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As a young American Muslim, Dr. Nabeel Qureshi was very knowledgeable about the Quran and was trained to defend the Islam religion against Christians. Yet, in his search to know God more personally and deeply, he went on a search to critique both the Christian Bible and the Quran. The result was that he became disillusioned about what he found in the Quran and Islam, and became convinced that the claims of Christianity and the Bible were true.

In this interview, he tells how a college friend and a series of dreams from God became the major influences in his conversion to Jesus Christ, and how his conversion cost him the loss of his family:

In this next video, which was recorded at Biola University were he was teaching a course on Christian apologetics and Islam, Nabeel goes more in depth about his journey from Islam to Christianity, especially the differences between Islam and Christianity, and how to communicate correctly, confidently, and respectfully the Christian Gospel to Muslims.

In I Peter 3:15, Peter admonishes us to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have in Christ. However, Nabeel found that very few Christians could give a reasonable and informed response in defense of their Christian faith. Can you?

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Muslims coming to Jesus Christ through dreams and visions

I first heard about it from an Egyptian pastor of a church in Cairo—that Muslims were converting to Christianity after seeing Jesus Christ in dreams and visions.

Then I heard the same thing from other sources—through the mission department of our church, professors at Fuller Theological Seminary, executives at The Outreach Foundation, Christianity Today, The William Carey School of World Mission, books, articles, and over a million reports on the Internet.

This well-documented phenomenon reflects a number of common situations:

• These conversions have been happening for decades.

• They occur in “closed” countries where the Christian Gospel is not known, and where converting to Christianity often results in persecution and death.

• The men and women who have these dreams or visions have never had contact with Christians before the dreams or visions.

• The dreams or visions come to men and women who are earnestly seeking to know and please God.

• The person in the vision—Jesus—wears white or radiates light.

• The dreams happen while they sleep; the visions happen while they are awake.

• After experiencing the dreams and visions, these Muslims go outside of their communities to seek out a Christian or obtain a Bible to learn more about Jesus.

• After deciding to follow Jesus, many of these former Muslims are persecuted, but they experience further dreams and visions of Jesus who encourages them to persevere in their faith in him.

Since 2002, a nonprofit group has interviewed many of these former Muslims who experienced these dreams and visions. Out of the interviews, the group has created a series of docudrama videos—More Than Dreams—that portray the following five people. You may click the links to view their stories on your computer:

Khalil—A radical Egyptian terrorist is changed from a murderous “Saul” to a forgiving “Paul” after Jesus Christ visited him in a soul-penetrating dream. This hater of Christians and Jews set out to discredit the Bible, but is transformed when Jesus appeared to him and changed his heart.

Mohamed—The life of this Fulani herdsman in Nigeria was greatly altered when Jesus appeared to him in several dreams. Though his father tried to kill him after his conversion, Mohamed survived and eventually led his father to faith in Christ.

Dini—An Indonesian teenager, let down by family, friends, and society, became a Christian the night Jesus appeared to her in a vision. Although her family persecuted her because of her new Christian faith, Dini’s experience with Jesus sustained her through difficult times.

Khosrow—A young Iranian man, depressed and without hope or meaning to his life, met Jesus Christ in a vision and surrendered his life to Christ. Persecution followed in Iran and even in Turkey where he and his family had fled. They eventually fled to safety in Austria.

Ali—This Turkish man, in bondage to alcohol and desperate to overcome his addiction, moved to Saudi Arabia where alcohol is forbidden. However, he still found alcohol there and resumed his drinking. Hoping to be freed of his addiction and be led in the way of a true Muslim, he made a pilgrimage to Mecca. To his surprise, he met Jesus Christ in a dream instead and followed him.

Although we in the Western World don’t tend to take dreams seriously and seldom experience God in dreams or visions, we really ought to, for there are many places in the Bible where God appeared to people in dreams and visions, and the words of both the prophet Joel and the apostle Peter, serve to remind us that:

“In the last days,” says God, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17)

God is reaching out to people of all tribes and nations in various ways, but to those who are shut off and forbidden to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God is revealing Jesus Christ to them through dreams and visions.

To those who earnestly seek to know God with all their heart, God promises, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” (Jeremiah 29:13, New Living Translation, 2007, NLT)

And Jesus confirmed this when he promised, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6, New International Version, NIV) (The term righteousness means “having a right relationship with God and with people.”)

Not only are some Muslims seeking God with their whole heart and finding God through Jesus Christ, but millions of people of various nationalities, races, and religions are searching earnestly to experience God intimately and profoundly. Some of them might be your neighbors, family, and friends—and even you.

God might not choose to reveal himself through a dream or vision, for he has already revealed himself through his Word—the Bible—and through his Holy Spirit, and his living body, the Church.

Just know that if you seek God with your whole heart, you will find him. If you hunger and thirst after a right relationship with him and with people, he promises to satisfy your hunger and thirst.

And as Christians remember and celebrate Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection this Easter week, millions of seekers around the world will find their lives gloriously transformed as they encounter the risen Christ and receive his gift of eternal life.

To old and new brothers and sisters in Christ, rejoice and find encouragement in the following assurance:

“All honor to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is by his boundless mercy that God has given us the privilege of being born again. Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for his children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And God, in his mighty power, will protect you until you receive this salvation, because you are trusting him. It will be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.” (I Peter 1: 3-6, NLT)

Grace, love, and peace to you.

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There are many stories of people who were once antagonistic towards Christianity but were converted to Jesus Christ when they encountered his good news of salvation. The most famous of these was the apostle Paul who later wrote: 

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ.  It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—Jews first and also Gentiles. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. (Romans 1:16-17a, New Living Translation, NLT) 

Muslims today are among thousands around the world who are coming to Christ through his Good News of salvation that they encounter in the pages of the Bible—or as they call it, the Black Book!

Rob Weingartner, executive director of The Outreach Foundation, recently related the conversion testimony of one such Muslim, Hassane (pronounced Haas-sahn).

Hassane was born into a family in which his father was a leading member of the Islamic leadership council of their town in an African nation that was 99% Islamic. His father hoped that one day Hassane would take his place on the leadership council, so he had Hassane begin memorizing the Koran at age three.

As a youth, Hassane earned a scholarship to a prestigious school of around eight hundred students, but he was soon shocked to realize that very few of the students took their religion seriously or attended the mosque where Hassane shared in leading prayers.

So he started offering leadership conferences at the school, and one day he asked the students a question about the prophets. Their answers disappointed and discouraged him, for he realized how little they knew about their holy book. He was about to explain the answer to them when he noticed the raised hand of one of the three Christian students who attended the school.

Thinking that the student had a question about Islam, and seeing this as an opportunity to convert the boy from Christianity to Islam, Hassane asked, “What would you like to know about Islam?”

“No, I don’t have a question. I want to answer your question about the prophets,” replied the boy, who then went on to speak very knowledgeably about the prophets.

This disappointed, then angered Hassane, for he felt that such an eloquent answer should have been given by a Muslim boy—not a Christian who was not supposed to know more about the prophets than Muslims.

So he asked the boy how he knew so much about the prophets. The boy replied that he learned it from the Christian book.  Hassane remembered that his Muslim teachers had warned him that if he ever met Christians, he was never to read their black book.

“This book, is it a black one?” asked Hassane.

“Yes,” replied the boy.

Despite the warnings of his former teachers, Hassane secretly obtained a Bible and began reading it at night for two years to learn about the prophets so that he could be the best teacher on the subject. Then one night he came across Ephesians 2:8-9 which riveted his attention:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—not because of works, lest any man should boast.

This shook him to the core and threatened all that he believed and the way he lived his life. Going to his mosque’s Koranic teacher, he said, “You know about all that I am doing—how I am leading the mosque, preaching, teaching, counseling. Does that save me? Does that guarantee my salvation in heaven?”

His teacher’s reply shocked him. “I don’t know if you can be elected to heaven!”

“Something’s wrong!” protested Hassane. “You know all I’m doing in the mosque, and yet you cannot assure me that it will earn me salvation?”

“No.”

Hassane went back home and pondered his future. Despite the dire consequences that could occur if he were to become a follower of Jesus Christ—such as being put to death— he committed to following Christ who alone could assure him of eternal salvation. He then went to his father and told him that he had become a Christian.

As the leader of the town’s Islamic leadership council, the father convened the council to announce that his son had become a Christian. The council voted to put Hassane to death by stoning, but later the members changed their decision because of the high regard they had for Hassane’s father, and banished Hassane instead to a region that was over four hundred miles away.

The council also ruled that Hassane’s twin brother should accompany him to convince him to return to his Islamic faith. The brother stayed with Hassane for ten years and eventually decided to follow Jesus Christ. The brothers then returned to their father and witnessed boldly to him.

Hassane became a church pastor and bible teacher, and today is a national leader for his denomination in his African nation. Over six thousand Muslims have since become Christians, and Hassane’s brother and several others from the Islamic leadership council have become elders in Hassane’s church.

As Rob Weingartner shared this story, I reflected on how a boy’s understanding of the Word of God was the catalyst that not only led Hassane to embrace the Good News of the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, but also, as an indirect consequence, led thousands of other Muslims to become Christians.

The Word of God was not only powerfully proclaimed in the boy’s answer but also in the pages of the “Black Book” that Hassane secretly studied, for as Hebrews 4:12 states:

For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are. (NLT) 

And I wondered, “How many of us Christians are able to give an intelligent account of our faith? How many of us have a mature understanding of the Bible to be able to answer someone’s honest question about it?

We might never know the ways in which God wants to use each of us to be the catalyst through which he transforms lives, but let us embrace for ourselves Paul’s admonition to Timothy:

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, correctly explaining the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:15) 

We are blessed with the freedom to read the Bible—no matter the color of its cover—and to access the living power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes.

May we not neglect this powerful book of truth!

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