In the 21st Chapter of the Book of Luke, we find these words spoken by our Lord:
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (verse 28)
For those that are watching events around the world and know the “things” Jesus was referring to, it is abundantly clear that we are at the end of the age.
Because of the time slot in which we now live, there is a growing urgency in many of the true followers of Christ to get the Gospel spread as far and fast as possible. There are also a growing number of believers who are feeling an ominous sense in their spirit, a “knowing” that our world is on the very precipice of extraordinary supernatural events which are about to unfold.
With the knowledge that time is so very short, the House of Blessing missionaries continue the work of evangelism in every location possible. Because of this being the yearly week of the Hajj and the Eid al-Adha sacrifice day, as always, the HOB missionaries put out a special effort to touch as many lives as they possibly can. HOB missionaries have placed themselves in many strategic locations so that they can gain maximum results from their preaching and teaching during this time. Great efforts are being made to show the difference between the Koran and the Bible. Only one can be the true “word of God”, and only the Bible proves itself to be just that.
As always, God is faithful, and again thousands are being reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His provision of the Blood Sacrifice to end all blood sacrifices! For most of us that have a church background, we take it for granted that our sins are forgiven when we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour. This, however, is not what most of the world has been taught, including the world of Islam. Muslim people still are required to provide a blood sacrifice once a year that is purported to cover the sins of those who take part in the sacrifice ceremonies. At this time of year, millions of sacrifices are made, yet, in spite of the expense of providing the sacrifice, and the effort it takes to prepare and carry the sacrifice out, it has no eternal value whatsoever. Even in the Old Testament, the sacrifices performed through the system given to Moses and taught to the Israelites, it was known that sins were not removed, they were only covered until the coming of the Messiah. The Messiah was the one who would provide the real Blood Sacrifice, the one that would blot out the stain of sin completely. Sadly, the Jewish people for the most part, did not accept their Messiah, and the rest of the world was unaware of His coming until the Church was empowered to reach the world on the Day of Pentecost.
As the missionaries tell the story of Jesus, His life, death, and resurrection, and what His perfect sacrifice has provided, Muslim people by the hundreds come asking for help in praying the sinner’s prayer. As they do, they are not only eternally freed of the penalty of sin, but they are also freed of the need to sacrifice an animal for the purpose of covering their sins for the bygone year!
For this week’s update, I want to share what happened at just one of the large group gatherings where the House of Blessing missionaries preached their message. Pastor R told me that over 600 people were reached in this particular meeting. What was particularly stunning, among the 600+ were 70 sheikhs gave their lives into the control of Messiah Jesus. And, as Pastor R made very clear, these men were not just sheikhs, but head-sheikhs. Head-sheikhs are community leaders. These are men who are highly respected in their communities and when they express their opinions about anything, the whole community takes note.
Pastor R said that in the West we may not recognize the significance of this, but, what God has done is once again touch the hearts of men who have great influence and whose words hold much weight. As has happened so many times before, these men will reach their congregations of men, who will in turn reach their families and friends with the same salvation message they have accepted.
One fact that we may forget when we hear such stories as the one above is that all of these people are putting their lives into great danger when they decide against Islam in favor of Christianity. Islam pronounces a death sentence on anyone that turns away from Islam. For over six years on this blog, the deaths of thousands of HOB missionaries and new converts to Christianity have been recorded; people who were brutally slaughtered for the decision they made. The very least we as their brethren should do is earnestly hold them before the Lord in prayer. God does answer prayer, and they depend on our prayer support.
An additional part of this story has to do with 70 sheep that had been purchased by these head-sheikhs. Since they no longer needed an animal for the sacrifice, and since there was no lack of people needing to purchase their own animals to sacrifice, they sold each sheep for $200.00. That meant that they had collected a total of $14,000. As they prayed with the HOB leaders about what the Lord would have them do with the money, the Lord put it on their hearts to give it to Sisters Fatima and Miriam. These women and those helping them will now finally be able to complete the training for the widows of the HOB missionaries who had been shot to death just a few months ago in Mosul. This money will now help provide all the needs of the housing, food, training materials, and also the children’s version of the teaching materials for the 88 children who had lost their fathers. It was a wonderful miracle that our God provided! Not only were the souls of many reached, but God also provided some desperately needed provision from a most unexpected source. We do serve a very great God!
I am sure that there will be other stories coming in from other ministry locations during the week of this Islamic observance as there is opportunity.
As I conclude this update, I would like to go back to the Scripture in Luke 21 we started with. The next few verses of chapter 21 read like this:
Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” (verses 29-33)
We know that trees often are symbols of nations. The fig tree is symbolic of Israel throughout the Scriptures. Without going into prophetic explanations, suffice it to say that when the world sees Israel restored as a nation and the other nations in place as described by God’s prophets in His Word, then realize that the Kingdom of God is at the door. The statement that says “this generation” that sees these things will not pass away until all is fulfilled, is speaking of the generation of people who are witnesses to the return of the Jews to their ancient land. That generation will see the fulfillment of everything else Jesus spoke prophetically of in Luke 21, Mark 13, and Matthew 24. Israel was officially a sovereign nation once more in 1948. We are that generation! Are you prepared for the return of our Messiah?
The next few verses of chapter 21 warn us not to be caught up with the cares of this world, nor its temptations and snares. We are to recognize the times we are in and live as if we could hear the call of our Lord at any moment. One of my favorite Scriptures is found in verse 36:
Watch therefore and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Who are the worthy Jesus was speaking of? We find the answer in many places in Scripture, but another one of my favorite verses makes it very clear. It is found in Revelation 3:
…because you have kept my command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. (verses 10-11)
I pray that these Scriptures both encourage and urge us to persevere, to finish well. The task that the Church is here for is nearly complete. After the Church is removed, God has other means of completing the great harvest of the end of the age.
Do you feel inadequate, weak, or insignificant? God’s Word is telling you differently. You may feel weak and inadequate, but God looks for those that are loyal and faithful to His leading. The late evangelist Billy Graham often reminded the crowds at his crusades that more people are reached for Christ by the one-on-one situations God presents us with than all of the mass crusades combined. That is true! No one is insignificant in the Kingdom of God. In fact, the Bible tells us that there are relatively few of the great people, the most talented, the most educated that find themselves used of God. It is the “little” people that God has used throughout the Church Age to accomplish His greatest tasks. Be encouraged!
As I close, please do keep Pastor R in your prayers. He needs a miracle and he needs it quickly. He is struggling with poison in his bloodstream and the high temperature and terrible headaches it causes. We serve a mighty God who answers prayer!
Thank you all for your prayers and your generous giving to the work of the House of Blessing. Only eternity will reveal the real number of souls that have been reached through your faithfulness.
Also, please do pass these Mideast Updates on and share the blog site with your friends and churches. Time is so short now and the Mideast political situation is boiling. War is very, very near. But, so is the return of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, the LORD of Lords and KING of Kings. Praise GOD!
Forever in His Service,
NOTE: For anyone desiring to contribute to the work of the House of Blessing missionaries, you will find a convenient PayPal button on this site. 100% of the funds go to the work of their ministry. There is no paid staff. Thank You!