Saeed Abedini, the American pastor who was freed from an Iranian prison in January, has said that American Christians are often complacent in their faith and lack "true revival," while their brothers and sisters in Iran are actively praying and sharing the gospel with others despite ongoing persecution.
In a Facebook post shared over the weekend, Abedini, 35, revealed that he recently spoke with David Nasser, senior vice president for Spiritual Development at Liberty University. During their discussion, the pastors asked one of the students if there is revival at the university.
"She said, 'I think we have. We have good worship, good Bible study and people are serving the Lord,'" Abedini wrote. "These are great things but I do not think this is true revival."
The pastor said that believers in Iran pray "at least five hours a day" and they are ready to give their life to keep their faith.
"And when you ask them if they have revival, they say,'"No! We don't know the Bible very well, we don't evangelize enough and we don't preach. We can't find a church to go to and we feel very bad about it,'" he added.
"In them, I see revival," he emphasized. "American Christians have so much and are such good people but we still need revival in our hearts. The fall on your knees and pray, kind of revival. So I see, those who think they have revival, really don't. And those who don't think they have revival, do."
As reported by The Gospel Herald, Abedini was originally imprisoned under accusations that his faith undermined the Iran government. During his first post-release interview back in the United States, he told Greta Van Susteren of Fox News that he had been beaten and tortured in captivity and passed the time by praying nearly 20 hours a day.
In an earlier Facebook post, he said the hardships in prison took their toll on some of his fellow inmates, and many "religious and political prisoners who started out with very strong faith, thoughts and actions while going through so many changes in their country and world" were worn down by jail.
"I saw some Christians] who were put in prison because they would not deny their faith and they kept doing their ministry," he recalled. "But unfortunately, I saw some of these heroes of the faith weaken through the difficulties and hardships of prison," he said. "I heard one of the Christians prayed Namaz Islamic prayer to make his situation easier."
Abedini added: "I saw some political prisoners who started obeying the Intelligence Police of Iran to get free or make their situation easier in prison. We do not know how strong our faith really is until it is tested."
He urged his Facebook followers to hold fast to their faith, whatever difficulties they faced.
"Jesus has a reason for telling us to finish what we have started with Him and keep going forward in our Biblical values. Our reward is waiting at the end of our journey," he said.
"I started a ministry that had thousands of people but so many are not serving the Lord anymore because they did not calculate the price to walk this road to the end. Sometimes we want to blame others for causing us to fall away. We have to take responsibility for our walk with the Lord.
"We should not turn back from God's calling on our life. Keep going, no matter what the circumstances. He is waiting at the end of this life's road to take your hand and say 'Well done, good and faithful servant'. To Him be the Glory."