INCREASING PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IN THE UK

As society turns its back on God, it naturally becomes more and more hostile towards those who believe in God and are unafraid to say so. The views of Christians increasingly stand at odds with those of our culture. As Christians, we nevertheless need to be courageous and unashamed of our faith and the teaching of God’s Word.

Christians need to stand up for their faith and be counted. If Christians don’t speak up to critique our culture and society, then others will, and Christians will increasingly be ignored. We need a strong voice for biblical values and morals to be reinstated in our society. The nation and individuals need to be called to account. This is not usually a popular role, but it is one that Christians in Britain today need to play.

Premier Christian Communications has published a survey of nearly 12,000 Christians about what it’s like to be a Christian in Britain today. Ninety-three percent of those surveyed said Christianity is being marginalised in society. Furthermore, half of those responding say they have personally experienced prejudice against their faith.

Image result for picture of Tim Farron resigning

In his resignation speech last month, Tim Farron, Leader of the UK Liberal Democrats said that “we are kidding ourselves if we think we live in a tolerant liberal society.” The survey shows that the majority of Christians feel that their beliefs are being marginalised and that many have encountered prejudice against their own Christian beliefs.

Christian Concern has supported many Christians who have been discriminated against or disciplined at work for expressing their Christian faith. For example, Sarah Kuteh was sacked from her job as a nurse for talking about her faith and occasionally offering to pray for patients. Is it any wonder that most Christians feel that society considers it unacceptable for them to share their faith with others?

In other cases, Barry Trayhorn was forced to resign from his job at a prison after quoting the Bible in a prison chapel service, and Felix Ngole was expelled from university for posting on Facebook in support of traditional marriage. Sarah Mbuyi was sacked after responding to a question from a colleague about her views on homosexuality. I could go on to list many other similar cases.

The point, endorsed by this survey, is that the cases that we publicise are just the tip of the iceberg. We deal with dozens more of these cases that never reach the courts, where Christians have been discriminated against in one form or another. This survey shows that there are thousands more—Christians who have experienced some kind of prejudice against their faith.

WAKE UP CHURCH: WE NEED BELIEVERS MINISTERING IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

We urgently need a mighty move of God. We need a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which will awaken believers to the reality of people lost without God.

Urgency can be defined as importance requiring swift action. As such, one of the essential qualities of the kingdom of God is urgency. Let me suggest that if multitudes are going to receive the witness of Jesus Christ, there is a great urgency, which exists for the continual manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit

Jesus tells his disciples in Luke 10 as they engage in the evangelism of their generation: “Say, … the kingdom of God has come near to you” (Luke 10:10b-11b). How were the disciples to demonstrate the nearness of the kingdom? Jesus tells them to heal the sick—a direct manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s power.

Urgency in 21st century evangelism is the announcement that the kingdom is just as near today as it was then.

Why would the kingdom manifest in our generation with anything less than it was in Christ’s? Urgency means that the kingdom is of supreme importance and requires a demonstration of God’s power. Such kingdom urgency necessitates a kingdom message, coupled with kingdom power. How do we live in this place of urgency?

We need the Spirit’s presence! We must not allow the “tyranny of the immediate” in today’s culture to numb us from our need of “immediate urgency” for the Spirit’s presence.

Paul reminds us that the kingdom of God is righteous, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). Our ongoing fellowship with the Holy Spirit equips us to be kingdom ambassadors operating with kingdom urgency and power.

It is His holy and healthy power working in us and through us that draws the world around us to His transforming grace.

Let me offer two thoughts on this idea based on the internal and external expression of the Spirit’s presence in our lives:

His Grace Working Inward 

There is an inward urgency of the Spirit within the lives of believers:

We see this in Romans 15:13. “May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.” The greatest need for every human being is hope. Paul tells us that no matter the obstacles or challenges it is possible to overflow with hope. This is the work of the Holy Spirit establishing the kingdom—righteousness, joy and peace—internally. Are you abounding with hope? Without it, urgency is impossible. Only the hope-filled recognize the importance of swift Kingdom action.

His Grace Working Outward

There is an outward urgency that the Holy Spirit release through the church to draw the lost to Christ’s transforming grace. This is found in
Romans 15:19: “By the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” This verse shows us Paul expressing the kingdom with urgency through his witness. The result was that throughout all the surrounding cities and provinces the Spirit manifested the message of the Kingdom.

The importance of the kingdom requires our swift and holy action. Our generation wants an expression of authentic kingdom urgency. Jesus the King is worthy of nothing less. 

Mikel French has challenged  spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with The Book of Hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide Soul-Winning Celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor’s conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia’s 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

WILL THE CHURCH FACE THE ANTICHRIST?

What an important question. Will the church face the Antichrist? What is your understanding of when the Rapture will take place, if at all? Listen to Joel Richardson interview Nelson Walters author of Rapture: Case closed.

I have read two of Nelson’s previous books: Are We Ready for Jesus – How to Prepare for His Return and Revelation Deciphered, both I can recommend. Nelson is on the Board of Power Point Sermons for the end times  (www.powerpointsermons.net) which I set up late last year and which is shortly to be launched. I look forward to meeting up with both Nelson and Joel at the Understanding the Times – Israel, Islam and the Gospel Conference in Tyler Texas next week. I will give you a report week after next. Be blessed.

CHRISTIANITY IS GROWING FASTER THAN THE WORLD POPULATION

Listen to Steve Strang of Charisma Media interview Loren Cunningham, Founder of YWAM and be encouraged. God is at work all around the world, especially where committed Christians are praying. Christianity is growing faster that the world population. Listen to what Loren is saying is needed to complete the Great Commission and play your part in these “last days”. What could be better than hearing Jesus say, “well done good and faithful servant, come and enter into the joy of the Lord”.

https://www.charismapodcastnetwork.com/shows/strangreport/f0f815877108884d71db76489fe6c549/embed?template=web&embed_id=podcast_content1858528206

 

THE ETERNAL FATAL EFFECTS OF LIBERAL THEOLOGY

Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries provides us with a revealing testimony about the real state of the liberal church. Article from Charisma News.

“A few years ago I was engaged in a friendly spiritual dialogue with a former childhood friend on Facebook. The conversation was spawned from a status I had just posted on my timeline. What I shared was a diagram of two photos, exposing in a dichotomy, the hypocrisy of liberal values. The photo on the left portrayed two homosexuals in festive, colourful attire kissing each other in what looked like a gay pride parade. Below the photo was the word “encouraged”. The photo on the right portrayed two little children sitting at their desk in school with hands folded in prayer. Below that photo was the word “unacceptable”. In other words, Liberalism encouraged homosexuality while deeming school prayer unacceptable.

This is why a person can be a member of a church and yet be living a gay lifestyle. He can carry a Bible and be in an adulterous affair. He can adhere to a form of doctrine but have no peace. This is the sad state of things in much of America.

My friend pointed out that the photo of the children was upsetting to him as he believed that no one should discourage children from praying, but the one of the homosexuals kissing didn’t bother him.

Here is the exchange between us:

Friend: As for the picture on the left, get over it. Homosexuality has been around for hundreds of years, and it will remain for hundreds of years to come. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal.

Me: The loyalty of true devoted Christians is to the truth and testimony of the Word of God, David. The Scriptures, which you probably doubt are God-inspired, are clear on homosexuality. It is an abomination to God (Lev. 18), unnatural (Rom. 1) and in opposition to God’s nature and sacred order (Rom. 1). No one in this lifestyle can inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-11), but will incur God’s wrath unless they repent and seek help and deliverance. Homosexuality has always been rejected throughout history. It is biologically abnormal and gay people know that deep inside. They are forever trying to get society to accept it in order to remove the heavy burden of guilt they are under. The good news is God loves them, did not make them this way and can change them and set them free. I know a number of people who were in that lifestyle but are living normal lives today. David, I say this to you with all love and kindness: To say that homosexuality is no big deal reveals to me that you are not a true Christian and have not yet been enlightened and come to repentance from sin and faith toward Jesus Christ. I also discern that because you know a number whom you say are “good” people in this lifestyle, you have concluded that it must be OK. But once more, this is error. Our loyalty must be to the truth of the inspired Scriptures, and not to men, be it loved ones or close friends. Do not be deceived. He that is born of God cannot practice a lifestyle of sin because his nature has been changed by the grace and power of God (1 John 3:9).

Friend: The church I grew up in, and continue to attend on a very regular basis is an open and affirming church. During my faith journey in this church, I have been a deacon, an elder and president of our church council. Since our church is open and affirming, and my Christianity has been brought into question, one can conclude that the faith of all 763 members of our church is in question based on your position. I choose to love and respect all people regardless of their own faith, culture or lifestyle. I have been married to women twice, and divorced twice. If two men or two women are perfectly content with each other, and truly love each other, I am perfectly content in that and would be supportive of them in any way I can. I often think the manual used in justifying our individual faith or agenda can be extremely damaging. We will agree to disagree, and I have enjoyed this little debate. I will forever choose to love and respect all people regardless of the journey they choose to take while on this earth.

Me: David, that is not my position, but the position of the Word of God and the Scriptures that I referenced. That is the manual! And not adhering to the manual is what is extremely damaging. Can anything be clearer than 1 Corinthians 6:9-11? Ephesians 5:5-6? Rev 21:7-8? And if time permitted, I could list a host of many other Scriptures. This is the great deception of Christianity in America today, and one that I am currently and passionately speaking on and writing about. I know of what I speak. I love and respect all people for they are God’s own creation, but I don’t respect people’s sinful lifestyles that are contrary to the Word of God. True love and respect speaks the truth, and warns people of death, hell and the judgement to come commanding them to repent. Be not deceived, David. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but God’s eternal Word will last forever. Our faith must be based on that Word.

My friend’s comments actually represent a large segment of professing Christians in America today, both on the liberal and even now on the conservative wing. His comments are also indicative of how secular humanism has penetrated in one form or another into the mainstream of our culture and infiltrated many of our churches; be it denominational, evangelical and even Charismatic/Pentecostal churches. This wide departure from the faith, in what has now become a sort of post-modern Christianity in America, signals the death knell for many. The celebrated philosophy of the day of “no absolutes, no right or wrong—whatever makes you happy—be tolerant and accepting of everything and everyone” is eroding the core of Judeo-Christian biblically-based values, and greatly weakening real Christianity in America and in other nations as well, especially in Europe. I fear for the multitudes of the deceived who shall soon be the deceased. This could indeed be the final acceleration of the great apostasy the Bible speaks of will happen in these last days.

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith and pay attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” (1 Tim 4:1).

 For the time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine, but they will gather to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, having itching ears, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn to myths” (2 Tim 4:2-4).

By the world’s standards, my childhood and now Facebook friend, is a good church-going citizen. I can tell you that he is nice and kind to people, willing to go out of his way to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it, well-liked and even esteemed by others, but he is still deceived. His stand on homosexuality and sin is not Biblical, ungodly and most of all eternally fatal. His beliefs are the product of a false gospel.

Think of it: Here is a man, now in his 50s, who’s been in the same church all his life, has held various positions in the church and still has not been converted and entered into the real faith. Like millions in America, he is a product of a liberal theology birthed from secular humanism that can’t tell you for sure, or won’t tell you for sure, if there’s a heaven and a hell, but will try and keep you happy while you’re still alive, all in the name of God and love.

This is why a person can be a member of a church and yet be living a gay lifestyle. He can carry a Bible and be in an adulterous affair. He can adhere to a form of doctrine but have no peace. This is the sad state of things in much of America.”

 

SCIENTISTS BUILD DNA FROM SCRATCH TO ALTER LIFE’S BLUEPRINT

Scientists have long been able to make specific changes in the DNA code. Now, they’re taking the more radical step of starting over, and building redesigned life forms from scratch. Boeke, a researcher at New York University, directs an international team of 11 labs on four continents working to “rewrite” the yeast genome, following a detailed plan they published in March.

I wonder how God views man’s efforts to be the Creator. Is this another “end time” indicator?

Scientists build DNA from scratch to alter life's blueprintNYU School of Medicine Professor Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Jef D. Boeke speaks during an interview in his office at the Alexandria Centre for Life Sciences in New York.
Their work is part of a bold and controversial pursuit aimed at creating custom-made DNA codes to be inserted into living cells to change how they function, or even provide a treatment for diseases. It could also someday help give scientists the profound and unsettling ability to create entirely new organisms.

The genome is the entire genetic code of a living thing. Learning how to make one from scratch, Boeke said, means “you really can construct something that’s completely new.”

The research may reveal basic, hidden rules that govern the structure and functioning of genomes. But it also opens the door to life with new and useful characteristics, like microbes or mammal cells that are better than current ones at pumping out medications in pharmaceutical factories, or new vaccines. The right modifications might make yeast efficiently produce new biofuels, Boeke says.

Also on the horizon is redesigning human DNA. That’s not to make genetically altered people, scientists stress. Instead, the synthetic DNA would be put into cells, to make them better at pumping out pharmaceutical proteins, for example, or perhaps to engineer stem cells as a safer source of lab-grown tissue and organs for transplanting into patients.

Some have found the idea of remaking human DNA disconcerting, and scientists plan to get guidance from ethicists and the public before they try it.

Still, redesigning DNA is alarming to some. Laurie Zoloth of Northwestern University, a bioethicist who’s been following the effort, is concerned about making organisms with “properties we cannot fully know.” And the work would disturb people who believe creating life from scratch would give humans unwarranted power, she said.

“It is not only a science project,” Zoloth said in an email. “It is an ethical and moral and theological proposal of significant proportions.”

Rewritten DNA has already been put to work in viruses and bacteria. Australian scientists recently announced that they’d built the genome of the Zika virus in a lab, for example, to better understand it and get clues for new treatments.

At Harvard University, Jeffrey Way and Pamela Silver are working toward developing a harmless strain of salmonella to use as a vaccine against food poisoning from salmonella and E. coli, as well as the diarrhea-causing disease called shigella.

A key goal is to prevent the strain from turning harmful as a result of picking up DNA from other bacteria. That requires changing its genome in 30,000 places.

“The only practical way to do that,” Way says, “is to synthesize it from scratch.”

The cutting edge for redesigning a genome, though, is yeast. Its genome is bigger and more complex than the viral and bacterial codes altered so far. But it’s well-understood and yeast will readily swap man-made DNA for its own.

 

Last year, Boeke and others announced a separate effort, what is now called Genome Project-write or GP-write . It is chiefly focused on cutting the cost of building and testing large genomes, including human ones, by more than 1,000-fold within 10 years. The project is still seeking funding.

In the meantime, leaders of GP-write have started discussions of ethical, legal and social issues. And they realize the idea of making a human genome is a sensitive one.

“The notion that we could actually write a human genome is simultaneously thrilling to some and not so thrilling to others,” Boeke said. “So we recognize this is going to take a lot of discussion.”

 

EARLY CHURCH DEALT WITH SIN AS GOD COMMANDED

A sobering article by John Burton on sin in the church and how God commands us to deal with it: He has been developing and leading ministries for over 20 years and is a sought-after teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. He has authored nine books, has appeared on Christian television and radio. Check out johnburton.net

People are leading ministries and churches and yet the Bible instructs us not to even eat with them. It’s time for a house cleaning.

Facebook is a great, if unscientific, medium for discussions about culture and Scripture (and kittens, food, vacations and so forth). I’ve participated in many such discussions online, and I constantly find myself shaking my head when supposedly solid, Spirit-filled Christians flat out reject clear, simple truths found in the Bible. We have declined into a church that all too often employs human reasoning in favour of Biblical principles.

As an example, when is the last time you heard a pastor teach on the issue of divorce? At best they may suggest it’s negative and painful while fully ignoring what God himself has to say about it.

Right in the middle of Luke 16, we see the following: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and whoever marries her who is divorced by her husband commits adultery.” Luke 16:18

We have a bunch of people in our churches today who are living in adultery because they divorced and remarried without validation. We need a mass movement of repentance for wrongful divorce and remarriage. After getting remarried, there can be redemption and forgiveness, but that is a process that must be completed. Divorce rates in the church should be near zero. I say “near zero” because there are legitimate and approved reasons to initiate a divorce. There are times when it’s fully appropriate to get remarried as well. God is in the restoration business, but we must submit to his process and follow his protocol.

The point on divorce was simply one example as I begin this article on discipline in the church. We have to agree that Scripture rules. We must stop minimizing it, modifying it, ignoring it or rewriting it.

Before you attempt to crucify me for being cruel and unfeeling regarding divorce or the other issues I’ll address in this article, I want to challenge you. First, my heart is broken over sin in the camp. Second, why do you presume you have the right to dismiss clear directives in Scripture? You don’t. Neither do I. I believe it’s an act of love and humility to trust God’s wisdom as we deal directly with sin in the church. God has given us a measure of stewardship over his holy church, and we are failing, especially in regard to holiness.

It’s Time to Clean House

Take a moment and let the following verse sink in:

I wrote to you in my letter not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I did not mean the sexually immoral people of this world, or the covetous and extortioners, or the idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world. But I have written to you not to keep company with any man who is called a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner. Do not even eat with such a person.

For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?  But God judges those who are outside. Therefore “put away from among yourselves that wicked person” 1 Cor. 5:9-13

Sin in the camp is defiling the house.

The above passage reveals that God judges the unsaved, the lost, those in the world. It also reveals that we have been mandated to judge those within the church. This, friend, rarely happens and that is a key reason revival is not near.

Please remember, we don’t have the right to exercise mercy that’s not endorsed by the Word of God. We don’t have the freedom to let someone off the hook when God demands we deal with their situation.

You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little yeast leavens the whole batch.

One immoral person in a church can compromise the entire congregation.

Love Them Out the Door

It’s time to express love, with tears in our eyes, by inviting people to leave our churches. Multiplied thousands of professing Christians must be shown the door—and fast.

If they profess Christ and are guilty of sin, we cannot even eat with them. This is severe, and it is necessary. It’s also literal.

Are there any people attending church today who are greedy? We can’t go grab coffee with them. Is anybody involved in porn? Do they get intoxicated? Do they have idols in their lives? Are they abusive? We must deal directly with them for the sake of their souls and those of everybody in the church! Why? Check out a verse that’s strangely similar to what we read in 1 Corinthians 5 (it takes it to a whole other level):

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Cor. 6:9-10

While so many are welcoming these offenders into church services and functions every week, God has determined they will not be welcomed into heaven. We are celebrating the people God is rejecting. We are confirming those God is calling out.

Allow me to make this point very clear: If anyone who names the name of Christ is guilty of these sins, they must immediately repent while bearing fruit or they must be removed from fellowship. Period.

Yes, most youth groups will be wiped out. Elders in the church will have to go. Many pastors will have to relinquish their positions. Churches will decline significantly in number as they lose those guilty of sin and their sympathizers!

What will be left? A holy, remnant church that can finally move in power, unity and purity.

Turn Them Over to Satan

Sexual sin is especially destructive. If anybody tells you all sin is the same, don’t believe them. It’s not true. For example, one type of sin cannot be forgiven. Other sins are not unto death. Sexual sin is one that demands a more severe response. Again, the response is rooted in love, not revenge. It’s to protect the church and to awaken the offender.

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles, that a man has his father’s wife. But you are arrogant. Instead you should have mourned, so that he who has done this deed might be removed from among you. For indeed, though absent in body but present in spirit, I have already, as if I were present, judged him who has done this deed, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. When you are assembled, along with my spirit, in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver him to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord Jesus.

“Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch? Therefore purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new batch, since you are unleavened. For even Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed for us.” 1 Cor. 5:1-7

The world has the right to accuse Christians of hypocrisy. When sin happens, it’s swept under the rug. It’s ignored. It’s certainly not dealt with. It’s rarely judged.

The instruction is clear and cannot be modified. The one who is guilty must be turned over to Satan. They must be excommunicated. They are a danger to themselves and to the church.

Restoration

The purpose of discipline is twofold:

  1. The restoration of the person: God, in his wisdom, knows just what it will take to give people the greatest chance of restoration. Biblical discipline is a part of that process.
  2. The protection of the body: A little leaven leavens the whole lump. We must insist on a holy church for the sake of the innocent and unsuspecting:

“Deliver [this man] to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1 Cor. 5:5

“For whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and scourges every son whom he receives.” Heb. 12:6

“For they indeed disciplined us for a short time according to their own judgement, but He does so for our profit, that we may partake of His holiness.” Heb. 12:10

When restoration works, the Bible tells us that we will win our brother. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out the way we’d prefer, but it’s imperative that we try as Scripture demands:

“Now if  your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, then take with you one or two others, that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every word may be established. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Matt. 18:15-17

Keep in mind that severe church discipline must follow earlier attempts at restoration.

“Now we exhort you, brothers, warn those who are unruly, comfort the faint-hearted, support the weak, and be patient toward everyone. 1 Thess. 5:14

The first step isn’t removing them from fellowship. It’s calling them higher, exhorting them to live righteously and patiently yet invasively, uncomfortably, demand they respond to the correction of the Lord. Walk the walk with them until their rebellion or repeated failures would cause you to violate the Word to maintain fellowship with them. That time comes sooner than we typically presume.

God Demands That His Church Be Holy

John L. Dagg said this: “When discipline leaves a church, Christ goes with it.”

Ichabod is posted above the doorposts as the presence of God vacates a once holy church that’s inundated with immorality.

The question is simple: Do you want God to remain, or the unrepentant offender? You can’t have both.

CHURCH AS GOD INTENDED: MINISTERING IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

‘7 Days Adventure with God’ is a powerful movie that gives you a glimpse behind the scenes of a seven day trip in Brazil.

Experience first hand how the Holy Spirit is leading and how God is changing people’s lives on the streets, in the homes and at the “kickstart” meetings.

This documentary is meant to challenge you to discover what it truly means to live out the life we read about in the book of Acts – a life that is so much more than just going to church. This life is an incredible adventure with God.

 

 

IRAN CRACKS DOWN ON CHRISTIAN CONVERTS; SENTENCES BELIEVERS TO TEN YEARS PRISON

But know this , that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves…” 2 Timothy 3:1

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12 

Yes and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12

Blessed are those that are persecuted for righteousness sake , for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10

 

Authorities in Iran are increasingly targeting Christian converts with arrests and imprisonments, according to the New York-based Centre for Human Rights In Iran.

“In less than two months, since June 2017, Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh of Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran has issued long prison sentences to at least 11 Christian converts and the former leader of the Assyrian Pentecostal Church in Iran,” CHRI said in a report.

On July 6, the judge sentenced four Protestant Christian converts to 10 years in prison each “in a trial completely lacking due process,” the group said, quoting Mansour Borji, the advocacy director of a London-based group, Article 18, which defends Christians in Iran.

The four converts — Yusif Farhadov, Eldar Gurbanov and Bahram Nasibov from Baku in the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Iranian national Nasser Navard Goltapeh — were arrested at a reception hosted by their Christian friends in Andisheh last June.

Prosecutors couldn’t produce any evidence to show the converts had acted against national security, Borji said. Yet they were convicted of being “Zionist Christians” who “acted against national security with the intention of overthrowing the state in a soft war.”

Two weeks earlier, the same judge had given Christian converts Yousef Nadarkhani, Mohammadreza Omidi, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Saheb Fadaie 10-year prison sentences for propagating house churches and promoting “Zionist Christianity.”

A ruling is still overdue for a decision on an appeal by Omidi, Mossayebzadeh and Fadaie against a sentence of 80 lashes each for drinking wine during a communion service. The Christians were arrested May 13 during a series of raids by security service agents on Christian homes in Rasht.

The U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide has also criticised the government of Iran for persecuting converts.

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said in a statement.”We reiterate that the national security charges levelled in all of these cases amount to the criminalisation of the Christian community for exercising the right to freedom of religion or belief, and that this is occurring despite the fact that the Iranian constitution recognises Christianity. We urge members of the international community to extend the sanctions still in place against Iranian individuals to include members of the judiciary who are implicated in ongoing and severe harassment and persecution of religious minority communities.”

Perhaps this crackdown is occurring due to the reported large number of Iranians converting to Christianity.

 

ARK LIT WITH RAINBOW – COVENANT REMINDER

The rainbow is a reminder God will never again judge the wickedness of man with a global flood—next time the world will be judged by fire.

In 2016, Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis urged Christians to reclaim the rainbow and teach young people its true meaning.

“The rainbow itself wasn’t designed to be a symbol of freedom, love, pride or the LGBTQ movement. God created this beautiful, colourful phenomenon and designated it as a sign of His covenant with Noah and his descendants forever.”

“Sadly, people ignore what God intended the rainbow to represent and proudly wave rainbow-coloured flags in defiance of God’s command and design for marriage. Because of this, many Christians shy away from using the rainbow colours. But the rainbow was a symbol of God’s promises before the LGBTQ movement—and will continue to be after that movement has ended. As Christians, we need to take the rainbow back and teach our young people its true meaning.”

The 500-foot-long ark is the centrepiece of the biblical theme park based in Williamstown, Kentucky. Hundreds of thousands of visitors have toured the replica of Noah’s ark.

“The ark is lit permanently at night with a rainbow to remind the world that God owns it and He decreed it’s a sign of His covenant with man after the Flood—Christians need to take back the rainbow as we do at the Ark Encounter,” Ham said.

Critics denounced the decision—accusing him of stealing the rainbow colours from the LGBT community.

“This is Ken Ham’s sad attempt to take back the rainbow symbol from the LGBTQ community,” read a headline in the Orlando Weekly.

“It makes the ark look incredibly gay,” Kentucky Fairness Campaign’s Chris Hartman told USA Today.

“Knowing this first: scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For this they wilfully forget… by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded by water.2 Peter 3:3-4