The Gospel is a matter of life and death. A religious person might understand that statement in a metaphorical, “spiritual” sense. A non-believing person might understand this statement in the sense that is important to the believing person. Neither sense, however, captures the utter significance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the testimony to follow about a Muslim who hated Christians and Jews, and the one after that about a Jew who hated Muslims, the utter significance of the Gospel is brought home in a way that abstract ideas simply cannot do. The Gospel is Living Water in a wasteland of hatred and death.
The following testimony of a Sudanese Muslim who hated everyone who was not Muslim will make your skin crawl as he speaks of a brutal, unprovoked attack by him and others against a Christian classmate that left the man broken and bleeding on the threshold of death. His reaction was pride in what he had “done for Allah”.
An encounter with two Coptic Christians whose prayer healed his cousin who lay on his own deathbed opened his eyes to a new reality. When they told him, “The real miracle is that God wants to change your heart,” his world changed forever.
The decision he made to embrace Yeshua who lives cost him his family and life as he knew it. He was dead to them. They even performed a ceremonial funeral for him. The life that he knew was over, but he received new Life.
You will want to watch and listen to him tell his story in his own words, not just to describe this journey. You will want to hear him tell the rest of the story about the man he left for dead. The power of the Gospel is so much more than a matter of mere metaphorical importance.
In the following testimony of her life, this woman grew up in a world in which Arabs “were the enemy”. She grew up in the complex political struggle all around her or war and death. She did not live in a safe world.
She was terrified of Arab people who lived in villages surrounding the settlement in which she grew up. The Arabic language was a reminder to her, when she heard it, of shooting, rocks flying and people dying. She learned to hate Arabs.
The Rabbis painted a picture of the God of the Bible as “a very cold and distant god, almost robot-like, a type of God that wouldn’t think twice before he would strike you down with a lightning bolt if you dared to tear a little piece of toilet paper on Saturday, which is forbidden in Judaism”. What she saw of God in the Bible, however, seemed different to her.
She grew up in a world of hatred and fear. When she was introduced to the God of love and hope, her world changed completely. She no longer hates or fears Arab people. The Lord of life is the God of Arabs and Jews alike.