1: To worship GOD.
(Matthew 4:10; John 4:19-24; Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14)
2: To build up the body of Christ (the children of GOD) in care and in maturity.
(John 15; Ephesians 4:1-32; 2 Timothy 2:2)
3: To evangelize the world starting with our own community.
(Matthew. 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20)
Slogan: Reaching up by reaching out together.
Hope for Today Fellowship has been called into being to reach out to the lost of the community of Keswick and surrounding areas. GOD wants us to live our lives in a way that would bring glory to GOD which would include shining as lights in this dark world and shining in such a way that the world would see our good works and glorify our Heavenly Father. GOD wants us to reach out in a tangible way to our community but always including the Gospel of Jesus. We want to care for the community of Keswick and help families according to their needs.
In regards to our faith we must be willing to be stretched beyond our natural abilities so that we have to depend upon GOD to see this ministry fulfilled. Without the Holy Spirit this ministry will fail. In having our faith stretched we will see GOD work in us and thru us in ways that only the Holy Spirit can do.
At Hope for Today Fellowship we see fellowship planting as a priority. Making disciples who make disciples is a New Testament formula and one that we wish to follow.
Beliefs of Hope for Today Fellowship
Hope for Today Fellowship stands firmly in the mainstream of historical Christianity. It uses the Bible as the only source for our faith and practice. It holds, in common with historical evangelical Christianity, the belief of Christ as Saviour and soon coming King. It also holds, in common with historic evangelical Christianity, that the gifts of the Spirit are still functioning in the body of Christ – the Church.
1/ The Holy Scriptures: Hope for Today Fellowship holds that the Word of GOD, the Holy Scriptures, is given by inspiration of GOD, 1 and that men of GOD wrote the very words of the Bible while moved by the Holy Spirit to write 2. Because Divine inspiration extends throughout and is inclusive of every part of the original writings, the fellowship believes the whole Bible as written is therefore without error, and thus is the infallible Word of GOD. Consequently, the Word of GOD, the Holy Scriptures, is absolutely supreme and sufficient in authority and in all matters of the Christian faith and practice 3.The Bible contains the very Word of GOD, but it also is the complete revelation of the Word of GOD for mankind. The Holy Spirit is given to born-again believers to understand the Holy Scriptures 4. Because the Bible is the complete revelation of the Word of GOD, GOD does not give new revelations that are contrary or in addition to the inspired Word of GOD, the Holy Scriptures 5.
2/ The Trinity: The Trinity (the GODHEAD) exists eternally in three persons: GOD the Father, GOD the Son, and GOD the Holy Spirit. These three are one GOD, having the same nature and attributes and are worthy of the same worship, confidence, and obedience 6.
2A/ GOD the Father: Exists eternally as the Creator of heaven and earth, the Giver of the Law, to whom all things will be subjected, because He is all in all 7.
2B/ GOD the Son: The Lord Christ Jesus, the eternal and one and only Son of the Father, is 100% man and 100% GOD 8. Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary 9, and came to earth to reveal to us the Father in His fullness. It was by His sinless life, miracles and teachings that Jesus was able to fulfill this duty 10. Jesus died on the cross, the Just for the unjust, as a propitiation (perfect substitutionary sacrifice) 11. The Lord Jesus rose from the dead 12. He ascended into Heaven where He sits in the flesh at the right hand of the Father, where He holds the title of our great High Priest 13. The Christ will come again to establish His kingdom in righteousness and peace 14. He will come to judge the living and the dead.
2C/ GOD the Holy Spiritt: Fully GOD, performing actions and possessing the attributes of GOD 15. The Holy Spirit is a person as shown by his personal characteristics and because He is a person individuals may relate to Him as a person 16.
3/ Angels: Messengers of GOD. Created as intelligent and powerful beings to do the will of GOD and to worship Him 17. Satan, the originator of sin, was one of GOD’s messengers. But, because of his pride, Satan fell and was cast out of Heaven along with 1/3 of the messengers who had followed Satan in his sin. These fallen Messengers are active in opposing the purposes of GOD 18. Those messengers who remained faithful continue before the throne of GOD and serve as ministering spirits 19.
4/ The born-again believer and demons: Demons are opposed to the purposes of GOD and will do whatever they can to thwart the plans of GOD. The good news is that followers of Christ are freed from the bondage of demons and Satan 20. The born-again believer cannot be possessed by demons because his body is the temple of the Holy Spirit in which Christ dwells as Lord 21.
5/ Man: Man was created by GOD in the image and likeness of GOD 22. Man was given free choice in the garden near Eden and man chose to sin. The consequence of man’s sin was both spiritual and physical death 23. The sin of Adam and the consequence of that sin, spiritual death, have been passed down to the entire human race 24 with the exception of the man Christ Jesus 25. Therefore man can only be saved through the atoning work of the Lord Christ Jesus 26.
6/ The Atonement of Christ: Salvation has been provided for all men through the sacrifice of Jesus the Christ upon the cross 27. Salvation means being saved from the wrath of GOD which will be poured out upon those who do not accept what GOD the Son has done for them upon the Cross. There is no other substitution that would satisfy GOD in regards to the sin of the world, both original and actual. We know that the cross, the work of Christ was accepted and proven by the resurrection of the Christ from the dead 28. Those who would turn from their sin (repent) and believe in the Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit and receive eternal life 29, 30, 31,32, 33.
7/ The Christian Experience7A/ Assurance of Salvation: Assurance of Salvation is the privilege of all who are born again by the Spirit, through faith in Christ 34. This assurance of being saved from the wrath of GOD will result in love, gratitude and obedience toward GOD.
7B/ Sanctification: Is the process of being separated from evil and dedicated to GOD 35. Sanctification is both instantaneous 36 and progressive 37. Sanctification is produced in the born-again believer’s life through the power of the Holy Spirit 38. The Holy Spirit draws the believer’s attention to Christ. Then He teaches the believer through the Word of GOD and produces the Character of Christ within him 39. Believers who do sin must repent and seek forgiveness through faith in Christ Jesus 40.
7C/ The infilling of the Holy Spirit: When the sinner repents and puts his/her faith in the Christ, that person is filled with the Spirit of GOD. The body becomes the temple of GOD 21. As the believer gives more control of his/her life to the Holy Spirit, the person will be filled more and more with the Holy Spirit 41. As the Apostle Paul says, pray that you are continually filled with the Spirit of GOD (Eph. 5:18). The more we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, the more intimate our experience with Christ becomes 42. As we allow the Spirit to have more and more control of our lives, we receive more and more power to witness and to grow spiritually 43.
7D/ The gifts of the Spirit: The gifts of the Spirit are supernatural abilities given by God through the exercising of which believers are enabled to minister effectively and directly in particular situations 47. They serve the dual function of building up the church and of demonstrating the presence of God within His church.48
7E/ Divine Healing: The Word of GOD clearly teaches that healing is available to all people through the power of the Holy Spirit. Hope for Today Fellowship believes that healing only comes from GOD, and only when GOD allows it to happen. We are clearly instructed to pray for the sick that they would be made well, and we will pray believing that GOD will heal them. Whether GOD heals them here on earth, or at the day of the Lord, is totally up to GOD 50.
8/ The Church Universal: All who are born again are members of the universal church, which is the Body and Bride of Christ 51.
9/ The local Church:
The local church is a body of believers in Christ who have joined together to function as a part of the universal church 52. The local church is ordained by God and provides a context in which believers corporately worship God 53, observe the ordinances of the church, are instructed in the faith and are equipped for the evangelization of the world 54.
10A/ The Lord’s supper:
The Lord’s Supper is a symbol, memorial and proclamation of the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. This ordinance of communion is to be participated in by Believers until Christ’s return 55.
10B/ Water baptism:
Water baptism signifies the believer’s identification with Christ in His death, burial, and
Resurrection, and is practiced by immersion 56. Water baptism is the believer’s first public proclamation of his/her faith in Christ and should be done as soon after conversion as possible.
11/ The End of Time
11A/ The present state of the dead:
At death the souls of believers pass immediately into the presence of Christ, 58 and these remain in constant bliss until the resurrection of the glorified body . The souls of unbelievers remain conscious of condemnation, 60 until the final bodily resurrection and judgment of the unjust 61.
11B/ The tribulation:
The tribulation will be a time of judgment on the whole earth 64. During this period the Antichrist will emerge to offer false hope to the nations 65.
11C/ The second coming of Christ:
The return of Christ to earth in power, and great glory, will conclude the great tribulation with the victory at Armageddon, 66 the defeat of Antichrist and the binding of Satan.67 Christ will introduce the millennial age, 68 restore Israel to her own land, lift the curse which now rests upon the whole creation, and bring the whole world to the knowledge of God 69. The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the church, it is at this time that Christ will take His children to Himself, both the living who shall be transformed, and the dead in Christ who shall be resurrected 62.This event takes place so that the people of GOD are not affected by the pouring out of GOD’s wrath during the tribulation period, or after the tribulation period. Believers then will appear before the judgment seat of Christ to be judged according to faithfulness in Christian service 63. The time and day of the second coming of Christ Jesus is not known to anyone but GOD. When Christ returns every eye will see and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord!
11D/ The final judgment:
There will be a final judgment in which the unbelieving dead will be raised and judged at the great white throne, according to their works 70.
The beast and false prophet, the devil and his angels, and whoever is not found in the Book of Life, shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to annihilation but to everlasting punishment, which is the second death 71.
11E/ The eternal state of the righteous:
The righteous will share the glory of God, in the new heaven and the new earth for eternity 72.
12/ Positions and Practices
12A/ Marriage and the family:
Marriage is a provision of God wherein one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others, enter into a lifelong relationship 73 through a marriage ceremony that is recognized by the church and legally sanctioned by the state.
Marriage establishes a “one-flesh” relationship 74 that goes beyond a physical union and is more than either a temporary relationship of convenience intended to provide personal pleasure, or a contract that binds two people together in a legal partnership. Marriage establishes an emotional and spiritual oneness that enables both partners to respond to the spiritual, physical, and social needs of the other 75. It provides the biblical context for the procreation of children. Marriage is to be an exclusive relationship that is maintained in purity 76. It is intended by God to be a permanent relationship. It is a witness to the world of the relationship between Christ and His church 77.
Marriage requires a commitment of love, perseverance and faith. Because of its sanctity and permanence, marriage should be treated with seriousness and entered into only after counsel and prayer for God’s guidance. Christians should marry only those who are believers 78. An individual who becomes a believer after marriage should remain with his/her partner in peace, and should give witness to the Gospel in the home 79.
The Bible holds family life as a position of trust and responsibility. The home is a stabilizing force in society, a place of nurture, counsel, and safety for children 80.
We believe that divorce is not God’s intention. It is Moses concession to the “hardness of the hearts of man 81 .”
We, therefore, discourage divorce by all lawful means and teaching. Our objective is reconciliation and the healing of the marital union wherever possible. Marital unfaithfulness should not be considered so much an occasion or opportunity for divorce, but rather an opportunity for Christian grace, forgiveness, and restoration. Divorce in our society is a termination of a marriage through a legal process authorized by the State. While the Church recognizes this legal process as an appropriate means to facilitate the permanent separation of spouses, the Church restricts the idea of divorce, in the sense of dissolution of marriage, to reasons specified in Scripture. The weight of the biblical record is negative and the explicit statement is made, “God hates divorce 82.” Divorce is more than an action of the courts which breaks the legal contract between partners in a marriage. It is also the fracture of a unique human relationship between a male and a female. Divorce has profound consequences for the children. Divorce is evidence of the sinful nature expressed in human failure. Where all attempts at reconciliation have failed and a divorce has been finalized, we extend Christ’s love and compassion.
Remarriage is the union, legally sanctioned by the State, of one man and one woman, one or both of whom have been previously married. It is regarded as acceptable in Scripture in the event of the death of a former spouse.
1 2 Tim. 3: 16, 17
2 2 Pet. 1: 20,21
3 Psa. 119:160; Matt. 5:17,18
4 1 Cor. 2:12-14
5 Prov. 30:5,6
6 Matt. 3:16,17; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14
7 Gen. 1:1; 1 Cor. 15:28
8 John 1:1,14; 10:30,17; Phil. 2:6,7; Heb. 1:8
9 Luke 1:26-35
10 John 12:49; Acts 2:22; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 7:26
11 Rom. 5:6,8; 1 Cor. 15:3; 1Pet. 3:18
12 Matt. 28:6; 1 Cor. 15:4,20
13 Acts 1:9-11; 2:33; Heb. 8:1
14 Matt. 25:31
15 Acts 5:3,4
16 John 16:13-14
17 Psa. 103:20; Rev. 5:11,12
18 Isa. 14:12-17, Eze. 28:11-19; Eph. 6:11-12; 1Tim. 4:1; Jude 6
19 Heb. 1:14
20 Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8; 4:1-4
21 Matt. 6:24; 1 Cor. 6:19,20
22 Gen. 1:26; 2:7
23 Rom. 5:12; James 1:14,15
24 Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:10-19, 23
25 Heb. 7:26
26 John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5,6
27 Isa. 53:3-6; John 12:32,33; 1 Pet. 2:24
28 Acts 2:36; Rom. 4:25; 1 Cor. 15:14,17,20; Heb. 10:12; 1 John 2:2
29 Acts 20:21; 1 Pet. 1:23,25
30 Isa. 53:4,5; Matt. 8:16b,17
31 Isa. 55:7; Acts 17:30; Gal. 3:22,26; Eph. 2:8; 1 John 5:10-13
32 John 3:3b,5b,7; 2 Cor. 5:17,18a; 1 Pet. 1:23
33 Rom. 3:24; 4:3-5; 5:1-2
34 John 10:27-29; Rom. 8:35-39
35 2 Cor. 6:14; 7:1
36 John 17:17,19; Heb. 10:10,14
37 I Thes. 5:23; 2 Tim. 2:19-22; 1 Pet. 1:14-16
38 Rom. 6:11,13,14,18
39 1 Cor. 13; Gal. 5:22, 23; 2 Pet. 1:3-4
40 1 John 1:9; 2:1-2
21 Matt. 6:24; 1 Cor. 6:19,20
41 Matt. 3:11; Acts 1:5; Eph. 5:18
42 John 16:13-15
43 Acts 2:1-4; 9-17,39; 1 Cor. 14:18
44 Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4, 8
45 2 Cor. 3:18; Acts 1:8
46 Acts 8:12-17; 10:44-46
47 1 Cor. 12:4-11
48 1 Cor. 12:7; 14:12, 24-25
49 Matt. 8:16,17
50 1 Cor. 12:28-30; James 5:14
51 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 5:25b; Col. 1:18; 1 Tim. 3:15
52 Acts 14:23; 1 Cor. 16:19
53 John 4:23; Acts 20:7
54 Acts 1:8; 11:19-24; 2 Tim. 2:2; 1 Pet. 5:2
55 Matt. 26:26-28; 1 Cor. 10:16-17; 11:23-26
56 Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38, 41; 8:36-39; Rom. 6:3-5
58 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21, 23-24
59 Rom 8:22-23; 1 Cor. 15:42-44; 2 Cor. 5:1,4b
60 Luke 16:22-31; John 3:36
63 Rom. 14:10-12; 1 Cor 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:9-10
70 Dan. 7:9-10; John 12:48; Rom. 2:2,6,11,16; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:11-15
71 Matt. 25:41b; Jude 6; Rev. 20:10,15; 21:8
72 Matt. 13:43; John 17:24; 2 Pet. 3:13; Heb. 11:10; Rev. 21:1-2, 10, 22-23
73 Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:6
74 Matt. 19:5; Mal. 2:15
75 Gen. 2:18; 1 Cor. 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4
76 Eph. 5:3, 26, 27
77 Eph. 5:25, 31, 32
78 2 Cor. 6:1, 14, 15
79 1 Cor. 7:12-14, 16
80 Eph. 6:4
81 Matt. 19:8
82 Mal. 2