I received a call from Jerusalem this last Sunday morning. I was greatly relieved to hear from my friend, R_____, who has been on a mission. He appears to spend the week driving from one location to another to teach and preach to quite a large number of new believers In Jesus.
It continues to be very dangerous, and once again, four more of the volunteer missionaries have had to pay the ultimate price for sharing the love of God. They were caught by Muslim extremists and murdered. R____ told me he has shed a lot of tears with these continued deaths, but he said that every time a person is killed for their belief in Jesus, at least ten more Muslim people find the Lord as their Savior and want to take their place.
My reason to keep you updated on what is happening with this man is 3-fold.
- Many of you have requested that I do so because you would like to support him either financially or in prayer, or both.
- It is good for all of us to hear what is happening in the Middle East. Jerusalem is of certain, the center of the earth—especially as God views our planet. God’s foreign policy is based outward from Jerusalem.
- I hope to roust many of us from our comfortable positions of living only for ourselves and our wants, which usually go way beyond what our needs are—especially in our western culture.
My friend mentioned to me that his main purpose right now is to get these people on their feet, by knowing what God really teaches in His Word. He is also doing everything he can to urge the people to use their heads and be cautious, hoping to keep more of them alive. But, it seems that these new believers are just like the early church was in the Book of Acts. Once they got hold of the truth of the love of God, nothing can hold them back. They have found life and nothing else matters.
The thing that really strikes me, is when I read the historical accounts of the people in the early church and the terrible times of persecution that they went through, I found them to be the strongest Christian people on earth. The church thrived and overcame everything during the worst of persecutions. This is when the most people were reached. This is what I am seeing with this missionary effort out of Jerusalem.
There are reports coming out that of all the peoples on earth, the Muslim people have the largest percentage leaving their hopeless faith, and bowing their knees to Jesus instead. Once they experience the love of God, they are so overcome with gratitude, and so enthralled by seeing the light for the very first time in their lives, they have no fear whatsoever of what might happen to them!
Here in America, we have had a whole different definition for “persecution”, and for all practical purposes, it’s hardly the same. Yes, we run into difficulties, but when is the last time our lives were on the line for sharing about Jesus? Keep in mind though, things are changing very quickly in America. Our own freedoms are systematically being eroded away. Muslim, as well as other radical groups have much more freedom than the true Christians have. It would probably behoove us to take a good look at our walk with God. How much of God’s life really flows through us to those around us? Do we compromise the absolutes that God has put into His Word, in order that we fit in better in this crooked world? It is the command of the Great Commission.
Jesus is coming after a church that is without spot or wrinkle! Nothing less. There is a reason there is so much scripture in the Bible that speaks to the priorities in our lives. The parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25: 1-13 is rather pointed. I’d like to type this parable out here for us to read:
- “At that time, the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet Him!’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ ‘No’, they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But, while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ But he replied , ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you!’ Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” (NIV)
I find that last statement by the Bridegroom to be one of the most tragic in the Bible. This is describing people who have let their relationship with Jesus become of no value; not enough to maintain it. Nothing in life is more important than being in the place with our God we ought to be. How’s your lamp?? Time is now extremely short!! We have arrived at the very end of the end days. No one can afford to take the chance! You don’t want to be on this earth during the “Day of the Lord” (Great tribulation).
Before ending this post, I’d like to share just a little more about what has been going on over the border from Jerusalem where our friend is presently. I told the story already of how the mullah of a 300 member mosque was reached, and subsequently how he stood up in front of his people and asked their forgiveness for teaching them a lie for over forty years. And as mentioned before, he paid the ultimate price by being beaten to death. This 70 year old mullah’s brother was the assistant sheik, who then became a Christian along with their entire extended family and many others.
This mosque was apparently owned by this family and so they shut it down completely. It now appears that it is going to be opened as a Christian church instead. How they are going to accomplish this, I’m not sure. The important thing though is that more and more of the people that watched their mullah give his testimony to the real love of God which was expressed through the true Messiah Jesus, and then be beaten to death, are turning to the same Jesus Christ that their mullah did! They are apparently coming in droves now.
Here’s a real problem I’d like to share with you. I’ve mentioned to you before that this ministry has a great need for Bibles to get to these people that are being reached. We have been able to help them get 2,000 Bibles to date—most of them translated into Arabic, and a few hundred into Hebrew. But, those have all been delivered and given out to the people. They need at least another 2,000, if not more. They cost him about $15 each in Jerusalem.
Here’s how I feel about this. I am living in very secure and safe surroundings, as are the majority of you. I probably have 12-15 Bibles of one kind or another in my home. I have the privilege of having been raised in America and live a life that most of the rest of the world has never experienced. How about you? I can talk about my walk with God; I can read my Bible every day, pray every day, and claim that I have a living walk with God—and I do. Most of you do as well, or you probably wouldn’t be reading my blog.
But, here is where the rubber meets the road for me. If these people are so willing to sacrifice their own lives to share the love of God with people who hate Christians, and then get these kind of results, I need to do something I can do to help them. This man lives totally on faith. He is almost 60 years old and continually puts himself into dangerous situations to share the love of God. He needs my help, and I need yours in order to be of greater help. I would love to see some great financial miracles come about to facilitate this opportunity that God has given. Many of you support other ministries, and God bless you for it. If you don’t though, here is one that is about as real as they come. If the Lord speaks to you to add this ministry to the things that you support, it would be a great blessing as well. For myself, I’m quite anxious to meet these people on the other side that have been reached by this ministry. In the last month, 14 have already paid with their lives. We can’t ignore this need since we have been blessed as God has blessed so many of us in the States.
The time is too short now to worry about fulfilling all of our dreams and passions, although this is no sin. At this time in history, there are millions of people that have not been blessed with the hearing of the wonderful news of a God that really loves them and wants to give them an inheritance that is out of this world! Let’s help them.
This is not meant to be a guilt trip on anyone, and I’m a very reluctant person to ever talk about money, but the need is so great! I have to help. I figure I don’t need another new car, nor do I need to live in a castle. I’m looking to the benefits of eternity more and more. I suppose that some of this has to do with age, but what if this is the last few weeks or months that we can do anything? It could very well be, folks. Jesus said for us to work while it is daylight. Night will come when no man can work! That night is almost overhead now. Let’s make a good showing of it. Us older people remember that song, “Bringing in the sheaves”. This just had to do with bringing in souls. Unfortunately most Americans, in fact most Christian Americans have no concern for the spiritual need of other people. We have been blessed to the point to having lost sight of what it’s really all about. We can’t afford it now.
The ministry is called H.O.B. CITY OF JESUS MINISTRIES. The stateside address being used to send donations is 515 Metolius Street, Culver OR. 97734. Thank You. All donations are tax deductible and receipts will be available for tax purposes. By the way, many have asked what the H.O.B. stands for. It means “House Of Blessing”.
God Bless You All and,
Keep Looking Up,