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Membership:
100

Pastor: Will Carreras (of a three-member

pastor team)

Age: 47

Born: Ramey Air Force Base, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Formation: Azusa Pacific University, Azusa

Years ordained: 2

SDR: What is the most prevalent sin you’ve heard about or observed from your

congregation?

PW: Drinking too much microbrewed beer — our crowd has a taste for good beer. No, but seriously, I think our biggest struggle is measuring up to the image we see in Scriptures of what a follower of Jesus ought to look like. One thing I see over and over is that we have an ideal of how Jesus wants us to live or the Bible says how we’re to live. I think some people get frustrated that they’re not living up to that standard or what they think they should be living up to.

SDR: How did you discover your vocation?

PW: When I was 13 years old, I knew I needed to be a pastor. I was brought up very religious in church. I was a weird kid. I loved to go to church as a kid — not like most kids. It was always a part of me and I was very serious. I would always try to get my friends to go with me. The church I went to started recognizing some speaking gifts I had, so [by the time I was] about 12 or 13 they would let me get up and make announcements. They would even let me help with some of the teaching.

SDR: Why did you name your church “Icon”?

PW: I have two partners in the church and we’re the three elders. When we started the church, I wanted to name it “Halo,” but they thought that was too much like the video game. So, we kicked around several names and the one that surfaced was “Icon” because in Paul’s letter to the Romans, Jesus is the image of the Father — or the icon of the Father in the Greek. He also said that we are to be the icon, or image, of Jesus.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PW: We believe in a heaven, but it’s more a life you enter. I think that the Bible says that heaven will some day come here to Earth, so I believe when I put my trust in Jesus I’ve already entered into eternal life. It’s what we would call the “Kingdom of God.”

SDR: Are there alternatives to heaven?

PW: I don’t believe in a literal hell, but I believe that if one chooses not to be with God — and we have that option — that people will cease to exist. That belief is called annihilationism. Let me explain that. The Bible speaks of death as a ‘sleep,’ which would make sense because it’s also very clear about a resurrection of all humanity to take place when Jesus returns to this Earth. At that resurrection, those that have welcomed God, that know the Creator, will live with Him forever. Those that have chosen the opposite — not God, but their own way — will be separated from God. God being the source of all life means this part of humankind will not have life and cease to exist....

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Comments

MartinR Oct. 9, 2010 @ 9:43 a.m.

How could anyone graduate from Azusa Pacific and have such an anti-Biblical, weird concept like annihilationism? Dude, you need to repent from heresy and get back to Scripture. Here is what you will see:

  1. The suffering of hell is beyond any experience of misery found in this world.
  2. Hell is clearly included in the teaching of Jesus.
  3. If the biblical descriptions of hell are symbols, then the reality will be worse than the symbols.
  4. Hell is the presence of God in His wrath and judgment.
  5. There is no cruelty in hell. Hell will be a place of perfect justice.
  6. Hell is eternal. There is no escape through either repentance or annihilation.

Try these Biblical passages for reflection: Matthew 8:11-12, Mark 9:42-48, Luke 16:19-31, Jude 1:3-13, Revelation 20:11-15.

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