The Life and Death Reality of the Gospel

From hatred to love, from death to life

I murdered him for Allah but God raised him up to forgive me…. SHOCKING STORY OF REDEMPTION!! One for Israel: Israeli Arabs and Jews. United in the Gospel

The Gospel is a matter of life and death. The phrase seems cliché, even to a “religious” person. We believe it to be true, but the present reality of it may seem to be an abstraction. A non-religious person might understand the statement metaphorically and allegorically, but would subscribe little or no “weight” to it. Neither sense, however, captures the utter significance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it played out in the lives of people I want to introduce.

In the first story of a Muslim man who hated Christians and Jews, and in the second story of a Jewish woman who hated Muslims, the utter significance of the Gospel is brought home in a way that abstract ideas and allegorical concepts simply cannot accomplish. The Gospel is Living Water in a wasteland of hatred and death.

The first story of a Sudanese Muslim who hated everyone who was not Muslim will make your skin crawl as he describes a brutal, unprovoked attack by him and others against a Christian classmate that left the man broken, bleeding, and dying. He was unashamed and proud of what he had “done for Allah”.

An encounter with two Coptic Christians whose prayer healed his cousin as his cousin lay on his own deathbed opened his eyes to a new reality. When those Christians told him, “The real miracle is that God wants to change your heart,” the paradigms by which he had always viewed the world shifted forever.

The decision he made to embrace Yeshua cost him his family and life as he knew it. He became dead to them. They even performed a ceremonial funeral for him. The life that he formally knew was over, but the new Life he received was riches in comparison.

You will want to watch and listen to him tell his story in his own words, not just to describe this journey, but to listen to 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.

The second story comes from a Jewish woman who lived in a world in which Arabs “were the enemy”. She grew up in the midst of the complex political struggle in the Middle where all around her was war and death.

From her earliest memories, her world was unsafe. 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, though, when she read it for herself, 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. She learned that the Lord of life is the God of Arabs and Jews alike.

These stories of people who grew up in environments that fostered hate against each others’ “tribes” show how the Gospel changes people so dramatically that those who once hated now love. Paul’s words are true of Jesus:

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility….” (Eph. 2:13-14)

From Islam to Christ

An unprecedented number of Muslims are turning to Christ in the 21st Century.

nabeel


I have been “collecting” the stories of people who became followers of Jesus from all sorts of different backgrounds, including different religious backgrounds. Some of the more interesting and compelling stories are from former Muslims.

The sheer number of former Muslim testimonies is amazing. In fact, Muslims turning to Christ in the 21st Century is a global phenomenon. It’s happening all over the Muslim world. Whole communities are turning to Christ and becoming followers of Christ. This phenomenon is unprecedented over the 14 centuries since the birth of Islam.

In previous centuries, Christian areas were turned wholesale into Islamic areas by conquest and coercion. Even today, the Muslim religion is growing faster than Christianity, but that is first and foremost a matter of demographics – Muslims have more children than any of the other major religions in the world.

In addition, the same coercive practices that grew Islam in the previous centuries are in operation today. While conquest isn’t broadly practiced as it was in previous centuries, strong prohibitions exist in predominantly Muslim countries and areas that inhibit people from leaving Islam. Families disown former Muslims and, in extreme cases, kill them. Those same inhibitions extend even into the west where the same cultural influences discourage leaving Islam or denouncing Islam.

For that reason, the testimonies of Muslims who become followers of Jesus Christ are remarkable and poignant. Afshin Ziafat’s story is such an example. His father disowned him immediately when Afshin admitted that he has become a Christian as a young man in Houston. The decision cost him his father and his family.



One of the hallmarks of the Muslim turned Christian phenomenon of the 21st Century is the way in which so many former Muslims become Christians. A very high percentage of those stories include experiences like visions and dreams of Jesus. Even Islamic radicals and ISIS jihadists have had these experiences that changed their lives. You can watch them tell their stories in their own words on the Muslim testimony page and Muslim/ISIS testimony page.

Reach out to our Muslim neighbors

Nabeel Qureshi Interview


Nabeel Qureshi was raised in a devout Muslim family in Virginia Beach, VA. He memorized the Qur’an by the age of 6 and prayed five times a day. When he went to college, his college roommate was a Christian. They spent three years debating the historical claims of both religions, and he came to realize that Christianity could withstand historical scrutiny but Islam could not.

At that point, he came face to face with a a difficult, life-changing decision: whether to abandon the Islam of his family and and heritage by embracing Christianity, or remain a Muslim, knowing that it could not stand up to history and reason. This was a decision that would ostracize him from his family. Continue reading “Reach out to our Muslim neighbors”

Muslims, Christians and God

 (c) Can Stock Photo

(c) Can Stock Photo

The Wheaton College incident involving a professor who put on a bourka and professed that Christians and Muslims worship the same God has sparked much controversy, debate and discussion. The College has put her on paid leave and is still trying to decide her fate, having made a statement that seems fundamentally at odds with the evangelical creed to which the College subscribes.

In the United States, where minority rights are championed and “tolerance” is preached, the public consensus seems solidly in favor of the sympathetic professor.  A different sentiment prevails in the Middle East, however. “Among Muslims and Christians in the Middle East, the discussion is not over whether we worship the same God,” one Arab Christian said, “but rather Muslims challenging us that we worship one God at all.” [1]

If a similar controversy were to arise in a predominantly Islamic country, the atmosphere would likely be much different. Debate would likely be replaced by one-sided polemics, public spectacle and, perhaps, the death of the “heretic”. But, the differences in cultural response do not address the fundamental question: Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?

Continue reading “Muslims, Christians and God”

Islam & Christianity Through a Former Muslim’s Eyes


I am going to do something a little different in this blog. I often weave other people’s presentations and thinking into my articles, but, in this one, I am going to lay out another’s person’s presentation in its entirety.

No one topic, perhaps, in all the world today has demanded more of the world’s attention than the happenings involving radical Islamic terrorists.  This article is not going to attack Muslims; neither is it going to defend them. Rather, if you will listen to each of the segments, it will help you to understand Islam and Christianity in comparison to each other from the viewpoint of a man raised a devout Muslim of Islamic missionary parents.

Continue reading “Islam & Christianity Through a Former Muslim’s Eyes”