God’s Strategic Plan for Iran

by | May 26, 2010 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

An Iranian evangelist says a spiritual awakening of
unprecedented magnitude is occurring behind the scenes in a nation known for
its terrorism.

Most Americans have put Iran on a blacklist. We’re concerned about Shiite militants who spread terrorism around the world, we don’t trust Iran’s nuclear weapons plans and we can’t stomach Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s human rights record or his maniac ways.

But my friend
Lazarus Yeghnazar, an Iranian evangelist based in England, hopes you will
develop some compassion for this part of the world. Most of us associate the
Bible with Israel, but did you know that Esther, Daniel, Nehemiah, Ezra and
Habakkuk all walked on Persian land that is now called Iran? In fact, the tombs
of Esther, Daniel, Habakkuk, Cyrus and Darius are in Iran.


“Yeghnazar says the churches
are growing so fast in Iran that some leaders have wondered if they
should stop
evangelizing. ‘One church leader told me they have stopped sharing their
faith
because every Iranian they witness to comes to Christ.’ “

Yeghnazar points out
that Iranians were among the first Christian converts. The people known as
Parthians, Medes and Elamites, who were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost
(see Acts 2:9,11), were from what is now Iran. Jeremiah prophesied that God
would “restore the fortunes of Elam” in the last days (see Jer. 49:39). Elam is
modern-day Iran.

This promise of
spiritual restoration is no longer a far-off dream. A vibrant New Testament
church is thriving in Iran, in spite of brutal persecution under Ahmadinejad’s
regime. And this growing spiritual awakening in Iran could play a significant
role in end-time events.

“In this repressive
atmosphere many Iranians are coming to Christ,” says Yeghnazar, whose 222
Ministries is reaching millions through television and Internet broadcasts.
Currently more than 3,000 Iranians are converted each month through 222’s work,
even though the Iranian government has cracked down on satellite television and
smashed satellite dishes in Tehran and other cities.

“The need is so
great,” says Yeghnazar’s wife, Maggie, who does special gospel broadcasts for
Iranian women. She says the women respond to Christ faster than men because
they tend to stay at home.

Yeghnazar and his
wife fled Iran in 1988 to base their operations in the U.K. Their
Farsi-language programs not only bring Iranians to faith in Christ but also
serve to strengthen the underground house church movement. Yeghnazar says the
churches are growing so fast in Iran that some leaders have wondered if they
should stop evangelizing.

Says Yeghnazar:
“One church leader told me they have stopped sharing their faith because every
Iranian they witness to comes to Christ. [The leader] told me, ‘We don’t have
enough New Testaments to handle the growth.’ There is a huge need for
discipleship!”

The challenges in
Iran are huge. The country has an extremely high rate of drug addiction, and at
least one-fourth of the people are depressed. About 60 percent of the nation’s
71 million people are under age 26—and many of these are university students
who are growing increasingly restless under Ahmadinejad’s dictatorship. Police
brutality is common—and it is often aimed at Christians who gather in groups smaller
than 20 to worship.

“Believers in Iran
are not praying for persecution,” Yeghnazar told me, “but they know it is
helping fuel the growth of their churches.”

Yeghnazar is aware
of the danger lurking inside Iran. The country has exported trained terrorists
for 30 years and has fueled the growth of Hezbollah, the Palestinian Intifada
and suicide bombers in Iraq as well as radical Islamic movements in North
Africa and the Philippines. Yet he believes there has never been such a huge
open door for the gospel in Iran.

The evangelist
quotes from Isaiah 65:1 to describe what is happening in his homeland. “God
said, ‘I permitted myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said,
“Here am I, here I am,” to a nation which did not call My name.'” Today Iranians
are not only coming to Christ in record numbers but they are downloading Farsi
New Testaments on MP3 players, receiving smuggled Bibles and training young
pastors to start new churches.

“In this repressive
atmosphere people are coming to the Lord in record numbers,” Yeghnazar says,
noting that almost 200,000 unique visitors come to 222’s Farsi gospel site each
month. Many of them are seeking discipleship because they just gave their
hearts to Christ.

I’ve been shocked
to hear some sword-rattling Christians say they hope someone drops a nuclear
bomb on Iran to stop Ahmadinejad. Let’s put aside hate and open our eyes to
what God is doing behind the scenes. The next time you hear bad news coming out
of that country, remember that a growing underground church full of new
converts is spreading from Tabriz in the north to the southern city of Shiraz,
where Esther prayed and stopped a genocide.

J. Lee Grady served as editor of Charisma for 11 years and is now contributing editor. You can find
him on Twitter at leegrady. Find out more about the work of 222 Ministries here.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The Bible is clear that Jesus is coming back to rapture His believers,...

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

I believe that other than the gospel regarding salvation through faith in Christ, learning to walk in love is the most important lesson in God’s Word. Jesus says that love is the most important commandment (Mark 12:28–31). The apostle Paul writes that love is the...

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

RECENT ARTICLES

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose,...
Activating Introverts in Evangelism

Activating Introverts in Evangelism

 Many believers mistakenly think that evangelism is only for charismatic, extroverted personality types. If they aren’t called to be evangelists, they shrink back from sharing the gospel with the lost entirely. The scriptural reality is that fivefold ministers, and...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]