GOD’S GRACE CAN REACH ANY HEART

This story from Voice of the Martyrs is just one of many demonstrating the truth of these words.

It is the story of Sergei Bessarab who was shot to death in a small city called Isfara, where he had planted a church.

Sergei Bessarab became a Christian in prison as a result of another man also named Sergei who had prayed for Bessarab’s salvation. The two men had met in prison while Bessarab was serving time for his criminal activities.

In prison, Sergei prayed every day that Bessarab would come to Christ. But Bessarab was less than grateful for his friend’s concern. “Don’t waste time praying for me,” Bessarab told him.

Sergei remained steadfast in prayer, however, and Bessarab did eventually bend his knee to Christ. This should be a lesson for all of us. Keep praying, particularly for family members and loved ones. The former criminal became a bold witness for his Saviour both inside the prison walls and, after his release, as a pastor on the outside. In addition, he made frequent return visits to the prison to share the gospel with inmates.

Soon after, Bessarab and his wife Tamara moved to Isfara and planted a church, which began to grow as Muslims turned to Christ, a headline in the local paper asked the pointed question, “What’s Going to Be Done About Sergei Bessarab?”

Picture of a man playing the guitar
Sergei Bessasab strumming his gutar in worship

On Jan. 20, 2004, the son of a local mosque leader answered the question, shooting and killing Bessarab as he strummed his guitar during his nightly time of worship, Scripture reading, and prayer.

When the young man who killed Bessarab was convicted and sent to prison, Christians were waiting there to meet him. In God’s amazing providence, the killer was eventually assigned to a cell with a Christian prisoner who had been led to Christ and discipled by Bessarab!

And over time, the mosque leader’s son became Bessarab’s spiritual grandson, placing his trust in Christ.

Think about it, Bessarab was once a convicted criminal. Many would have written him off spiritually. His killer, a Muslim was also far from God, and some may have written him off as well. But God’s grace can reach any heart.

Picture the final chapter of this story: Pastor Sergei Bessarab stands worshiping before God’s throne with the man who ended his life on earth and perhaps the two may be working together on this earth again during Jesus’ soon coming Millennial Kingdom.

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.Revelation 20:6

HUNGARY DEFENDS BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES AND HELPS THE PERSECUTED

In Hungary preserving Christian values is a government priority, and helping persecuted Christians a moral obligation. “Hungary is a Christian nation,” Tristan Azbej told CBN News. He serves as State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and to hear him talk about Hungary’s national dedication to Biblical principles, is a jaw-dropping experience. “We are trying to implement the social teachings of the Christian faith and the Bible in our policies and part of that is the protection of human dignity, human freedom, and the protection of the sanctity of family and marriage,” he said during an interview in Washington. “Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world,” Azbej explains. “There are 340 million people who are discriminated or threatened or suffering genocidal attacks because of their faith in Christ,” he continues.

Azbej Tristan államtitkár fotó.jpg
State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and  the Hungary Helps Program, Prime Minister’s Office
Vice President of the KDNP – Christian Democratic People’s Party

In 4 years Hungary has supported a quarter-million persecuted Christians, helped reconstruct 67 churches in Lebanon, and completely rebuilt the Christian town of Telskuf in Iraq after it was decimated by ISIS. “900 buildings were damaged. The church was used for target practice by the jihadis,” he explains. Of the 1300 Christian families who fled, 1,000 have returned. Hungary’s approach is simple. Azbej and his team travel to where Christians are hurting and ask to help. Their reception is universal. “They are truly shocked in the good sense that there is someone in the world who is actually caring about their faith.” In the last few months, he’s visited seven countries on four continents. “The fact that someone from the western world is actually asking this question, is important and empowering,” he says.

We caught up with Azbej at the International Religious Freedom Summit held in Washington, where in the future, Azbej hopes more governments follow Hungary’s lead to help the persecuted. Increasingly Hungary faces scrutiny over its traditional values from the European Union and LGBT activists. Tensions flared this summer when Hungary’s parliament passed a law to protect children from exposure to inappropriate sexual, including homosexual content, and to preserve the rights of Hungarian parents to retain sole control over their children’s sexual education. The executive branch of the European Union launched legal action over the law, saying it discriminates against LGBT people. The European Union has given Hungary two months to respond.

“We are seeing a very strong lobby in the European Union to push gender ideology through the European Union directives and the legislation and that’s such a strong initiative that eventually it will be mandatory to be implemented in the member states of the European Union so we have made this measure to protect our whole legal system from that lobby that is completely, completely alien and foreign from the values of the Hungarian people,” Azbej says. His nation’s constitution, adopted in 2011, is consistent with Christian teachings. “We have confirmed in our constitution that the marriage is between one man and one woman, that life has to be protected from conception.” And recently Hungary amended it to confirm a mother is a woman and a father is a man. “This seems to be a strange thing that this is needed to be put in a constitution,” he says.

Beyond the politics, Azbej says through his job, he’s received so much more than he’s given. “I have been meeting with true heroes of the faith in the persecuted Christian communities and I have gained such a strength from their testimonies, even despite all the threats and humiliation they are facing” he says. “So maybe it’s not us western Christians supporting the persecuted brothers and sisters in the Middle East and Africa, they are supporting us. They have a message to keep our faith, to keep our identity in Christ,” he continues. It’s a message Hungary is taking to heart. As Azbej shows the love of Jesus to his nation’s Christian brothers and sisters suffering around the world. “In our department, we never had any motivational problems because all my colleagues are fully understanding the importance of this mission,” he says.

Source CBN

JON VOIGHT’S POWERFUL TESTIMONY

Oscar-winning Hollywood actor Jon Voight recently opened up about his role in the new faith-based film Woodlawn, revealing that it “celebrates the Christian faith and its influence on young people” at a time when discrimination against Christians is rampant both in the United States and across the world. It is due for release in October.

In an interview with Fox News opinion host Tucker Carlson for his daily show on Fox Nation, Voight, an Academy Award-winner who’s been an actor in Hollywood for over 50 years, and is also known for being the father of actress Angelina Jolie, said he was facing hardship following a divorce and his career was struggling when a voice of “wisdom, kindness … clarity” spoke to him. It was then that he realized he was not alone and known by God. 

Voight said he was on the floor when he cried out loud, ‘It’s so difficult.’ Then he heard a voice in his ear tell him: ‘It’s supposed to be difficult.’ “At that moment in time, I knew, I’m not alone,” Voight recalled. “Everything is known. … I am known.”

Voight said that although his parents were devout Catholics, his own faith wasn’t strong up to that point. And while hearing the voice was unexpected, he felt “a tremendous energy” afterward and he began to believe someone was rooting for him. 

Despite having been a person who didn’t believe someone was actually listening to his prayers, after that divine encounter he realized he shouldn’t give up and his life had a purpose.

“Now, I know we’re covered. … Everything we think, everything we say, everything, it’s known. … They say God knows every bird that falls. … We all are known. We’re being observed, and helped and loved,” Voight continued in the interview. “And we’re expected to get up and … do what’s right. … There’s a purpose here. And the purpose here is to learn our lessons and grow. And what’s the big deal? To give to each other, and to be here and be of help.”\

For the next few days, Voight told Carlson he kept having strange things happen to him. “I was drawn to certain things from that point on, and I’ve had many, many experiences. But that was the beginning,” he added.

“So that’s the moment you realized that God is real, knows you and is on your side. What were the implications of that?” Carlson asked. 

“I had to straighten out,” Voight replied. “If I’m going to be a vessel for God, I better be cleaner than I was. I’ve got to be a righteous fellow.” 

Voight said he has always had good role models. He described his parents as being very righteous throughout his life. However, he said, he had fallen off track at that time and it took hearing God’s voice to encourage him to get back on track and be a better person.

I have fear of the Lord. … I got it. … I am afraid of offending God. Because God is everything; God is love, God is all these beautiful things, beauty, everything. And how can I live up to that? I need a lot of help. I think that is the fear of the Lord. It keeps you on track,” he added, explaining that he’s not afraid of being attacked, but fears doing the wrong thing or making a terrible mistake.

In a previous interview with The Christian Post, Voight, who also stars in the movie “Roe v. Wade,” stressed the importance of family and raised concerns about factions in society that are working to dismantle the family structure God designed. 

“Family is so important, and family is being attacked by people who are really trying to tear down the fabric of our society, it’s true,” Voight said at the time. “I don’t want to get into any kind of conspiracy stuff, but it’s really happening. So we have to protect the values of our country and the values of family and guide the focused lives; we have to protect that aspect.”

Testimonies are powerful; make sure you write down your own testimony and then first practice sharing it with close friends, then pray that the Holy Spirit will give you opportunities to share it with unbelievers.

PROPHESIED “ALIYAH” IS HAPPENING NOW WITH MANY JEWS COMING TO CHRIST.

Many Jews are coming to accept Jesus as their Messiah and Saviour. Watch a great story of how a Jew came to Jesus and what God has done with his life since that time.

An explosion of Jews turning to Jesus and returning to Israel, particularly in the Soviet Union. Jonathan explains why this is happening now and that it is prophesied as an “end times” occurrence. The greatest Aliyah is happening now both from the north and the south. Jews running down the aisle to come to Jesus. You will see them, hundreds of them, on this video.

REAL LIFE IN CHRIST

Hear the powerful testimony of a young woman. Her background is in a traditional church but then observe her experience of baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit. The evidence of her transformation is visible in her desire to pursue Jesus and grow in the knowledge of HIM. She understands she is a babe in Christ, but now longs to develop her relationship with Him. Notice, the new church she says she is in, it is like the church in the Book of Acts. It is small, so that there is accountability as they build disciples who want to impact their community and build more disciples.

TRUTH ABOUT ISRAEL FROM YOUNG MUSLIM WOMAN

A young Arab-Israeli woman tells an Arabic TV channel that Israel is absolutely not an apartheid state and that she loves her country.

The video took to the internet by storm, causing outrage as well as intrigue in the Arab world as she defended her country, Israel.

Listen to Dema Taya’s fiery speech against the outrageous accusation that Israel is an apartheid state.