Home > Prayer and Devotional Life > A Letter to His Flock from the Pastor Imprisoned by the Iranians

A Letter to His Flock from the Pastor Imprisoned by the Iranians

September 30th, 2011
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This is a letter from Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani written from prison in Iran earlier this year. Pastor Youcef currently faces the death sentence for apostasy – conversion from Islam to Christianity – and is waiting for the court’s final verdict. 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

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  1. David B
    September 30th, 2011 at 12:55 | #1

    I remember reading this when it first was released. I cried. I know its normal human behavior but it certainly helped me to put my “struggles” into a global perspective. Please pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters. They bear our chains.

  2. September 30th, 2011 at 13:08 | #2

    Thanks for posting this, I have not seen much of this story in the news. The strength of his faith…I am not sure I could be as strong.

  3. September 30th, 2011 at 13:15 | #3

    Thank you, Paul.

  4. Maleny Crespo
    September 30th, 2011 at 16:20 | #4

    Wow, Thank God! Let’s Rejoice in the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ, let our hearts not be over taken by grief and hostility, but with joy of knowing that our God will come to Earth!!!When that time comes we will sing together and declare Jesus Christ as the Son of the LIVING GOD! The believing and the non believing, the old and the young, the living and the dead, angels and demons will bow before the Lord!!!PRAISE GOD!

  5. September 30th, 2011 at 17:41 | #5

    To God be the glory ! This brother is truly faithful to the Lord and suffering for the sake of righteousness, let us not neglect to pray for this brother and his congregation and may the gospel triumph in Iran and throughout the Muslim world rescuing millions from the darkness that enslaves them !

  6. September 30th, 2011 at 22:46 | #6

    The Lord Jesus Christ is supremely worthy of all the sacrifices, even to the shedding of blood, of those whom He has purchased.

    This brother will certainly, as hard as our human mind may think, experience the supernatural presence of the Lord Almighty.

  7. Cliff Walling
    September 30th, 2011 at 23:06 | #7

    We, the west, are so blessed? Persecution has not come yet to our shores to this extent. This is the faith we all need to know, trust,and believe.

    I pray that God through His infinite mercy, love and grace, prepare a way for this Man of God. We know Father, Your ways are not our ways, our understanding is not Your understanding, we only know the least as You know the complete. We only know that Your glory is being praised across this world because of this case. We only know Father, that we love this child of Yours and want him reunited with his flock, his brothers and sisters in Christ, and his family. Yours is the Glory the Majesty the Hope of all our prayers. In the name of the one in whom we suffer with, Jesus Christ Amen and Amen.

  8. Jackie
    October 1st, 2011 at 11:03 | #8

    How can I respond to this with the depth of love it is written? I am humbled to my knees.

  9. Ramu Aryal
    October 2nd, 2011 at 15:06 | #9

    Lord Jesus please open the hearts of Iranian people…. Please forgive them for they don’t know what they do. God bless you Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani…Thank you, Lord Jesus!

  10. Melinda P.
    October 2nd, 2011 at 15:58 | #10

    Let’s continue to pray for our dear brother, and all who are persecuted for our Lord’s sake. The Lord Jesus reigns over all, yesterday, today and forever…Blessed be His holy name. What a comfort to know that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God. Let us pray that the Lord’s will be done, that our brother Youcef may continually feel the loving presence of our dear Saviour.

  11. Matt
    October 3rd, 2011 at 12:09 | #11

    This pastor writes like one who has been steeped in Holy Scripture for a long time, particularly the writings of Paul. That courage, certainty faith and love is the sound I hear in the writings of the earliest Christian martyrs. Still, I pray that he will be spared from execution and imprisonment, particularly for the sake of his beautiful family and his congregation.

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