by Barnabas

“Now there was a rich man…And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate....”
 (Luke 16: 19-20)

Dear Brethren,

Life after death is a popular topic of debate today.  Even in the Church there are many who want to downplay the Biblical reality of eternal judgment after death for those who have rejected Christ Jesus and His Gospel of redemption, in favor of a more “positive” and “seeker friendly” approach, one that isn’t so “negative”.  But what does the Bible say about life after death?  We can learn a lot from the stories Jesus shared in the Gospels, especially the testimony of the Rich Man and Lazarus.
“Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”  (Luke 16:19-31)

Jesus shared this story for a reason.  That reason was to drive home the reality of life after death.  According to the Scriptures, “it is appointed unto every man, once to die and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27), and telling sinners that unless they repent and turn to the Lord for forgiveness they will end up in the Lake of Fire for eternity is not unkind, insensitive or negative, it is merely following the example set by Christ Himself.  Jesus said that He was the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no one could come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6), and the truth is, that unless one turns to Christ for forgiveness, he has no hope of escaping eternal punishment.

Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), and the Word of God says that it is through His shed blood that the penalty for sin was paid by Jesus in full, once and for all (1 Peter 3:18).  That is, for all who will humble themselves and believe on His Name (John 1:12).  Those who reject the Truth of the Gospel will surely die in their sins and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1-3), but those who believe the Gospel and come to faith, will dwell in the House of the Lord forever (Psalm 23:6). 

The Scriptures teach that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17), and that it is by faith that we are saved through God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8).  We who believe need to be faithful and go into all the world and share the Good News of the Gospel (Mark 16:15) so that those who are lost can believe.

When the Apostle Peter was brought before the authorities of his day, he boldly declared to them that “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).  In our day, for those of us who believe, it is all the more critical that we follow Peter’s lead and boldly share the Gospel so that it will be an encouragement to those who are saved and a convicting challenge to those who are wandering in spiritual darkness.

It is a great comfort and blessing to know that even though Lazarus had nothing but suffering and misery in this life, when he died in faith, God sent His angels to escort him to Paradise, where he, along with Abraham and all the Old Testament Saints, had been waiting for the day when Jesus would come to take them home to be with His Father in heaven (Hebrews 7:25).  The sober reality of this testimony is that the Rich Man is still there, fully conscious and waiting.  He is waiting for the day when he will be raised from the dead to stand before the Great White Throne.  There, in the very presence of God Almighty, he will be judged according to his works, and then he will be cast into the lake of fire to suffer the torment of unquenchable fire forever and ever (Revelation 20:11-15).  The Rich Man will spend eternity in suffering and torment because in this life he did not take God at His Word (Luke 16:31).

For those of us who believe, in the time that we have left, we need to encourage one another to share the testimony of the Rich Man and Lazarus with men, women and children all over the world, so that “he who has ears to hear may hear” and turn to Christ and be saved.  Our faithfulness is for their eternal good and to God’s eternal Glory.


"Jesus...as was His custom..." (Luke 4:14-16)

“And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.” (Luke 4:16)

Dear Brethren, Family & Friends,

Customs help to define a culture, and as we study the life of Jesus Christ, we can learn a lot about the culture of the Kingdom of God.

It was Jesus’ “custom” to go to fellowship with other believers, to read the Word of God, and to teach God’s Word to others.  But it was also His “custom” to heal the sick, the lame, the blind and the leper.  His “custom” was to forgive sins, preach the Gospel and to pray, and so much more.

In this world that is filled with spiritual darkness, as we yield to the Holy Spirit and allow the Word of God to live in us, we can “let our light shine” so that lost men, women and children will be drawn to Christ Jesus as we model the “customs” of His Kingdom.

We hope that this newsletter will be an encouragement to you and help you in your walk of faith in Christ Jesus.  And as it was Jesus’ “custom” to pray for others, we hope that you will set aside some time to pray for the missionaries and their families that are listed.  In some cases, we cannot even provide you their names, but the Lord knows your heart and He knows them.  Your prayers on their behalf helps them to stand firm in their faith and have victory in the face of opposition from the devil.

In these trying times, may the Lord continue to have Mercy on us all.


“O that a man might plead with God as a man with his neighbor!” (Job 16:21)
In these trying times it is all the more important that we encourage one another to stay close to the Lord.  Our relationship with God our Father through His Spirit and the Word will comfort and sustain us regardless of what we have to face.  The Bible has many testimonies of those who endured times of suffering, trial and persecution.  For some those were times when their fellowship with the Lord grew deeper and more intimate, while for others, it was the suffering that led them to the feet of Jesus to be saved.

Our relationship with our God and Savior grows as we spend time in His Word and through prayer.  As the financial and political pillars of the international community and America grow weaker, it is critical that we encourage one another to put our trust in the Lord all the more.  Remembering the Lord’s great deliverance of His people on the shores of the Red Sea, King David wrote “Some trust in Chariots and some in horses, but we will trust in the Name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7)

Let’s encourage one another to read the Word, remembering that it was the Lord who delivered then and it is the Lord who will deliver now, so that when the trials come we can endure, both for God’s glory and our benefit.  FULL STORY

"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert..." (1Peter 5:8)

When we look at what is going on in the world, especially the political and economic turmoil, we can be tempted to interpret these events as just part of the ongoing cycle of human civilization. But if we want to have peace in the midst of what is happening, faith not fear, we need to allow the Word of God to give us understanding so that we can know how these events fit into God’s timeline as He prepares the world for the Second Coming of His Son, Jesus Christ.


"Well done thou good and faithful servant..." (Matthew 25:21)

We know from the Scriptures that judgment is coming upon the whole world someday.  But the Word of God says also othat there is a special "judgment" for the believers at the Bema Seat, or the Judgment Seat of Christ.  That is when the Christian is judged for the work that was done for the Kingdom of God after they came to faith in Jesus Christ.

What will we hear the Lord say on that day?  Will it be "Well done!"

Let's encourage one another to live our lives so that they will be pleasing in the sight of God the Father and bear good fruit for His Kingdom.


"Choose you this day whom you will serve.” (Joshua 24:15)

Salvation is a mystery, but God’s Sovereignty and Authority are not.  In this sin sick and fallen world, Christians must continually choose to yield to the Word of God and obey the Lord so that lost men, women and children will be drawn to Christ through our living sacrifice on His behalf.



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