Friday
Sep192014

This Week at Bristol . . . Living an Authentic Life

This Sunday we continue with this new teaching series, “A Word from an Old Friend,” that began last Sunday. We are looking at key passages in 1 John and lessons that the apostle John has to share with the first century churches of Asia Minor and with us.
 
Image has become a big deal for some people. No matter how disingenuous a situation may be, we want others to think highly of us. Consequently some often choose to live a lie, and when this route is chosen, it never ends well.
 
When you look at the last few verses of 1 John 1 and the first two verses of chapter two, you discover that John’s readers were struggling with this image problem too - about 2,000 years ago. John’s counsel to the readers was to choose to be real. Dishonesty never wins. Masquerading is always the wrong route to take.
 
A life that is real cannot be built on a foundation of deception. It is foolish to deceive others because God already knows everything there is to know about everyone. And it makes little difference what others think of you because what is most important is what God knows about you.
 
My invitation to you is to come Sunday with a heart that is eager to learn and grow. Guess what? God will fulfill your desire.
 
You are deeply loved!
 
Pastor Terry

 

Friday
Sep052014

This Week at Bristol . . . "Homeward Bound"

This Sunday we conclude our current teaching series, “Heaven, A Real Place for Real People.” The subject of Heaven has hardly been breached in these six lessons, but hopefully you now know more about Heaven now than you did a month and half ago.
 
You might think of Heaven as the place where harps will be played all day (even though there will be no day or night because it is eternity and the reality of time is gone). Maybe we will just lounge around on “cloud nine.” Or will we continually walk the streets that are paved with gold? We might enjoy just sitting on the porch of our mansion? Perhaps we will drink coffee at the local café with a Bible character or two. Perhaps we will reminisce with our loved one.
 
It would not make any difference how much we read and studied, Heaven will be somewhat of a mystery until we arrive. The apostle John says, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away . . .” (Revelation 21:1) EVERYTHING WILL BE NEW AND EVERYTHING WILL BE WONDERFUL!
 
Here are two irrefutable realities: We will never fully understand Heaven on this side of eternity. Number two, but we will be in Heaven someday and then we will understand fully (or will we even care then?).
 
If you were to draft a list of reasons you would want to go to Heaven, what would that list include? Why do you want to go to Heaven? I am sure that our list would have similarities, but likely differences too (and that is okay). What would be number ten on your list? What would be the top reason you want to go to Heaven? Why not put your list together before Sunday and bring it with you so we can share our discoveries?
 
This Sunday I will present my “Top Seven Reasons I Want To Go To Heaven” (I started with ten, but whittled it down to seven) as we conclude this series. 
 
I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we learn together. Remember that “Heaven is a real place for real people” because that is the way God wanted it to be.
 
You are greatly loved!
 
Pastor Terry

 

Friday
Aug292014

This Week at Bristol . . . "A Look at Heaven from Revelation 21"

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 with Ryan Powell as our speaker using Revelation 21 as his text.

Revelation 21 and 22 explains the “all things new” phrase found in Revelation 21:5-6. The Lord is true to His promise and, in His time, He will make ALL things new.

There is something special about getting something new. For proof, just watch a child opening their birthday or Christmas gifts. Buying that new tech gadget, or car, outfit to wear, is always fun for us.

The Bible tells us that the day is coming when everything will be new - just like the way God started in Genesis 1 and 2. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, but now He creates new heavens and earth. Way back then the sun was created, but in the end there is no need of the sun, or night, or seas. In fact, the curse of Genesis 3 is removed forever in Revelation 22:3. Man was originally driven out of the perfect place (Garden of Eden), but we will be restored to Paradise. (Revelation 22:14) Everything will be new! What a day that will be!

John is once again overwhelmed as he realizes all that the Lord is doing. Warren Wiersbe says it best, “As we seek to serve the Lord here on earth, we are constantly handicapped by sin and weakness; but all hinderances will be gone when we get to glory.”

I imagine that we, too, will be overwhelmed. Paul, when writing to the Church at Corinth said, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 - KJV) We cannot even begin to imagine all that the Lord has for us when we arrive in Heaven.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we learn together from Pastor Ryan Powell.

You are greatly loved!

Pastor Terry

Saturday
Aug232014

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

Friday
Aug152014

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