We Believe…

The Scriptures: We believe God inspired all the words of The Bible without error in the original writings to give mankind His authoritative message..

The Godhead: We believe in one God eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ: We believe in His full deity, His virgin birth, His real humanity, His sinless life, His substitutionary death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension into Heaven, His present ministry as High Priest and His future personal return to this earth.

The Holy Spirit: We believe in His full deity. He convicts sinners and saves those who believe in Christ. He indwells, seals and places believers into the body of Christ. He gives spiritual gifts and the power to live the Christian life.

Man: We believe that God created all things as described in Genesis. We believe that the first man, Adam, sinned bringing spiritual death to all mankind, who, therefore, stand condemned, making the new birth absolutely necessary.

Salvation: We believe that God gives eternal life to those who repent and put their faith in Christ alone, justifying them by the blood of Christ and imputing His righteousness to them.

The Church: We believe in the universal church to which all believers belong. We believe in the importance of the local church which is made up of believers who gather for worship, fellowship and teaching. We believe in the responsibility of the Church to fulfill the Great Commission of Christ, preaching the Gospel to all nations.

The Future: We believe in the eternal existence of the soul, the resurrection of the body, the eternal blessedness of believers, the eternal punishment of unbelievers.

We wholeheartedly affirm the doctrinal statements above, and consider them essential and vital, but unless a man or woman also sees the lost like Jesus does, then that person ought not be on staff with an organization like Open Air Campaigners. The Word of God says, “When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). Isaiah described God’s heart as follows: “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11). While none of us can love with that perfect love this side of Heaven, this ought to be what describes an ambassador for Christ – lovingly reaching out to those who do not know Christ.

We affirm the doctrinal statements above, and we believe that we would be disqualified if we didn’t. But we’d be equally disqualified if we did not have love for those who are lost. We affirm the words of the Apostle Paul, when, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he said, “if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2-3). If we might embellish, “If we exegete the Scriptures and have flawless Hermeneutics, but have not love, we are a resounding gong. If we skillfully and accurately lead people through God’s plan of salvation, but do not genuinely care for them, then we are useless.”

We agree with Charles Spurgeon, when he preached, “Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ, if sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay, and not madly to destroy themselves. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for” (C. H. Spurgeon, The Wailing of Risca: A Sermon, December 9th, 1860, at Exeter Hall, Strand, http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0349.htm).

Why are we on staff with Open Air Campaigners? The love of Christ compels us. We can’t not. We want to serve Christ with His heart, not cold and distant, but gentle and compassionate, showing a dying world the love of God, and letting everyone know that they need forgiveness which is only in Jesus Christ.

in Christ and for His glory,

Mark and Shelby Sohmer