Last week a friend sent me an article from the Christian Post entitled, ” ‘Fastest-growing church’ has no buildings, no central leadership, and is mostly led by women.”
I read the article with amazement. Since then, I have read the article two more times. It is an article about hope and the power of the Gospel to change lives. It shows that God is alive and at work in His world. It shows that the day is coming when the Lord will return and take us home. It shows us that we will be His people, from “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).
It is about the underground church in Iran.
The article describes how the Gospel is being spread in Iran and how the church is growing without buildings or leadership. Like the early church, women make up a significant portion of those coming to faith and spreading the good news.
The church in Iran is a rapidly reproducing discipleship movement. In Iran, “there is a mass exodus leaving Islam for Christianity.”
” ‘What if I told you Islam is dead?’ one unidentified church leader [asks]. ‘What if I told you the mosques are empty inside Iran? What if I told you no one follows Islam inside of Iran? Would you believe me? This is exactly what is happening inside of Iran. God is moving powerfully inside of Iran.’ ”
“Many of the ruling class still follow Islam, ‘because that’s where the high paying jobs are,’ . . . but the majority of the ordinary people love God and recognize that Islam is the problem.”
” ‘What if I told you the best evangelist for Jesus was the Ayatollah Khomeini?,’ ” a church leader asks. He explained that “After 40 years under Islamic law–a Utopia according to them–they’ve had the worst devastation in the 5,000 year history of Iran.”
Efforts by the ayatollahs have backfired with persecution refining and purifying the church instead of destroying it. People in Iran are reading the Bible not just for information. They are reading it to get transformed. The church is making disciples and those disciples are making other disciples.
God is doing exactly what Scripture says He will do. He is making for Himself a people who obey and follow Him.
For all of these things, we can rejoice.
Tomorrow we will look at what we can learn from the church in Iran.
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