What Berean Community Church Believes
God’s Word places a high premium on sound doctrine in the church. In fact, the Bible describes the household of God as “the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15)—the place where sound doctrine is to be upheld and preserved. What Berean Community Church Believes
is a summary of our doctrinal convictions, the truths we believe to be the core elements of sound doctrine that should be protected and proclaimed in the Body of Christ. Most of these are primary doctrines while a few are secondary doctrines. What Berean Community Church Believes
includes doctrines that all members of Berean Community Church must hold as well as doctrines that only the elders must hold. This will be marked by the differing introductions “BCC believes…” or “The Elders of BCC believe…”.
The Word of God
BCC believes that the 66 books of the Bible are God’s written revelation to man and constitute the infallible and authoritative Word of God (2 Tim 3:16; Matt 4:4; Ps 19:7-9) in the original manuscripts. The Holy Spirit superintended the writing of Scripture in such a way that the human authors composed and recorded God’s word to man, without error in whole or in part (2 Pet 1:20-21; Ps 19:7-9; John 10:35; 17:17).
BCC believes that Scripture consists of the complete and sufficient revelation of God’s will—containing all that is necessary for salvation and the sanctification of the believer (1 Pet 1:23-2:3; 2 Tim 3:15-17; Ps 19:7-11)—and that Scripture is the absolute and only authority for Christian life and doctrine (2 Tim 3:16-17; 1 Cor 14:37). As such, believers must turn to Scripture alone to determine what to believe and how to live to the glory of God (Acts 17:11).
BCC believes that although there may be several legitimate applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one interpretation—the meaning intended by the original author (2 Tim 2:15; 2 Pet 3:16). It is the responsibility of believers to study the Scriptures diligently, seeking to ascertain the intent of God’s Word and recognizing that the true meaning of Scripture is binding on all (2 Tim 2:15).
The God of the Word
BCC believes that there is but one true and living God (Deut 6:4; Isa 45:5-7; 1 Cor 8:4), who exists eternally in three Persons—God the Father (John 6:27), God the Son (John 1:1), and God the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3-4). The three persons of the Trinity are infinitely perfect in their divine attributes and equally deserving of the worship and obedience due to God alone.
God the Father
BCC believes that God the Father is the Creator of all things (Gen 1:1-31; Eph 3:9), the omnipotent Ruler of the universe who is sovereign over the entirety of His creation (1 Chron 29:11; Ps 103:19). He is self-sufficient (Acts 17:24-25), immutable (Mal 3:6), eternal (Ps 90:2), omnipresent (Jer 23:23-24), invisible (John 1:18), omniscient (1 John 3:20), wise (Rom 16:27), truthful (Titus 1:2), good (Nahum 1:7), faithful (1 Cor 10:13), loving (1 John 4:8), merciful (Eph 2:4), kind (Titus 3:4), patient (Exod 34:6), gracious (Ps 103:8), holy (1 Pet 1:16), righteous (1 John 2:29), just (Deut 32:4), jealous (Exod 20:5), wrathful (Exod 32:9-10), omnipotent (Matt 19:26), and glorious (Ps 24:10).
The Elders of BCC believe that God the Father inherently possesses and continually exercises both the authority and the ability to do whatever He is pleased to do in and through His creation (Job 41:11; Rom 9:20-21; Eph 1:11; Ps 135:6; Dan 4:35). He providentially brings to pass in time that which He has decreed in eternity past (Isa 46:8-11), working out all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11) and for the praise of His own glory (Eph 1:6, 12, 14; Rom 11:36). In His sovereignty He is neither the author nor approver of sin (Hab 1:13; John 8:38-47), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1 Pet 1:17).
BCC believes that God the Father has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would save as His own (Eph 1:4-6); He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ (John 6:40); He adopts as His children all who come to Him (John 1:12; Rom 8:15-17; Gal 4:5; Heb 12:5-9); and He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31).
God the Son
BCC believes that Jesus Christ possesses all the divine attributes and is coequal, of the same essence, and pre-existent with the Father and the Holy Spirit (John 10:30; 14:9). It was through Jesus that God the Father created the heavens and the earth (John 1:3; Heb 1:2, 10), and it is through Jesus that He upholds His creation (Col 1:15-17; Heb 1:3) and will judge the world (John 5:22, 27; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Rom 2:16).
BCC believes that Jesus is fully God (John 1:1; 8:58; 20:28; Col 1:15; Heb 1:8) and fully man (1 Tim 2:5; Heb 2:14-18) in indivisible oneness (Col 2:9). In becoming a man, Jesus temporarily surrendered the independent use of his divine attributes and His right to the full status and privileges of coexistence with the Father (Phil 2:5-8). He did not, however, surrender His divine essence or divest Himself of His divine attributes (Phil 2:5-8; Col 2:9).
BCC believes that Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit without a sinful nature (Matt 1:18, 23-25; Luke 1:35), lived a sinless life (Acts 3:14; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 7:26; 1 Pet 2:22), and testified to His deity by performing miracles (John 20:30-31). He died on the cross as a sacrifice for sin and a substitute for sinners (Rom 5:8; 1 Pet 2:24; 3:18), accomplishing redemption for those chosen by the Father (Eph 1:4-8). Jesus rose from the dead literally and physically (Matt 28:1-15; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-18; 1 Cor 15:3-8), and He ascended to the right hand of the Father where He reigns as the head of the church (Eph 1:20-23) and intercedes on behalf of His people (Heb 7:25; 9:24).
God the Holy Spirit
BCC believes that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, eternally possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1 Cor 2:10-13), emotions (Eph 4:30), will (1 Cor 12:11), eternality (Heb 9:14), omnipresence (Ps 139:7-10), omniscience (Is 40:13-14), and truthfulness (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13). In all the divine attributes the Holy Spirit is coequal and of the same essence with the Father and the Son (Matt 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 28:25; 1 Cor 12:4-6).
BCC believes that the Holy Spirit was active in the work of creation (Gen 1:2), the incarnation of Christ (Matt 1:18), and the writing of Scripture (2 Pet 1:20-21). He brings conviction of sin to the heart of the unbeliever (John 16:8-11) and is the supernatural Agent of regeneration (John 3:5; Titus 3:5). The Holy Spirit indwells the believer (John 14:17; Rom 8:9), equips him with spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:4-11), enables him to walk in obedience (Gal 5:22-23, 25), and secures his eternal salvation (Eph 1:13-14; 4:30).
The Creation of Man
The Elders of BCC believe that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth in six literal days (Gen 1:1-31; Exod 20:11; 31:17), not as the indirect cause in an extended evolutionary process, but as the direct Agent who brought His creation into being out of nothing as described in the opening chapter of Genesis (Gen 1:1-27; Acts 17:26; Heb 11:3).
BCC believes that on the sixth day of creation, God directly and instantaneously created Adam, and then Eve, in His own image (Gen 1:26-27; 2:7, 18-23). They were created free from sin, with a rational and volitional nature, and with a moral obligation to obey their Creator (Gen 1:28; 2:15-17, 24; 9:6; James 3:9). God’s purpose in creating man was that he would glorify Him in all things (Isa 43:7; Rom 11:36; Col 1:16; Rev 4:11).
The Fall of Man
BCC believes that Satan, a fallen angel who is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Matt 4:1-11; Eph 2:2; Rev 12:9-10), tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:1-5). Because Adam disobeyed the revealed and good will of God (Gen 3:6-7), he passed down to all generations of men a sinful nature that leaves them fallen sinners (Rom 5:12), alienated from God and under condemnation (Gen 3:22-24; Rom 5:12, 18). All men are sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Ps 14:1-3; Jer 17:9; Rom 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12; Eph 2:1-3), and are fully deserving of the eternal wrath of God (Rom 1:18-23; 2:5-8; 6:23).
BCC believes that because of the corrupt nature inherited from Adam, all men are born into this world enslaved to their sin (John 8:34; Rom 6:17, 20; Titus 3:3), blind to the truth (2 Cor 4:4; 1 Cor 1:18; 2:14; Rom 3:11a; Eph 4:17-18), and hostile to their Creator (Gen 6:5; Eccl 9:3; John 3:19-20; 7:7; 8:44; 15:18-25; Rom 5:10; 8:7; Col 1:21). Because he is dead in his sins (Eph 2:1-3), the natural man is inherently wicked and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace (Isa 64:5-6; Jer 13:23). With no ability to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost.
The Salvation of Man
BCC believes that although sinful man stands condemned before God and unable to do anything to save himself from eternal judgment, God has provided salvation for sinners in the person of Jesus Christ, and in Him alone (Acts 4:12; John 3:36; 14:6; Rom 10:9-13; 1 John 2:23). Salvation is wholly the work of God by grace through the redemption of Christ, not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Eph 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Pet 1:18-19).
BCC believes that in order to be saved and possess eternal life, one must repent of his sins and believe in Christ in response to the gospel (Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21). Repentance involves a heartfelt recognition of one’s sin and sorrow over it that leads an individual—at the moment of conversion—to turn from his sin and commit himself to walk in obedience to Christ (Isa 55:6-7; Mark 8:34-38; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 3:19; 2 Cor 7:9-11). Faith involves confessing Jesus as Lord and trusting solely in Him and His death on the cross as the sufficient payment for one’s sin and the only means of eternal salvation (John 3:16; Rom 10:9-13; Eph 2:8-9; Phil 3:3-11).
The Election of Believers
The Elders of BCC believe that before He created the world, God chose those whom He would save from sin (Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:4-11; 2 Thess 2:13; 2 Tim 2:10). This choice—not based on God’s ability to look into the future and see who would some day choose Him
—was entirely unconditional (Rom 9:11; Eph 2:8-9) and designed to bring Him glory (Eph 1:5-6) as the One who graciously bestows mercy upon whom He desires (Rom 9:14-24).
The Elders of BCC believe that God’s sovereign election does not contradict or negate (a) the need for the church to proclaim the gospel (Matt 28:18-20; Luke 24:46-47; 2 Cor 5:20) or (b) the responsibility of sinners to repent and believe in Christ (John 3:16-18, 36; 5:40). At the same time, because sovereign grace imparts the means of receiving salvation—faith and repentance are both gifts from God (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 13:48; 16:14; 18:27; Eph 2:8-9; Phil 1:29; 2 Tim 2:25; 2 Pet 1:1)—election will result in what God has determined. All whom the Father draws to Himself will come in faith, and all who come in faith the Father will receive unto salvation (John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48).
The Redemption of Believers
BCC believes that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished redemption for the elect through his sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection from the dead (Rom 5:6-11; Eph 1:7; 1 Pet 2:24; 3:18). As a substitute for sinners, Jesus willingly took upon Himself the punishment they deserved, satisfying completely the wrath of God the Father on their behalf (John 10:15; Rom 3:24-25; 1 John 2:2; Isa 53:5-6, 10-11).
BCC believes that through Christ’s work of redemption, the believing sinner is freed not only from the penalty of sin, but also the power of sin, having been released from his bondage to evil desires (Rom 6:1-23; Titus 3:3-6). Through the redemption of Christ, all of his sins are forgiven (Eph 1:7; Col 2:13-15) and he enjoys the full privileges of being a child of God (John 1:12; Rom 8:14-17; Gal 4:4-7; Heb 12:5-9; 1 John 3:2).
The Justification of Believers
BCC believes that justification is the instantaneous legal act of God in which He declares the believing sinner to be righteous in His sight on the basis of Christ’s work of redemption (Luke 18:14; Rom 3:21-4:9; Gal 2:16-21; Phil 3:7-11). Justification takes place through faith, apart from works (Luke 18:14; Rom 3:28; 4:6; 10:3; Gal 2:16), but a man’s works do give evidence that he has been justified (James 2:14-26; 1 John 2:3).
BCC believes that justification involves the imputation of the believer’s sins to Christ (2 Cor 5:21; Col 2:14; 1 Pet 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the believer (2 Cor 5:21), and it results in a peace with God in which the believer no longer stands guilty and condemned by God (Rom 5:1; 8:1).
The Regeneration of Believers
BCC believes that regeneration is the work of God in which the Holy Spirit imparts spiritual life and the divine nature to the believing sinner (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5), making alive in Christ one who was previously dead in his sins (Eph 2:1-7; Col 2:13). Regeneration takes place instantaneously at the moment of conversion and is accomplished solely by the power of God and through the instrumentality of His Word (John 1:13; James 1:18; 1 Pet 1:23).
BCC believes that the new nature imparted to the believer through regeneration is such that he is a new creation (2 Cor 5:17) and it is no longer possible for him to live in a continual, unbroken pattern of sin (1 John 3:9; 5:18). Although it is also not possible for him to completely eradicate sin in this life (1 John 1:8-10), his new nature results in a life characterized by progressive righteousness and love (1 John 2:29; 4:7-8).
The Perseverance of Believers
The Elders of BCC believe that all those who are truly redeemed are kept by the power of God and are therefore secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; 6:37-44; 10:27-30; Rom 5:9-10; 8:1, 30-39; 1 Cor 1:4-8; Eph 1:13-14; 4:30; Phil 1:6; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Tim 1:12; Heb 7:25; 13:5; 1 Pet 1:5; Jude 24). It is therefore impossible for a genuine believer to forfeit his salvation.
The Elders of BCC believe that those individuals who profess faith in Christ but later abandon the faith (e.g., John 2:23-25; 6:26-71; 8:30-47; 13:10-11; Acts 8:13-24) have not lost their salvation. Instead, they are demonstrating by their apostasy that they were never truly saved to begin with (1 John 2:19; Matt 13:20-21), for those who genuinely believe will persevere in the faith (Col 1:21-23; Heb 3:6, 14; John 8:31-32).
The Body of Christ
The Identity of the Church
BCC believes that every believer is baptized by the Holy Spirit at the moment of his conversion and thereby placed into the Body of Christ, which is the church (1 Cor 12:13). The church, therefore, is a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born-again believers (Eph 2:11-3:6).
BCC believes that the establishment of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Gal 1:2; Phil 1:1; 1 Thess 1:1; 2 Thess 1:1) and that the members of the one spiritual Body are directed to join together in local assemblies and commit themselves to one another (1 Cor 11:18-20; Heb 10:25).
The Purpose of the Church
BCC believes that the primary purpose of the church is to serve as a vehicle for God’s glory, the primary means through which He manifests and displays His divine attributes (Eph 1:3-14; 3:9-10, 21; 1 Cor 10:31; 1 Pet 4:10-11).
BCC believes that believers have been called to worship the Lord through the proclamation of His praises (1 Pet 2:9) and the presentation of themselves to Him in obedience (Rom 12:1-2; Titus 2:14); to love, serve and spur one another on toward maturity in Christ (Heb 10:24; 1 Pet 4:10); and to proclaim the gospel to every nation (Matt 28:18-20). In short, the Body of Christ exists to exalt the Lord, edify the saints, and evangelize the lost.
BCC believes in the need for the mutual care and accountability of all believers to each other (Heb 10:24-25; Gal 6:1-2), as well as the need for the discipline of unrepentant members of the congregation in accord with the teaching of Scripture (Matt 18:15-17; 1 Cor 5:1-13). The goal of the discipline process is the restoration of fallen members (Matt 18:15-17; Gal 6:1) and the purity of the Body of Christ as a whole (1 Cor 5:6-7; 1 Tim 5:20).
The Gifts of the Church
BCC believes that every believer has received at least one spiritual gift, which is a special ability given by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of serving and edifying the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:7, 11-12, 26; Rom 12:3-8). Believers are responsible to be faithful stewards of their God-given ministries by exercising these gifts in the church (1 Pet 4:10; Rom 12:3-8).
The Elders of BCC believe that gifts of divine revelation were foundational to the establishment of the church under the new covenant (Eph 2:20; 3:5-10) and are therefore no longer in operation today. In addition, miraculous gifts of divine healing were given in the apostolic era for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth (2 Cor 12:12; Heb 2:3-4), and therefore they also no longer function in the church through an individual bestowed with the gift of healing. With the New Testament revelation now complete, Scripture is the sole test of the authenticity of a given teaching, and confirmatory gifts of a miraculous nature are no longer necessary to validate a man or his message. This is not to say that God no longer miraculously heals today, especially in request to our prayers. But the Elders of BCC believe that there are no longer men or women who are specially given the gift of healing.
The Elders of BCC believe that the gift of tongues functioned in the first-century church as a sign of judgment to unbelieving Israel (1 Cor 14:21-22; cf. Isaiah 28:11-12), an authentication of God’s work of growing and expanding the early church from Jew to Gentile (Acts 1:8; 2:1-42, 8:14-17; 10:34-48; 19:1-7), and a secondary means of divine revelation when interpreted in the assembly (1 Cor 14:2-28). As such, the gift of tongues was only temporary and has since ceased.
The Government of the Church
BCC believes that the one supreme authority in the church is Jesus Christ (1 Cor 11:3; Eph 1:22; Col 1:18) and that all church leadership, gifts, discipline, and worship are appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures.
The Elders of BCC believe that God has ordained that each local body of believers be governed by a plurality of godly and biblically qualified men called elders, also known as overseers, pastors or bishops (Acts 11:30; 14:23; 15:2, 4; 20:17, 28; 21:18; Phil 1:1-2; Eph 4:11; 1 Tim 2:12; 3:1-7; 5:17; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Pet 5:1-3; Heb 13:17; James 5:14; 1 Thess 5:12-13). For this reason, each local church is free to be autonomous, unbound by any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations.
BCC believes that the elders lead in the church as servants and under-shepherds of the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and possess His authority in governing the church (1 Thess 5:12; 1 Tim 5:17; Heb 13:17). They are to serve as examples of godliness (1 Tim 3:1-7; 4:12; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Pet 5:3); to faithfully interpret and proclaim God’s Word (1 Tim 5:17; 4:13-16; 2 Tim 2:15; 3:16-17; 4:2); to guard the truth and protect the people from error (Acts 20:28-31; Titus 1:9); to oversee and shepherd the flock (Acts 20:28; 1 Thess 5:12; 1 Tim 3:4-5; 5:17; 1 Pet 5:2; Heb 13:17); to equip the saints for the work of ministry (Eph 4:12; 2 Tim 2:2); and to devote themselves to prayer (Acts 6:4). The congregation is to esteem and submit to the elders (1 Thess 5:13; Heb 13:17), being willing to rebuke and correct them if necessary (1 Tim 5:19-20).
The Ordinances of the Church
BCC believes that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Acts 2:41-42). Baptism is an external symbol of an internal reality in which a believer is immersed in water and thereby publicly declares his repentance from sin and his commitment to follow Christ (Matt 28:19; John 4:1; Acts 2:38). As such, baptism is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible Body of Christ (Acts 2:41; 10:47-48; 16:15, 33).
BCC believes that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of Christ’s work of redemption on the cross (1 Cor 11:25-26). It should be celebrated regularly (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor 11:23-26) and be preceded by a time of self-examination (1 Cor 11:27-34). Although the elements of Communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ (Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor 11:25), participation in the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ, who indwells every believer, and so is present, fellowshipping with His people (1 Cor 10:16).
The Roles of Men and Women
The Elders of BCC believe that God created man and woman equal in essence and value, yet designed to have different functional roles in creation, the family, and the church. God commands husbands to serve their wives and families as the head, modeling Christ’s self-sacrificial love for their benefit (Eph. 5:23, 25-33; Col. 3:19). In addition the husband has the responsibility to train his family in the ways of the Lord (Eph. 6:4; Col. 3:21). The husband also is given the responsibility to protect and provide for his family or else he brings reproach to the gospel as being worse than an unbeliever (1 Tim. 5:8). This male leadership of provision and protection is also reflected in the church. Elders in the church are only male as well as those who teach both men and women (1 Tim. 2:12-15; 3:2, 4-5).
The Elders of BCC believe that women are gifted to serve the creation, the family and the church in an equally vital way. But the function of their giftedness works itself out in the family and in the church in a way that affirms and reflects God’s created order before the fall (Gen. 2:18-24; 1 Cor. 11:3-12; Titus 2:2-4). If a woman is a wife and/or mother then her primary role is serving her husband in submission and her children in love (Titus 2:4-5; 1 Peter 3:1-2; Eph. 5:22; Col. 3:18). In the church a woman is not to have a role of teaching men (1 Tim. 2:12-15) but this does not mean that women do not have speaking roles or other roles of service in the church. Women are to teach other women (Titus 2:2-4). Women can speak in the public assembly (1 Cor. 11:3-12). This does not demean women to a lower standard but rather maximizes the effectiveness of both men and women and pictures for the world God’s proper plan for the family and the church.
The Return of Christ
BCC believes that although no man knows when Christ will return (Matt 24:36; 44; 25:13; Mark 13:32-33; Luke 12:40; Acts 1:6-7), the children of God should be characterized by an eagerness and expectancy (1 Cor 1:7; Phil 3:20; 1 Thess 1:10; 1 Pet 1:13) as the promise and hope of His coming to spur them on to worship, joy, and obedience to the Lord (Titus 2:12-13; 1 Pet 1:3-6; 13-16; 4:7-11; 2 Pet 3:14; 1 John 3:2-3; Phil 3:17-21; Rom 8:18-25; Heb 10:24-25).
BCC believes that unbelievers after death will be reunited with their resurrection bodies to a judgment of condemnation (Dan. 12:2; John 5:29). There they will stand before the throne of God and be judged for their deeds on earth (Rev. 20.11-13). Then they will be cast into everlasting, conscious, physical torment as the just payment for their sin (Rev. 20:10; Matt. 25:46).
The Elders of BCC believe in the pre-tribulational rapture of the church in which Jesus will take His people from this earth to be with Him (1 Thess 4:16; John 14:3; cf. 1 Thess 3:13). Following the tribulation period, the Lord Jesus Christ will come again, physically returning to earth in power and glory to judge the nations and establish His millennial kingdom (Rev 19:11-20:6). During this thousand-year period, Satan will be bound in the abyss, Christ will reign from the throne of David in Jerusalem, and the resurrected saints will reign with Him over the nations of the world (Jer 23:5-8; Matt 25:31; Rev 20:1-6).
The Elders of BCC believe that this kingdom will constitute the fulfillment of God’s covenant promises to ethnic Israel in which He will forgive their sins, grant them a heart of obedience, and restore them to the land He promised them with Jesus of Nazareth their Savior and Lord (Jer 31:31-34; Ezek 36:22-37:28; Rom 11:25-29). During this time, Christ will reign in perfect wisdom and will execute justice and righteousness upon the earth, and Israel will be saved and dwell in the security and blessing of Yahweh (Jer 23:5-8; 33:14-16).
BCC believes that all men—both believers and unbelievers—will experience a bodily resurrection (Dan 12:2; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15). When the bodies of believers are raised from the dead, they will be reunited with their souls, transformed instantaneously, and brought into conformity with the risen and glorified body of Christ (1 Cor 15:51-52; Phil 3:21; 1 Thess 4:15-17). They will see Jesus as He is and therefore become like Him—free from sin and its effects—and they will enjoy eternal fellowship with God forever (1 John 3:2; Rev 21-22).
The Elders of BCC believe that at the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ, Satan will be released from the abyss, he will deceive the nations and lead them into battle against Christ and His people, and he and his followers will be soundly defeated (Rev 20:7-10). At this time, when the bodies of unbelievers are raised, it will be a resurrection of condemnation (Dan 12:2; John 5:29), for they will stand before the throne of God, body and soul reunited, to be judged by Him for their deeds (Rev 20:11-13). God will cast them into the lake of fire alongside Satan where they will be punished eternally as the just payment for their sin (Rev 20:10, 15; Matt 25:46).
Adopted by the Founders’ Board and the present elder of Berean Community Church on August 2007.
Primary doctrines are those beliefs that one must
believe in order to be a Christian (i.e. “the Trinitarian doctrine of God” or “the Hypostatic Union of the Person of Christ,” etc.). Secondary doctrines are those Biblical beliefs on which Christians disagree but are important enough to effect congregational life in such a way that it is better that they agree to disagree and form separate local assemblies (i.e. “Who is to be baptized and in what mode?” or “What role do women have in the church?” or “When is the Millennial Reign of Christ?” etc. By listing these examples of secondary level doctrines we are not trying to equate these examples in importance).
This is the current perspective of the elder, Will Thomas, and the Founders Board, Ken Gillespie, Robert Hardison, and Chris Mathiot. We believe that the timing of the rapture is inferred in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. However, a post-tribulational brother could have the same hermeneutical approach to the texts as a pre-tribulational brother that might not effect his service at BCC as an elder. For this reason we are currently persuaded the better way to articulate the pre-tribulational rapture for an Elder requirement is affirm it while allowing for a biblically qualified man to be engaged by the Elders on the basis of his hermeneutics, his teachability, and expectant hope of Christ’s return.