Iranian Youths Mass Converting to Christianity Despite Islamic Indoctrination
The massive rise of Christianity in Iran, especially among youths, continues despite the Islamic government's efforts to suppress the faith. Even Islamic leaders admitted that more and more young people are choosing to follow Christ.
According to Mohabat News, which reports on the persecution and state of Christianity in Iran, the "exponential rate" of Christian growth has been a factor for the last couple of decades.
Now even leading Islamic seminary officials, such as Ayatollah Alavi Boroujerdi, have pointed to "accurate reports indicating that the youth are becoming Christians in Qom and attending house churches."...
"While they did not say, 'Choose' or 'Make a decision' here, the concept is in there." No, it is not. What caused them to cry out 'what must I do to be saved'? Remember when Stephen spoke to the crowd, what was their reaction? They gnashed their teeth...why? Because the Holy Spirit had not regenerated them, for the 'natural man' cannot understand spiritual things.
When Christ stated ' Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.' He wasn't presenting it as a choice. In the original language, repent is a verb in the present imperative active mood. The imperative mood is a command or instruction given to the hearer, charging the hearer to carry out or perform a certain action. It doesn't mean the hearer has the capacity to do so under their own power. Those who've been drawn by God and born again by the Spirit WILL flee to Christ, but not because they exercised free will.
Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." - Acts 16:30-31
While they did not say, 'Choose' or 'Make a decision' here, the concept is in there. The sinner must take action, otherwise, why call people to repent and believe? When we believe, that is what we see from our perspective, but Scripturally, the Spirit gives life. Sovereign grace and human will intersection has tension in the Word. If you don't see it, then our biases are in control. Now, We don't say to people, 'Just wait for God to give you life and make you believe'. Is that Gospel invitation in Acts?
Soli Deo Gloria, regardless. I'm no fool to give credit to my salvation other than to God alone. Sola Gratia!
I agree that it is the Lord Jesus Christ who chooses us, and draws us with His Holy Spirit. and because of our depraved sinful nature,we do not choose Him, or make a "decision for Christ".
However, while discounting some cultic activity in Iran, and perhaps also some "decisionist" missionary activity, I would still say that a fair amount of these young people have indeed been saved.
As the Islamist regime of the ayatollahs and mullahs gets more and more desperate, the young people see through the hypocrisy and oppression of Islam, as the Holy Spirit works on them and draws them, and then they are sovereignly brought to a saving knowledge of Christ.
These will endure as they suffer the inevitable consequences of their Christian Faith, expulsion from jobs and university, discrimination, physical attack, rape for the women, beatings, imprisonment, and finally death and martyrdom.
This is the cost for them. We haven't got there yet in the West, though I believe it will be coming.
John Mackay wrote: I appreciate the comments re the authenticity of a profession of faith. There are many bible verses warning of it eg Matthew 7 v 22.However there is persecution in these lands so it seems a bit unlikely that false converts would side with Christ and suffer?
agree- New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran said in a report in July that Iranian authorities are increasingly cracking down on Christian converts in the country, arresting & imprisoning believers in their attempts to suppress Christianity.
CHRI noted in its report that since June 2017, at least 11 Christian converts and the former leader of the Assyrian Pentecostal Church in Iran have been issued long prison sentences by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.
"Christians are recognized as an official religious minority in Iran's Constitution, but the state continues to persecute members of the faith, especially converts," said CHRI's executive director, Hadi Ghaemi.
July 6, judge sentenced 4 Protestant Christian converts to 10 years in prison each "in a trial completely lacking due process," the group said, quoting Mansour Borji, of Article 18,
10-year prison sentences for propagating house churches &promoting "Zionist Christianity."
I appreciate the comments re the authenticity of a profession of faith. There are many bible verses warning of it eg Matthew 7 v 22.However there is persecution in these lands so it seems a bit unlikely that false converts would side with Christ and suffer?
Agree with ladybug, That is what always concerns me, people never properly define Christianity and mix them with false cults, it's really hard to destroy a church from the outside, most of the damage comes from within,with false teachers pretending to be true teachers.
My prayer is that these are genuine conversions. The story says 'more and more young people are choosing to follow Christ'. We do not choose Jesus, He chooses us.
The Christian Post is not a reliable news source, so I take what they post with a 'grain of salt'. On further investigation, it seems Elam Ministries is working in that area, some who endorse them are questionable, 'Anne Graham Lotz', 'Ravi Zacharias' to name a few. They would be better off to scratch some of these names off their 'endorsement list'. Their statement of faith seems to be okay - https://www.elam.com/page/statement-faith
May the Lord have His way, may sinners in Iran know true, genuine conversion. It's hard to say in this day and age because the true gospel has been watered down and places the 'decision' on the sinner, which makes it no gospel at all.
It is indeed ironic that as the Shia Muslim Ayatollahs and mullahs of Iran, and their fanatical supporters are flexing their muscles in the Middle East and elsewhere as they cobble together a strange alliance with nominally Russian Orthodox Russia, Sunni Muslim Turkey, and Comminist North Korea, their own people, young people especially, are throwing off the shackles of Islam, and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ.
It seems that as they increase the persecution of true Christians, they are getting more and more desperate, as their very own young people are turning away from the false beliefs of Islam, and turning to the Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!!