The gospel is the good news of the future kingdom of God (Matthew 24:14). It includes the prediction that Jesus Christ will return in power (Revelation 11:15). The Great Lakes Church of God sees a need to clear God’s name, explaining that there will not be worldwide destruction as some churches teach. Instead, an innumerable multitude will accept Christ (Revelation 7:9-10).
GOD THE FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST
The Father and Jesus Christ have always existed (John 1:1-3, 14). The God family consists of only the Father and Jesus (I Corinthians 8:6). The main characteristic of God is love (I John 4:8). Instead of being a third person in a trinity, the Holy Spirit is the power of the Father and of Christ (Acts 2:38).
THE PURPOSE OF LIFE
The plan of God is to make us part of His family (Hebrews 2:9-11). We grow in character to be like God (Ephesians 4:22-24). We have the opportunity to become children of God and to inherit the universe (Revelation 21:7), not to go to heaven. The Bible teaches about three resurrections: the first is of persons called in this life, resurrected to rule under Christ (Revelation 20:4-6). The second resurrection is of persons who never had a relationship with God, and the books of the Bible will be opened to them (Revelation 20:12). The third resurrection is of persons who refused the Holy Spirit, or were given the Holy Spirit but rejected it (Revelation 20:13-15). They will be burned up, not burning forever in hell.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 are the spiritual law to be lived by. Christ taught that we must keep the commandments (Matthew 5:17-19). Sin is defined as transgressing that law (I John 3:4). We must repent of breaking God’s law. Repentance means to seriously change the direction of our life.
THE SABBATH AND FESTIVALS
The Saturday Sabbath is the day of rest and worship. Christ gave the example of keeping the Sabbath (Luke 4:14-16, Mark 2:27-28). The apostle Paul kept the Sabbath (Acts 13:14-15, 42-44). The festivals are commanded in Leviticus 23. Christ kept the Passover, replacing the lamb with bread and wine representing His body and blood (Matthew 26:17-28). The apostles were together on Pentecost (Feast of Firstfruits) after Christ’s resurrection (Acts 2:1-4).
The apostle Peter said to repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Baptism represents our faith in the death of Christ to pay the penalty for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection. Baptism also represents the “death and burial” of our old self and walking in newness of life (Romans 6:1-6).
Christ said that He would build His Church (Matthew 16:18). The Church is not a building or a particular organization. The Church consists of people who have the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18-22, Romans 8:8-9). The Church lives by the truth of God (John 8:30-32). The Church must preach the gospel of the kingdom of God to the world, baptize those who repent, and help them grow by teaching them (Matthew 28:19-20). The Church is known by the love that its members have for one another (John 13:35). The Church shows love for all people by helping them with their needs (Matthew 25:34-36).