#6: Fear Not
If you have placed your trust in Jesus Christ, please don’t lose heart at the darkness that is enveloping the world around you. We recently heard that the exhortation for God’s people to “fear not,” or “Be of good courage” appears 366 times throughout the Bible—once for every day of the year and an extra one for leap years! God is still on His throne, and His plans both for our lives and for this world will be fulfilled if we endure and don’t lose heart. Our Lord encouraged us, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Luke 4:7).
#7: Cleanse our Hearts
As Christians, our aims and desires should be the same as the Lord’s. He is our boss, and our greatest goal should always be to love Him and do His will by reaching out to others (even terrorists) with the Good News of salvation. We need to be careful that our hearts don’t grow bitter over the wickedness all around us. Let’s focus first and foremost on the wickedness in our own hearts, and ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse us from sin and hate. Last year one of our Asia Harvest newsletters included a picture of a group of Muslims as this newsletter does. One subscriber was distressed and demanded to be removed from our newsletter list. He wrote, “I am deeply offended by the picture of Muslims in your newsletter. I find it hard to even pray for them that they find Christ as Savior.” We started our article with the point that all terrorism is from Satan. He would like nothing more than to choke the life out of Christians’ hearts through fear and anxiety. May the Lord set us free so that we don’t become unwitting victims of terrorism through the snare of bitterness. We need to constantly ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse and purify us from all unrighteousness. Let us bow before Him and pray the words of David, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:10-12).
#8: Spread the Gospel!
Despite many obstacles and dangers, the kingdom of God continues to advance in Asia among many Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist people groups. Last month we were blessed to receive pictures of the baptism of 18 former Muslims, including two imams (Islamic priests). Their faces were full of light and joy as they emerged from the water as new creations, their old sins washed away! This is what it’s all about. We must not stop reaching out to Muslims and others who need Jesus. In sport, it’s often said that “the best form of defense is attack.” Similarly, the best strategy to stop the spread of worldwide terrorism is for the Church to share the truth and light of the Gospel, in the hope that some will believe and put their trust in Him. The best way to dispel darkness is still to simply turn on the light! This, dear friends, is God’s solution to terrorism... Preach the Good News to all creation! Only Jesus working in the lives of people will bring freedom. May we never be embarressed to tell the world that Jesus is the answer. If we don’t tell them, they have no chance of ever knowing God’s salvation. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16). A generation ago, the mission statesman Brother Andrew wrote this about the threat of Communism: “If you do not go to the heathen with the Gospel, they will come to you as revolutionaries or as occupying forces.” If the Church grows disillusioned and weary of spreading the Good News, the scope of worldwide terrorism will expand quickly. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:9-10).
#9: Forget the Sentiment
Please don’t think that before you can do anything to reach Muslims and others that you first need to have a deep emotional connection or feelings of love toward them. It certainly helps, but Jesus loves the unlovable and reaches the unreachable! If you came across someone drowning in a river, would you stop and consider whether you have feelings of love for that person, or even if you like them? Hopefully not! What a drowning person needs is to be rescued before it’s too late. By doing all you can to help a perishing soul you are displaying true love to them.
We must love our enemies, and the greatest act of love we can show them is to lead them to salvation in Jesus Christ, who taught His followers: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48).
#10: Jesus Wins!
We once heard a story about Bible college students who had spent weeks studying the Book of Revelation. At the end of class one day, a group sat down in the school gymnasium, and discussed among themselves what the main theme of Revelation was. They all had different convoluted views and theological explanations, but no one was able to grasp the mystery of the last Book of the Bible. Across from them, the elderly school janitor was enjoying a sandwich as he read his Bible during a break. The students, in a halfmocking tone, decided to ask this man what he thought the main theme of Revelation was. “Simple,” he replied without hesitation: “Jesus Wins!” Friends, in our newsletter we have touched on a number of causes for terrorism, but through it all, please never lose sight of the fact that Jesus wins! He is already the victor through His death and resurrection, and even though it’s difficult to see God’s unfolding purpose when evil seems so prevalent, be confident that Jesus remains fully in charge, and is working everything out for His purposes, both in your own life and in the world. The Lord has a plan that cannot be thwarted. He is busy saving some from among every tribe, language, nation and people group on the globe! Included in this number will be many former terrorists and those who are enemies of the Gospel. Jesus has always pursued those who need Him the most, for “it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). God loves the hundreds of millions of lost Muslims in the world and desires to know them as His children. At the moment we must work hard to see the kingdom of God expand, but the day is coming when terrorism will be no more, and all the enemies of God will be put under the feet of Jesus. In that day, a trumpet blast will sound, and “loud voices in heaven” will proclaim: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).
Helping Others Get the Job Done
You might have noticed that several unreached people groups are featured on our homepage. We invite you to prayerfully consider praying for and supporting an Asian missionary reaching out to them with the Gospel. We currently need support for missionaries working among the Uygur, Kirgiz and Hui people through the Asian Workers' fund.It’s a great privilege to help sow the seeds for a breakthrough among these and many other unreached people groups. Those who wish to support a worker will receive a laminated prayer card of the evangelist their support is helping. Click here to learn about Asian workers to sponsor! Thanks and God bless you!