Several years ago a I was part of a Bible study that has been filled entirely with followers of Islam. We’ve probably had close to 25 people visit throughout the year. Some came once, some drifted in and out, some were committed regulars. But for nine months we studied the book of Matthew together we hadn’t seen one person put their trust in Jesus. We saw lots of times that people are growing in their love and appreciation of Jesus, they liked his words, teachings, parables, mercy, miracles, etc. But no one was ready to make a commitment, until the tenth week!
One Monday we were studying Matthew 23 where Jesus is railing against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and religious leaders. It’s not the sort of passage that is generally used to lead someone to faith. But looking at the hypocrisy of religious leaders led us into a conversation of salvation by works, who goes to hell, how long you have to stay in hell, etc. Most Muslims have a concept of hell that is more like purgatory, it’s a place to pay for sins.
We shared with them that in the Bible there is no way out of hell. Once you’re there, you have to stay forever. Our Muslim friend said, “well if Christians don’t think there is a way out of hell, then I don’t want to follow the Bible, because I don’t want to be stuck there.” We responded by saying, “God has made a way so that you don’t have to spend any time in hell at all.” That got her attention. So we explained again (we’ve probably explained the Gospel 15 times to her!) how Jesus died for our sins and that it’s a gift we can accept. When we were done explaining we asked if anyone wanted that gift.
Out of our six friends in the room, four of them put their hands up. We talked about what it means to accept Jesus and his gift. We prayed with them. And after we said amen, one of the newly converted brothers raised his head with a huge smile and asked, “am I a Christian now?”
It was a fantastic evening filled with some great arguments, discussions, laughs, prayers and when it was all done we felt that patience had payed off. Our group of friends loved Jesus more and more as they read his words and felt his presence in their lives until they came to the point that they happily invited him into their hearts without hesitation.
This story was provided by Crossover Global workers serving in the Middle East.