Drawn To Jesus

2872510931_5cd7e1ff86_o

Recently I’ve been learning about the religious phenomenon of “Muslim-Background Believers” (MBB). That is, people who live in predominately Muslim lands, or even grew up in Muslim households, are leaving the religion of their youth for the gospel message.  Their conversion stories are gripping, inspiring, and abundant.

Some MBB remain in their homelands and face terrible persecution at the hands of their families, their neighbors, and their governments where apostasy is a capital crime (I Am N, Voice of the Martyrs, 2016). Many must flee their nation to preserve their lives (Islam and Terrorism, Mark A. Gabriel, 2015). I’ve benefited greatly from a number of books written by MBB that share an insider’s perspective on Islam, contrasting it with the Christian Faith (Unveiling Islam, Caner & Caner, 2009; Understand My Muslim People, Abraham Sarker, 2004). These books and many more encourage Christians to understand Muslim backgrounds, offer answers to Islam’s objections to Christianity, and explore ways to help other Muslims leave Islam (Answering Islam, Geisler & Saleeb, 2003; Beyond Opinion, Ravi Zacharias, 2010).

What is drawing Muslims out of Islam? Why are they willing to risk such great personal cost? I’m learning that it’s the same compelling evidence and message that draws all people to Jesus. Listen to some of the reasons:

 

“These converts evidently found something in Christianity that they felt was lacking in Islam. Many are attracted to the figure of Jesus, others find the Christian dogma of forgiveness of sins comforting, and still others are impressed by the charitable behavior of individual Christians around them. But if there is a common thread running through these conversion testimonies, it is that Christianity preaches the love of Christ and God, whereas Islam is forever threatening hellfire for disobeying, and obsessively holds up the wrath of God in front of the believer. In other words, the two religions have two totally different conceptions of God: In the former, God is near, loving, and protective, God the Father, in the latter, God is a remote, angry, tyrannical figure to be obeyed blindly.” – Ibn Warraq, Leaving Islam, p.92

“Muslims are drawn to the love of Christ, and this is a big responsibility as well as a blessing. When I read the New Testament, what amazed and astounded me the most was the teaching on love, not only toward one’s kin and kindred, but even toward one’s enemies. It was so different from my training in Islam that it actually made me angry that someone could suggest something so obviously impossible. But as I continued reading, the reality of it entered my heart and changed my life.” – Sam Soloman, Beyond Opinion, p.78

“After one year of reading the Bible in an honest way, I understand now what happened to me. I found my way to God, the real God, the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope now for all the people I love, my family, my friends, and everyone else to change also and begin to read the Bible in an honest way. I am sure that God will help them find their way.” – Desert Son, a Saudi Arabian Muslim convert to Christianity, Leaving Islam, p.95

“Christianity is life, Islam is death” – an Algerian Muslim convert to Christianity, El Youm (an Algerian Arabic daily, December, 2000)

 

People, any people, can be drawn to Jesus by the Word of God. The Father draws people to Jesus by the teaching of Scripture (John 6:44-45). So when people honestly read the Bible they discover the gospel of Jesus. Jesus’ gospel is the true message of light (John 8:12), life (John 11:25), and love (John 15:10-15)! It is the Word of Truth (1 Peter 1:22-25) and the Power to Salvation (Romans 1:16). Nothing compares to the New Testament because the gospel is true and world religions are false. Faith is founded on the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

People have all sorts of backgrounds – religious and irreligious. People have all sorts of baggage – sin and guilt. And all people have the same appointment to keep – death and judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

Will you have the Savior on that day?

Are you drawn to Jesus?

Will you help others learn about Him from the Bible?

 

By Andrew Roberts

Cry Out All The More

2336784676_48c89369c5_o

Its 7:59 AM and you’re in the midst of a pleasant dream. You hear your alarm clock and you’re suddenly awake, back to reality. You open your eyes and you see black. You rub them, still black. Maybe you’re dreaming? You lie back down, wait a few minutes, open your eyes again; pure blackness. You’re blind. What are you going to do?

If this happened to me, I would be in a panic, desperately trying to find help; desperately trying to get a hold of a physician to correct this issue.

I’m reminded of one in Scripture who was faced with a similar dilemma. This man was blind, he was a beggar, and he was desperate.

I’m thinking about Bartimaeus in Mark 10. In this chapter, we read of an account where Jesus is leaving Jericho. As He’s passing through, a blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus hears Him. This beggar soon begins to cry out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” As he shouts, people begin telling him to be quiet. At this, Bartimaeus shouts all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Jesus stops in His tracks and says to His disciples, “Call him.”  His disciples call the blind man, saying, “Take heart. Get up; He is calling you.” The text says Bartimaeus immediately threw off his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.

Jesus asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus replies, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” Jesus says to him, “Go, your faith has made you well.” Bartimaeus immediately recieves his sight and follows Jesus.

Although we may not see many blind beggars on the side of Nashville Highway, I use this story to pose the question: Are you blind? I’m not asking are you physically blind, that’s obviously not the case or you wouldn’t be reading this article. I’m asking are you blind spiritually?

Maybe you’re like Bartimaeus. Maybe you’ve heard about this Jesus but you can’t see Him. You see all of these people proclaiming to be Christians, but they’re not acting like it. You see all of these churches, but they’re wearing different names. You’re reading all of these religious articles, but they’re all saying different things.

You feel lost. You don’t know where to begin. You don’t know where to go. You’re crying out for help, looking for answers, seeking encouragement, but you just can’t find the help you need.

Friends, I’m here to tell you, there are scores of people in this world, who feel the same way, much like Bartimaeus: blind and crying out for help. They are seeking a Savior; they are searching for answers, and looking for the Truth. I’m here to tell you, cry out all the more.

The search for Truth can be a daunting task. If this is how you feel, I can tell you one thing: You won’t find Truth from any source but from the One who is Truth, and that is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the right way to look.

“…Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,” John 14:6

Friends, Jesus is the Light of the world and He is able to illuminate this dark, desperate, and curious world into all paths of righteousness.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life,” John 8:12

When we have questions look to Jesus Christ for answers. Open up His word and study it diligently. When Satan tries to quench your spirit, be like Bartimaeus and cry out all the more; never quit.

When you do, the Truth will be exposed and you will be able to see Christ for who He truly is—The Great Physician, the Savior, and the Light of the World.

By Timothy G. Ruffin