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Bible Class

News from afar

Stephen Grant


Nilesh Goundar is my friend from Fiji and reports on his recent trip to Tonga and visits to assemblies. I have pasted an excerpt from his report below.

There are three assemblies on the main island of Tongatapu: Halaleva, Touliki and Manuka; and one assembly in Vava’u: Leimatu’a.  I fellowshipped and preached at Halaleva assembly on and then preached on radio: Letio Faka-Kalisitiane 93FM. I did an interview at 93FM which was basically my testimony and encouragement to the listeners on the basics of the Christian life.  I was able to share the gospel as part of my testimony and provided an opportunity to listeners to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour.  The interview was recorded enabling it to be used many times.  Praise God for technology, however, the Word of God is never a broken record.

The three assemblies gathered at Halaleva assembly to hear the Word of God.  I had asked them earlier what topics they wanted addressed so brother Pila, elder at Halaleva assembly said they wanted to know what happens after people die.  Hence we studied the account of Lazarus and the rich man.  It was going to be a heavy night  and all the Hebrew and Greek words for “hell”  were presented.  We had translation alongside by brother Esafe, elder of Touliki assembly.  The youth were all there and people all excited.  We spent an hour and a half on the text (Luke 16) and subject: what lies beyond the grave.  I presented the gospel in case there were any sitting there that evening that had not accepted the Lord Jesus as their Saviour.  

The teaching was well received, it was done in an interactive and participatory way so there was opportunity for questions and I had photocopied  diagrams and words and definitions as teachings aids.  The  brethren confessed afterwards that whatever confusion they had was cleared.   There were all kinds of misconceptions ranging from believers appearing before the Great White Throne Judgment to waiting in  temporary holding places.  There was much excitement on all faces as myths were dispelled and the Word made things crystal clear  through the Holy Spirit.  It took a while to explain the threefold nature of man: body, soul and spirit as in the Tongan language there is no word or concept of  soul.   But we got there by the grace of God and no one could get over how they sat in concentration for 1.5 hours straight in the sweltering heat. 

I also gave out copies of a bible reading plan we use at SGC.  It was clear to me that there needed to be a bit a structure and personal responsibility for bible reading and study.  The teaching involved us looking at passages in 2 Peter, Jude - parts of the Bible believers rarely read or refer to.  All in all, it was a great time together and invitation for more to come.