found that there was none other like the message of the gospel, and he
trusted Christ for his salvation. Although he knows there is the need for cautious wisdom in a Muslim context, he feels that he must share the truth of the gospel with others. In fact, Anthony is in college and has done so with many of his classmates. Pray that he will continue to grow in faith, love, and hope in the Kingdom.
What I have to say in this blog is particularly painful because I know it is quite likely that knaves will take the truth I write and twist it to make a trap for fools. But while what I say may be misunderstood and misapplied, I believe I have to say it.
I am afraid we have entered times where some of us will need write with a sharp but tearful pen. In The Revelation as God portrays the conclusion of judgment and the bringing forth of righteousness on this Earth, a mighty angel descends from Heaven placing one foot on the sea and one foot on the land declaring that there will be no more delay. John was told to go take a small book from the hand of the angel and to consume that book. Revelation 10:10,11 read's,
“And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”
I believe we are already in days when God will give us things to say that will be as sweet as honey. But as we see those things being so alien to the world around us, they will become bitter in our stomachs, and we will have to proclaim them in sorrow.
Concerning his two end-time witnesses to the nations God tells us in Revelation 11:3
“And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”
Some of us will have to write in sackcloth.
Revelation 11;9-11 tells us how the world will celebrate the death of those two when, as their witness is complete, the beast from the bottomless pit finally overcomes them.
“For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth.”
It is been at least 10 years since I first wrote that I was resigning from the church growth movement. I knew then that while I needed to say hard things in love and wisdom, I would have to allow God to draw people, and some would not be persuaded. This is not new. Jesus faced the same rejection. John 6:66 tells us,
“After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.”
I suppose the church growth movement would have instructed Jesus at this point. “Jesus did you have to use such inflammatory language as ‘Eat my flesh and drink my blood?’ Couldn't you have said the same thing in a more palatable way?”
Such a ministry is even more onerous in these days because there will be some whose message does not come from God. Let's face it. Most fake news that I read attacks others for not holding conservative values. You can be sure that lying and cheating and calling people wicked names like junior high bullies does not come from God. We will have to counter their proclamations with clear expressions of the truth in love.
Note also that these God-sent prophets in the last days will not prophesy in bitterness and hatred. They are prophesying in sackcloth and sorrow. Their hearts will be broken over the condition and judgment of our world. They will cry out for God to bring people back to Himself.
- With the concentration of Saudi citizens in this area, pray that the Lord would send out Christian workers to this city who are willing to connect with the people of Jubail on a personal level bringing the Gospel in their conversations.
- Pray that the local church would not only thrive in their passion for Jesus but that it would be brought out to the marketplace and proclaimed to those living in this city.
- With Western influence entering this region, pray that the Gospel would also enter this region through YouTube, Facebook, television and radio. Pray that follow up and deep discipleship would occur.
View & pray along with this video:
Pray for 20-year-old Fouzi. His mother came from a Christian Arab background but later converted to Islam. Nevertheless, this background made Fouzi more open in listening to the gospel from his Christian professor. The friendship continues. Pray that the realization of needing a Savior will sink deeply into Fouzi's heart.
A rising number of people have recently been asking Christian workers about the Christian faith, and deep spiritual conversations with back-and-forth dialogue and listening. Please pray that the conversations lead to fruit.
Qatar, Arabian Peninsula
Day 14 - July 1, 2015
As Muslims are praying and fasting during Ramadan, we pray for them.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one- I in them and you in me-so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Christians in the Arabian Peninsula are asking us to pray John 13:34-35 & John 17:22-23 over Qatar.
Qatar is a relatively politically stable country. But what we do see is a struggle to maintain its cultural and especially its religious values amidst ongoing and aggressive modernization and development. Pray that the government's response, which can often be influenced heavily by Islamic fundamentalists, will be driven by the desire to embrace that which is honoring to God-respecting and protecting the rights of especially the majority expat workers through the observation of international labor laws and basic human rights.
We praise God that Qatar has granted property for the building of churches and places of worship. But the reality is that there is simply not enough space on the compounds to accommodate the large number of Christ followers. Pray that the government will grant permission for groups to meet outside of the compounds in places like restaurants, hotels, etc. Please pray for the various fellowships, that God would bring increasing unity among them. Pray that God would use the existing fellowships to meet the growing needs of the very poor migrant communities, especially in the labor camps, and that they would be bold to proclaim the Gospel to these people.
An ongoing struggle continues to be unity and community among the Christian workers in Qatar. Several years ago, the government cracked down on Christian workers, resulting in a few getting deported and causing the community to fragment and become fearful. Most recently, one of our workers was temporarily detained. Since then, this particular couple has been under very obvious scrutiny resulting in many of the other workers cutting off ties with them. As you can understand, they are feeling very lonely and discouraged. Pray for God to break the spirit of fear and that He may rebuild the trust and unity of the workers so that they can begin to work in concerted effort again. Pray that the workers would even be willing to come together to pray and fellowship together. Pray that God would grant the different fellowships a united heart to impact Qatar with the Gospel. Source: Christian leader in the Arabian Peninsula
Qatar makes the news because of World Cup Football, their airlines, and their financial support of Daesh (ISIS), al-Qaeda and other violent Islamic groups. After the killing of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, Egypt criticized Qatar for their funding of such an organization. Pray that Qatar will stop any and all funding of radical Islamic groups. Pray that the grip that this form of Islamic terrorism has on them will be removed and be replaced with freedom in Christ. Pray for the very few Qatari believers in Jesus to grow in their faith and their love of God (The Bible, Ephesians 3:14-21). Source: The 10/40 Window Prayer Points for Every Nation (April 2015)
In Matthew 10 and in Luke 10, Jesus sends out the disciples to do ministry. They are to heal the sick, cast out demons and preach the Kingdom of God. The disciples are to find a man of peace or a house where peace remains. Can you just imagine the places they went, what was the buzz going on in the villages and cities? This was before TV and the internet, so these disciples and the work they were doing became the talk of the town. The news about them must have been great, and they must have kept having to say, "No it is not us, it is Jesus." There is no way this was a stealth ministry. The villages knew what was happening. "Grandma was healed and is up on her feet." "What! Our uncle who had that demon is now walking around in his right mind." That really is good news. Jesus sent out His disciples to be and to tell good news.
Pray for a greater increase in the doing and telling of the Good News in the AP.
Pray that as believers say to their local friends, "Peace be to this house" and "The Kingdom of God has come near to you", that they too would enter into the Kingdom of God and experience the peace that passes understanding that can only be found in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:7).
Pray that God would raise up men of peace all throughout the AP who will welcome believers into their homes and communities. This way, many doors will open to the Gospel message of salvation and hope in Jesus alone.
Pray that the Kingdom of God would manifest itself through spiritual salvation and the meeting of physical, felt needs. Pray for wholeness and restoration of all things in Christ (Acts 3:21).
“Nowadays truth is the greatest news.” (Thomas Fuller, 1732)
Scanning today’s headlines, it’s difficult to discover any good news. In the Philippines, at least 21 are dead and 1,000 homes have been destroyed by Typhoon Hagupit. In Iraq, Kurds are in a stalemate battling the Islamic State militants. In Abu Dhabi, a monstrous killer stabbed to death a kindergarten teacher. In Afghanistan, a thousand additional U.S. troops will remain in response to increased Taliban attacks. In Iraq, Iranian jet airstrikes against ISIS are raising suspicions that Iraq is sharing intelligence with Tehran. In Mexico City, tens of thousands are protesting attacks on students by corrupt police and drug cartel gunmen. In California, violent crowds are protesting the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York and the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Daily news is mostly negative.
True, over the last year a few extraordinary people did exemplary things. Former Boston College baseball captain Pete Frates, suffering from ALS, unable to walk or speak, wheelchair-bound, inspired the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and raised more than $100 million to fight the disease. Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA, outlined a technological roadmap for discovering potentially habitable worlds beyond earth. Kathleen Connors, surgical nurse, stopped at a Vermont diner for breakfast, then paid the bill for a neighboring pair of strangers, triggering a chain that repeated itself 46 times over the day.
Yet tough questions remain—even if a cure for ALS is found, will we acknowledge our mortality and live in light of our accountability to our Creator? Would it really be good news if we could land a human on Mars, if we’re still killing each other on this planet? Do a few random acts of kindness cancel the predominance of heartlessness in the world?
Despite rare benevolent acts, 2014 has generally been a year confirming the corruption of the human heart. Ebola, ISIS, downed planes, and racial unrest have only served to confirm our assessment of the evil rampant in the world. This year, like all the others that preceded it, had plenty of bad news.
We’re in a fix that only God can get us out of. We cannot survive unless God helps us. We cannot have tomorrow unless it comes as a gift of God.
Advent is a holy season reminding us of God’s gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love. In a despairing world, Christ’s promise of heaven brings us hope. In a warring world, Christ’s power in our lives brings us peace. In a sad world, Christ’s presence in our hearts brings us joy. In a hateful world, Christ’s pardon of our sins teaches us love.
In our century, as in all centuries, truth is the greatest news. Truth liberates our spirits, enlightens our minds, and cheers our souls. And that’s really good news. In fact, the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest news ever announced to the human race.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NLT)
Johnny R. Almond
Christian preacher and writer
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity
“I can’t decide whether to watch the evening news, and be unable to eat;
or to watch the nightly news, and be unable to sleep.”
The person who said this would have an even bigger problem these days.
Up-to-the-minute 24/7 news keeps us informed of the global turn of events—
events often so discouraging, we begin to wonder how the world even holds together.
Reviewing today’s CNN headlines does little to encourage an optimistic outlook for the future—
ISIS executes Yazidis who refuse to convert, crucifying people and bragging about it online;
Ebola outbreak has killed 961 people, triggering international public health emergency;
St. Louis suburb scene of looting and violence, following shooting of teen by police;
West Bank clashes in Hebron turn deadly, as Mideast spirals in war and terror;
Iraq President appoints new prime minister, complicating power struggle;
Tens of thousands of Yazidis flee trying to escape ISIS in Iraq and Syria;
Iraqi tanks surge toward Baghdad, threatening the U.S. Embassy.
In an effort to end its broadcast on a good note, a major network has a “Making a Difference” segment.
It’s nice to hear about occasional sparks of goodness in a fallen world, gleams of hope in the shadows.
However, when “everything nailed down comes loose,” we ask what in the world will happen next.
Jesus warned of “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6)—as always, it turns out He’s right.
He said “heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
Nothing short of Christ’s return can bring peace to this troubled world.
Believe it or not, this dream of universal peace will materialize.
Revelation could be summarized—relax, we’re going to win!
In the midst of all the bad news, here’s some good news that’s a promise we can count on coming true—
“As the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west,
so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:27)
Johnny R. Almond
Christian preacher and writer
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity
GentleWhispersFromEternity-ScripturePersonalized (copy, paste to browser for blog & bio)