It has frequently occurred to me that although most people know the word ‘Evangelical’, they don’t really know what an Evangelical is. So I thought this would be a good opportunity to explain and clarify, in a hopefully succinct and understandable manner.
There are two highly important things that evangelicals believe without which nothing else that they believe would make sense.
FIRST: Evangelicals believe that THE BIBLE IS THE WHOLE WORD OF GOD and that all their basic beliefs are clearly taught in the Bible.
SECOND: Evangelicals believe that JESUS CHRIST (THE MESSIAH) IS GOD and therefore sinless.
It is on these two truths that all other beliefs of the evangelical are based.
Evangelicals believe that the Bible teaches:
……that mankind is basically sinful, that there is no-one who is perfect or who can be perfect in this life since we are born with a sinful nature and a natural tendency towards sinning.
……that the penalty for sin is death. Since no sinner can enter heaven because God is holy and heaven cannot contain sin, man is condemned to death. Sinful man cannot go to heaven as a sinner, so he must die here on earth in his sinful state.
……that God, in His love, has provided a way for mankind to escape the penalty of death and receive eternal life. They believe that God sent Jesus Christ to pay the penalty by His death for all who want to be rid of their sinful nature and live forever in a perfect environment (Heaven). Because of Jesus’ death, God will pardon all those want it. For his part, all the sinner has to do is first acknowledge that he is indeed sinful, then tell God that he is truly sorry in a heartfelt way for the sins he has committed. Finally he has to accept the pardon (forgiveness) that God is offering by acknowledging that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for him. When that person dies on this earth he will go to heaven to be with the Lord and be given a new, sinless nature and will live in this state forever.
All of the above is what Evangelicals all over the world, in all countries and denominations of the Christian church believe. There may well be many people who believe all that and don’t know that what they believe is the same as what evangelicals believe.
Beyond these fundamental beliefs that all Evangelicals agree on there are other issues about which we differ with one another.
For example: how the world was made; how we should be baptized; how and when the world will end; how and when Christ will come again; how and when and to what extent we should evangelize others.
In recent years homosexuality and abortion have become major topics of controversy for Evangelicals. This is because the Bible teaches that they are sin and Evangelicals believe the Bible is God’s Word. But then it also teaches that adultery, murder, stealing, lying and such things are also sin. The difference is that no-one is insisting that Evangelicals must accept, support, employ or allow their children to be taught that adultery, murder, stealing, and lying etc. is O.K.
I do hope that for those of you who have been able to read this blog to the end, I have been able to shed some light on what Evangelicals believe. In addition, I ask you to understand that as in all religions, there are extremists at either end of the spectrum with whom the majority of Evangelicals have little in common.
Next week I will try to post something that is more fun for
This is my contribution to ABC Wednesday . If you would like to read more entertaining submissions to this project run by Mrs. Nesbitt and her team, please click on this LINK