The words of Matthew are coming
Winters - May 15, 2009
When all seems lost and
hope is gone, don't you believe it! That's the time our Lord
shows us some of His greatest work! And when we're close to
despair -- throwing up our hands at the magnitude of the
freedom-quenching changes here in America -- let's remember what
God is doing in Iran and the Sudan!
After the Shah of
Iran was deposed, Ayatollah Khomeini took over and freedom
eroded. Terror and persecution intensified. Yet, in the midst of
life-threatening dangers, revival has come to Iran.
Before 1979, few Iranians showed any interest in
the Word of God or Christianity. But now, within the last twenty
years, more Iranians have come to faith than in the last 14
centuries. Before '79 there were only about 500 Muslim converts
to Yeshua in Iran; by 2000 there were 220,000 who followed
Yeshua - of which 4,000 to 20,000 were converts from Islam.
Between 2000 and 2008, it is believed the number has shot up
What caused the revival?
Muslims began to see Islam for what it is: a religion of
heartless cruelty. Many watched in horror as Muslims danced in
celebration after 9/11. They realized that if one is to be a
true follower of Mohammad and Islam, they would be part of a
deadly war against the world's "infidels," and they wanted no
part of such an ideology. They have grown weary of the killing.
Even their own family members are being destroyed in the name of
As they despaired, our
sovereign Lord visited them and showed them His way. Thousands
have had dreams and visions that opened their hearts to the
reality of Yeshua, and they have run to the churches to find out
more abut this Man called Jesus.
In the Sudan, a
spiritual awakening of almost unimaginable proportions is taking
place! Amidst rampant Islamic persecution, raging genocide,
child slavery, and a seemingly endless civil war, the true
Church is growing. The estimated number of believers in the
country is now more than 5.5 million!
statistics sound dismal. Some
300,000 Sudanese have been killed in Darfur alone. More than 2.5
million have been displaced by the fighting. So its not
surprising that the non-Islamic masses seek a shelter: "They
want Jesus." For "when people are under threat, they look
for a strong power to help them - a refuge."*
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in
trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth
should change and though the mountains slip into the
heart of the sea. Though its waters roar and foam.
Though the mountains quake at it swelling pride.... The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our
"I will build my church, Yeshua said, and the gates of hell
will not prevail against it."
What Yeshua is doing in Iran
and the Sudan is extraordinary.
While many pastors
and lay people have been arrested, beaten and killed for
their faith, His church continues to grow. In the
Sudan, there are not enough pastors to keep up with the
demand. Young men who feel called to the ministry are being
taught in caves.
During the last few months we in
America have seen a dramatic change from what was to what is
about to be. We stood in horror as we watch our "rights" snatched away in the name of equality and tolerance -- frustrated that
the freedoms we have taken
for granted for so many years is slipping from our
should we be surprised?
[See God's Warnings for our
We have sat and soaked, swallowed and followed.
We have tolerated
the intolerable, accepted the unacceptable and have the
audacity to blame the government for all our problems.
But when we look at the world through the
filter of God's Word, we find a more lasting reality. For the government, my friend, is NOT the problem!
Will Americans experience persecution?
Will America seek and
find it's answers in the Word? Will Yeshua begin to touch
the hearts of the lost within our borders as He did in Iran
and the Sudan?
Will we hear His voice calling us to repent? Will we set
our hearts and minds to follow Him - regardless the cost?
Will we be willing to pay the price? Are we willing to suffer for and
with Him -- for the lasting joy of an eternity with Him?
Oh Lord, I pray that it is so!
The source of the statistics is a new book by Joel Rosenberg,
Revolution. Thanks Joel!
* A quote from Joel's book by an anonymous source.