Back to Fulfilling the Great Commission & the Last Days
Back to Reaching the Followers of the Religion from the Middle East
Note: “D” in this article refers to the predominant religion in the Middle East, while “Ds” refer to the adherents of that religion
It is apparent that the end-time enemy of the Church of Jesus Christ is the spirit of the “D” religion. The antichrist, legalistic spirit which blinded the Pharisees to the messiahship of Jesus and drove them to crucify Him reappeared in the 7th Century as the antichrist, legalistic spirit of “D”. Now in the 21st Century it is beginning to exert its power worldwide.
Confronted with the threat from “D”, the Church in America is beginning to awake from her slumber. Alarmed Christians are now being mobilized to pray, to speak out, to demonstrate, and if possible even to take political and legal action against the spread of “D”.
The Ground Zero Mosque Controversy in New York
The rallying point now is the $100 million ($150 million according to some reports), 13-story mosque being planned for Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. We are told that it is perfectly legal according to United States law. It has been said that historically “Ds” (the followers of the “D” religion) have erected mosques on the sites of their victories over their enemies. If the mosque is built, therefore, it would more than add insult to the injury of the single greatest attack on American soil—it would represent the brazen challenge of “D” to “Christian” America right in our own house. (However, the planners offer the thoughtful explanation that the mosque will be a “tribute” to the victims of 911.)
And this will be only the beginning of the attempted “D”-ization of America for the foreseeable future, at least until their money runs out.
It is interesting that the incredible financial might to fund the spread of “D” with such endeavors around the world comes from oil imported from the Middle East. The income from this oil is drained primarily from the west and especially from “Christian” America, the world’s biggest consumer and importer of oil. What did God have in mind when He put those vast oil reserves in the Middle East?
Let’s take a look at this puzzling question.
“Why did you allow them so much wealth, God?”
Most Christians, including myself, are disgusted at the prospect of a huge mosque erected at Ground Zero. Conservative radio shows are abuzz with talk about this mosque. We listen to the talk shows and get angry, indignant, and fearful at what is happening to our country. But is the Lord pleased with this reaction?
God in His unfathomable wisdom has allowed Middle Eastern countries great oil wealth. Using that wealth along with their geometric population growth, “Ds” are now threatening some of the very western countries which once conquered and colonized them. And they plan to do it quite legally without the use of the sword. If “Ds” succeed in building their mosque at Ground Zero, and after that spread their religion relentlessly throughout America with the help of their wealth, it will likely be done peacefully in accordance with American law. The reaction of Christians is usually to speak out, fanning the flames of fear, hate, revulsion, and anger toward “D” within the body of Christ. There is even a church in Florida holding a public Quran-burning. There is of course also prayer being lifted up to God for our country.
What is wrong with this picture as a whole? In our fear and alarm, we have forgotten the final command Christ gave to his disciples before ascending to heaven. This along with prayer should take precedence before any other actions, especially those based on fear or anger.
The Church is to make disciples of “Ds” in our midst
Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. …17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name …they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
But the Church is afraid
Christians are apprehensive of “competing” with “D” in the “free market economy of religion” which exists in America. We have seen how quickly it has spread in other countries. We seem to be afraid that when the playing field is leveled and mosques are free to spread throughout the land like a plague, we will lose our advantage of having been here first and America being our country. The juggernaut of “D” will be irresistible.
Again, what’s wrong with this picture?
The Church was very different in Acts
In the Book of Acts when the church was very powerful, Peter performed a great miracle by healing a lame beggar just outside the Temple Gate. This eventually resulted in a great harvest of souls for the kingdom of God. How did Peter perform this miracle?
Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
When the Church today learns to proclaim the gospel and heal the sick as did the disciples in Acts, we will not need to fear “D”. We do not have the silver and gold which they have from their oil wealth to purchase souls for their religion, but instead we have the authority to heal the sick and cast out demons in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Let the “Ds” see the miracles, and then let them choose either their dead works religion or the living Savior who heals and can save them from their sins.
When the Church learns how to use this untapped power and authority to heal the sick in obedience to the Great Commission, we will no longer need to fear or hate the “Ds” in our midst. We will love them and be able to reach many of them for the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are conveniently already in our backyards and living next door to us. We don’t have to relocate far away to the foreign mission field to reach them. Could this be God’s wisdom?
It’s already being done
The gospel-resistant “Ds” of the world’s largest unreached people group which reside in Indonesia are already being reached (click on Reaching the Unreachable). Indonesia of course boasts more “Ds” than any other country on earth. But God has graciously shown us an effective way to reach them.
Could this be why God has allowed “Ds” in the Middle East such great wealth, much of it ironically coming from our own pockets? Could it be that the Church in America has become complacent and powerless because we have we taken God’s abundant blessings for granted? When God’s people come to trust in their wealth instead of God, they set themselves up for disappointment. The idol of wealth will fail us. Is this happening now? Our national debt now stands at $13,300,000,000,000 (13.3 trillion) and is increasing by the second. And according to the Congressional Budget Office the 2010 federal deficit will be over $1,300,000,000,000.
Is the “hedge” around us now being taken away for our own good?
Is this God’s way of waking up the Church in America?
Revelation 3:15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
Revelation 3:1 I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent.
Will pastors and church leaders in America heed this rebuke from the Lord? Or will they continue to sleep or to entertain fear and anger as their primary reaction to the encroaching spirit of the “D” religion?
Will they wake up and train and mobilize the Church to preach the gospel to the “Ds” in our midst in the spirit and power of Elijah? Or will they simply gather Christians to pray, which is a good start but alone by itself cannot stop the advance of the “D” religion?
The restoration of the spirit and power of Elijah
I used to pastor a church in New York City, and one of our daughters was in college just several blocks away from Ground Zero during the 911 attacks. Make no mistake about it, I am personally very much against the construction of the mosque at Ground Zero. (And neither do I want to see a mosque go up in my neighborhood.) Stopping the project—while a very worthwhile endeavor—may however end up being little more than putting a band-aid over a spreading cancerous lesion and simply postpone the inevitable.
Only when the spirit and power of Elijah is restored to the Church can we effectively reach the “Ds” for the gospel and fulfill the Great Commission. It is our obligation before God to proclaim the kingdom of God to them with power.
Luke 10:9 Heal the sick, and tell them, “the kingdom of God is near you.”
Below is a very instructive testimony we received in response to this article.
“I have a friend, who I believe with all my heart, God placed in my life for a number of different reasons. He has stretched and grown me in this friendship… letting me understand a bit of another’s life. He has changed the way I think and do things because of this friendship.
We met because of a need on her part. She is an adherent of the “D” religion, whose husband abused her. She sought divorce for her protection and that of her children (her doing), which in the “D” world meant she was instantly an outcast – not to be associated with. She lost the connection of her (very dysfunctional) family (who had come to USA at the same time she did, under very horrible circumstances) and all her “D” friends (which is all her very controlling husband would allow her), found herself in need, and reached out to her landlord (who is a member of our church)… asking if anyone might help her to move.
Twelve of us showed up on moving day, to a house that had hardly been packed. We rolled up our sleeves, packed up her entire home and moved it across town. My friend and I connected in a very special way… a very definite God connection. The following week, my friend found out that the original place she lived in would be in her price range after all (with some help she received from a lawyer and some aid). She called her old landlord (the lady in our church) and wondered if people might be able to come and help again… to move her back to where she was before. This was a difficult thing for my friend to ask, but she had no help or support anywhere else.
Almost as many of us showed up that following week (most of the same people even) to box up and move everything back. My friend was amazed… had not believed (because of her VERY difficult background) that there were this kind of people in the world. She and I became very good friends… lots of talking, sharing lives, food, laughter. One of the things she shared was about her sister, who still lived in the country from which she came, and who had been trying to obtain a VISA for 17 years to come and live here in the USA. My friend shared how much she missed her sister and her family (not seeing them in over 20 years).
My friend often asked me to pray for her… would call to specifically ask for prayer. She started coming to church with us (already knowing so many people and feeling comfortable and loved, because they were the very people who came to help her move, twice). She said she really liked going… felt a peace in her heart that she had never felt before. She came as often as she could, and everyone loved her and her son.
Then my friend got word that her sister’s VISA had finally come, and that she would be coming to the USA. My friend was so excited! She shared with her sister, that she’d found some very good people and would like her to meet them. She also told her sister that she had been going to our church. Instantly and with fear, her sister told her she had to stop coming! That if she continued going to church, she would not be able to see her.
An incredible dilemma. Here my friend was, finally able to see her sister after so many years, only to be told to leave the only place she felt true peace. My friend did not call me for almost 2 weeks, which, at that time was very unusual. I kept trying to contact her, thinking something was wrong. She finally got up the courage to call me and tell me she could not go to church with us anymore. She just COULDN’T lose her sister and family after all this time. She thought that in telling me this, I (and the others at church) would not be her friend anymore. I told her that I would ALWAYS be her friend and love her and would be here for her, no matter what she decided to do. She asked if she could still call and talk and pray together as before, and I told her of course!
But something changed in our friendship. She pulled way back… to the point where we would only talk every couple of weeks, and then every months. This made me sad, but I knew that God had planted His seed of hope and light… of peace, in her heart, and that I needed to just keep praying.
Okay… that’s the gist of the story. So I have not heard anything from my friend in about 4 months (I continue to call and leave messages for her – no pressure kind of messages… “Hi, thinking about you, praying for you, love you, would love to catch up sometime” kind of calls). But this past week, God continued to bring her to mind, in many different ways. And then she called! We talked for almost 2 hours, catching up on life. Again, many difficult things have happened to her… how can one life experience SO much?? I asked how her sister was doing, assuming she had been spending much time with her.
She said she didn’t see much of her sister, after the initial meeting and catching up. My friend had been feeling alone again… and remembered. She asked how everyone at the church was doing, and I told her good, and that they often asked about her and were praying for her. This meant a lot to my friend. I knew she still felt she couldn’t come to church, which I assured her was fine. I asked if she wanted to come to any of the “outside” things our church body does – to see the people she has been missing… things that aren’t in “church”. She seemed very interested. I also told her I would love her to come over soon. She again, was very open to that. Yay! I’ve been missing a dear friend!
It is like you shared in the article about “The Kingdom of God comes not from without, but from within“… you don’t need to be doing things to fit into the western idea of church… that you can be discipled in other places… that the Holy Spirit will take seeds planted and grow them, and it doesn’t have to look like how everyone else (churches) are doing it. I appreciated what you said, because God has given me a little glimpse into the life/culture of another. And I am okay with loving my friend, and letting God love her through me… to the point of her asking questions and wanting more – wanting truth – not trying to force her into someone else’s something.
All this friendship was before I met you and went to one of your trainings. So I have been praying and am open to God using that in this friendship He’s placed in my life. I’m praying for His timing and His plans (not my own), because I truly want my friend to find God… from the inside outward!
You have encouraged me… a confirmation that I was correct in not trying to force my friend into something she was not able to do (I did NOT want her to “become a Christian” to please me, any more (I told her) than becoming a “D” follower to please her sister – she seemed to be very thankful for this, and was very thoughtfully looking at her relationship with her sister, too).
So thank you, again, for taking time to write out what God is teaching you. I would appreciate your prayers/wisdom in this very precious friendship God has placed in my life. It’s one of those ‘I don’t care what you say until I know that you care’ kind of things. She KNOWS I care and I love her, and will listen to what I say. I want to be wise in how I share my God – my very best Friend and Father – with her. Pray that God would continue to soften her heart and draw her to Him. And pray that I would see and understand what God needs me to do… what He wants me to say.”
Our reply to this believer:
“I don’t think it’s a problem for the Lord for her to tell her family that she is a “D”. That does not mean she has denied Jesus Christ (or Isa Almasih) as her Lord and Savior. It simply means that she has not “converted to Christianity”—which as you know is not a requirement for salvation—especially when to “Ds”, Christianity is the religion of the Europeans who conquered and occupied their lands, and currently the religion responsible for Hollywood. It has very little to do with the Christianity which you and I know.
I am convinced that people who call themselves “Ds” can be saved if they confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and obey His commands as found in Scripture. Along those same lines, calling oneself a “Christian” does not guarantee eternal life. There are many professed “Christians” today who are not saved.
But if your friend, if and when pressed by her family, tells them that she now follows Isa Almasih, that is not necessarily a problem for them since Isa is their prophet according the Quran. For “Ds”, the outward meaning of words mean much. That’s why we steer away from the hot button words “Christianity”, “Christian”, and “church” (which for “Ds” means the physical building or facility where Christians practice their religion). But according to Scripture, “church” means a gathering or body of believers. Our western traditions have changed the original meaning of the word to include the meaning of the physical buildling where Christians meet.
By remaining a “D”, your friend will continue to have a relationship with her family, and be able to reach them for Christ in the same manner that you are reaching her. But if for the sake of our western Christian traditions she converts to Christianity, then she will be cut off from her family and community and will have no opportunity at all to be a witness to them!
I suggest that you don’t encourage her to go to church, but that you disciple and teach her in a home—perhaps yours or hers. Then when she is saved and strong, she can reach out to other “Ds” in the same way. Perhaps one day you will be leading an underground ‘house church’ of believing ‘Ds’!”