians 1:6). When someone is living in a pattern of sin, a better question to ask might be, “Was I ever saved?” We know that people saved by God live a changed life. If someone isn’t living a changed life, there’s the real (and scary) chance that they’re not saved. To which we’d reply, “Be saved!”
Salvation is too precious of a gift for God to remove it once given. God gives us His Holy Spirit a deposit guaranteeing His fulfillment. (Ephesians 1:14) When He gives the Holy Spirit, He doesn’t take that away.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ground for salvation.
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.
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. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.
We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.
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, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission.
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.