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Janet - Mefferd - Today - Todd Nettleton (When Faith is Forbidden)

Janet Mefferd / Janet Mefferd
The Truth Network Radio
March 4, 2021 4:00 am

Janet - Mefferd - Today - Todd Nettleton (When Faith is Forbidden)

Janet Mefferd / Janet Mefferd

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March 4, 2021 4:00 am

A progressive pastor is claiming that the Bible is neither the Word of God, nor inerrant! But if that's true, why go to church at all? I'll give you my thoughts. Plus: Todd Nettleton from The Voice of the Martyrs stops by to discuss his book, "When Faith is Forbidden." Join us for Thursday's JANET MEFFERD TODAY.

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This archived broadcast of Janet Mefford today is brought to you by Liberty healthcare Liberty healthcare is a nonprofit healthcare sharing ministry that allows you to control and manage your own healthcare and choose any doctor or hospital in the nation. If your freedom loving American looking for contract free healthcare call now 855-585-4237 or go to liberty healthcare.org/GMT for more information liberty healthcare.org/GMT is our confidence is in Christ alone and now you're on to dive into something that I think is really important due now and then.

And that is to kinda take a look at the state of apostasy. I don't like to do that all the time because I think that it can become very depressing and I'd much rather talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ and edify and encourage you. Rather than bring you down, but at the same time we need to know what's going on out there. We need to know what kinds of shenanigans or schemes, the father of lies is up to. I want to throw in here at the outset that I'm gonna be actually speaking on this topic of biblical discernment combating the father of lies at the upcoming truth women's conference answers per women's conference in Williamstown, Kentucky right out of Cincinnati answers in Genesis course a wonderful ministry and that will be March 18-20. I'm really excited about coming to the conference. Hope you can join us. I know at this point we are actually sold out at maximum capacity, but there's still a waiting list so if you're able to join us there at the women's conference would love to have you there.

But as you can imagine, the subject is very much on my mind, the father of lies is as widely as they get. He is the originator of all lies. It is his nature to lie and therefore all of the lies and the deception that come in against us as the body of Christ and against us as individual believers is tremendous and we combat this, every single day. It was very much the case under Pres. Trump that this phrase fake news came into being and became very popular. People talked about fake news, especially about CNN is being fake news, but it seems the level of deception just keeps getting more and more and more elevated and here is an example of this. I have to give credit here to Christian news network because they had written about this over at their website and not too long ago. This church called Grace point church in Nashville, Tennessee posted this video of their pastor, Pastor Josh Scott seen some of the most outrageous things now II got a give you a little bit of background on this particular church. You might remember this church because I've talked about them before, back in 2015. This was the church that decided to come out for so-called gay marriage and it caused quite a firestorm. At the time, Carrie Underwood, the country music Center singer and American Idol winner was a member they are.

Went to that church and came out for marriage equality as they like to call it.

And not long after that they decided that they were going to fully embrace the LGBT Q plus agenda and there was a lot of press about this obviously well what happened in the aftermath was the church shrank was unbelievable.

I went back to this out in about national website and they get into this grace point church began in 2003 as a traditional minded church in the heart of Williamson County under Pastor Stan Mitchell's direction. He was actually the lead teacher and pastor, founding pastor of Grace point church.

They say a series of real-life experiences with struggling LGBT Q plus members and employees of the church led to Mitchell spearheading the successful effort to turn Grace point into a fully LGBT Q plus inclusive church in early 2015.

The change was not without a steep price though.

Hey wait a minute I thought you just said it was successful.

Roughly half the membership left as a result of the affirming action and the introduction of a progressive Christian theology. Soon afterward a fallen revenue led to staff cuts and a decision soon after to sell the current church property in favor of sharing a worship facility inside LGBT Q friendlier Davidson County so there's the rest of the story as they like to say that grace point church got a lot of nice press from the progressive media hailing them as being groundbreaking and isn't this a wonderful church affirming same-sex marriage, yet now, now, not at all.

And I'll tell you what that was just the beginning because when you listen to some of what you're about to hear it just really encapsulates and and stresses for all of us why churches go wrong in the first place.

So I want to get into a little bit of this YouTube video called what is progressive Christianity.

Posted by Pastor Josh Scott at this LGBT Q plus affirming progressive Christian congregation at Grace point church listen to cut 10140 or instruction book model does not embrace instructions before leader is not glottal is a lot of what I was always about the answers. What is all more questions answers what right you get to read the Bible and think I'm better off if I come away from the Bible with more questions than answers.

This is the whole emergent church vibe coming back and apparently they're big fans of Brian McLaren. No surprise there.

It's all about mystery atoll about unanswered questions.

And isn't that beautiful.

No, I don't think confusion is beautiful. God is not a could God of confusion, but of peace and I would agree that the Bible is not a mere rulebook or instruction book.

But let's be honest the way that we know who God is, is through his word, we would not know all that we know about the Lord.

Were it not for that revelation.

That special revelation of God we have a general revelation of God's existence and creation. Romans one talks about this that just by looking at a mountain range are looking in your backyard are looking at your little babies toes you can tell there's a creator it's patently obvious, but the special revelation that we receive in God's word is the revelation of his son Jesus Christ.

The revelation in the Old Testament that a Messiah is coming, and the announcement in the New Testament that he is here and the further announcement that he is coming again and so we are to repent and receive forgiveness for our sins because of his shed blood on the cross and rising from the dead on the third day. That's our entire hope from beginning to end that we as rebellious sinners all the way back in the garden have now got the greatest hope of all time, which is God himself came to earth and took our place on the cross and through him we can be saved and reconciled to God and have eternal life in heaven. So we do need that, but we also have instructions in the Bible as to how we are now to live as Christians, what you think the epistles are all about what you think all Paul's letters are about or all of the Gospels.

We need to know what to do as Christians. God's law was revealed in the first place as a schoolteacher, to lead us to Christ. The law was given the moral law was given and there was also a civil law to ceremonial law for Israel, but we still have the moral law is called the 10 Commandments are we not supposed to look at the 10 Commandments and understand that is a form of instruction.

The whole Bible is a form of instruction but it's not a legalistic toolkit for you to go around to become a new generation of Pharisees then I would agree with but this guy is just kinda off to a bad start in talking about the Bible. Then he answers this question well judge for yourself what is the purpose of the Bible, not to mention if your pastor answered like this.

Cut to model as far as trying to bring questions below is long rulebook religious becomes legalistic to hurt people will actually not rules, but I will think this is close to a more full, generous, and compassionate want, yet he really say I think the purpose of the Bible I you think first of all, any pastor who is going to say I think in front of this is the purpose of the Bible shouldn't be trying to interpret the Bible at all. In front of anybody he needs to get his own act together and understand what the purpose of the Bible is and not stand up in front of a watching world and take a few wild guesses and come to the conclusion that the Bible is generally to talk about the full and generous and compassionate was that humanity no, because if we were to conclude that what we would have to then decide an end project is that the Bible is all about me isn't that what ails this generation.

It's all about me, baby, it's my self-esteem. My worth my value and my identity. That's what the Bible is all about and we need to make the Bible bigger than it, it now.

We don't God decided what we needed in his word. What we needed to hear from him and it's exactly the way that he wanted it to be and it is inerrant and it is infallible and it's not containing any gaps of information. It's not lacking in any way shape or form. Unless you approach the Bible that it needs to do your bidding rather than you needing to bow your need to God and it gets worse for him to talk about this pastor's attack on God's word.

When we come back and listening to Janet Mefford today, many developing nations have no access to the desperately needed medical care. That's why Mercy ship Springs volunteers aboard our hospital ship, the Africa Mercy to give the world's forgotten for the free medical care they need. We have an immediate need for registered nurses, especially with the average specialty as a volunteer nurse. You will just give life altering healthcare will receive so much in return is an amazing experience home and make a difference in the lives of those who have virtually no access to medical aid Dale everything he said either what are you waiting for show mercy to someone today. I would think of get more information by visiting Mercy ships.org versus Mercy ships.org/nurses hi this is Janet Mefford were partnering with Bible league international on open the floodgates Bibles for Africa in many parts of countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. Nine of 10 Christians are denied God's word by corrupt governments and majority religions. They've never been able to read first Peter 57 cast your cares on him for he cares for you reading that promise of God means everything to you and me and now it will mean so much to these revivalist Christians in Africa. When you respond. Here's pastor able seeing people changed somebody's in this gift you can give some five dollars sends one Bible $100 since 20 in a limited time.

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Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart the word of God is eternal and it is powerful. It is the sword of the spirits according to Ephesians chapter 6 and we know how powerful the word of God is, we would be lost without the word of God and yet we see some of these progressive pastors emergent pastors apostate pastors out there saying all kinds of goofy things.

I'm just glad I don't have the time to scour the Internet all day because I can imagine what I would actually find Christian news network had highlighted the story recently. Josh Scott is the pastor at Grace point church in Nashville.

This was the church that became famous for becoming LGBT Q plus affirming in 2015 and then prop probably lost half its membership in a whole lot of money and then they had to move to another facility and lost the pastor but this guy keeps going and this is a big attack on God's word. This is where we are right now we're at a point in our American Christianity where it is wheels off and it is flat out attacks on the word of God and this is what this Josh Scott has to say about God's word. Listen to Guthrie model also is probably the most point for holding the bottles is God's word. The problem is a lot of gondolas often were the Lord model is actually using the runs of the prophets to describe the message and passion. The world is all also commissioned work product that is Lord of change is so and so as long as you scroll the spot. People were Mr. Morrison is a fire truck in the bones is often calling just people do justice to compassionately who were only all injustices of society as the source of inspiration for mission of the message.

They will bring to some stores approximately as far sure these messages is not as the world is always seeking to accomplish this as strong as John longer in flesh. You were always trying to be embodied as a biologist just isn't God's word in the sense that something that God world session much more action. I know what you can say this, but even say this, he didn't drop the Bible down into the world, Josh, Scott, nobody claims that we talk about the inspiration of the Bible we talk about how God worked through men to record his word and it's just incredible. Did you like the translation of John one. The word became flesh and moved into the neighborhood well what translation is that is that the like. The McLaren version of the Bible is that I go back to the Bible.org and they're talking about the internal evidences in the external evidences that the Bible is truly God's word, the internal evidences of those things within the Bible that testify of its divine origin. One is the unity of the Bible. Even though it 66 individual books written on three continents in three different languages over a period of approximately 1500 years by more than 40 authors who came from many walks of life. The Bible remains one unified book from beginning to end without contradiction and this unity is unique from all other books and is evidence of the divine origin of the words which God moved men to record another of the internal evidences that indicates the Bible is truly God's word is the prophecies the Bible contains hundreds of detailed prophecies relating to the future of individual nations, including Israel, certain cities and mankind. Other prophecies concerning the coming of one who would be the Messiah, the Savior of all who would believe in him. Unlike the prophecies found in other religious books, like Nostradamus, for example, biblical prophecies are extremely detailed.

There are over 300 prophecies concerning Jesus Christ in the Old Testament, and not only was it foretold where he would be born, and his lineage, but also how he would die and that he would rise again. There simply is no logical way to explain the fulfilled prophecies in the Bible other than by divine origin and there is a lot more evidence obviously I don't have time to go into all of it and this was by Norm Geisler's book, making sense of Bible difficulties. This is really important for us to be able to understand and defend against those who would make ridiculous claims of the word of God doesn't claim to be the word of God.

Did you miss the whole.

The passages were Jesus was saying talking about himself and he was going through all the Scripture and talking about who he was and and referencing the Old Testament Scripture you come to the Scriptures, thinking of the day testify like but refused to come to me that you may have life, they testify of me. We can go to all kinds of verses in the Bible internal evidence that the Bible does claim to be the word of God. How many passages do I need to read but he gets even worse. Listen to this cut for infallible models for so there's a lot of reference is wrong for Christians, the proceeding has no point. As far as the Jews and shows Russell grow and learn all is that evening Russell grow and learn, really, was that what Moses was doing that what Paul was doing Russell grow and learn.

I I don't even know what he's talking about. And when you are talking about the different authors. It wasn't about them wrestling and growing.

It was about them having that incredible divine unity across all of those centuries and across all of those different backgrounds that all of the writers of the Bible. Had they had to have been inspired by the Holy Spirit. That book is a miracle that book containing 66 books is a miracle. So what's Josh Scott's proof for this claim that the Bible is not inherent in the Bible is not infallible and you're gonna love this cut five hours or Job transmissions of why why we suffer through the spacers brought will be questions from leasing our ancestors's writings in real time, reminds us a lot of those interpretations because we know something else. World works with learning new things about what it means to be human side is transcendent will be appreciated.

All this policy are the future move on and embrace will be truth progress payment. That's what it's all about. We worship progress because it's a form of chronological snobbery. If we are in the year 2021 clearly were smarter than the people who lived during the Bible times, right were smarter than the early church were smarter than the Reformation of the reformers during the time of the Protestant Reformation were smarter than the Puritans were smarter than the faithful Christians throughout history were smarter than all of them and were smarter than all the Bible writers and ultimately were smarter than God is. Clearly, you can't look back at some old taxed and try to conclude that that one interpretation is just gonna be there for all time. Newsflash Josh Scott. The Bible never evolves. And if you're talking about. What if we discover new ways to be human. Let's put that in an LGBT Q plus context, if you are walking around claiming that somebody is trapped in the wrong body it's a man who believes he's a woman that's not what it means to be human.

That's what it means to deny your humanity.

And that's not progress that is regress and that is mind-boggling only wrong and this is what happens when you begin to rely on human wisdom to figure things out and you begin to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. This is where you end up why go to church. Why go to church. Not so long ago I was playing for you.

Some cuts from that woman in Canada who is an atheist and she's she was a pastor and the pastor asked I should say in the United Church of Canada. I believe it was doing this.

Off the top of my head, but she she was talking about how great it is to be an atheist and a pastor because basically all the churches for her is a big social justice club and that's what the mainline liberal Protestant denominations are in our country today. Mainline social justice clubs. That said, you wave your rainbow flag. You trot out your pastor says you talk about how inclusive you are and then you bash conservative Christians because you're so inclusive is how you show your inclusivity will you just close minded.

Now you know the point of an open mind is to close tightly around the truth and you don't let go. That's the key. It's not that the Christian does not have space to grapple with the big questions the hope of the Christian reading the Bible as it has been handed down to us inherent in the original autographs is that when we do grapple with the big questions we can get the answers and then we can rest in God's word because God does give us the answers to the biggest questions why am I here, why am I here to glorify God and to enjoy him forever to have a relationship with the Lord, and he did the work of reconciling me to himself through the cross. He did it all for me and I didn't deserve it.

I'm a sinner. I fell into sin. I inherited by sin nature from Adam, and because of Jesus Christ.

The second Adam, I can be reconciled to God. Again, it's the greatest news the world has ever received. And when I read God's word and I study God's word. There is a joy and there is such a happiness.

There really is because in a world where we are just rocking back and forth like a boat out-of-control spinning out of control spiraling out of control with all of this deception, we can have absolute confidence in God's solid, inerrant and infallible word. This archived broadcast of Janet for today is brought to you by Liberty health share liberty.

Healthcare is a nonprofit healthcare sharing ministry that allows you to control and manage your own healthcare and choose any doctor or hospital in the nation. If your freedom loving American looking for contract free healthcare call now 855-585-4237 or go to liberty, health share.org/GMT for more information liberty healthcare.org/GMT you're listening to Jonah's Medford Philippians 129 tells us, for it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ.

You should not only believe in him, but also suffer for his sake. That's a hard verse for a lot of us to understand here in the United States but many of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world are living it out every day sorted talk about it now with Todd Nettleton. He is chief of media relations and message integration for the voice of the martyrs. He served there for more than 20 years and is also hosted the voice of the martyrs radio and in his latest book, he cleans the stories of some of the hundreds of persecuted Christians. He's interviewed over the years to share the hope and encouragement that comes from trusting in Jesus Christ, his book is called when faith is forbidden. 40 days on the front lines with persecuted Christians Todd so good to have you with us again how are you doing I am doing well. Thanks for having me. Thank you. It's interesting you say that when you started out of the voice of the martyrs you have a different perspective on persecuted Christians than you do now. How would you say your perspective has changed over the years while you gone on my first trip to try think back very clearly and we were going to meet a pastor who had a unregistered church service every Tuesday and the church service was growing.

Many people in that village were coming to Christ. And so the authorities took to arresting him Tuesday morning and holding him all day, or even overnight into Wednesday just so he couldn't show up at that Tuesday service in that particular village and so that it happened like 13 times in the three months before we were there and saw my picture. My mind was they were going to interview this pastor he's been arrested all these times you covered all this trouble he's probably going to be really discouraged and depressed, and it is it's so good that we could come for America and cheer him up and you know that when we got there he faith he didn't need cheer up at all. In fact, he was perfectly fine without us, but he was excited about what God was doing. He was excited that people in the village were coming to know Christ that the church was growing and it didn't really bother him to go to jail every Tuesday. In fact, he showed us the bag he had packed to go to church. It had a blanket if it had a change of clothes in it and that was his jail bag. He was just like say if I get arrested I got my bag.

I'm ready to go.

He was totally unconcerned about the suffering he was unconcerned about the persecution he was joyful and excited about what God was doing and that's the attitude that I've seen repeated again and again over the years since that's what it's so interesting and I've heard tales like that before that when you really do encounter some of these worst persecuted Christians around the globe. There is a joy there that is very shocking and surprising to a lot of Westerners who would expect, like you did for them to be a little bit more gloom and doom you account for that.

What you think is responsible. Obviously the Lord gives them the joy that supernatural joy that you can have in the midst of a trying circumstances, a persecuted Christian but will you account for that. When you have looked at all the lives of these persecuted Christians and you see that kind of joy. Is it being able to persevere through the persecution and see God's faithfulness that you think works that in them or what you all think it is the presence of Christ that is it somehow is more real and more significant and more special.

In the midst of suffering that it is on a normal day and maybe that it is for us who don't suffer.

I think of Pastor Hassan who was imprisoned in Sudan and that he told me that many of the nights in that Sudanese prison he had the sleep on the floor of the seller was a concrete floor and he said I would lay on the floor and in the middle of the night. I would just weep and I said it all. Being a comfortable American. I said no because you miss your family because you were sore because it was so uncomfortable you don't know.

I would just lay on the floor of the prison cell and I would weep tears of joy because Jesus was so close to me that his presence was so real that the only response I could have was to weep tears of joy in his presence.

I think that's the secret is just the presence of Christ, that we somehow becomes more real to us in times of suffering. I think that's really in its that is so needs and is amazing really what the Lord does in the lives of these persecuted Christians. What's it been like I'm just curious. Todd is you have traveled around the world. Generally speaking, to visit with some of these persecuted Christians.

What is your big take away when you really kinda pull back and look at their lives. You know there's a couple one of them is joy and we talked about the fact they're not depressed.

They're not downtrodden.

They are joyful. The other one that has really affected me in the way I walk out my faith. It is a passion for the Scriptures, a passion for God's word to read it to study it to memorize it to make it a part of your life. You know I've talked to Christians who told me they prayed for years that they would someday somehow be able to own a copy of the Scriptures. There their very own copy of the Bible. They prayed for years that I feel almost a sense of embarrassment when I pulled my phone out of my pocket as I will have nine translations on my phone but do you read it. Do you study it, do you make it a part of your life. So I think that that passion for the Scriptures is one of the recurring themes like this is something I've tried to adopt and say what they may not be persecuted. But I am going to be passionate about God's word. You have to be in and I would imagine. After visiting with so many of these brothers and sisters.

It would be impossible not to have that attitude, which is wonderful yet so many good stories in this book Todd.

So many Christians you've met along the way and you you talk about. For example, right at the start of the book going to this village in Sudan in 1998. You tell the story about this pastor.

Abraham talk a little bit about what you've experienced when you have been with Christians in Sudan, particularly in that case, well after Abraham was there that was visited by a previous team of farmworkers who went to Sudan and they delivered Bibles to Dr. Abraham's village to his church and that the time our team arrived pastor Abraham's little red pocket Bible was the only Bible in his entire congregation yet about 400 people in the congregation.

He was the only member of the church you own the Bible and so our team arrived and delivered boxes of Bibles and the joy of the people receiving Bibles with the thought that every family of the church would have their own Bible was just almost mind blowing to the point Re: are you serious you're giving us all a Bible well after that team left mujahedin radical Islamic mujahedin from Sudan attacked the village they burned the church. They actually shot and killed pastor, Abraham, and they burn those Bibles that had just been delivered and so when I went later that year, our team was trying to go back to the village to replace the Bibles that had been burned and as I share in the book.

We never actually made it to the village.

Everywhere along the line of that trip.

It seemed like we ran into brick walls and you know we could land on the airstrip because it had rained and it was muddy and we went to one village and we couldn't get gas. We couldn't find a truck that would take us where we wanted to go. It was one thing after another. That just didn't go right. And the lesson of the lesson that I try to share in the book is we don't always know what God's plan is it may not be exactly what we think it's going to be a may not go the way we wanted to go but God does have a plan that we have to learn that so much of life is beyond our control. We have to allow him to be in control and to get comfortable ourselves walking with the knowledge that were not in control but the Lord is well that such an important thing for everybody to remember and I agree with you there. I think we have this tendency may be, we watched too many movies or read too many books over here and we think everything needs to be tied up in a neat ending where everything comes together and everybody lives happily ever after. But what is the piece in resting in that truth that even if we are not in control and we never really are that we can rest in God's plan and and we don't have to know every single thing that he has is doing or might be doing in the situation in the future you know II think it's just that competent and one of the things that happened as you see the situations where God steps in and God does something or God closes the eyes of a gardener or God allow something to happen.

As you see those situations happen, you you come to walk in the expectation of watching for God to work in the other thing that happens is you understand that that the enemy cannot stop the work of God. Think of you know the great verse from the story of Joseph. What you intended for evil God intended for good our brothers and sisters in hostile and restricted nations live that out every day what what the Chinese Communist Party in China intends for evil God works best for good was the Islamic government in Iran intends for evil God's him turn and work that for good, very good time now to come back after this frequency is forbidden is the name of his love. Stay tuned here and Jennifer.

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Quite an amazing journey of faith and a journey into ministry.

In fact, when he came to faith. He was addicted to drugs.

Jesus healed him from his drug addiction. His wife cleaned up. He had a good job. He had a house he had a car.

Things were going really well for that.

And God began to call Hussein into ministry into a full-time work for the church work for the kingdom kind of ministry and Hussein told me that he resisted that call. He was like Lord you know things are going well for me but we could have church meetings at my house that would be great, but full-time ministry. Please know find someone else for that job. So the Lord had to work on him and actually took Hussein to a place where he almost drowned, and as he was almost drowning in the Caspian Sea cried out to the Lord, Lord, don't let me die. I've never given everything to you and he said as he cried out that way. And Hussein was not a swimmer at all. In fact he told me he almost drowns taking a shower that as he cried out to the Lord.

He said it was like hands lifted him up out of the water and he was rescued he survived and immediately said okay I'm ready to go. I'm ready to do full-time ministry. Actually, his church leaders told him at that time. Listen, you just have this near-death experience you're feeling emotional right now water to hold off and will make a decision in a few weeks.

Hussein said no he quit his job. He sold his car. He paid his debt to me so I'm in full-time ministry. If it's not with you. I'm just really got on my own, but he was committed to that full-time ministry. One of the first places he what they they assigned him to a pastor and the pastor's wife and he was kind of their apprentice for a little while to train for ministry. One of the first places they went. The Lord confirmed his call when they knocked on the door of this house young lady open the door and she immediately began to weep. And you know they're asking her well why you know why are you crying to do something wrong to do something. She said no, last night I had a dream that three people sat down with me at the table and they were going to tell me some news and now you have knocked on my door. You are the three people who I dreamed of last night.

You're the three people I saw in my dream, so that young lady was very ready to hear the gospel, but also Hussein had complete confirmation that God was calling him and that God would empower his ministry going forward. That is incredible and and what of the ministry. Now what about that part of the world and what God is doing over there you hear a lot of reports about the growth of the church.

The house church movement in particular in our Ron out what what we need to know about where the church is right now and that part of the world with a lot of places. There is more persecution, but the good side of that story as part of the reason for that is because the church is growing so quickly. Iran has the fastest growing church in the world and one of the amazing things.

And again we talked earlier about God turning evil for good. One of the things that is spurring the growth of the church in Iran is the Islamic government. The government says hey we are an Islamic government were doing everything according to Islamic principles. We are running the country.

Just as Mohammed would've run it if he was still alive and the people look at the country and they see the corruption in the government they see one of the highest drug addiction rates in the world. They look at their government and say the government is not working therefore Islam doesn't work. Government says we are is slow so they say Islam doesn't work. What are the other options and so there is a very fertile soil to plant the seeds of the gospel because many Iranians look at their government and say I don't want to be Islamic because Islam doesn't work, that's how the gospel is spreading inside Iran. But again that is coming with the cost because many of those who are converted to face some type of persecution.

Whether it's the government weathers their families, whether it's others. They pay a price for following Jesus Christ only do you had mentioned the Chinese Communist Party earlier and another story they tell him the book is about John and Karen shorts. John brought a Bible as you see in the book into North Korea. I working there in Asia and China and some of the other countries there are in Asia you say he is bringing a Bible into North Korea made a huge difference. What happened to John short genre detained inside North Korea. He brought a Bible was his own personal Bible in English and he said you don't want to go through customs. They say this is North Korea. You can't bring a Bible and he said well I'm a Christian. I need my Bible so I can bring it. I'm just talking to call plan.

They obviously that would cost them though his tourist dollars and solicit okay fine you can bring it in the also brought along some gospel tracts printed in Korean. He left them outside trying there and the group, the government found them. The police found them. John was detained. I believe it will heal it up 13 days being detained. He was interrogated every morning and every afternoon all through that time and he just had an amazing testimony of God's presence. One of the things met John. I also interviewed his wife Karen over the course of their married life every single day. They read together a chapter from Proverbs and a chopper from the gospel of John I day of the month. The first chapter 2nd day.

The second chapter, and so forth. Both of them talked about the fact that while he was detained inside North Korea reading those Scriptures Them connected even though they couldn't talk to each other.

He was allowed to call her reading those same Scriptures and knowing I know exactly what jobs can be reading because this is the third day of the month. I know the chapters you to be reading and so reading those Scriptures even though they were miles apart and completely held out of communication that kept them connected through that experience of him being detained.

Thankfully out of out of respect because he was more than 70 years old, out of respect for his age. The North Korean government allowed him to leave and go back home but it was a very challenging time for him and yet he was on intimidated by their threats by the thought of having to suffer for Christ. That's amazing right because obviously if you're going into North Korea in your leaving any kind of gospel witness behind. He knew what could happen right. He was fully informed and fully understood the risks.

He certainly knew the risk and he went in with his eyes open.

One of the things about John that that had prepared him for that is years of gospel service in China where he had had been friends and coworker with Chinese pastors who had been in prison for 20+ years and so he had heard their stories.

He knew the stories of suffering, but the stories of God's faithfulness and so the thought of having to go to prison. The thought of suffering for Christ didn't intimidate him as much as it might intimidate us because he had those sort of foundational relationships with people who had been there before. Yeah, you know it's interesting when you talk about how you've been impacted and affected by meeting all of these persecuted Christians that you have. Do you find these stories of persecution tend to encourage Western Christians to sell out more for the Lord and to take these kinds of risks for the sake of the gospel because they're hearing about the courage and the faithfulness of their brothers and sisters who have had a very tough time but but have joyfully serve the Lord, regardless of their circumstances, you know, I think you will spend 40 days going through this book. When faith is forbidden 40 days hearing the stories of persecuted Christian. I don't think there's a way you will not be affected by that. As you say, making us more bold in sharing Christ with the people around us, making us more thankful for the freedoms that we enjoy as American Christians and making us more cognizant of how God is at work in the world know even in ways maybe we didn't expect. Maybe ways we wish he would work differently but just having open eyes to see God's plans being advanced or even sometimes in the midst of suffering, what would you advise us to pray for these believers.

Clearly there. They're not in need of visitation to cheer them up as you mentioned in many cases. But how do you pray for them to one of the things that I pray often and I think you know, we certainly can pray for protection.

We can pray when we sit down to eat that are brothers and sisters will have enough to eat that day, but one of the things that I really encourage people to pray is that they will know they are being prayed for. Through the Holy Spirit. Supernaturally God will let them know you're not forgotten your not all by yourself. The family of God around the world is remembering you and praying for you. I think that can be a great encouragement to them and I've had some conversations along the way where I know God has answered those prayers. I've heard from people who say no. We knew people were praying for us so needs when faith is forbidden.

40 days on the front lines of persecuted Christians the book by Todd Nettleton from the voice of the martyrs. Such a great book and so great to talk to again thank you very much for being with us. You are welcome. God bless you. You're welcome. Thank you for joining us here in tenant effort.

Today we pray that you will have a blessed day will see next time


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