I have been a Christian since 1982 and was saved through Hal Lindsey's Late Great Planet Earth. Knowing that Christ loved me, even with all my faults brought me to my knees. Shortly thereafter a neighbor invited me to go to Calvary Chapel. I had been raised in a cult as a child so studied Bible Doctrine, Bible Prophecy and all the cults for the next 20 years while attending Calvary Chapel, not wanting to ever get caught up in false teaching again.
Therefore, I have spent most of my Christian years in ministry witnessing to those in cults, or those who have been lied to and confused by regular churches or false prophets. I also spent 7 years on different mailing lists witnessing to ex-Jehovah's Witnesses, Jews, athiests, etc., and one of my favorite pastimes has been to solve so-called contradictions in the Bible. I set up Endtime Prophets so I could compare what the gospel says with the teachings of false prophets and other false teachers leading the sheep astray.
While at Calvary Chapel I also took a care giver class and became a certified "Stephen Minister" (one-on-one counselor for those going through a crisis). I was also trained to lead a support group for abused women, and was a worship leader with my guitar for small groups for 8 years. I also helped with Calvary Chapel's alternative to Halloween, the Hallelujah Party, and was the costumer for 2 Passion Plays, with about 30 characters each, while at Calvary.
I attended Forth Memorial's church for awhile. I had just graduated from Fourth Memorial's Evangelism class when they started promoting an Ecumenical group I had just critiqued on this site so I left there and attended Four-Square with a friend for awhile but left there when they distorted speaking in tongues. I also attended 2 different Messianic groups, but left the first one when the leader enforced Kashrut and the other wasn't much better. I currently attend a Baptist church.
I have taken spiritual gifts tests 3 times in 3 different churches. The first and last time resulted in the gifts of teaching and discernment. The third time I was told I had the Gift of Prophecy. I balked at that at first until I learned that this was one who upheld the Word of God. When I see someone distorting the Word of God I just have to do something about it. I also have a BA in English with a focus on critiquing other's writing. So either way I'm qualified to critique false prophets.
I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, even though there may be errors in translating the original scriptures to English or other languages. Our current modern Bibles may have minor errors they can still be trusted (if you compare scripture with scripture) because the Bible is written in such a way that you can't mistranslate one verse when the same doctrine or teaching is repeated throughout the bible. To purposely distort the Bible you would have to rewrite the whole thing like the Mormans or Jehovah's Witnesses.
Here is a good study on comparing the different Bible versions and why they "appear" to contradict each other: Why I use the NIV Bible
I believe that man was created perfect but that through Adam's sin all men (and women) are fallen and we need the saving Grace of Jesus Christ to wash away our sin through the blood he shed on the cross on our behalf.
I believe in the Trinity--that God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are all God and they are one God with separate persons, i.e., God is the Father, Jesus is the Son and the Holy Spirit is a person also. Jesus was born through the incarnation, sinless, and he never once sinned in his whole life and this was the reason he qualified to be the Savior of mankind when he died for our sins on the cross. After his death and burial I believe He rose again on the third day with a glorified body and is alive today in Heaven. I also believe he will come again for those who are His during the Rapture, which I believe will be PreTrib.
It is only through God's Grace because of our faith in Christ's death on the cross for our sins that we are saved and there is nothing we can do to earn that salvation, except believe.
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from youselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do " (Eph. 2:8,9).
I believe there can be nothing added onto beliving, such as believe and be baptised, i.e., water baptism, or believe and repent, i.e., express sorrow for sins, or believe and obey, i.e., follow commands of scripture, or believe and confess, i.e., make an altar call, etc. All of the forgoing are either misinterpreted or taken out of context when applied to salvation and are a form of what is called Lordship Salvation. NOTHING but belief in Christ as our Savior is necessary to qualify us as one of His kids. AFTER one believes then the Holy Spirit comes to indwell the believer and starts working in our lives convicting us of sin, the need to get baptised, etc.,--not before. Good works will result FROM a true saving faith AFTER one is saved.
I believe that the Rapture can occur at any time (there are no propecies that need to be fulfilled before the rapture), and when this happens the Tribulation will start and after 7 years Christ will return to judge all those who have rejected him as Messiah. The way this world is heading that won't be too far off.
I believe that when a believer is in sin they are out of fellowship with the Holy Spirit and their heart will eventually harden over which will lead to more error down the road unless they allow the Lord to work in their lives. I do not believe this means they can become unsaved however because I also believe in Eternal Security, i.e., Once-Saved-Always-Saved, so that even though a true believer strays at times, it does not affect their salvation status which Christ had already paid for when they first believed. All scriptures that are being used to prove otherwise have been taken out of context. Check Bob Wilkin's Grace in Focus newsletter for articles on this topic or similar articles on this site.
There's a lot more that I believe but you're probably as tired of reading this as I am of typing it, so this will have to do, and if not, feel free to ask.
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