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A depressed Muslim woman becomes a believer after audibly hearing the word ‘Jesus’

CBN recently reported on the remarkable conversion of a Muslim woman, Aisha, who was born in Amman, Jordan to a very strict Muslim family. After her family moved to the US, Alisha became pregnant when she was 17 years old. Fearing that her father would kill her, Alisha secretly had an abortion. But in the years that followed, Aisha experienced condemnation because of her illegitimate child and abortion. She had been taught that Allah hated her and though she repeatedly begged Allah for mercy, she didn’t believe it would ever come. As she struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts, Aisha stated that her remarkable conversion started when she audibly heard the name Jesus as she was pleading to Allah for mercy. Hearing Christ’s name, who is considered a healing prophet in the Islamic faith, Aisha decided to pray to Jesus and immediately felt a great peace come over her. It is also important to note, that though Muslims do not believe Jesus died on the cross, the Koran says that Christ was taken to heaven …

A Muslim man converts to Christianity, after being visited by Christ

There was an interesting story on CBN about how a young Muslim man and his wife became Christians. It is illegal in many Middle Eastern countries for a person of the Muslim faith to convert to Christianity. It can result in fines or even imprisonment. And it is not uncommon for people, particularly family members, to take revenge on those who become Christians due to the shame it brings on the family and Islamic faith. The fact, that people are willing to face death for their decision to become Christians adds tremendous weight to their testimony, which often includes dramatic encounters with the risen Lord. It’s similar to the early disciples who saw the resurrected Christ and were willing to die for their faith. They wouldn’t die for something they made up. In an interview with Gospel Coalition, an unnamed missionary, who was called Yazid to protect his identity, shared the powerful testimony of how a Muslim man and his wife became Christians. In the Muslim country where the missionary works, it is not only …

One major hindrance to answered prayer

I want to briefly discuss one of the major hindrances that we can face to answered prayer, and that is unforgiveness. As I was writing this article, a strange thing happened, as the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance an incident that happened to me over 40 years ago. I was single and a couple of months away from getting married and working for a Christian man, who shortchanged me about $800 in salary. The Christian boss basically ran off with the company’s money, ending the business. That was a lot of money back then, the equivalent of about $2,790 today. And for a soon-to-be wed couple, my wife and I could have really used it. Though this man left the city, he subsequently turned back to God. Several years later, I actually ran into him when he returned to the city and visited our church. He was now retired, quite poor, and it would have been useless to press the issue. I forgave him, and moved on with my life. But there is a …

82 | What do the prophets Zechariah and John have to say about nuclear war in the end-times?

FOLLOW OUR PODCAST ON (search opentheword): Apple Podcasts Stitcher Spotify Google Play IHeartRadio TuneIn Podchaser PODCAST NOTES: In this podcast, I discuss the several times that Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened nuclear war since his invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. These threats even included two Russian fighter jets that briefly flew into Swedish airspace armed with nuclear warheads on March 2, 2022. But this leads to a bigger question: Do any of the Bible’s prophets predict nuclear war will be part of the end-times apocalypse? I believe there are several prophecies that suggest this may happen, and I will look at two of them. One of them comes from a vision given to the Prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 14:12), and the second from the Apostle John, found in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 8:10-11), John’s written record of a vision he received describing the events that will lead up to the second coming of Christ. Click here for a more complete transcript. READ: Putin implies nuclear attack if West interferes in Ukraine. Why …

Should We Love Our Enemies Even During a Time of War?

By Dr. Michael L. Brown

Recently, some Christians in Ukraine came under fire for putting up billboards in their city with verses from the Bible, one of which quoted the words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount where He called us to love our enemies (see Matthew 5:43-48). As a result, these Christians have been branded separatists and traitors, with some calling for their church to be investigated.

Did the Russian warship, Moskva, have a piece of Christ’s ‘True Cross’ on board when it sank?

You may have heard of the sinking of the Moskva, Russia’s flagship in the Baltic Sea on April 14, 2022. There are now reports that it had a piece of Christ’s True Cross on board when it sank. The high-tech missile ship provided protection to the Russian fleet trying to supply the country’s army that has invaded Ukraine. Ukraine’s military claimed it had hit and sunk the ship with land-based cruise missiles. The Russian military initially denied this stating there had been a fire onboard that ignited the ship’s ammunition resulting in a massive explosion. It also stated that the ship was still afloat, and being towed for repairs. The Russian media later stated the ship had sunk. The reaction by Russia since the sinking basically confirmed that it was indeed sunk by Ukraine’s military, and Russia was in damage control over this humiliating defeat. Moskva had a crew of over 500 men, and it is uncertain how many were killed in the attack. It is the largest warship sunk since World War II. There …

Does the controversial Nazareth Inscription support the rumors circulating at the time about Christ’s resurrection?

In his report on Christ’s resurrection, Matthew writes that an angel rolled away the massive stone that was blocking the entrance of Jesus’ tomb and then sat on it. The terrified guards fled in terror. This same angel whose appearance looked like lightning told the women who had come to visit the tomb that Jesus had risen from the dead and was now on His way to Galilee (Matthew 28:1-10). Matthew then adds this strange addendum, reporting on what happened when the guards told the chief priests and elders about their encounter with the angel. Matthew writes that the chief priest bribed the guards into saying that the disciples had stolen Christ’s body after the guards had fallen asleep. But then Matthew adds this odd statement. 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. (Matthew 28:14-15 NIV) The Jewish leaders assured the …

Prove to me that God Exists … or not

Can you prove that God exists? Did you ever have that argument, on either side? I am writing as a Christian, but I think some of the arguments miss the point. Most people in the world believe in God, or gods. Most of us are religious. Imagine an Atheist challenging anyone, in any religion with this demand “Prove to me that God exists!” Is there an answer? Anywhere? This is critically important. It’s the foundation of who we are, and we should not base our lives on something with no foundation. Some people argue that God does not exist, and they also argue that God could not possibly exist. Here is an example. Other people argue that God does exist, such as we see here: READ: Does God Exist? So, when we are challenged, what do we say? For me, “we” is mostly Christians, but anyone who believes in any god, or gods, should think about this. Why do we bother? How do we answer the challenge? Some people need to build a better foundation. …

The hidden cost of faith

As believers, we like telling the world that salvation is a free gift available by faith through Christ’s death and resurrection. But though it is free to everyone who chooses to believe, it also comes with a cost. And that was evident in a recent article on CBN about a young Christian woman, Leah Church, who chose to leave the University of North Carolina’s basketball team rather than compromise her faith.

How did King Saul die?

One of the ways that skeptics like to discredit the Bible is by pointing to what they allege are discrepancies involving stories that seem to contradict each other. One of the first things, I always do when confronting a contradiction is to ask the simple question, could all the different alternatives all be true. This leads us to a discussion on how King Saul died. We have four Biblical passages that seem to provide contradictory stories about his death. One says that King Saul killed himself by falling on his own sword, a second states that an Amalekite killed him, a third says the Philistines struck him down and a fourth that God killed Saul. So I want to briefly discuss these four accounts and ask could all these different descriptions be true? King Saul killed himself In 1 Samuel 31:3, we read the first and most comprehensive account of how King Saul died, where we are told he was severely wounded by archers in a battle with the Philistines. If you notice the plural …

Why did Jesus ride a donkey into Jerusalem?

When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, people laid their robes and palm branches on the street before the Lord, proclaiming him King. But why did Christ ride in on a donkey? It was a prophetic act. The Apostle John wrote that Jesus told His disciples where they could seek out a donkey colt for the Lord’s final journey into Jerusalem (John 12:13-16). And in this passage, John referred to a prophecy in Zechariah, where the prophet proclaimed that there would be a new King over Israel, the Messiah, who would enter riding a donkey: Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!    Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!See, your king comes to you,    righteous and victorious,lowly and riding on a donkey,    on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:10 NIV) Donkeys or mules, the interbreeding of a horse and donkey, were often associated with royalty in ancient Israel. During times of peace, kings typically rode donkeys or mules, so they wouldn’t instill fear into a population (John 12:15). Having just come through a bloody civil war with Absalom, in 1 Kings 1:33, King …

Have you ever won a religious argument? Brace yourself.

So, have you won a religious argument lately? I have not. I grew up in a rough neighborhood and I have an aversion to strife. There are probably times when I should speak up, but I just don’t want the consequences. We live in contentious times, with issues like Climate Change, COVID, war in places like Ukraine, and what did I leave out? … maybe religion and evolution, or sexual orientation. If you are religious, you believe something. I am a Christian, and what I am, includes many things that I am not. What I believe includes things that I don’t believe. If I am everything, I am nothing. The old joke for young church women in a church to say “We don’t smoke, and we don’t chew, and we don’t date the boys who do!” That is a very old joke. If you want to see a political argument mixed with religion, here is a good example: I don’t know the political topic, but the speaker is very articulate. It is easy to disagree …

Did Jesus speak about censorship on Palm Sunday?

According to China Aid, a watchdog on religious persecution in Communist China, effective March 1, 2022, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has banned the word “Christ” on China’s social media platforms. The banning was part of rules implemented under the Communist regime’s “Measures for the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services.” The Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC), a house church movement that started in China in 2006, was one of the first to report the fallout of this new law. China Aid reports that one of ERCC’s members was creating a survey on WeChat, a group messaging app, asking members to vote on their favorite Christian book. Included on the list was one entitled, The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. As soon the member typed the word Christ, the WeChat app refused to allow the post to be uploaded and provided the following warning: “The word ‘Christ’ you are trying to publish violates regulations on Internet Information Services, including but not limited to the following categories: pornography, gambling, and drug abuse; excessive marketing; incitement.” …

We Are Called to Be Disciples, Not Consumers: Learning a Lesson from the Persecuted Church

By Dr. Michael L. Brown

Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand were Jewish Christians from Romania who were imprisoned, mistreated, and (especially Richard) brutally tortured for their unwavering faith. They would not bow the knee to the spirit of the age. They would not submit to the godless Communist agenda (or any other godless agenda). They would only bow the knee to Jesus.

Why did Jesus call Herod a fox?

There is an interesting story in the Gospel of Luke that tells of the day Jesus called Herod Antipas a fox. Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great, the brutal ruler connected to the birth of Christ, who ordered the deaths of the boys born in Bethlehem in an effort to assassinate Jesus. After Herod the Great died, his kingdom was divided and his son, Herod of Antipas, received a fourth of his father’s kingdom. He was called a Tetrarch, literally a ruler of a fourth, and his territory included Galilee and Jerusalem. Herod Antipas, who ruled during Christ’s ministry years and participated in Christ’s crucifixion, also ordered the beheading of John the Baptist, after the prophet criticized Herod’s marriage to his brother Philip’s wife, Herodias, who was also Herod’s niece (Matthew 14:6–11).. Luke’s story starts with a group of Pharisees warning Jesus to leave Herod’s territory because he was planning to kill the Lord. 31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere …

Preachers and Truckers: Have you been persecuted yet?

So, have you been persecuted, recently? Persecution is “the act or practice of persecuting especially those who differ in origin, religion, or social outlook.” READ: Persecution (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) I recently read a news story about a Christian pastor in India who was arrested and charged, something about not respecting other religions. He talked about Christian things in his Christian service, and the police arrested him; in India! I tried to find the story again, and I couldn’t. There were too many stories like it: Where I live, some people who opposed COVID restrictions claim that they were persecuted for their beliefs. Whatever we think about COVID protests, we can see the mechanism of persecution. People with ideas that threaten power can be punished and silenced. Imagine telling the authorities to slash vehicle tires. You don’t have to imagine that: READ: Free speech becomes roadkill in the crackdown on Canadian truckers And here is another crackdown: So, peaceful democratic countries have the potential to persecute people. Persecution is a normal part of life, in most places. …

After she died, the woman’s spirit left her body and she saw a blue tennis shoe on the hospital roof

The Bible talks about humans having a spirit and a physical body and this separate spirit, is essentially who we really are. And when the Bible speaks of body, soul, and spirit as Paul describes it in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, I believe this additional element, the soul, is what appears after our spirit merges with our physical body.

Praying With Boldness and Confidence

By Rick Renner

I’m so grateful for all the truths and godly qualities that my pastor and church family planted in me during my growing-up years. But I have to say, in all the years I attended that church, I personally can’t remember a time when I heard anyone pray boldly or confidently. I simply had no idea what bold, confident praying sounded like until I attended a seminar at another church where a special speaker was teaching on the subject of faith.

Unusual earthquake activity in March, Israel 365 reports

When Christ’s disciples asked what signs they could expect leading to the Lord’s second return, in his response, recorded in by both Luke and Matthew, Jesus warned of earthquakes: 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:11 ESV) 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7 ESV) Jesus described their appearance in two ways: First, the Lord warned of ‘great’ earthquakes. The Greek word, megaloi, refers to the size in its widest sense. The word can also be translated as ‘loud’ and speaks of massive, violent earthquakes. Secondly, Jesus said that they will be taking place around the world. Jesus also likened the events leading to His return as being similar to birth pangs (Matthew 24:8), that start slow, then gradually increase in speed and intensity. So, we will be seeing an increase in both the number and intensity of earthquakes, and that appears to …

How actor Michael Sheen’s great-grandfather went from town drunk to street preacher

Welsh actor Michael Sheen is best known for playing roles of famous people during his acting career, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in The Deal. He also played the role of journalist David Frost in Frost/Nixon, a movie about Frost’s 1977 interview with US President Richard Nixon. Though I am uncertain of Sheen’s faith, in April 2011, the actor led a modern retelling of The Passion in Port Talbot, Wales, the home of his great-grandfather. The play performed outside over three days involved the dramatic retelling of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. On the first day of the play, which started at 5:30 am on Good Friday morning, it drew a crowd of a few hundred people. By Easter Sunday, the crowd had grown to an estimated 13,000. But Port Talbot also serves as the backdrop to the remarkable spiritual transformation of Sheen’s great-grandfather. His great-grandfather was basically the town drunk, but Sheen says that all changed when one night, after being thrown out of the local pub, he was lying on his back in …

Denzel Washington’s advice to Will Smith: The devil comes for you at your highest moment

I haven’t watched the Oscars for years and probably never will, but there was a shocking moment last night when actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock after he joked about Will’s wife Jade Pinkett Smith. Jada, who is struggling with hair loss because of alopecia, has chosen to shave her head bald. Rock joked, “Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you,” a reference to the movie GI Jane when actress Demi Moore shaved her head bald for the role. Will Smith would go on to win an Oscar that night for best actor in King Richard. But during a commercial break shortly after the slap, Will said that Christian actor Denzel Washington counseled Will and gave some sound advice: “Denzel (Washington) said to me at the highest moment, be careful — that’s when the devil comes for you. It’s like, I want to be a vessel for love.” Will Smith would later apologize and according to reports Chris Rock has chosen not to press charges. But Denzel’s words, that …

Has a religious ideology, ‘Holy Rus’, played a role in Putin’s invasion of Ukraine?

Premier Christian News reports that a religious ideology associated with the Russian Orthodox Church headquartered in Moscow may be part of the driving force behind Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. In fact, several hundred people have already signed a petition organized by a group called Public Orthodoxy, condemning the weaponization of Christianity in the war. According to its website, Public Orthodoxy provides “scholarly research on a wide variety of topics related to the history, thought, and culture of Orthodox Christianity.” In its petition, Public Orthodoxy states that Russian President Vladimir Putin along with the senior leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church has embraced what is described as a Russian world ideology referred to as ‘Holy Russia’ or ‘Holy Rus.’ On its website, Public Orthodoxy described the fundamental principle behind this new ideology: The teaching states that there is a transnational Russian sphere or civilization, called Holy Russia or Holy Rus’, which includes Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (and sometimes Moldova and Kazakhstan), as well as ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking people throughout the world. It holds that …

The Real Battle is Spiritual

By C. Peter Wagner    Warfare prayer, as I have been describing it, is a new concept to the great majority of American Christians. Many are beginning to ask whether given their traditions and training it could ever be integrated into their ministry. But Americans are not alone. Even Argentine pastors struggle with some of the same theological practical issues. Learning the Lesson I greatly enjoyed talking to Pastor Alberto Prokopchuk of the Los Olivos Baptist Church in the city of La Plata, Argentina, because I could identify so closely with his background. His traditional Baptist ministerial training had not included a course in Spiritual Warfare 101. His ministry at Los Olivos Baptist was not much different from what we observe in so many typical churches in our American cities: good, solid Bible teaching ministry; a relatively high moral standard; the fruit of the spirit manifested to a reasonable degree and church members who pray, tithe, attend service, and witness to their neighbors when the opportunity presents itself. All this, and no growth! Under Alberto’s …

Creation? Are we still talking about that?

Are you a Creationist? Do you believe that God made this world? Or do you believe that it all evolved? And what about Noah and his ark? The opening words of the Bible are “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) We don’t have many options. Science is on the side of evolution, and religion is on the side of God and creation. It is hard to be on both sides at once, and the Bible falls apart if we remove the part where God started it all. I am a Christian, and I know that this topic divides people. I am concerned about the stressful times we are in, now, with a COVID Pandemic, and a war in Ukraine, and who knows what is coming next. I believe we should pray and ask God for help and direction. That God is the one who created the Universe. I also believe we need to get back to the God who made us, and we should read the owners’ manual. But, …

Does forgiveness have a role in spiritual warfare?

Premier Christian News reports that in the letter that Rev Vlasenko, head of the Russian Evangelical Alliance, wrote to the World Council of Churches, he specifically apologized for the actions of the Russian government and asked for forgiveness: “Today, as a citizen and as General Secretary of the Russian Evangelical Alliance, I apologize to all those who have suffered, lost loved ones and relatives, or lost their place of residence as a result of this military conflict.”[…] My prayer is that you will find strength from the Lord to extend your hand of solidarity and forgiveness, so we can live as the people of God to our world.” It’s an interesting request that may have broader implications when it comes to spiritual warfare. The role of forgiveness in spiritual warfare In the Book of Daniel, we see definite indicators of spiritual warfare in Persia. Israel had been taken into captivity by Babylon and after it was in turn defeated by Persia, Daniel sensed a time of change was coming that would involve a great conflict …

A Supernatural Answer to Prayer

In the early 1990s, I was on a plane that was horribly overloaded with people, luggage, and boxes. So many air-safety rules were being violated on this particular flight! Pieces of luggage and boxes were strapped into the seats where people should have been sitting — and people were sitting on top of the boxes in the main aisle of the cabin.

Do churchgoers have greater satisfaction in family and personal relationships?

A recent poll conducted by Barna, entitled the State of Your Church, revealed that 58% of people who attend church rated their contentment in family and personal relationships as ‘strong’. When the individuals classified themselves as practicing Christians, the rate of ‘strong satisfaction’ went up to 67%.

POLL: What do people think about Christians?

A recent poll conducted by the Episcopal church, entitled Jesus in America, revealed a startling gap between how believers perceive themselves and how non-believers look at Christians. During the poll conducted by Ipsos in November/December 2021, 3,119 American adults were asked several questions related to Christianity. Those surveyed included evangelical and mainline Christians and as well members of other religious groups and those who considered themselves as nonreligious. One question asked what characteristics people associated with Christians. This list included 19 characteristics, some that were positive such as humility, honesty, and compassion, and others that were negative such as arrogance, and self-righteousness. The top four positive characteristics that Evangelical Christians applied to themselves: 72% said Christians were loving; 71% said they were compassionate; 71% said giving; and 62% said Christians were respectful. And when it came to the negative characteristics, those with no religious affiliation described Christians this way: 55% said Christians were hypocritical; 54% said they were judgmental; and 50% said they were self-righteous The survey also revealed the significant disconnect between how Christians …