UPDATE – 10/5/2011: The International Business Times reports that Youcef is safe from execution, for now:

It appears that Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani will avoid the hangman in Iran for the time being. Nadarkhani, once the leader of a 400-person congregation in Rasht, was previously convicted of apostasy — the crime of abandoning Islam and converting to Christianity — but Iran now claims that the death penalty reports that circulated around the world last week were unsubstantiated.

“Youssef Nadar-Khani [sic] has been charged with a crime and is in a prison based on an arrest warrant issued against him,” Gilan Province Judiciary Chief Mohammad-Javad Heshmati said on Wednesday, according to Iran state news agency Press TV. ”There has been no execution order. No conviction at all has been issued yet and it is up to the court to finally decide the verdict after studying his case,” he added. Read more…

Here’s a letter from Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who currently faces the death sentence for apostasy. Please continue to pray.

(This message has been translated from Farsi to English.)

Dear brothers and sisters, Salam

In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I am continuously seeking grace and mercy to you, that you remember me and those who are bearing efforts for his name in your prayers. Your loyalty to God is the cause of my strength and encouragement.

For I know well that you will be rewarded; as it’s stated: blessed is the one who has faith, for what has been said to him by God, will be carried out. As we believe, heaven and earth will fade but his word will still remain.

Dear beloved ones, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of a few verses, although you might know them, So that in everything, you give more effort than the past, both to prove your election, and for the sake of Gospel that is to be preached to the entire world as well.

I know that not all of us are granted to keep this word, but to those who are granted this power and this revelation, I announce the same as Jude, earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints.

We are passing by special and sensitive days.They are days that for an alert and awake believer can be days of spiritual growth and progress. Because for him, more than any other time there is the possibility to compare his faith with the word of God, have God’s promises in mind, and survey his faith.

Therefore he (the true believer) does not need to wonder for the fiery trial that has been set on for him as though it were something unusual, but it pleases him to participate in Christ’s suffering. Because the believer knows he will rejoice in his glory.

Dears, the ” judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

Therefore those who are enduring burdens by the will of God, commit their souls to the faithful Creator. Promises that he has given us, are unique and precious. As we’ve heard he has said: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you”

How can it be possible for a believer to understand these words?

Not only when he is focusing on Jesus Christ with adapting his life according to the life Jesus lived when he was on earth? As it is said ” O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”

Have we not read and heard: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Many attempt to flee from their spiritual tests, and they have to face those same tests in a more difficult manner, because no one will be victorious by escaping from them, but with patience and humility he will be able to overcome all the tests, and gain victory.

Therefore in the place of Christ’s followers, we must not feel desperate, but we have to pray to God in supplication with more passion to help us with any assistance we may need.

According to what Paul has said: In every temptation, God himself will make a way for us to tolerate it.

O beloved ones, difficulties do not weaken mankind, but they reveal the true human nature.

It will be good for us to occasionally face persecutions and abnormalities, since these abnormalities will persuade us to search our hearts, and to survey ourselves. So as a result, we conclude that troubles are difficult, but usually good and useful to build us.

Dear brothers and sisters, we must be more careful than any other time. Because in these days, the hearts and thoughts of many are revealed, so that the faith is tested. May your treasure be where there is no moth and rust.

I would like to remind you of some verses that we nearly discuss everyday, (Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.) but as long as our human will has priority over God’s will, his will will not be done.

As we have learned from him in Gethsemane, he surrendered his will to the father, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

What we are bearing today, is a difficult but not unbearable situation, because neither he has tested us more than our faith and our endurance, nor does he do as such. And as we have known from before, we must beware not to fail, but to advance in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, And consider these bumps and prisons as opportunities to testify to his name. He said: If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

As a small servant, necessarily in prison to carry out what I must do, I say with faith in the word of God that he will come soon.”However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Discipline yourself with faith in the word of God. Retain your souls with patience. For there is no man that doeth anything in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly.

May you are granted grace and blessings increasingly in the name of Lord Jesus Christ.

Yusef Nadarkhani
Lakan Prison in Rasht
2/June/2010

(HT)

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21 thoughts on “Youcef Nadarkhani's Letter to His Church”

  1. Micah Carter says:

    Blessed and challenged by this letter. Thanks for sharing it Trevin. Continuing to pray for Pastor Yusef …

  2. Deanna says:

    Here is a link where you can e-mail the Iranian embassy on his behalf. It’s very quick and easy.

    http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=88&ea.campaign.id=12209

  3. Grady Butler says:

    Praise God for you pastor. I am greatly encouraged by your courage in Christ. I will continue to pray for you until your earthly release from prison or your release into His glorious Kingdom!

  4. Thanks fro sharing this – I have put it on my blog to encourage others to pray.

  5. Tim Harrigan says:

    Thank you for this letter. I’m crying now because I’m free to practice my faith in Christ, and this brother is facing death, and persecution from a religion that like other cults has removed Jesus Christ as the Son of God, by taking God’s word, and fashioning it for their own use. Jesus is the Son of God, and Brother Nadarkhani is reminding us that if he enters glory, we are to continue to pray, evangelize, and bring glory to God through belief in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

  6. Dearest Pastor – you have blessed me with your words of encouragement in the face of lifes difficulties. God bless you and your precious family. I will pray unceasingly for you.

  7. Rodger Pugh says:

    We are praying for you brother Youcef,and your family. This reminds me of our Hymn “Am I a soldier of the Cross” the second verse reads “should I be carried to the skys on flowery beds of ease, while others fought to win the prise and sailed through bloody seas?”
    Now I know of what the author spoke.

  8. Eunice Park says:

    Pastor Youcef,
    Thank you for your encouraging words. You, Fatemah, Daniel and Joel are in my prayer. May God’s PERFECT will be done in your life! Praise God for His love endures FOREVER!!!!!

  9. John Mekrani says:

    You are set forth as a star in the land of darkness.May JESUS pour forth HIS abundance SPIRIT of GRACE.AMEN

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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