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Today's  News  ~  December 21, 2014

Most of the news items below illustrate the challenges Christians will face in a world that's growing increasingly hostile to Biblical values. We hope the information will encourage you to stand firm in God's Truth -- no matter how great the pressure to compromise.

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  Persecuted Christians

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"Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed,

for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 

Joshua 1:9

 

"Please pray for God's embattled people - especially in Syria, Iraq, Israel and West Africa!

 

Faith.  Why Muslims Are Converting to Christ in the Face of ISIS Atrocities: "...locally-based missionaries say the main reason for the spike in conversions in the Middle East is simply that former Muslims are finding God is real.

    "In war-torn areas of Syria and Iraq where ISIS is fighting to establish a caliphate, Muslim refugees... and people remaining at home are learning about Christ from native aid workers, podcasts and broadcasts. Tent churches among refugees are sprouting like mushrooms.

    "For people who have suffered such deep loss, seeing that they can pray to a personal God whom they can call Father has been the critical factor. 'You can see the tears in their eyes when we pray – that God would care,' said the director of one ministry working in the region....

    "Muslims who were previously taught to pray by rote to Allah, who by Koranic definition was unknowable, can feel the difference of having a relationship with God through Christ. 'They see that God can give you strength, can heal you,' said the director. 'They say that things have changed, that they have a peaceful attitude towards those ‘who have done this to my kids, wife, or husband - I can pray about it and give it to God.'

    "Former Muslims, who once prayed five times a day as a duty, say ... 'Now with our relationship with God, we see a huge difference; something has changed in our life,' he said. You can see it on their faces. They say, 'Every time we pray, there’s a difference.'" See Victory

Corrupting the American Church.  'Hip' church gives biblical Christians new label: 'Hater': "Sometime back, the progressive mega church pastor, Steven Furtick (Elevation Church, N.Carolina), mentored as he is by evangelical bigwigs like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, felt bold enough to post a YouTube video in which he sneeringly challenged what I’d call traditional Christians to basically get out of the way, because their time is past.
       
"Presumably, to Furtick, it’s the 'new generation’s 'time now, so step aside with your stodgy hymns and expositional preaching style. ..."Dissenters aren’t welcome.” See Depravity

Revolution?  10 Signs That Communists Are Infiltrating The Ferguson Protests: "The far left is rising in America, and radical communists are being drawn to Ferguson protests all over the nation like moths to a flame. So could Ferguson be the spark that sets off a significant communist movement in America?

    "...communists and other far left groups only make up a minority of the protesters. But they have repeatedly been at the forefront of the violence, and they are taking advantage of the anger and frustration caused by the death of Michael Brown to promote their far left radical ideologies. Sadly, they are finding a receptive audience – especially among young people in our poor and disadvantaged communities."

 

Tyranny.  Congress authorizes federal government to collect and use all private communications by U.S. citizens: "A House Republican is criticizing a piece of legislation just passed by Congress as grossly unconstitutional because it essentially gives the federal government and local law enforcement 'unlimited access to the communications of every American.'

     "...Rep. Justin Amash of Wisconsin said he found a passage in the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 2015 that had been amended with a section" authorizing 'the acquisition, retention and dissemination 'of all communications data from American citizens.'"

 

Faith.  Netanyahu Tightens Israel’s Bonds with Christian Community: "Speaking at a pre-Christmas gathering of the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum in Nazareth on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his appreciation for the soldiers who have enlisted in the Israeli army (IDF). ''We are brothers, partners.... Our country is founded on the idea of a Jewish and democratic state, and in this country, relations between Jews and non-Jews should be in harmony, based on mutual respect, based on equal rights, and the most important thought is also equal obligations....”

    "Netanyahu also commiserated with the persecution of Christians throughout the Middle East. ...He pointed to Israel as the only country in the region where the Christian population had not collapsed. Since 1948, he estimated, it had actually quadrupled."

 

Tyranny?  America under dictatorship: "The New Year worry for a watching world is if Obama can open up channels for drastic policy changes in Cuba without the knowledge of the American population and Congress, when will he do the same for Iran?" See The Revolutionary Roots of the UN

 

Revolution? Pope Francis Played Key Role in Cuba Deal: "Pope Francis was vital in bringing the United States and Cuba back to the negotiating table, helping lead to Wednesday's historic announcement that relations would be normalized, said President Barack Obama in an address from the White House.

      "Obama says the Pope sent a letter to him and to Cuban President Raul Castro this summer that gave momentum to normalizing relations.... "At the same time Obama was delivering his address, Castro was delivering his own address in Cuba, also crediting the Pontiff for his influence in brokering the agreement." See Reinventing the World

 

Protecting Hamas?  EU removes HAMAS from terror list due to 'paperwork': "The European Union has removed Hamas from its list of terror groups after a court ruled that the correct paperwork had not been filed. According to a decision Wednesday, the Palestinian group, which has murdered hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians in suicide bombings, rocket attacks, and executions, was listed as a result of “factual imputations derived from the press and the Internet,” instead of investigation by EU bureaucrats."

 

Globalism.  Bombshell Report: US, Cuba to 'Normalize' Relations:  "American officials say the U.S. and Cuba will start talks to normalize full diplomatic relations as part of the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in decades. "Officials say the U.S. is also looking to open an embassy in Havana in the coming months. The moves are part of an agreement between the U.S. and Cuba that also includes the release of American Alan Gross and three Cubans jailed in Florida for spying." See The emerging New World Order

 

Moral Corruption.  How Christian kids should deal with 'LGBT' peers: "None can deny the fast-rising popularity and approval of the ''lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender' (LGBT) lifestyles. Most especially, perhaps, the 'bisexual orientation,' which has become rather fashionable and, hence, more frequently practiced among today’s blindly 'tolerant' millennial generation. 'These are behavior choices that, for all of recorded history and until just the last few decades, have almost universally been recognized as immoral and unhealthy. The Bible... unequivocally and without exception, holds these behaviors to be sexually immoral – to be sin." See The Nature and Tactics of Satan

 

Depravity ISIS published female sex slave handbook: "The pamphlet handed out by ISIS militants answers over 27 questions, and approves the enslavement, rape - including of prepubescent girls - and sale of sex slaves." See Paradigm Shift: Total transformation

 

Religion.  UK Islamist Leader: 'Islam Will Dominate America:'  "They've been called 'megaphone jihadists,' radical Muslims who take to the streets of Western cities demanding Islamic sharia law. It's a rising movement in Europe that also shows signs of growth in America."

 

Persecution.  Death Penalty for Smuggling Bibles? "Unconfirmed reports of a new decree imposing the death penalty on anyone caught smuggling Bibles into Saudi Arabia has many Christian ministries and support groups on edge. Practicing any religion other than Islam has long been illegal in the desert kingdom, and that includes rules against foreigners bringing in any type of religious material that does not conform to the royal family’s strict Wahhabi brand of Sunni Islam." See Spiritual Warfare: Hating Truth

 

Mocking our Troops.  President Obama's joke calling troops 'Santa in Fatigues' silences audience: "...at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, during an address to the troops, President Obama made a joke that they are like 'Santa in Fatigues,' which was received with complete silence.... President Obama said, '...You never stop serving, you never stop giving, you guys are like Santa in fatigues. Although I bet one of those C-130's is a little more efficient then Santa's sleigh.'"

 

Compromised Religion.  Rick Warren’s Call for Christians to Unite With Catholics, ‘Holy Father’ Raising Concerns: "...megachurch leader and author Rick Warren is calling for Christians to unite with Roman Catholics and 'Pope Francis,' who Warren recently referred to as the 'Holy Father'....

    "Warren made the comments following his visit to the Vatican last month, where he spoke at an interfaith conference.... We have far more in common than what divides us,' he said in the two-minute video released by the Catholic News Service... described as being an outline for 'an ecumenical vision for Catholics and Protestants to work together.'

    "'Rick Warren has ... failed to recognize the problems in these serious areas...” See  Warren: "Fundamentalism... one of the big enemies..." and Dealing with Resisters

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"But thanks be to God, who gives us the Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord..." 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

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"Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

When enemy forces threatened to attack God's people, [King] Jehoshaphat simply turned His eyes and heart to His faithful Lord and expressed his faith:

“O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? ...we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, BUT OUR EYES ARE UPON YOU." 2 Chronicles 20:6, 12

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