I am sad. Why? Because it is 2018 and not 2017. You see in April 2017 my husband who leads the Persian Ministry and I were part of a believers’ conference in the Middle East. This was not just any believers’ conference. It had been planned for years and organized by one of our supporting churches in the U.S.A. The conference took place in a relatively safe haven so that believers in the Persian Speaking World could come. Christians from the supporting church attended as well.
Staying at a beautiful place with 120 or so people from different countries, worshiping our wonderful Lord together, learning more about Him and hearing first-hand what He is doing all over the world was a foretaste of Heaven. Now you know why I would like it to be April 2017.
Then again, wouldn’t it be much better if Jesus came back and we could all experience the glories that await us then?! In Revelation 7:9-11, we are told there are people from every nation, tribe, people and language in heaven. This includes people from all the different people groups around the world.
It was a foretaste of Heaven for the believers from the Persian Speaking World. For most it was their first experience of worshiping God together with so many followers of Jesus. A number were baptized at the conference, confirming their belief that “Salvation comes from our God and from the Lamb,” just as will be shouted out in Heaven.
There were reminders at the conference that Heaven has not come to earth. Believers shared stories of arrests and persecution, and of loved ones still in prison for their faith.
Another reminder that heaven has not come to earth is that some participants are relatively new to the faith and need solid Bible teaching and Christian fellowship. Pray with us that these new believers will read and study their Bible with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit so they are not led astray as the Galatians were as described in the Book of Galatians.
Pray too that the house churches throughout the Persian Speaking World be led by Christians who live devout and disciplined lives and have a strong and steadfast belief in the true Gospel. May those who are being persecuted for their faith remain firm to the end and remember all that awaits them in Heaven. Might you and I remember this too every day of our lives.