Gulf Coast Dispensational Church
The Venetian Gardens
1450 Venice East Boulevard Venice FL 34292
What we believe...
About The Bible
We believe that the entire Bible is verbally inspired of God and is of absolute authority (2Timothy 3:16, 2Peter 1:20-21) and that God has providentially preserved His completed Word for us today (Psalms 12:6-7, Colossians 1:25, Isaiah 40:8). We believe that the Word of God exists in its preserved form in what is commonly called the Textus Receptus (Received Text) and that the King James Version (KJV) is the best English translation of the Received Text available today. We believe the KJV to be without error and disapprove of all attempts to “correct” the text of the KJV with manuscript evidence or supposed understanding of original languages.
We adhere to the principle God has set forth in the scriptures to rightly divide the Bible dispensationally (2Timothy 2:15). The literal, dispensational approach is the only way to understand the differences in God’s various programs and dealings with mankind since the beginning of time and plays a vital role in establishing the clear gospel message (Romans 16:25-27). While we believe every word of the Bible is inspired and infallible, we recognize that Paul’s writings alone (Romans – Philemon) contain the revelation of the mystery that is God’s purpose during this dispensation of grace.
About The Godhead
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19, 1John 5:7, Ephesians 4:4-6). The Lord Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and is true God and true man. He is not only the son of God but also God the son (Luke 1:35, Romans 1:3-4, Philippians 2:5-11).
We believe that Jesus Christ never sinned in word, thought, or deed and therefore was the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God (Hebrews 9:26).
About Man’s Sinfulness/Eternal Punishment
We believe the scriptures plainly teach that all men are by nature evil, inexcusable, under God’s wrath, and inescapably accountable to Him (Romans 1:18, 2:1, 3:10-12, 5:12, 14:12). Man can do nothing in and of himself to satisfy God’s righteousness, and rejecting God’s free provision for salvation results in everlasting destruction (2Thessalonians 1:7-9, Revelation 21:8, Hebrews 9:27).
Nowhere do the scriptures teach the hope of eternal salvation to the unsaved dead but instead reveal that such will continue to exist forever in a state of conscious suffering (Luke 16:23-28, Revelation 14:11, 20:12-15).
We believe that man is saved from eternal punishment and is justified freely by grace through faith in the sacrificially shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary (Romans 3:21-26, Ephesians 2:8-9, 1Corinthians 15:1-4). Salvation is a completely undeserved, free gift bestowed upon all who simply believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Romans 5:12-21, 4:5). During the dispensation of grace, every person who believes the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24) is eternally saved from God’s wrath.
About Eternal Security
We believe that all saved people during the dispensation of grace are eternally saved and complete in Christ (Romans 5:1, Colossians 2:10). Salvation is the work of God and not the work of man. Therefore, it is impossible for anyone who has trusted in Christ to ever be lost again. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit and are not our own – we are bought with a price (Colossians 3:1-4, Romans 8:29-39, Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30, 1Corinthians 6:19-20).
About The Believer's Walk
We believe that saints (i.e. saved people) today are to live their lives under grace and not the law system (Romans 6:14). This means that the core operating principle in the saint’s relationship with God, others, and himself is grace. By reason of Christ's victory over sin and by His indwelling Spirit, all saved people may and should experience deliverance from the power of sin in their daily lives (Romans 6:11-14). All saints still possess the old sin nature and the ability to sin. We do not believe that the old sin nature is ever eradicated during this life (Galatians 5:16-25, Romans 7:15-25).
We believe in the practical sanctification of all members of the body of Christ (Romans 12:1-2) and that all saints should glorify God in all of their thoughts, words and deeds (1Corinthians 10:31). Saints should separate from all forms of worldliness, humanism, and religious apostasy (Ephesians 5:3-12, Titus 2:11-12). We saints should demonstrate their love and forgiveness to all men because Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32).
We conclude that, as believers, we should follow Christ's example and be subject to the higher powers (i.e. governmental authorities) so that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty (Romans 13:1-7, Ephesians 2:10, 1Timothy 2:1-2). Saints are in this world, but we are not of this world.
About The Church, The Body of Christ
In this dispensation, there is only one true church composed of all saved people, which is called the body of Christ (1Corinthians 12:13, Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:11-16). The body of Christ is made up of both Jews and Gentiles, who together are joint heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:6). The body of Christ does not appear in prophecy (Ephesians 3:3-8) and is separate and distinct from the prophesied earthly kingdom of Christ, which is yet future (Daniel 2:44, Acts 3:19-21). We reject the notion that the body of Christ is “spiritual Israel” and has replaced Israel in the purposes of God (Romans 11).
About Our Dispensational Position
We believe that this present dispensation of grace (Ephesians 3:2) was a mystery hid from ages and generations until the Lord Jesus Christ revealed it to the Apostle Paul (1Corinthians 2:7, Ephesians 3:2-9, Colossians 1:25-26). The church of this mystery dispensation, the body of Christ, has a heavenly purpose that is distinct and separate from God’s earthly purpose for the nation of Israel. We believe that the body of Christ began (i) no earlier than Acts 9, (ii) before Paul wrote his first epistle (I Timothy 1:15-16), and (iii) prior to Acts 28.
About The Catching Up of the Church/Adoption
We believe that the church, the body of Christ, will be caught up in the clouds by Jesus Christ Himself, when He descends from heaven at the end of the dispensation of grace (1Thessalonians 4:13-18). This event was kept secret by God and is a distinctive part of the new and special revelation, the mystery, given to the apostle Paul for the body of Christ (1Corinthians 15:51). We believe this blessed hope (Titus 2:13) is found only in Paul's epistles and concerns only the body of Christ. This event will take place before the prophesied tribulation period begins (Romans 5:9, 1Thessalonians 5:1-9), which tribulation period precedes the second coming of Christ to set up His earthly millennial kingdom in which He will rule and reign with His chosen people, the nation of Israel.
About Our Spiritual Baptism
All saved people have been made members of the body of Christ by one divine spirit baptism (1Corinthians 12:13). By this one baptism every member of the body of Christ is identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4). Paul's statements concerning this "one baptism" in Ephesians 4:5, Colossians 2:12, and Romans 6:3-4 explain his statement in 1Corinthians 1:14-17 concerning water baptism, that "Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel." Water baptism, in Paul's early Acts ministry, was practiced temporarily during the transition period from the kingdom program to the grace program but eventually ceased along with certain other signs and miracles, including the gifts of tongues and healing. We affirm that water baptism is not needed for salvation and has no place in God's program in this present dispensation of grace.