PMW 2019-099 by Caleb Parke (Fox News)
A new film tells the story of the “fastest-growing church” in the world, an underground, persecuted Christian movement in a country known for exporting radical Islamic terrorism — Iran.
People in Iran, a Muslim-majority nation, are fleeing Islam in droves as believers bow their knee to Jesus and become aggressively pro-Israel, according to the documentary “Sheep Among Wolves Volume II.”
“What if I told you Islam is dead?” one unidentified Iranian church leader says in the film, which was directed by Dalton Thomas and produced by Frontier Alliance International Studios.
“What if I told you the mosques are empty inside Iran?” he continues. Continue reading
PMW 2019-049 Caleb Parke (Fox News)
A Texas megachurch has seen incredible things happen since planting a church inside the state’s largest maximum-security prison six months ago.
But what happened last week was a first in the history of the prison.
The warden at Coffield Unit in Anderson County, which is located about 90 minutes outside of the Dallas/Fort Worth area and houses roughly 4,200 criminal offenders, invited Gateway Church to baptize a handful of inmates in administrative segregation, or solitary confinement, where they spend 23 hours of their day behind solid, steel doors with air holes in them because of how dangerous they are. Continue reading
It’s a simple story that can be summarized in just two sentences: Persecution threatened to wipe out Iran’s tiny church. Instead, the Iran church has become the fastest growing in the world, and it is influencing the region for Christ.
Everyone loves a good story. As Christians, we especially love stories that tell us how, when all seems lost, God makes a way.
One such story is about the church in Iran—and it’s one of the greatest stories in the world today.
As simple as it is, such an amazing story is worth examining deeper. Continue reading
PMW 2019-045 by Afshin Ziafat (Desiring God)
Robert Bruce, a Scottish missionary to Iranian Muslims in the late nineteenth century, wrote home to his supporters, “I am not reaping the harvest; I scarcely claim to be sowing the seed; I am hardly ploughing the soil; but I am gathering out the stones. That, too, is missionary work; let it be supported by loving sympathy and fervent prayer.”
For many years, Iran was one of the most difficult regions of the world to reach with the gospel. A significant development occurred in 1979, however, with the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The ruling monarch, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, was overthrown, and in his place an Islamic Republic was birthed, led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. Sharia law became the law of the land, and Muslim clerics became the heads of state. Continue reading
PMW 2019-032 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
Elsewhere on this blog site I define postmillennialism as follows:
Postmillennialism holds that the Lord Jesus Christ established his kingdom on earth in the first century through his preaching and redemptive work. Since then he has continued to equip his Church with the gospel, empower her by his Spirit, and charge her with the Great Commission to disciple all nations. Postmillennialism expects that eventually the vast majority of men living will be saved. Increasing gospel success will gradually produce a time in history prior to Christ’s return in which faith, righteousness, peace, and prosperity will prevail in the affairs of men and of nations. After an extensive era of such conditions, the Lord will return visibly, bodily, and gloriously, to end history. Associated with his return will be the general resurrection and the final judgment after which the eternal order follows. Because of its worldwide historical implications, postmillennialism generates an holistic worldview touching on all areas of life.
That being the case, we must be alert to an important distinction between true and false conversions. Postmillennialists are glad for the general influence of Christianity on the world. But what we labor for and ultimately expect is a dramatic impact on the world that is rooted in true conversions by the gospel which is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). We are all aware that much of Christianity is today made up of falsely-professing “believers.” These people should be targets of our evangelistic outreach, for being “almost persuaded” is not enough. Continue reading
PMW 2018-079 by John D. Martin (The Federalist)
Gentry note: This is an encouraging article that notes “there have been increasing signs of a real and sustained Christian revival in Europe, hardly reported and barely noticed in press across the pond.” Of course, we know on the basis of Scripture that this will ultimately be the case, but it is good to see signs of that today.
As we can see from the article, with the growth of Christian belief, we need to promote true Christian training in biblical doctrine. The Great Commission not only promotes faith, but training in that faith.
There is an old joke about a Christian lady who was responding to a friend who believed “God is dead.” This humble believer responded: “I know God is not dead! There is no casket big enough to hold him and I am in the family and haven’t been notified.” God is not dead. Neither is belief in God dead.
“Reports of Christianity’s Death in Europe Have Been Greatly Exaggerated”
by John D. Martin
Since the 2007 publication of Philip Jenkin’s God’s Continent: Christianity, Islam and Europe’s Religious Crisis, observers of religious trends in European culture have been keeping a close eye on developments that might validate his sanguine view that Europe could see a revival in Christian belief. Richard J. Neuhaus, in his review of it in First Things at the time, thought the view was “too roseate.” Continue reading
PMW 2018-078 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
An interested reader sent me a question regarding the Great Commission. The question was two pages long, but I will edit it down to a manageable size. He wrote:
I have a question about a certain verse that I believe you use in a certain way…. The Verse is Matthew 28:19…. My question is this: In what sense do you understand Jesus telling His disciples to “make disciples of all nations?” Can you break that down for me and clarify? I know in the KJV it says to “teach” and that has been discovered by many to be wrong and it seems the better translation is “to make disciples of all nations” I always thought that you believed it meant each particular nation would be through the “preaching of the gospel” would be Christianized. Each nation in a universal but limited sense. Not all but the majority of the people of each nation would be made disciples of Christ through the “things that Jesus taught the disciples”….
[The reader cites a scholarly article he has read on the matter. He notes:] The Aorist Imperative form of this verb lends itself to the expression of a simple activity, like the calling to the commitment to follow Jesus, which each one of the disciples who was listening to this commission had previously done. “Baptizing them” would also be understood by these same disciples as being similar to the individual commitment each of them had to make before they were baptized by John the Baptist (cp. Mark 1:5)….
There is another issue in Matt 28:19-20, and that is how to take the participles – “baptizing and teaching” in relation to the main verb “make disciples”. The commentary you quoted interpreted them as participles of means… “Make disciples of all nations BY baptism and BY instruction.” But the word “by” is added for interpretation and is not in the text.
I hope I have saved the relevant portions of his extended question. And I believe I have. So now, to work! Continue reading