Are You Ashamed of the Gospel?

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Lessons from the Persecuted Church

Lessons of Gratitude from the Persecuted Church

As we transition from Thanksgiving to preparing for Christmas, the birth of our Savior, let us ponder about the great things God has given us that sometimes we take for granted.romans-1-16

It is just at this time of tradition and comfort and abundance—even overabundance—that we in the West should ask ourselves:

Am I thankful for my salvation? Am I sure?

People who are thankful share their gratitude with others. When was the last time you shared the Gospel with someone?

We hear the Gospel so often in the West that we have gradually forgotten its true meaning and power. We are so familiar with it that it fails to move us anymore. We take the Gospel for granted.

Does this shock or surprise you?

When I, as a student at the University of Southern California, began comparing Christianity and Islam, I had many questions. The more I compared, the more questions I had because I came to realize that both couldn’t be true. Then when I heard the simple message of the Gospel, it changed my life dramatically.

The Gospel has power.

The simple Gospel has three simple truths:

1) God created you, and He loves you.

2) He is perfect, but you are not. To reach Him, you must be perfect because He is perfect. You can never be perfect; therefore, you can never reach Him on your own.

3) Because He loves you, He did for you what you could not do for yourself. That is what Love does. You could not reach Him so He reached out to you. He came on earth to meet you and save you.

It’s that simple.

In the persecuted church, we see how this simple Gospel has the power to transform individuals, families, and even societies and nations. We see drug addicts being set free; hopeless, desperate people at the verge of suicide change into persons with joy and love for others. They discover not just a reason to live but find a mission to live for: to love God and to share this life-changing Gospel with others.

The apostle Paul also endured beatings and imprisonment, death threats, and even martyrdom. He travelled far and wide to share the simple truth of God’s gift of salvation. Yes, he saw God’s power transforming lives! So on his third missionary journey, Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16, ESV).

In the West, if we are honest, most of us are ashamed of the Gospel. We may not call it “ashamed,” but we are shy about it. And if we are shy and ashamed of the message we have to share, why would God show us its power? We must be confident that the Gospel is THE ANSWER to personal, family, and society problems. I am not saying we must be rude, but we must be bold.

If you are thankful for your salvation, show it by sharing the Gospel with love and humility—but also with confidence—during this Christmas season.

Over the next few weeks, I want to share with you more lessons of gratitude we can learn from the persecuted church—from the people who must live their faith on the front lines of spiritual battle.

In the meantime, give thanks for the Gospel and pray for the persecuted church everywhere, especially in Iran.

Hello Blogging World!

It is with great excitement that I write the first post on my new Blog!

My prayer is that you will find this site to be a useful resource to better understanding Iran, it’s people and how the Lord is working there unlike any other time in history.  Each week, I will post my personal thoughts related to Iran and the Middle East based upon my own experiences as a former Muslim who was born and raised in Iran, who later came to a saving knowledge of Christ and who has spent the last 35 years following the Lord’s calling to take the Gospel back to my countrymen.

I will be posting video entries, photos and relaying testimonies of brave brothers and sisters in Christ who are subjected to intense persecution and daily danger inside Iran as they seek to follow Him and make Him known.  I will also comment on current events in Iran and the rest of the Middle East regularly.

Join me as we take a look at one of the least understood countries in the world.  I think you will be surprised!

Shariat Family