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(Ex. John 3:16-20)

Jesus : I am the way, the truth and the life.

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CSI Good News
(Church of South India Good News)



 

Vol. 6 / Issue 2 / February 19 2004

Contents of this issue

Editorial
Book of Life
What happens when a person dies? - 2
Reader's Mail
Prayer Requests
Old Songs are Restored!
18th Annual CSI Family & Youth Conference of North America

News Items (Common to all issues) :
Through the Valley of Death & other Books
Download Articles in Handheld Computers
Kids Page - Free Tutorials
Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online
Your Spam Folder
Your Feedback

Editorial

By Sherly Isaac

Psa 68:19, "Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation!"

Psalmist gives thanks to God for the blessings which God adds everyday in our lives. Everyday He loads us with great benefits. Let us see what type of blessings He loads us with everyday.

1. A guilt free life:

God wants to give us a guilt free life. Joseph was seventeen years old and was feeding the flocks with his brothers. He saw some dreams and because of that his brothers hated him. Finally they put him in a waterless pit and later sold him. He reached Egypt and he was thrown into jail and the then Pharaoh, king of Egypt ordered him to be brought out. Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. There followed seven years of plenty and seven years of famine in Egypt and in all the other nations. Joseph's brothers also came to purchase grain. They did not recognize Joseph who had become the highest authority in Egypt. His brothers might never have thought in their wildest dreams that one day Joseph could reach to this height.

They stood before Joseph and were trembling. More than twenty years have passed by and yet they could feel their guilt and sin. We read from the conversations between brothers in Gen 42:21-42, "Then they said to one another, "We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us." And Reuben answered them, saying, "Did I not speak to you, saying, 'Do not sin against the boy'; and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us."

Not only that even after having lived together for seventeen years in Egypt, their guilty feeling continued and when Jacob died, Joseph's brothers were once again trembling in fear. Bible says in Gen 50:15-17, "When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him." So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, "Before your father died he commanded, saying, 'Thus you shall say to Joseph: "I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you." ' Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father." And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

Yes, sin and guilt will follow you all the days of your life and the convictions of your sin will make you restless and uneasy all the days of your life.

But there is the example of another person who received forgiveness from his sins and recovered from his guilt. His name was David. David committed grave sin in killing Uriah and committing adultery with his wife Bathsheba. David prays in Psa 51:14, "Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness."

When David repented from his sins God forgave him as we read in 2 Sam 12:13, 'So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die."'

There are two ways, either you can continue to live with your sin, guilt and shame or you can just come to the cross and leave all your sin, guilt, shame and wickedness at the feet of Jesus. Choice is yours.

2. Blessings in physical and material life:

God is not only interested to bless us spiritually but He also wants to bless us materially and physically. If you are living in poverty, it cannot be considered as blessing. If you are having sicknesses and are unable to eat certain foods, it is not blessing. Bible says in Prov 10:22, "The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it."

Bible tells us that those who walked in the ways of God saw prosperity, riches and blessings in their lives and lived happily. This wonderful life can be yours. He is willing to bless you and make you prosperous.

Book of Life

By Sheela Isaac

Rev 20:15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

Bible says, that of those whose name was not found in the Book of Life were cast into hell fire. It is a very crucial point in the life of a human being. Heaven and Hell is real. Whether you believe or not in Heaven or Hell that is your problem. Bible says that there is heaven and hell. One day when you finish your life in this earth, you have to face this reality. You will either reach heaven or you’ll end up in hell fire. It is an undeniable fact.

Now the question is, ‘who is eligible to reach heaven?’
Will all the Christians (born in a Christian home) reach heaven? No
Will all Non-Christians end up in hell fire? No

All the Christians who are born in a Christian home will not reach heaven. Many think that:
“if you are in a Christian home you have a straight pass to heaven” or
“if you are a regular member of Church, if you are participating in all the church activities, if you are taking part in Lord’s supper, if you are a committee member/deacon of a Church you are eligible to reach heaven” or
“ if you have taken child baptism in church and if your pastor makes you believe that you’ve the anointing of the Holy Spirit and that you are a holy person” or
“all the church goers are saved and spirit filled (as we always hear in sermons), so everybody will reach heaven.”

But Bible does not accept such claims. These are man made claims and Bible has nothing to do with it. According to the Bible though you may be in a Christian home, still you need born again experience or the experience of Salvation. According to the Bible “all are sinners and all need forgiveness of sin.” According to the Bible only those are eligible to reach heaven whose name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. When a person receives forgiveness of sin or salvation then his/her name appears in the Book of Life. By putting a saved person’s name in the Book of Life God declares that, “this person is now my child and he/she has My authority to enter into heaven and receive heirship.” Thus becoming a saved person you become an heir of heaven. Gal 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Rev 21:24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.
Rev 21:25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).
Rev 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.
Rev 21:27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.


The same thing applies for all the Non-Christians too. Those who get saved and receive forgiveness of sin from the Son of God, ‘Jesus Christ’ will reach heaven. God is not a partial God. He has kept the same criteria for each and every person born in this world. Whether you are born in a Christian home or in a Non-Christian home, all have to go through the same procedure/steps to reach heaven. You need to receive Christ as your Lord and Savior if you want to secure a place in heaven.

So, ‘who will be able to reach heaven?’ The answer is, ‘each and every person who is saved is an heir for heaven.’ Bible says in, Rev 3:5 "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

What about you? Are you a saved person? Have you ever repented from your sins? Have you ever said in your heart, “I need a place in heaven, I want to lead a holy and sinless life, I need to walk in God’s ways?

You may be thinking, “how can I know whether my life is right or not in the sight of God”? How can I know whether I am saved or not? The simple test is to check up your own life and see what you are doing. If you are telling lies you need to repent. If you are cheating others you need to repent. If your life is not transparent before your husband, wife or family members, if you have always something to hide from them then you need to repent. If you are married and still maintaining wrong relationships with other men/women you need to repent and turn around. If you are living a gay/lesbian lifestyle you need to repent. If you are angry/mad at somebody and planning to kill you need to repent. If you are sitting before TV and watching all the filth, you need to repent big time. If you have a habit of reading filthy stuff in magazine/novel you need to repent and correct yourself. If you are sitting in front of your computer and surfing all the pornographic/adult sites you need repentance and you yourself know what you are doing. You need to repent and come out of it totally. You might be thinking that nobody is watching you or nobody is at home to look at, but you must know that one person is always watching you. He is none other than your creator Jesus and nothing is hidden from Him. You cannot fool Him. Bible says, “He does not sleep nor slumber.” Everything you do on this earth is written in heaven. Bible says that your record is being maintained in heaven and one day you have to give an account for everything.

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
Rev 20:13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
Mal 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name.


There are many such small and great sin described in Bible and you need to look at your own life and see where you stand today. If you are indulging in any of such sin it means either:
1. You are not saved or
2. You are saved may be but your life is still full of garbage and crap.

Check up your life today itself and find out in which of the two of these above said categories you belong to and repent and make your life right with God.

If you are willing to correct yourself and are willing to see yourself in heaven, please pray this prayer:
Lord Jesus I am a sinner. Please forgive and forget my sin. I am very sorry for my sins. Wash me with your precious blood and make me clean. I repent from all my sin. Today I accept you as my Lord and Savior. Today I promise you that I will not indulge in sin anymore. I pray in Jesus name Amen.

What happens when a person dies? - 2

By Sherly Isaac

Last time we discussed whether there is life after death or not. This is in continuation of that discussion.

Psalms 68:18, "You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the LORD God might dwell there."

This verse talks about the ascension of Jesus who was buried in the grave. But before He ascended on high, He went to the lower parts of earth as we read in Eph 4:9, "(Now this, "He ascended"; what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?"

Jesus descended into the lower parts of the earth so that he could bring captives out of their captivity and laed them to heaven. Now the question is, why those saints who died during the time of Old Testament were in the lower parts of the earth. Greek Lexicon says, "the part of Hades which was thought by the later Jews to be the abode of the souls of pious until the resurrection."

It also confirms the words of Jesus to the thief who was crucified on the cross with Him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise. ( Luke 23:43 )"

Old Testament confirms that souls went to the lower parts of the earth whether they were wicked or were saints. We read in 1 Samuel 28th chapter that when Saul was in the midst of battle, God was not speaking to him. He tried all the methods to know the will of God but he failed. Finally he went to a medium to know what the will of God is. Then we read in 1 Sam 28:11-14, Then the woman said, "Whom shall I bring up for you?" And he said, "Bring up Samuel for me." When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice. And the woman spoke to Saul, saying, "Why have you deceived me? For you are Saul!" And the king said to her, "Do not be afraid. What did you see?" And the woman said to Saul, "I saw a spirit ascending out of the earth." So he said to her, "What is his form?" And she said, "An old man is coming up, and he is covered with a mantle." And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and bowed down."

Samuel was dead and his spirit ascended out of the earth. When the medium saw Samuel, she could recognize Saul because of Samuel. There was a time when Saul destroyed all the mediums and sorcerers from Israel and made sorcery illegal. The Medium could see the form of the spirit coming out of earth and described it to Saul.

The form or appearance does not change after death. Bible tells us that when Jesus went with Peter, James, and John his brother in the mountain when He was transfigured before them, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him (Mat 17:3)."

Again we see that Elijah and Moses who were dead many years back could be recognized by Peter and others.

Many are there who will tell you that Hades or Sheol means simply the "grave", nothing more than that. But Old Testament and New Testament both warns us of everlasting punishment in hell and everlasting reward in heaven. Bible says in Isa 33:14-16, "The sinners in Zion are afraid; Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites: "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain of oppressions, Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil: He will dwell on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure."

Further we read that those who are ransomed will return with God and everlasting joy would be theirs as we read in Isa 35:10, "And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away."

But on the other side everlasting reproach and everlasting punishment awaits for the wicked or those who are not ransomed as we read in Jer 23:40 'And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.'"

Also in Dan 12:2, "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt."

Yes, there is life after death. Life is not ending when we are dead physically but it continues either in heaven or in hell. If you are not sure about your destination, today is the day of Salvation. Tomorrow may be too late. Turn to Jesus and have eternal life.

Reader's Mail

Your article "Unfading Love" was too good and inspiring. We cannot tell someone about Jesus in more simpler words as you have explained. May God bless you.
Brother in Christ
Santosh


I read the Editorial message regularly. Hence I am sincerely thanking you. The messages really help me to grown in the light of Gods mercy. Please send messages and any other related messages to me which help me to grow in the light of Jesus Christ. I am an active member in CSI Church.
Santhosh Kumar

Prayer Requests

My sister-in-law is very sick and she needs an open heart surgery which is scheduled on Feb 24th. I humbly request your earnest prayers.
Rajan

Please pray for my friend he lost his job. He is waiting to come to Dubai, pray for his visa. At present he is in India. Thank you. His name is Vishwanath.

Old Songs are Restored!

We have restored the 14th CSI Family & Youth Conference songs.
http://csinewsletter.com/conference/conference14/song14.htm

18th Annual CSI Family & Youth Conference of North America

18th Annual CSI Family & Youth Conference of North America will be conducted from July 1 to 4, 2004 in New Jersey under the direction of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America.

From: July 1-4, 2004
Theme: "That they all may be one" John 17:22
Place: Dolce Hamilton Park Executive Conference Center
Morristown, New Jersey
Leaders: Moderator, Church of South India
The Rev. Dr. Martin Alphonse
The Rev. Dr. Valson Thampu
Mr. Prabhu Singh
Bishops representing all 4-language groups are expected to attend this event.

For further information please contact:

The Rev. Itty Mathews
Vice-President
734-479-4945

Mr. Cherian Abraham
Secretary
215-638-4534

Mr. Samuel Johnson
Treasurer
708-361-2345

The Rev. Dr. Jacob David
Youth Director
201-935-2011

This is an annual event for members of CSI Community since 1987 for fellowship and celebration. It is one of the main activities of the Council of Church of South India Congregations in North America. CSI Council of North America is the only organization authorized by the CSI Synod to represent Church of South India in North America. More than 30 congregations, consisting of Malayalam, Tamil, Telgu & Kannada speaking families, are members of the CSI Council. Church of South India is the largst protestant Christian denomination in India with 22 dioceses. The Moderator is the head of this Church, which is headquartered in Chennai. CSI is in full communion with Church of North India and Marthoma Churches.

Through the Valley of Death & other Books

As many of you know that in the year 2005, our dad was very sick even unto death. God miraculously healed him. We have compiled it in a book form. I sure believe that it will inspire you and encourage you greatly.

This book is available for purchase at JasmineCorp Store

Also read these two books by Sherly Isaac "Allah and Elohim - Are they the same God" Available at JasmineCorp Store, and "Is Jesus God?" Available at JasmineCorp Store,

Both books compares the Bible and the Quran and read eye opening facts about Jesus, God of the Bible, Allah and Islamic faith. I am sure that you want to read this.

Download Articles in Handheld Computers

You can now download articles in Palm Doc format for your palm handheld computer. It will work with any devise that has Palm OS and Palm Doc Reader installed. To download click on the link named "Palm Doc Format" i.e. at the top of this page by the side of each articles.

Kids Page - Free Tutorials

Now you can learn Graphics and web designing online at Kid's page. These tutorials are free for kids who subscribe for CSI Kids Newsletter. Currently tutorials for Paint Shop Pro, HTML and Dreamweaver are available.

So please enroll your kids by going to http://kids.csinewsletter.org/member/join.asp

And visit CSI Kid's page at http://kids.csinewsletter.org

Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online

Now you can read Bible in Hindi online at http://www.hindibible.org
in Malayalam online at http://www.malayalambible.org
in Tamil online at http://www.hindibible.org?ver=tamil

Your Spam Folder

If you are getting this newsletter in your bulk/junk/Spam folder please hit the "not junk" or "not spam" button so that you could receive it in your mailbox. Also adding news@csinewsletter.com email address into your contact list can avoid this email from ending up in your bulk folder.

Your Feedback

Your feedback and comments are Welcome. Please send your Parish news & articles to Editor (Sherly N. Isaac) at this address News@csinewsletter.comThe messages submitted will be checked whether they are correct according to the word of God. Editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit the messages. The writers are responsible for the contents of their writings.



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