Friday, March 24, 2006

Luke 21:10-19

Luke 21:10-19 (HCSB) 10 Then He told them: “Nation will be raised up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be violent earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places, and there will be terrifying sights and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you. They will hand you over to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of My name. 13 It will lead to an opportunity for you to witness. 14 Therefore make up your minds not to prepare your defense ahead of time, 15 for I will give you such words and a wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will even be betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. They will kill some of you. 17 You will be hated by everyone because of My name, 18 but not a hair of your head will be lost. 19 By your endurance gain your lives.

I'm sure you have all heard about Abdul Rahman. If not, he is the Afghan man who faces a possible death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago. He was turned in by his parents upon his return from Germany. Abdul is being prosecuted by the Afghan Supreme Court. Abdul's predicament is exactly what Jesus said would happen to his followers. Therefore, we should not be surprised or alarmed. Jesus warned us in advance.

Even if the Afghan court bows to the pressure brought to bear by the international community to release Abdul, his life is in extreme danger. The following quote from WorldNetDaily verifies this reality.

Whether or not the Afghan judiciary spares Rahman, today senior Muslim clerics insist he must be executed – and that if the government gives in to international pressure and frees Rahman, the clerics will instruct the people to "pull him into pieces."

"Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," said cleric Abdul Raoulf, according to an Associated Press report.

"He is not crazy," added Hamidullah, chief cleric at Haji Yacob Mosque, according to the AP report. "He went in front of the media and confessed to being a Christian. The government is scared of the international community. But the people will kill him if he is freed."

The chief cleric is right. Abdul Rahman is not crazy. No! He is a faithful follower of the Lord Jesus Christ! Abdul may be hated by the entire nation of Afghanistan, but he is dearly loved by God. As Jesus said, "but not a hair of your head will be lost." This does not mean that Abdul's earthly life will be spared, but it does mean that he will stand before our Lord and hear the words, "Well done good and faithful servant."

How should we pray for Abdul? Pray for him the way that the Apostle Paul asked the Ephesian church to pray in preparation for his trial before Caesar. Ephesians 6:19-20 (HCSB) Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.

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