We all know about the Islamic State and its reign of terror, and of how all over the world people are being killed, tortured and enslaved in the name of the political ideology of Islam. And with creeping sharia also in the West, we are under no illusions that we most certainly are in a very real war.
But behind all this is of course a spiritual war, and there are some other very important things that we need to be aware of. Indeed, there is some tremendous news here. God of course loves Muslims, and is seeking to draw them to himself. And incredibly, many, many Muslims are coming to Christ – in record numbers.
Though many of them are paying a very heavy price for doing so, including the ultimate price of death, God is wonderfully at work in the Muslim world, and stories of conversions from Islam to Christianity are being heard every day. Of course individual testimonies of Muslims finding Christ are not new.
There have always been notable conversion stories. In recent times, one thinks of the amazing case of Pakistani woman Begum Bilquis Sheikh as told in her classic 1978 book, I Dared To Call Him Father. She, like so many other former Muslims, came to Christ especially because of dreams and visions.
Plenty of other incredible stories are told in book-length accounts. I have featured some already in my website, including the former Iranian revolutionary guard who is now a terrific Christian evangelist and teacher. See here for the terrific story of Daniel Shayesteh: billmuehlenberg.com/2009/06/26/a-review-of-islam-the-house-i-left-behind-by-daniel-shayesteh/
Other more recent stories include that of Nabeel Qureshi in his 2014 volume, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. This is a very important volume indeed, in that it is not just a riveting biography, but it is also a thorough look at the teachings and practices of Islam, with the help of a number of first rate Christian scholars and apologists.
Also released this year is Face to Face With Jesus by Samaa Habib. Raised in a Middle Eastern nation, she also has a miraculous conversion story to tell. There are simply so many stories like this around. Thus collections of conversion stories are also available and quite encouraging to read. One of these is the 2012 volume by Faisal Malick, 10 Amazing Muslims Touched By God.
Let me just touch upon one story found there, that of Kamal Saleem, a Lebanese jihadist who loved killing infidels. He eventually went to America to be a stealth jihadist, but a bad car accident sent him to hospital. There in despair and desperation, he was going to kill himself, when Jesus appeared to him and fully healed him. He now has a full time Christian ministry based in the US.
Another 2012 collection of stories of Muslims coming to Christ in the Islamic world is Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World? by Tom Doyle. A number of incredible conversion accounts are recorded here, and importantly, Doyle has only offered stories which can be properly verified.
In addition to such personal stories of amazing conversions, there are also volumes looking at the bigger picture. Two recent books which discuss this tremendous move of God in the Muslim world also need to be highlighted here. The first is Miraculous Movements by Jerry Trousdale (Thomas Nelson, 2012). As he writes in his introduction:
Miraculous movements are sweeping through some parts of the Muslim world today. The Spirit of God is moving in a powerful way – indeed, in a way we think is unprecedented – as hundreds of thousands of Muslims are turning their lives over to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Former sheiks and imams; men who bombed Christian churches and mercilessly persecuted the followers of Christ; ordinary men and women who have followed the teachings of Islam their entire lives – these and many others are finding the truth of eternal life through Jesus Christ, and the number increases every day.
Many of these Muslim people come to God’s Word by dramatic means, through dreams and visions, or as a result of seeing miracles, for men and women are being healed of physical disabilities and addictions, bands of hardened rebels are voluntarily laying down their arms, and tens of thousands are seeing the power of God’s Spirit in their lives.
Another important volume is David Garrison’s A Wind in the House of Islam (WIGTake, 2014). This volume also documents how God is so very mightily at work all over the Islamic world. He opens his stirring account with these words:
Today, in more than 70 separate locations in 29 nations, new movements of Muslim-background followers of Christ are taking place. Each of these movements has crossed the threshold of at least 100 new church starts or 1,000 baptized believers, all of whom have come to Christ over the past two decades. In some countries the numbers within these movements have grown to tens of thousands. Though the total number of new Christ followers, between 2 million to 7 million, may be a statistically small drop in the vast sea of Islam, they are not insignificant. Not limited to a remote corner of the Muslim world, these new communities of believers are widespread, from West Africa’s Sahel to the teeming islands of Indonesia – and everywhere in between.
While many of these stories – perhaps most – are dealing with Muslim majority countries where direct Christian evangelism is difficult if not almost non-existent, God is also concerned about our Muslim neighbours on our own doorstep.
We may not be able ourselves to go to such strict Islamic nations as missionaries, but we can all pray for the Muslim world, and we can certainly seek to reach Muslims here in the West as well. Garrison closes with this word about “five practical steps we can take right now that will align us with God’s redemptive activity among Muslims.” He lists five key things we can do:
-Pray for Muslims.
-Support outreach and ministries to Muslims.
-Go to Muslims.
-Minister to Muslims in your own community.
-Share the gospel with Muslims.
As I have stated so often before, when it comes to Islam we have two clear obligations. On a public and political level, we must resist stealth jihad and creeping sharia. Freedom and democracy are well worth defending, and we are in a very real war with political Islam.
But on a personal and spiritual level, we must do all we can to show the love of Christ to our Muslim neighbours. We must pray for them, seek to befriend them, share the gospel with them, and do all we can to bring them into the Kingdom. God is clearly at work throughout the Muslim world, and he wants to be at work in the West as well.
What part will you play in this?
(All the books mentioned above are available in Australia at Koorong Books.)