August 24, 2021
4 Messages From The Church In Afghanistan
On August 22, 2021, Pastor Eric shared the devastating news about what is happening in Afghanistan. A few days ago, following a takeover by the Taliban, Afghanistan’s former president left the country in haste with only the clothes he had on his back. Since the Taliban seized control of the country, women’s freedoms were quickly snatched away and young girls are wondering how much longer school gates will remain open. Afghan Christians, who now faces life under Taliban rule, are being notified that they are being watched. And, as unbelievable as this seems, some Afghan believers have been hauled out of their homes and killed for having a downloaded Bible on their cellphones. Christian missionaries are also being sentenced to death for leading underground Christian churches.
Pastor Eric lead our church in prayer for the people in Afghanistan and shared with the congregation what those people would say to us today.
Afghans would tell us to:
Jesus also instructed us to ‘look up’. A very dark period of human history will come. This period, the darkest the human race will ever see, will arrive and great destruction will be ushered in around the world. We read in Luke 21:28 that when these things begin to take place, we are to stand and look up, because our salvation is drawing near. The churches in Afghanistan are encouraging us to ‘look up’.
Read 1 Corinthians 2:9
God has plans for us that we can’t begin to imagine, because they are too amazing for words. They can only be experienced by trusting Him. God has revealed to us that He has prepared astounding, glorious and astonishing things for those who trust and love Him. The Bible reminds us that they are so wonderful, we cannot even imagine what they could be.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:31
When God uses us to do a miracle, we must remember we are not doing it by our own power. We are only vessels. God does not need us to do things for Him. We were created to be His vessels. A human vessel is someone who is willing to be used by God for whatever purpose He has in mind.
Read Romans 8:18
We see in Romans 8:18, that Christians will suffer for their faith in Jesus Christ. However, believers can look forward to sharing in the glories of God’s kingdom afterwards. The apostle Paul’s perspective is that our temporal suffering will be worth all the glory that will be revealed to us in heaven.
Read Acts 7:54-56
The council was so angry with Stephen that they literally gnashed their teeth at him like angry dogs. However, even as he was about to be stoned to death, Stephen, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the comforting shining greatness of God and Jesus standing at His right side. Are you overcome by fear and anxiety? If so, look up! By looking up, Stephen did not let the situation he found himself in overwhelm him.
Our Afghan brothers and sisters would surely say to us “Look up! No matter what happens in this world, it’s not the end for us. We are on our way to heaven, the abode of God, where we will be blessed and where we will live with God for all eternity.”
The Afghans would also tell us to:
Get the Jesus part right
Many people today claim to be Christians, but some are actually wearing a ‘church mask’ rather than being true born again believers. They do this in order to be accepted by the believing community. The current events in Afghanistan are forcing these people to make a decision. Are we one of those Christian church-going pretenders or are we going to choose to follow Christ? Are we willing to accept Him as our personal Saviour? It is of capital importance to ensure we have the Jesus part right.
The body of Christ, the church, is imperfect, but Christ exemplifies perfection in every way. As imperfect beings, we are to aim for true righteousness. Pursuing righteousness means we become a work in progress. It’s perfected over time through our obedience to Him, and it slowly reveals itself as evidence of our faith. We are to strive for it daily until we meet Jesus face to face. Moreover, we must remember not to attach too much importance to frivolous things, things that are insignificant in God’s eyes, and we are to attach much importance to the things God values.
Read Isaiah 55:8-9
The Lord declares that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. Hence, we must ensure we get the Jesus part right: We must make certain we are right with Christ. First and foremost, we must repent. Being right with Jesus begins with acknowledging our sins and confessing them to the Lord. Our repentance is to be accompanied by faith. Being right with the Lord is our response to what God has done on our behalf: He sent Christ to die on the cross to pay the ultimate price for our sins. He provided the sacrifice to take away our sins, and offers us the promise of eternal life in heaven with Him. We must prioritize Christ in our lives and we must ensure that we know Jesus and that He knows us. In other words, we must live for Him and surrender our lives to Him; otherwise, on Judgment Day, Jesus will say to us plainly ‘I never knew you’. At that time, some people will say they performed many good works; however, good deeds will not allow anyone to enter heaven. Jesus indicated that the first and foremost ‘work’ demanded by God is belief in His Son. Just because someone prophesies in the name of Jesus, drives out demons or performs miracles does not necessarily mean they are righteous in God’s eyes. The Lord could very well say to them ‘I never knew you’. This is a call and a warning to us today. Are we truly following Christ? Is He the Lord of our lives? Do we have the Jesus part right?
Read Matthew 7:22
The Afghans would also tell us that:
The gathering of believers is a great privilege
The gathering of Christians is a great privilege not to be taken for granted.
Read Hebrews 10:25
The day of our Lord and Saviour’s return is coming soon. Let’s do what Jesus asked every believer: Let’s not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, especially now that the day of His coming is drawing near. Let’s encourage each other and lift each other up, so none abandon the faith. The book of Hebrews was written to a group of believers, like the Afghans, who had endured severe hardship and suffering. The Christians in the book of Hebrews witnessed their brothers and sisters being thrown into prison and they, themselves, joyfully accepted the confiscation of their property knowing they had better and lasting possessions in heaven.
The Afghans would also ask us if:
We are in or out
Are we ‘all in’ for Christ?
Read Revelation 12:11
The blood of Christ was spilled for you and I, and the time is coming when we, the Body of Christ, will have victory over the gates of hell. Today, we live in an age of numerous trials and suffering, but like those who suffered before us, those who trust in Christ have security in Him. We need not fear.
Have you received Christ? Have you made Him the Lord of your Life?
Watch the full sermon here: