>> Tune into the Epicenter Conference Radio Special on the Moody Radio Network, Friday, Sept. 24, at 9pm eastern/8pm central (www.MoodyRadio.org ). Check your local Moody affiliate for details.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made yet another inflammatory speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday. He began his remarks by praying, “O God, hasten the arrival of Imam al-Mahdi and grant him good health and victory and make us his followers and those who attest to his righteousness.”

Imam al-Mahdi is another name for the “Twelfth Imam” or the “Hidden Imam.” Shia Muslims believe this Islamic messiah will come at the End of Days to destroy Judeo-Christian civilization as we have known it, force infidels to convert or be executed, and will set up a one-world Islamic government known as the “caliphate.” Ahmadinejad believes the way to “hasten” the Twelfth Imam’s coming is to annihilate the U.S. and Israel. This would bring about the “victory” that Ahmadinejad prayed for on American soil. The speech went downhill from there. Ahmadinejad accused the U.S. government of masterminding the 9/11 attacks in order to save Israel. Few in the West, including our leaders, understand what Ahmadinejad and his colleagues in the Iranian government believe. And that’s the problem.

[Update: Jordan’s king warns of war by end of 2010]

What should we do in response? We need to “get ready” and “be prepared,” according to Ezekiel 38:7. We need to gather in small groups and as entire church congregations and pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and mobilize others to pray, too. We need to travel to Israel to do prayer walks, and worship the Lord, and study and teach the Word of God, and to encourage Israelis that we are standing with them, and that the God of Israel loves them without limit. We need to care for poor and needy Israelis and Palestinians with unconditional love and unwavering support. We need to stockpile humanitarian relief supplies in Israel and build infrastructure to distribute even more emergency aid when the next war comes. We need to strengthen the Church in the epicenter in real and practical ways. We need to help our brothers and sisters throughout the region preach the gospel and make disciples and plant churches and show that Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace and the only hope of reconciliation. Time is short, but our path forward is clear.

Through my forthcoming novel, The Twelfth Imam, I’m trying to help people imagine what the world would look like if Ahmadinejad’s world view began to come to pass.

Through The Joshua Fund, I’m trying to help us get ready for such a world, and to mobilize Christians to make a difference.

What is the Lord asking you to do?

UPDATE: This week, Joel was on the following radio shows — John Gambling – WOR New York; “Your Turn” with Renee Giachino; Lars Larson Show, nationally syndicated; “Point of View,” USA Radio Network, nationally syndicated; America’s Morning News, nationally syndicated; American Family Radio News, nationally syndicated; Rusty Humphries, nationally syndicated; The John Batchelor Show on New York’s top talk station 77 WABC; The Janet Mefferd Show, Salem Radio Network, nationally syndicated.


I’ve posted some of the key stories about Ahmadinejad’s, and President Obama’s speech, as well.

Coverage of President Obama’s speech at the U.N.: