Bruce Barnes (Left Behind)
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Bruce Barnes is a fictional character in the Left Behind series of novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. He is the assistant pastor of New Hope Village Church in Chicago, and is one of the founders of the Tribulation Force. He also appears in Left Behind: The Kids.
Before the Rapture, Bruce is the assistant pastor at New Hope Village Church, serving with the then-senior pastor Vernon Billings. He has doubted the Bible for most of his life; though he has professed faith in Jesus Christ, he has never truly believed in his heart. When the Rapture takes place and his wife and three children are taken to Heaven, Bruce almost falls into depression and total disbelief. Despite his losses, however, he is determined to start anew. He goes to New Hope Village Church that night and meets a few other members who were also left behind. He finds a video of the pastor explaining the Rapture, from which he learns that it is not too late to be saved, and he commits his life to God.
Bruce befriends Rayford Steele, whom he supplies with a copy of the video. The two of them are soon joined by Rayford's daughter, Chloe, and Cameron "Buck" Williams, and together they form an inner core group, the Tribulation Force. Their mission is to help the lost find Christ and prepare for God's Judgement that is to follow the peace agreement between the Antichrist and Israel. Bruce acts as a spiritual mentor and adviser to the Tribulation Force, explaining the foretold prophecies of what is to come in the final days. Their study reveals that the peace covenant with Israel will mark the beginning of the seven years' war with the Antichrist, known as the Tribulation.
Shortly after returning to the U.S. from a missions trip, Bruce is killed when the hospital he was being treated at for an overseas bug gets bombed. He is the first of many casualties the Tribulation Force suffers during the seven-year Tribulation. Even though Bruce is killed relatively early in the Tribulation, the Force he helped establish becomes a driving presence during the global war. It is hinted later in the series that Bruce was poisoned by Nicolae Carpathia's agents and may have died prior to the actual hospital bombing. In the third film based on the books, Left Behind: World at War, Bruce dies from being infected with a virus, and most of the Tribulation Force (all except for Buck) is at his bedside when he dies.
Bruce is resurrected at the Glorious Appearing. In the Millennium World, he and his wife go on Rayford's missionary trip to Egypt to help spread the gospel. He is present at the final battle of the Millennium, watching from a safe distance in Jerusalem with the rest of the Tribulation Force.
In Left Behind: The Kids, Bruce mentors four teenagers, Judd, Lionel, Ryan, and Vicki, who are left behind at the Rapture.
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