Each day we walk around this Earth as sinners, imperfect and struggling to be better than the day before.
But the road is less bumpy for those of us who are blessed to live in the land of freedom than it is for those who are told by their governments who and what they have to worship.
It is a struggle that Dr. Hormoz Shariat, a former Muslim born in Iran who once chanted “Death to America,” knows well.
“At the time of (the 1979 Iranian) revolution I was on the streets … I was shouting ‘Death to America,'” he said last month on The Pure Flix Podcast. “I’m sorry, please forgive me. And I’ve changed my mind, I promise, I love America.”
Shariat began his journey toward becoming an America-loving Christian when he left Iran during the Islamic Revolution and made a home in the United States.
“I got saved in America,” the founder of Iran Alive Ministries said. “I love America.”
His ministry began after his 16-year-old brother was arrested and held by Iranian authorities for two years, only to eventually be executed. The callous and evil regime even demanded that the murdered young man’s family pay for the bullets used to end his life, Shariat said.
“One day they executed him,” he said. “[They said], ‘Come and get his body. We shot him and by the way you have to pay us for killing him.'”
He said that he relied on his new Christian faith to get him through the ordeal and not allow his heart to be filled with hatred.
“It wasn’t easy. It was a struggle … I grieved,” he said, noting that he wanted to take revenge at first, but he remembered the message of the Gospel.
“During those two to three days of mourning … I felt I heard the voice of God in my heart that those who killed my brothers are not my enemies. There is one enemy, that is Satan. They are captives in the hands of my enemy,” he said.
Instead of seeking revenge, Shariat decided it was a better idea to go on a mission to convert the Iranian people to Christianity.
So that is what he did.
His mission was to share Christianity with one million Iranian Muslims. He’s far surpassed that goal, as his satellite broadcasts have ended up reaching multiple millions of Iranians.
Shariat said the Iranian people “need political change, but just changing the system of the government without changing people, it will not do you any good.”
Jesus “wasn’t political,” Shariat said, but his followers toppled the Roman government.
“That’s what Jesus does. He transforms our lives, our families, our society,” Shariat said.
Shariat’s message is simple, and it should be the message shared by every Christian: The power and the love of Jesus knows no borders, it does not know limits and it can reach you anywhere.
No matter what hatred is in your heart, no matter how you have been brainwashed and no matter who threatens you, no human nor government can stop the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from reaching us.
Every one of us is a sinner, but we are saved by the blood of Jesus, who paid the price for our sins on the cross.
And he wants us to come to him, to seek forgiveness and to share his Gospel of love and forgiveness with the world.
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