Believers persecuted in Iran

JP: We need to pray for persecuted brethren!

Iran Parliament Requires Death for ‘Apostates’ As Crackdown Continues

Excerpt:

Two Iranian Christians were charged with “apostasy” and several others arrested as Iran’s parliament approved a bill making the death penalty mandatory for those so convicted.

The measure is part of a new penal code that easily passed in parliament in a 196-7 vote on September 9. Christian and Baha’i communities are most likely to be affected by the bill.

But one source told Compass Direct News that when he discussed the apostasy section with some members of parliament, they said they were unaware of it. The source argued that the Iranian government was trying to bury the bill in the 113-page penal code.

Current Iranian law considers apostasy (leaving Islam) a capital offense, but punishment is left to the discretion of judges.

The Guardian Council, Iran’s most influential body, must approve the penal code before it becomes law. Sources say they expect the council, which comprises six theologians and six jurists, to approve it.

Under the past three decades of Iran’s Islamist regime, hundreds of citizens who have left Islam and become Christians have been arrested for weeks or months, held in unknown locations, and subjected to mental and physical torture.

The government last executed an Iranian Christian convert from Islam in 1990, though six other Protestant pastors have been assassinated since the execution of Assemblies of God pastor Hossein Soodmand.

Jesus is …

JP: Good read by The Irish Calvinist. All verses from Colossians 1.

who Jesus is … is obviously quite important for believers, as we are always in the need of theological reform. But this is even more necessary in light of the fact that we live in a culture that portrays Jesus in many different ways. Though he is mentioned frequently, Jesus is rarely portrayed correctly.

Jesus is …

  • He is…the object of faith for believers (1.4)
  • He is…the source of hope (1.5)
  • He is…the one whom believers serve (1.7)
  • He is…the intended audience of a holy life (1.10)
  • He is…the Beloved Son of God (1.13)
  • He is…the King (1.13)
  • He is…the Redeemer (1.14)
  • He is…the basis for the forgiveness of sins (1.14)
  • He is…the image of God (1.15)
  • He is…the firstborn of creation (1.15)
  • He is…the creator of all things (1.16)
  • He is…the one for whom all things have been made (1.16)
  • He is…the sustainer of all things (1.17)
  • He is…the head of the church (1.18)
  • He is…the firstborn of the dead (1.18)
  • He is…the embodiment of all of divine fullness (1.19)
  • He is…the Reconciler (1.20)
  • He is…the Peacemaker (1.20)
  • He is…the rebel’s Rescuer (1.21)
  • He is…the sovereign Savior (1.22)
  • He is…the sovereign Sustainer and Keeper of the elect (1.22)
  • He is…the subject of the riches of the glory of God (1.27)
  • He is…the hope of glory (1.27)
  • He is…in believers (1.27)

Fellowship at the Peet’s house

When: Sunday October 19th
Time: After the Sunday evening service
Where: Kathee & Jim’s house
What: Food, fellowship, games, pool

Fall Bible Conference

The 2008 Fall Conference, “Be Still My Soul: Experiencing God’s Love in a Hurting World,” will be held October 5-8.

Dr. Mark Minnick, pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church, will be the keynote speaker. Special speakers include Matthew Olson, president of Northland Baptist Bible College, Chancellor Douglas McLachlan, Matthew Morrell, pastor of Fourth Baptist Church, President Kevin Bauder, Beniamin Costea, director of the Romanian campus, and Craig Muri, pastor of Parkers Lake Baptist Church. The conference begins with the Sunday morning service at Fourth Baptist Church and extends through Wednesday evening.

View Schedule

JP: I encourage all to participate as you are able. 4BYA will not meet on Wednesday night October 8th. Please join with the entire body in the main auditorium on Wednesday night. Image above is from a Costa Rican rain forest: Tiskita Jungle Lodge and biological reserve is one of the original eolodges in Costa Rica

Calvinism and Evangelism

JP: Good read by Tim Challies

Calvinism and Evangelism

God has not called us to do in our evangelism:

  • We cannot help others realize the desperation of their situation or convince them that God exists.
  • We cannot convince unbelievers of their sinfulness.
  • We cannot convince them of the necessity and wonder of Christ.
  • We cannot produce repentance or faith.

… several things things that we must do in regards to evangelism:

  • We must pray for the lost.
  • We must show our faith in our lives.
  • We must share our faith. … A prerequisite to sharing our faith is strengthening our faith by learning about God and growing closer to Him.
  • We must invite others to hear the message.

Jonah fulfills God’s will (Jonah 3)

JP: Outline for our Bible study for this Wednesday 10/1:

  1. The Commission Renewed (3:1,2), “the LORD came to Jonah the second time …”
  2. The Prophet Obeys (3:3,4), “So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh …”
  3. The City Repents (3:5-9), “So the people of Nineveh believed God … “
  4. The Lord Relents (3:10), “… and God relented …”

Voting by Absentee Ballot

JP: Information from the State of Minnesota on voting by Absentee Ballot is available here.

Excerpt:

As a college student, you have a choice as to where to cast your ballot. You may select only one residence and vote once in any given election.

  • If you live at home while attending school, you vote at your hometown polling place.
  • If you live on campus, you may vote either at your hometown polling place (as long as you still have a permanent residence there) or at the polling place in the neighborhood where your school is located (but not at both places).
  • If you live off campus at school, you may vote either at your hometown polling place (as long as you still have a permanent residence there) or at the polling place for your off campus residence (but not at both places).

Be sure to register to vote! Information on Minnesota voter registration is available here. Find your polling place here.

Romans 13:1,7:

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.