“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that this day should overtake you like a thief.” 1 Thessalonians 5:4
Eternal life (salvation from this life) is obtained by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ–believing that what he did on the cross was the atonement for our sins (John 3:16). Believing that he paid it all and that it is a gift that we receive and maintain not based on any personal merit (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 8:38). This is the only way. God has provided it all (John 14:6).
Why do we need salvation? We need salvation because the human race is fallen (Romans 3:23). Through the sin of one, sin entered the world and hopefully that is apparent (Romans 5:12). Sin has wrecked all of creation (Romans 8:22). But God promised to send a deliverer–the Messiah, who would correct this problem (Daniel 9:24-25).
Born of a virgin and of God (Matthew 1:23), Jesus was sinless perfection (Hebrew 9:14). He was God and man. This was God’s plan to provide the sacrifice that would satisfy the justice of God. Jesus remained perfect and died an innocent death on the cross for the sin of the whole world (1 John 2:2). The only thing that separates the world from God is unbelief in his provision (John 3:36).
Religion and Christianity are opposed. All other religion looks to the merit of the individual to become satisfactory to God. This is in the end arrogance, for no one can even come close to matching his perfection. The Bible says all have sinned. The standards of God are impossible to a fallen people, but only Christianity has the simple path of faith upon the gift of God for restoration.
Jesus has therefore provided the way of salvation and has ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9). Following this, the Church Age began until the fullness of the gentiles is completed (Acts 2, Romans 11:25). It is yet not complete. When it is, the Church will be taken and then Israel will be the center of God’s plan again, finishing the final seven years (2 Thessalonians 1-2, Revelation 3:10, Daniel 9:26-27). This is where this book is focused. Israel will then go through the seven year Tribulation that is ended by the return of Jesus Christ to earth to set up his kingdom.
This kingdom will last 1,000 years under perfect rule with creation restored–except for one thing (Revelation 20:4). The human race will still be fallen (Revelation 20:8). The evidence for this is the rebellion at the end of the Millennium. Therefore, total restoration comes after the Millennium (Revelation 21). The saints who are resurrected before the Millennium will help in the rule of Christ’s kingdom.
God’s word known as the Bible has revealed this. The Bible in its original language is without error and has been preserved (2 Timothy 3:16, Matthew 5:18). The Bible is the ultimate authority and final word in revelation. Other revelation consists of historical and general (creation, conscience) revelation. Personal revelation from God must be tested under the authority of Scripture (1 John 4:1). The Bible must be understood in its proper use of language, context, and literal forms to arrive at the correct interpretation of the original intent placed there by God under inspiration through human writers.
A believer in Jesus Christ becomes a new creation and spiritually alive (Romans 8). Fallen people are spiritually dead. At salvation the believer alive in this Church Age becomes the temple of God because he is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Romans 8:9) The Holy Spirit is the promised minister who Christ said would come after he ascended to heaven (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit has gifted each believer in different ways to build the body of the Church (Ephesians 4:8-12). For the believer to be effective, it requires walking in the light of God’s truth and confession of any known sin (1 John 1:6-10).
The believer then must know the will of God and this is done by understanding the teachings of the Bible. This is spiritual growth. Besides for growing, the believer must also be a witness to others so that they might also be saved. The mature Christian will be growing, witnessing, loving, and watching for the return of the Savior (Ephesians 4:13-16, Matthew 28:19, 1 John 4:7-21, 1 Thessalonians 5, 2 Timothy 4:8). Only righteous works will be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10-12, 1 Corinthians 3:12-15).
As far as beliefs pertaining to the end time. The Church age believer will be raptured prior to the 70th week of Daniel (1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thessalonians 4-5, 2 Thessalonians 2, and Revelation 3:10). The standard required to be raptured is whether or not one has believed in Christ–nothing else. Once we have been saved, we are eternally saved with no chance of reversing the work God has accomplished for us (John 10:25-29, Romans 8:38-39). However, our works will be evaluated at the Judgment Seat of Christ for the basis of reward (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
Partial Rapture? No. Eternal security or “once saved always saved”? Yes.
This is a small sample of the beliefs of this author.