Have you heard about Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani? He is an Iranian Pastor who is facing execution. If not you have not heard about him you can read his story here.
I heard about him yesterday morning when I read a tweet that Rick Warren posted. later in the day I found and read some articles on what was happening with him. Let me say his story got me praying for him and his family but it also really got me thinking about persecution and me and my faith. in Christ.
In the article above it shares this:
When asked to repent, Nadarkhani stated: "Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?"
"To the religion of your ancestors, Islam," the judge replied, according to the American Center for Law & Justice.
"I cannot," Nadarkhani said.
You see a man who is full on for Jesus regardless and he is willing to say the truth and face the consequences. He has been asked to recant his faith now on several occasions and he has refused knowing that staying true to his faith in Christ means that he could well be executed. To him he obviously he know the consequences but he also knows the rewards.
In preparing for my Wednesday evening Bible study I came across some words of Christ which hit me hard in relation to what what Pastor Nadarkhani is facing.
Here are the words of Christ from Mark 13:9, 11-13
9 “But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.
11 When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit. 12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13 You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
These verses make me think and make me wonder about things and about my faith.
Here is what I wonder …..
What would I do?
Do I have a faith strong enough to withstand what Pastor Nadarkhai has and is?
Would I stand up for Christ?
I pray that I would stand strong for Christ but I can not say but what I can say is that Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is a hero of the faith in my book.
Any thoughts on any of this?