Monday 7 October 2019


Dear Friends,

I am writing you to tell you one thing: The world, including you and me, needs Jesus now more than ever before. It doesn’t matter what situation we are living in, this fact remains the same for one and all.

If a person is wealthy and able to buy anything that his heart desires, he may think he does not need anybody. Nevertheless he needs to know that he may not need anybody but he does need Jesus; because Jesus has what he doesn’t have.

He has money and he can buy with it anything that money can buy. But there are things that cannot be bought with money. We cannot buy peace, joy, health, and, above all, life. But please allow me to briefly discuss the higher levels of life (the emotional and intellectual) before I turn to the truth of our material possessions.
Since marketing has so firmly placed it in the minds of the present generation, I would ask my readers to consider the celebrity lifestyle. Celebrities frequently throw up parties in order to meet the demands of their emotional life through temporary society with those who they deem to be their equals. That’s perfectly alright. What is difficult to come by in such circles is a lasting relationship.

Just consider how often we read in newspapers about break-ups of celebrity relationships! We read about them almost every day. There is terrible barrenness that marks the landscape of their emotional life.

Let alone celebrity relations, falling apart of all relationships are nowadays common in all social strata world over. Our business culture has such a spill-over effect on our social interactions that it is a tall order now to look for genuinely social relationship. Social interactions are reduced to bargain driven by the purpose to get the most out of it. In such a world selfishness is now considered as virtue. Small wonder to see the social order collapsing.

The same situation marks our intellectual life. We describe this age as an age of information and it is true. All branches of knowledge are progressing with mind-boggling rapidity. The problem with it is that there is a limit beyond which our intellect cannot go. This is best illustrated in the case of Prof. Stephen Hawking losing the black hole bet.

Of course, it is not going to take away anything from his achievements. The point I am making is that there IS a point beyond which our mind cannot be stretched. What is even worse with our mind is that it has turned into a weapon that is wielded for establishing power over others. That’s how it loses purposes of life.

Nuclear energy is going to help us less in fulfilling our demand for electricity than to harm us irreparably through the weapons of mass destruction. The world IS, in fact, preparing for nuclear confrontation which cannot be avoided. It is just a matter of time., we come to our material possessions. If riding a BMW or Mercedes or Audi gives us joy, the taste of jolly ride will last as long as the taste of our favorite dish that we ate yesterday lasts. By the way, do we remember what we ate yesterday? J

In Gujarati language there is a well-known saying that novelty lasts for nine days. In other words, it wears out in nine days. This is a chronic problem with fulfillment of our desires. After having everything, there still remains a vacuum within to reckon with. This problem is so serious that people have chosen to commit suicide instead of living a life riddled with it.

Another problem with our material possessions is that their relevance in our life is time-bound. What we exhilarate in during our childhood, dies with our childhood. What gives us joy during our youth ceases to do so the day our youth dies. Then comes old age in which both our capacity to desire and have fulfillment reaches the end of their tether. Then we die.

Death...It is the thing that renders meaningless all that we are, all that we have, and all that we accomplish. It is life that lends meaning to all our thoughts, actions, achievements and possessions.

But it is a fact that life is so miserable for many that the thought of death brings them relief. In spite of their personal situation and feelings associated with it, the fact remains that death is no solution. It is the greatest problem that the world has faced at all times, and will continue to face till it comes to an end one day. All other problems in life smack of death that is working itself out in our life.

It is written in the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible that a living dog is better than a dead lion. It explains why it is so in the following passage:

For the living know that they will die;
But the dead know nothing,
And they have no more reward,
For the memory of them is forgotten.
Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished;
Nevermore will they have a share
In anything done under the sun.”

This passage makes few points that beg serious attention from us:

1.   It is important to know what is going to happen to us. Only people who are alive can know what is going to happen to them.
2.   The living know that they will die but they cannot do anything about it. However, there is God in Whose hands it is to do all that can be done with life and death. It is written thus in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:
Now all has been heard;
Here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
Including every hidden thing,
Whether it is good or evil.

3.   There is no knowledge in death. Bible considers knowledge to be important since it is related to the fear of God. Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. The fear of the Lord is rooted in the knowledge of God which is the ultimate knowledge. Knowledge comes from the mouth of God. Proverbs 2:1-5 tell us what comes straight from God:
“My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.” and understanding are contained in the words and commands that come from God. Only through this wisdom and understanding we can have knowledge of God. In the Book of John, chapter 17, verse 3, Jesus Himself tells us why it is necessary for the humanity to have the knowledge of God:
“Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.”
When Ecclesiastes 9:5 says that the dead know nothing, it means death does not have knowledge of God. Knowledge of God has to do with life – true life. They are not dead who know God when they die physically; because this knowledge totally transforms them and transports them into another realm of being, that is, life that is promised in Jesus.
4.   Reward is important. The dead cannot have it. The dead cannot have it because it is meant for action of which they are not capable. And when we talk about action it invariably means living life. In other words, to live life means to act. And the meaning of all actions is essentially moral-spiritual. Action is either good or bad and the reward for it measures up to it, good for good, bad for bad. God has appointed a Day of Judgment on which each and every deed will be taken into account. Therefore, the fact that all our deeds – good or bad – vanish with a person from under the sun when he dies, it pertains to this life, a physical life, not to the spiritual life.
5.   Name does count. In the Gospel according to John, chapter 10, verse 3, it is written:
“He (Jesus) calls His own sheep (His people) by name and leads them out.”
God knows His people by name! God does not know anyone by name if He does not know him or her as His own! And the names of all that He knows are found in the Book of Life, that is, the Book of Jesus. Death has no claim on people whose names are found in the Book of Life. Therefore, God’s people do not die and their name is not forgotten.
Please note that when we say death, it means spiritual death. Physical death is no real death. Because people who die believing in Jesus, are holding the promise of resurrection which will be fulfilled ‘one’ day.
This promise is true and believable because Jesus Himself returned to life on the third day after His death. If God did not allow Him to be lost in death forever, He is not going to allow Christians to die forever. Therefore, when Christians die, Bible calls them people who have fallen asleep. Their sleep will be over one day, and they will awake to eternal life in Heaven. It is the place where no name will be forgotten; because, as it is already stated, it will be the name by which God will know the person having it.
On the other hand, name is important on earth too but on earth it is forgotten, no matter how big it is. It is the work of death. Death can claim a name if a person known by it does not receive Jesus who is Life. Because Jesus is the Life, all who reject Jesus are not found in the Book of Life. And whose names are not found in the Book of Life, end up in Hell to live there for eternity. To live eternally in Hell is called the Second Death. People who die the Second Death are spiritually dead and they are separated forever from God with finality. Never again God will remember them. Therefore, their names will be forgotten.
6.   Dead people (people who die without accepting Jesus) will never have a part in anything that happens under the sun. This is because they do not hold the promise of resurrection which is in Jesus. Only Christians have that promise which will be fulfilled when Jesus returns to gather His people together to take them out of this world to the place He has prepared for them in Heaven. This event of His gathering together His people from the world and taking them to live in Heaven is called the Rapture. At the time of Rapture, those believers in Jesus who are alive will be transformed in an instant so that they will have ‘glorified self’ like that of Jesus. These transformed believers and the resurrected believers will together meet up with Jesus who will lead them to Heaven.
Please note that at the time of the Rapture, Jesus will not literally descend on earth. He will appear in the sky and all who are His will ascend from the earth up into the sky to meet up with Him there. It is seven years after the Rapture that Jesus will literally return to the earth to inaugurate His 1000-year kingdom on it. When He will return to the earth to establish His millennial kingdom, He will return with all the believers whom He gathered to Himself in Rapture. At this time Christians will again have part in whatever happens under the sun.
It is remarkable what will happen under the sun during the millennial kingdom of Jesus on earth. We have a glimpse of it in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 11:

“The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all My holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.”

It is difficult to imagine how wonderful will be the life of believers during the millennial kingdom of Jesus on earth. The difference between the human dispensation that we see today on earth and the divine dispensation that will be seen on earth during Jesus’ millennial kingdom will be clear as daylight.

The millennial kingdom on earth is introduced by God in order to give the world the last chance to accept Him and His Son Jesus. It should not be difficult for the world to accept God the Father and God the Son; because the millennial kingdom of Jesus would be preceded by the 7-year hellish rule of the Devil on earth. So, the world would be in a position to compare the divine and the diabolical dispensations and avail itself of the last chance to make the right choice.

After the millennial kingdom the last chance of making the right choice will come before the world when God will loose Satan for a short time so that he may invite the world to join his side in the final battle against God. Because God is God, He would not force people to accept Him. He wants people to willingly accept Him.

As it is, there will be people who will join force with the Devil against God. It is the measure of how very wicked the ungodly are. Therefore, there will be final show-down of strength between God and His opponents. God will defeat Satan and his people and assign them to Hell for eternity of torment. With this the battle of good and evil will be over. Only God and the good remain in Heaven forever.

At last, there will be ideal life for the people who opted for Life. They will see the face of God forever and bask in His glory and abundance of unadulterated happiness. Jesus promises us exactly this.

For your sake, do not say ‘no’ to Him. Today is the day for you to say ‘yes’ to Him. Do not delay your decision. It may be too late. We can never be sure of life in this world. It is fickle and can betray us at any time. And this important decision we have to take in this very life.

In fact, the very purpose of this life is to make this choice. Once this life is gone, a person never has the second chance to make it. So make it now. The Book of 2 Corinthians, chapter 6, in the Bible says,

“…now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”

Please do not take for granted God’s favor and His salvation. Time is fixed for them and we don’t know when God will say, “Time’s up.” I pray that God gives you wisdom and understanding to make the right choice NOW. God bless you.


Tuesday 11 June 2019




Isn’t it strange that when Rezin, the king of Syria, and Pekah, the king of Israel, come with their vast armies and station themselves right in front of Jerusalem, God gives Ahaz, the king of Judah, the sign of the virgin birth of Jesus as the sign to ensure the king of Judah that the armies coming to fight against Jerusalem will not prevail?!

Jesus would be born centuries after the time in which Ahaz lived. When Jesus would be born, Ahaz wouldn’t be there to witness His birth nor the then existing crisis would be cast into abeyance for centuries in order for the sign of God to fulfill before it is resolved as per God’s plan! Therefore, in the given context God’s sign to Ahaz actually seems out of context. Why, then, God gave this sign to Ahaz?

Interestingly, there were many other prophetic utterances accompanying this Messianic prophecy which were equally out of context! In fact, the entire Chapter 7 of Isaiah is utterly silent about what exactly happened of the crisis with which it began and how it was resolved. Why?

It is truly fascinating the way Bertrand guides his readers through entire situation to the conclusion that would not fail to surprise them.