This Week at Bristol . . . "A Place You Want to Avoid - The Story of the Rich Man"

We began a new teaching series a few weeks ago titled, “Heaven, A Real Place for Real People,” and we continue the study this week once again with Luke 16:19-31 as the key text.

Last week we looked at Lazarus, the poor, ulcerated beggar, who lay at the rich man’s mansion every day. When he died, as all men do, he went immediately to Heaven. The other character in the story, the rich man, who had everything a person could want, also died and went to Hell.

This story describes more of what the rich man was experiencing in Hell than what Lazarus was enjoying in Heaven. Is there a reason Jesus spoke so forcefully regarding Hell? This may be the longest and sharpest dissertation Jesus shared about Hell.

The “moral of the story in Luke 16” is that there is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun. Life is short, at its longest point, but nothing compared to eternity that will be never ending.

Mark Twain made the ridiculous statement, “I will choose Heaven for the climate, and Hell for its company.” Even if that could happen, it would still be foolish. After reading Luke 16, why would anyone want to go to Hell? The rich man was there for a few seconds and he wanted to leave. When he knew that could not happen, he wanted his brothers warned so they would not end up in this horrible place.

My question to you? Is there any possibility that Hell is in your future or the future of a loved one or friend? If so, do something about it now while there is still time. The Lord created Heaven for His followers and Hell for the devil and his angels. Make sure you choose the right eternal ending.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we learn together.

You are greatly loved!

Pastor Terry


This Week at Bristol . . . "Heaven is a Wonderful Place"

We began a new teaching series a few weeks ago titles, “Heaven, A Real Place for Real People,” and we continue the study this week once again with Luke 16:19-31 as the key text.
There is no one on Planet Earth that knows the absolute beauty and exquisiteness of Heaven. I have not been there, but when I read the Bible I catch just a glimpse and what I see as I read makes me look forward to the day when I arrive at my celestial home.
Here is a humorous story about Heaven. I hope it makes you chuckle or, at least smile. An elderly couple passed away and found themselves at the pearly gates. Peter was there to welcome them. First he showed them their mansion. The man overwhelmed by the sheer luxury of it all asked, "How much does this place cost per night?" Peter replied, "Sir, this is Heaven, it doesn’t cost anything.”
Then Peter took them to the dining room where table upon table was piled high with the most delicious foods you could imagine. Again overwhelmed by the glory of it all the man asked, "How much for the meals?" Peter said, "You forget, this is Heaven, it’s free.”
Peter then took them out back where they saw a fantastically beautiful golf course. As the man stood there open-mouthed Peter said, "Now before you ask, there are no greens fees, this is Heaven, everything is free." The man looked at his wife and said, "You and your confounded bran muffins, I could have been here 10 years ago!”
Sometimes when people think of heaven they think of it as dull and boring. This joke however captures the promise of eternal life - a place of unbelievable beauty and delight. That is our subject for this Sunday. Lazarus, of Luke 16, knew the moment he crossed over that heaven was an unbelievable place.
My question to you? Are you looking forward to Heaven? Some of you may even be longing for Heaven. There is only way to Heaven and that is by trusting Christ as your personal Savior. Then 1 John 5:13 makes sense, “I write these things to you that believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we learn together.
You are greatly loved!
Pastor Terry



This Week at Bristol . . . "Heaven - A Real Place for Real People

The title of today’s blog is the title of the new lessons series we begin this Sunday. Heaven is a place everyone talks about, but few know what heaven will really be like.

If I were planning a trip to a new world-wide destination - some place I have never been before - I would do as much research as possible because I would want to know the best places to stay and eat. I would want to know how to get from one place to another and what is the best mode of transportation. It would be essential to know the currency? The language. Many questions would need an answer as I planned this special trip.
It should be no different as we plan our trip to heaven. We should want to learn all we can about this final destination place and the Bible has much to say about heaven. Just like when planning a trip, every question would likely not be answered, so it will be with our understanding of heaven. But when the series is completed, I am sure we will know more about heaven than we do now.
This Sunday we will look at Hebrews 11:6-16. Hebrews 11 is often referred to as the “Hall of Fame of Faith. It is this chapter of faith we discover that each person named had two things in common - faith and a desire to go to heaven.
I hope you will join us this Sunday as we begin this exciting series.
You are truly loved! Thank you for being who you are and being a part of the Bristol Missionary Church.
Pastor Terry



This Week at Bristol . . . Water Baptism, An Act of Obedience

This Sunday we will take a short look at water baptism and then later in the day baptize two young men of our congregation.
Our official church position states this about baptism, We believe that baptism by water is the symbol of one's union by faith with Christ in death, burial, and resurrection, and constitutes the public confession of these spiritual realities to the world and is the answer of a good conscience toward God. Baptism is therefore to be administered by immersion to those who have been born again by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and who give evidence of the genuineness of their salvation.”
The saying goes like this, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Water baptism is mentioned in the Bible using pictures. Did you know that? For instance:

- 1 Peter 3:20-21 - Starting a New Life
- 1 Corinthians 10:1 - Leaving Bondage into Freedom
- Colossians 2:11-13 - Refusing to Obey the Sinful Nature
- Romans 6:1-12 - Complete surrender
These four pictures summarize baptism - starting with a new life and ending with complete surrender to the Lord. Does this summarize your life?
Did you also know that there are no undocumented conversions in the early Church that were not followed by water baptism? Baptism was a high priority for the new believers then and should be today!
Please join us this Sunday for a great time of worship followed by a time of fellowship and water baptisms. It is going to be a great day!
You are deeply loved!
Pastor Terry



This Week at Bristol . . . "Samson, Watch Out for the Fatal Flaws"

This week we conclude our current short series, “Being Real in an Unreal World,” as we study the unfortunate life of Samson. Thus far we have studied Hannah, Ruth, Gideon, and Job and learned that the Lord can and will use ordinary people in extraordinary ways.
If only Samson had been more careful regarding the way he chose to live he likely would have lived longer and judged Israel more than twenty years. The Lord would have used Samson in even more extraordinary ways had he devoted himself to God.
Samson had two glaring weaknesses - romance and revenge (a lethal combination). Judges 13-16 tell us of three romances of Samson and how each one ended in disaster that led to revenge. He was bold before men, but weak before women.
Samson is the classic example of a person who is undisciplined and lacks self-control. He was strong (physically) on the outside, but weak on the inside. His name means “sunny” yet his life ended in darkness when the Philistines blinded him.
This Sunday we will examine three fatal flaws that led to his downfall and death. Each flaw could have been overcome. How tragic - this man had such great potential, but lost it all.
I hope to see you Sunday as we study together the life of Samson and lift lessons from his life.
You are truly loved!
Pastor Terry