Mark 16:15

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature"

LeAnn Denise Morgan Duke (1957-2020)

A little after noon on Monday, January 6, 2020, a five-year battle ended, an earthly life ended, and a dear loved one slipped away quietly from the bonds of earth into the unseen realm of souls departed. LeAnn put up a valiant fight for almost five years with a dreaded rare blood cancer. Treatments exhausted, her body worn and weary, she closed her eyes in death and opened them in that long-awaited home. She refused to go through any more devastating radical treatments saying often that she was ready to go on and be with the Lord. She died at home surrounded by those who knew and loved her most. I believe perhaps she passed as gracefully as one could from this life, granted time to be with loved ones and tell them goodbye.
Born in South Bend, Indiana, LeAnn spent her formative years just across the state line in Niles, Michigan. By the time folks here met her she had been widowed, the result of a tragic traffic accident that took her first husband, Brian Wright’s life.
Brother Malcolm Hill had met her much earlier while he was holding a Gospel meeting at Niles in the late 60s and had given her and her twin Linda an airplane ride.
LeAnn met and married Kerry Duke. For most everyone the common reference was “Kerry and LeAnn.” They were a great team who loved the Lord and each other. Together they took on the task of rearing a family of four (two boys, two girls). Along the way they touched many lives both at home and abroad. LeAnn was an active part of several Russian mission teams to Moscow. She traveled with Kerry to mission points in Asia as well as several mission trips in the U.S. She ran the business office for Tennessee Bible College during the 90s helping to transform the office from old to new technology. LeAnn was a talented writer with several published articles. She contributed two chapters to the book
My Sister’s Keeper and was often called on for ladies’ day programs. LeAnn was a Bible school and ladies’ Bible class teacher for many years at the West End Church of Christ in Livingston.
She was always touched by individuals in need. Those of us who knew her well often saw her stop whatever she was doing for the possibility of helping someone. There could be no clearer example of her giving spirit than her live kidney donation which helped extend the life of our Tammi Hill for ten years. She did it without one word of doubt or remorse. That was LeAnn.
It would be impossible to remember LeAnn without a mention of Kerry. Through her years of suffering, he has been a prince of a man. While he could have grown bitter, complained, or even been a quitter, brother Kerry cared for his dear wife, continued all of his work, and did so masterfully. Many of us, his colleagues, have marveled at all that he has done. Through it all he’s never lost his sense of humor, and he with LeAnn’s blessing has been very benevolent in time and labor to help others. Though heartbroken, Kerry has found relief in her passing—relief in the cessation of her suffering and in the promise of better things to come (Phil. 1:23).
We’ll miss LeAnn but it won’t be very long until we meet on the other side in that beautiful home of the soul that we’ve sung about for years.
In addition to her husband Kerry, LeAnn will be missed by two children, two step-children, and seven grandchildren, three adopted sons in the faith as well as an adopted daughter in the Lord. Pray for those who remain, those who wait here in this low land of sin and sorrow. Do as LeAnn, look forward to a great reunion some day.

David Hill

The Wrath of God

God is a God of love. Many people can quote John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” In his first epistle John speaks further of this great love: “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:8-10). Paul also spoke highly of the love of God: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). So no one can truthfully deny the great love of God for us.
However, most folks refuse to also acknowledge the wrath of God. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18). Later in the same letter, Paul speaks of how the Jews, because of their unbelief, were “broken off” and the Gentiles who were “grafted in” to the vine representing God’s pleasure and place of His blessings. He said, “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off” (Rom. 11:22).
If you listen to the thoughts and wishes of men today, they seem to think that all will be saved no matter how they live or what they may do. However that just is not so. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus Himself warns, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Thus, instead of teaching universal salvation, Jesus shows us that the majority will NOT be saved; the “many” are on the “broad way that leads to destruction”, while only “few there be that find” the “narrow way that leads to life.”
As we examine this further, Jesus describes what will happen at the judgment in the last day. In His picture of the judgment as a shepherd dividing the sheep from the goats, there is quite a different eternity awaiting the two divisions. To those on the left hand, the goats, He said, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). But to those on His right, the sheep, He said, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34). And at the close of the narrative, He states it again, “And these (the goats on the left, PMW) shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matt. 25:46).
Paul also writes about what will happen to those who have rejected Him when He comes back. In words too plain to be misunderstood, Paul writes, “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (II Thess. 1:7-9).
Yes, God is a tremendous God of love. Everything done for us to make salvation possible demonstrates that. But if we “know not God” and if we “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,” it will be vengeance in “flaming fire” for eternity.
The choice is yours, “everlasting punishment” or “life eternal.” God’s love or God’s wrath! Our prayer is that you will choose life before it is too late!

Paul M. Wilmoth