Sermon Sunday – J.C. Philpot – A Letter of Resignation

February 24, 2013 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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Mr. Provost:
I beg leave to resign the Fellowship of Worcester College, to which I was elected in the year 1826. This step I am compelled to take because I can no longer with a good conscience continue a Minister or a Member of the Established Church. Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – J.C. Philpot – A Letter of Resignation…

The Tithe

February 18, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Even as I write this, I know that there will be many who cry foul. As a matter of fact, there are many churches out there (including churches I formerly attended) that would read this and ostracize me for it. However, knowing this only adds to my grief for the church and the direction that many individual churches seem to be headed. I’ve written before on how the modern day church has become a business and nothing seems to have changed since then. If anything, it has only gotten worse. In many churches today, there is a teaching that permeates everything these churches do in regards to giving and after having heard it over and over and over for the past 11 years, I’m going to go through it in the hopes that others will begin to see what God says about it. Continue Reading The Tithe…

Sermon Sunday – Thomas Watson – Man’s Chief End is to Glorify God

February 17, 2013 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment

Question. 1. What is the chief end of man?

Answer. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever. Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – Thomas Watson – Man’s Chief End is to Glorify God…

Persecution Fridays – Iran – Arrest Details Revealed

February 15, 2013 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Farshid Fathi, an Iranian Christian pastor, is beginning the third year of a six-year prison sentence on a conviction of “being chief-director of foreign organizations in Iran and gathering funds for these organizations.” Farshid is one of several believers arrested over the past few years in the Iranian government’s attempts to suppress Christianity. The details of his arrest were only recently released.

At about 6 a.m. on Dec. 26, 2010, security officials wearing plain clothes surrounded the home of Farshid’s father. When Farshid’s father opened the door to go to work, they forced their way into the home. They woke everyone in the house, including Farshid and his family who had stayed there Christmas night.

The authorities began a thorough search of the house. They questioned everyone present and, after completing the search, allowed Farshid to take his daughter to school.

“At the same time, another group of government agents attacked Farshid Fathi’s own house to arrest him, not knowing they were not home,” a source told Mohabat News. “They broke into the house illegally, destroying the entrance door, and searched everywhere confiscating whatever they thought could be used as evidence against Mr. Fathi, including his photos, flash drives, camera memory cards, the hard drive of his PC, laptop, documents, and even some money and his gas card.”

After authorities from the two raids communicated, they realized they had accidentally allowed Farshid to leave his father’s house. Livid over the mistake and sure Farshid had fled, the agents threatened the family with “harsh consequences” if he did not return.

But an hour later, Farshid did return. Authorities then beat him, insulted him and handcuffed him before transferring him to the Ministry of Intelligence building in Tehran. From there, he was taken to Evin prison, where he spent several months in solitary confinement.

A Christian prisoner who was Farshid’s cellmate for a few weeks asked Farshid why he returned home, knowing that the agents were waiting to arrest him. “I couldn’t leave my wife and children alone,” he replied.

Farshid’s faith remains strong even in prison. In December, he responded to the Newtown, Conn., tragedy by writing the following letter to parents of the victims:

To the fathers and mothers who lost their precious children in the Connecticut tragedy,

I really don’t know what word in the world could comfort you, what relief could be helpful for your broken heart, and which hand could clean the tears which fall from your cheeks. I just want to say: I am so sorry and you are in my prayers.

I am sure these high walls cannot stop my prayers for you. Before this tragedy happened, I was thinking about my suffering that I’m going through because of my Lord Jesus Christ, especially being far from my lovely kids. But when I imagine how hard your pain is I forget my sufferings. Because I know by God’s grace I will see my kids at the latest in 2017 when I come out from prison. But unfortunately you have to wait a bit longer. So I would like to express my deepest sorrow for your loss.

I believe we will have enough time in heaven with our lovely children forever. There is no gun there, there is no prison, and there is no pain.

In the hope of that glorious day.

Your Brother in Christ from prison in Iran,

Farshid Fathi
17 December 2012

Sermon Sunday – John A. Broadus – In Jesus’ Name

February 10, 2013 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:23, 24

The text is a part of our Saviour’s last discourse to his disciples. In order to understand it one should read Chapters 14, 15, and 16 of John.

These words present four topics of reflection on prayer in Christ’s name. Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – John A. Broadus – In Jesus’ Name…

Persecution Fridays – Colombia – Rebels Kill Widow

February 8, 2013 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Four months ago, National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas demanded that Alicia Castilla leave her home in Arauca, in northeastern Colombia. On the evening of Jan. 7, during a visit from the family’s pastor, assassins entered her home and shot her in front of her three children and her father. She died immediately. The guerrillas had killed Alicia’s husband, a lay-minister, two years earlier.

The guerrillas told Alicia’s 18-year-old son, Hernán, that the rest of the family had three days to leave the region. After that, they warned, the killers would return and kill the other family members one by one.

Alicia was the widow of lay-evangelist Nelson Ramos, who was killed by the ELN in January 2011. Nelson became a Christian two years before his death and often shared the gospel in Saravena, a town near Colombia’s border with Venezuela. A few months after his conversion, the ELN issued its first expulsion order against him and his family.

According to Hernán, the guerrillas never fully explained why they were so adamant about driving the family out of the area. Nelson was shot to death in the family’s home as his wife and two small daughters, now 9 and 6, watched.

After Nelson’s death, Hernán declared that he would avenge his father. He intended to join the Colombian military to gain training in weaponry, but he renounced his vow after a July 2011 encounter with children whose parents had been killed because of their Christian witness. Instead of seeking revenge, he was baptized and became deeply involved in church activities.

Hernán’s mother was at a workshop for widows of martyred believers in December when ELN guerrillas visited their home and warned them for the third time to leave the area. Although Alicia was willing to move, her elderly father was not.

After Alicia’s murder, government authorities refused to remove her body from the crime scene for fear of retaliation by the ELN. Funeral-home workers finally retrieved her body.

Founded in 1964, the ELN is one of several illegal armed groups fighting for control of the rich petroleum resources along the Colombia/Venezuela border. The guerrilla groups use the Arauca area as a narcotrafficking route. They forcibly recruit children into their ranks and persecute those who oppose them, including the church.

Sermon Sunday – J.C. Ryle – Not Corrupting the Word

February 2, 2013 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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Not Corrupting the Word
 by
J. C. Ryle
(1816-1900)

“Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God” (2 Corinthians 2:17) Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – J.C. Ryle – Not Corrupting the Word…

Persecution Fridays – Uzbekistan – Vacation Raid

February 1, 2013 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Police raided a group of 80 Christians in Uzbekistan on Dec. 1 while they were vacationing at the Simurg resort in the Bostanlyk District of Uzbekistan. The raid occurred during a meeting at which they were discussing their faith and singing Christian songs. Police authorities confiscated songbooks and Bibles and charged some of the Christians with leading unsanctioned worship.

According to Forum 18 News, police initially claimed they only wanted to check internal passports. But the 12 policemen confiscated three Bibles and 100 songbooks and fingerprinted all those present. According to an eyewitness who asked to remain anonymous, police insulted the believers with abusive language and threatened to bring criminal charges unless they signed statements.

Four members of the group were charged with illegal storage of religious material, holding religious meetings and unauthorized religious activity, among other offenses. When asked why the Christians were being punished for merely reading their Bibles and singing Christian songs, a policeman replied that worship must occur only in “places specifically set up for religious purposes.”


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