The following provides an overview of the key principles of Christianity and Christian Life. Please note these principles are not intended to be legalistic rules, but rather they are intended to provide an overview of beliefs and behaviors that flow naturally from God's Word and the heart of the converted believer. A variety of references are provided for those interested in a deeper level of understanding on each of these topics. It is our hope that this will both enlighten and inspire your Christian journey.
(a) God loves us greatly, and everyone matters to God;
(b) all men are sinners, and the penalty for sin is death as God cannot be in the
presence of sin;
(c) Christ is our Savior, who was both God and man, came to atone for our
sins and earn our salvation by substituting for our sin with his death and crucifixion.
Christ rose from the Dead and began a new kind of human life with a perfect
body that was no longer subject to weakness, aging, death or decay.
(d)Truly accepting Christ and believing in the gospel of Christ results in the forgiveness
of our sins and justification with God as well as eternal salvation. At the moment of our
belief we are adopted as sons and daughters of God.
3. Justice will prevail in the end. Not accepting Jesus results in eternal damnation in Hell.
Everyone will die as the consequence of sin. However, the soul, mind, & spirit for Believers continues to live for all eternity in Heaven in the presence of God in Paradise. This is by the Grace of God – his free gift to those that have faith and believe in him – and occurs immediately following death when everyone receives a first faith judgement. At this time the spirit of the Believer ascends to heaven (see Luke 16:22), and the spirit of the non-believer goes into a place of suffering forever (Luke 16:19-31).
All believers will face a second judgement seat of Christ and will be judged for their actions since becoming a Believer. This does not impact the believer’s salvation but impacts their rewards in heaven. God’s judgement is based on his standard of holiness and is absolute and unchanging. This judgement will occur at the time of the rapture of Believers just prior to the beginning of the seven-year tribulation period. The rapture is that glorious event in which dead and living Believers will instantly be caught up to meet Christ in the air. The already dead Believers will be resurrected with new bodies, and then living Believers will be instantly translated into their resurrection bodies. After both groups are caught up to meet Christ in the air, they will be taken back to heaven, never again to be separated from Christ (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
The great white throne judgment awaits unbelievers of all ages. It is a horrific judgment where unbelievers are judged according to what they had done and leads to them being cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). The Judge is Jesus Christ (Matthew 19:28; John 5:22-30; Acts 10:42; 17:31). Those who are judged are the unsaved dead of all ages. This judgment takes place after the millennial kingdom, Christ’s 1000-year reign on planet earth. (Revelation 20:11).
Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know by Wayne Grudem
The Indispensable Guide to Practically Everything: Life After Death & Heaven & Hell by Bryan McAnnaly
Knowing God by J.I. Packer
The Key Idea Bible Handbook by Ron Rhodes, particularly the gospels according to Mathew, Mark, Luke & John.
Trusting God by Jerry Bridges
What Happens After Life by Ron Rhodes
The Blessings of Humility by Jerry Bridges
Can We trust the Gospels by Peter J. Williams
Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis