Download FREE PDF Version: Study Guide for Lesson on Muslims and Miracles
Summary and Notes:
Quick Summary: In this lesson we discuss the place of miracles in Muslims becoming Christian. Many Muslims have had miracles, dreams or visions of Jesus before they become Christians. Should this be required for a Muslim to come to Christ? Can Christians demand Miracles? What if we don’t get our miracle? Has anyone who had a dream or miracle not believed in Jesus? These are the kinds of questions we will discuss today.
Reality – a Visit to Hot Springs South Dakota
Today’s reality segment of the video lesson introduces the topic of healing and miracles with a visit to one of the most famous healing spots of history: the natural hot springs of Hot Springs, South Dakota.
As Dr. Cynthia demonstrates for us, hot mineral waters bubble out of the earth right in the small town of Hot Springs. Just across from the main street the waters create something beautiful and almost unreal: a mossy waterfall with an actual shower of hot water. The stream then passes out of town through a gully between the sandstone buildings of Hot Springs, and the red sandstone cliff opposite.
Before there were good medical treatments for many diseases, the soothing effect of hot springs often brought relief to sufferers worldwide. In the past, Native Americans believed that the finger of the Great Spirit, their name for God, had touched the springs of this region, making them hot and providing them with healing powers.
Outside of town we find Battle Mountain. Before the region was settled by outsiders, there was a major battle between the Sioux and Cheyenne tribes on this hill for control of the hot springs. Wisely, the Native American tribes eventually agreed to share the springs.
As good medicines have increased, the popularity of mineral springs for medical treatment has declined around the world. So has the popularity of Hot Springs, South Dakota. However, its waters are now free to all who visit this somewhat remote spot, regardless of their ethnic background.
Human beings of all races have suffered illness since the beginning of time, and have sought a variety of means for healing. Whether from natural hot springs, prescribed medication, or miraculous intervention, all healing comes from God.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all of his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. Psalm 103:2-4
The Purpose of Miracles
During his ministry on earth, Jesus performed miracles of the most magnificent kind ever done. This is actually something that Christianity and Islam agree upon. In John 5, a favorite passage that we often refer to, Jesus used miracles as one of the three top proofs that he was who he claimed to be.
When the church began and spread throughout the Middle East and beyond, the Book of Acts in the New Testament tells us that miracles accompanied the new message to bear witness to its truth. These miracles helped overcome the reluctance of the people to believe and live in a totally different way. When doubts developed over time, they could still remember the miracle. Paul said,
I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles. II Corinthians 12:12
Even now, there are some cultures which are so entrenched in their ways of thought, and under such Satanic oppression, that the only way to break through this stronghold is with a miracle. Jesus met a Roman like that.
“Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” John 4:48
This is why we commonly hear of miraculous occurrences in remote areas where the gospel is making new inroads, like Mel Tari describes in Muslim Indonesia in his book Like a Mighty Wind.
Muslims are Having Dreams and Miracles
Many Christians have heard that dreams, visions, and miracles are happening throughout the Muslim World resulting in Muslims coming to Christ. A survey of things that were instrumental in bringing Muslims to Christ put dreams and miracles near the top of the list. The Jesus Film Project and Missionaries in Muslim countries report many miraculous occurrences.
Examples of Dreams and Miracles Overseas:
One night, most of the residents of a North African town had the same dream of Jesus. Miracles of healing have occurred while watching Jesus heal others in the Jesus film.
Dreams and Miracles in America:
Examining Christian history, we see that areas which have long been filled with Christians and Biblical teaching, God’s presence already has witness. Flashy miracles are less necessary and much less common. They not required to bring to the people knowledge of the truth of scripture. They are surrounded by it. The conclusion of Jesus’ parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus would support this observation,
He said to him, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” Luke 16:31
From this we see how important it is that all peoples, including Muslims, have access to the Word of God. And if their hearts are hard to his word, there is little chance that even a miracle would convince them.
Nevertheless, although less common than overseas, dreams and miracles do happen in America.
Example of Dreams in American Muslim:
Nelly is a North African woman was raised in America with a devout Muslim family. Georges Houssney referred her to Dr. C for discipleship. Part of her testimony is the three powerful dreams that exactly spoke to her understanding and heart. These helped bring her to Christ during a time of life crisis.
- Please pray for Nelly’s continued growth, and for her family.
Muslims Demanding a Miracle
Christians have become excited about the reports of Muslims having dreams and miracles. They often encourage their Muslim friends to ask Jesus for a dream or miracle to confirm that he is the Jesus of the Bible. As a result,
Muslims considering Christ have begun to expect miracles from God.
In this segment of the video lesson, Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, and Rev. Bob Siegel, are interviewed on a television panel. Dr. C asks for their input on the place of miracles in becoming a Christian, especially for Muslims.
Dr. C shares that she has three different and unrelated Muslim friends in America telling her the same thing at the same time. They are awaiting a miracle to come to Christ. It is remarkable because they are very open to Christianity, love it, and say that:
- They no longer believe:
- in Islam or follow it
- that Mohammed is a true prophet
- that the Qur’an is of God
- They now do:
- believe the basics of the Christian faith
- that Jesus is God in the flesh
- that he died for our sins on the cross
- that the Bible is the true Word of God
- understand and accept the Trinity
- prefer the Christian way of living to that of Islam
- believe the basics of the Christian faith
- However, they are unwilling to become Christians unless God confirms it with a miracle or powerful dream.
Dr. C does not believe in pushing people to become Christians. She shares the gospel and Bible with them as natural part of sharing life, until the Holy Spirit convinces them of its truths. However, when she hears them willingly make such statements of faith she will then ask if the Muslim is ready to cross over to Christ.
In these three situations she heard such statements of faith, which seemed to indicate that they were ready to become Christians. However, all three told her independently,
“I have been hearing and watching on-line the testimonies of Muslims that become Christians, and they all seem to have a dream or a miracle. So, I will wait for a dream or a miracle.”
There is an American expression, “We’ve created a monster!” for something that was intended well, but gets out of control. Dr. C asks the panel if this is what Christians have done in praying for Muslims to have dreams and visions and encouraging them to expect them?
Nabeel answers “No.” He says that,
God knows what each person needs to come to faith, and that is what he will give them.
Nabeel did receive a vision and three miraculous dreams. He believes that his decision was so difficult that he needed this affirmation to convert. However, he says it is not the same for everyone, and that God will tailor the experiences for each individual. He mentions another Muslim, Abd Murray, who came to Christ without miraculous events, but through a conviction that the Bible was true.
Bob came from a Jewish background. He also had dreams and visions. However, he said,
That is not the primary way that God wants to get through to you. He wants to touch you with his Spirit.
Bob then explains his story. He heard the gospel from Christians on his campus. He didn’t like it. But when Bob thought about it later that night, he was “bombarded by the Holy Spirit.” This means that he was touched in a personal way with confirmation that what he had heard from the Christians was true.
Example of the Holy Spirit’s Confirmation of Scripture to a Muslims:
After six years learning about Jesus with Dr. C, her Muslim student Sohaila described an experience similar to Bob’s. When reading the Bible the night after again hearing the gospel, and having her questions answered the Holy Spirit flooded her with its truth.
Is it Bad to Ask for a Miracle?
In the video lesson we also learn that two of the three Muslim friends demanding a miracle have said that they ask Dr. C to pray when they want an answer. She is glad that they see Jesus’ power, but wants them to see God as the source. She then asks Nabeel and Bob if it is wrong to ask for a miracle, because in Jesus said,
An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it. Matthew 16:1-4
Bob tells us that it is fine to ask for a miracle if we are sincere. Jesus condemned the men in that passage because of their bad attitudes.
The Dangerous Side of Miracles
Rev. Georges Houssney in a separate interview gives his opinion on this situation of three Muslims demanding a dream or miracle to convert.
Georges preaches to Muslims all over the world. He tells us that he has seen tremendous miracles and dreams with people leaving Islam. One evening not long before the interview he saw three healings while ministering in Lebanon. One of those was of a man with a paralyzed arm. After the healing he was moving it and shaking hands.
But Georges has found a danger with miracles: people may seek miracles and experiences, rather than the truth of God. He says.
The most important thing is the truth.
Life as a new believer is not easy. Miracles can sometimes make us think everything will go our way if we are following God, but that is not the case. Although God may confirm his truth and power to us through a miracle, we must keep our faith in God himself and his Word – the truth, not supernatural manifestations. Dreams and visions do not save people. Jesus does.
False Dreams and Miracles
There can also be false miracles and dreams. Do not be led astray by signs and miracles which confirm false belief systems. Every religion has its miracles. They can shake your convictions unless you remember this.
Matthew 24:24 tells us that,
For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Although it is debated if Mohammed performed any miracles besides the Qur’an, you will hear tell of healings occurring at Muslim shrines, and dreams of Muslim saints.
Example of Healing at a Muslim Shrine:
Mashad al Shams is a historic shrine, about 60 miles south of Baghdad in Hillah. Interestingly, before it was Islamic, the site was a Babylonian temple of Shamash, the sun god.
Umm Mariam visits there to decorate its walls with henna every Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice. She claims that the shrine cured her daughter of a chronic illness after she slept there one night. Other people claim that they are cured of infertility there.
It is certainly not unique in Islam to have a shrine. They are especially popular in Iraq and Iran, where Shiites are more numerous, because Shiites believe in intercessors. Sunnis are less inclined to seek healing at shrines, except for the Kaaba in Mecca, which they do not see as an idol or intercessor, although in practice it is.
(Note: See also the study guide and Lesson on Islam and the Occult.)
Example of False and True Dreams in One Muslim:
Holly, a Muslim that Dr. C was mentoring, told her that Caliph Ali had appeared to her in a dream. To Holly this confirmed that Islam was true. Dr. C was disappointed to hear that dreams could lead people away from Christ.
A few years later after learning more about Jesus, Holly’s sister Sally told Dr. C that Holly had had another dream, but did not know what it meant.
In Holly’s second important dream, a dove descended onto the top of a mosque, and a woman ran out of it. Based on Luke 3:22, Dr. C gave Sally, not yet a Christian, the interpretation that the Holy Spirit would come to deliver Holly from Islam.
The Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Sally shared this verse with Holly. Holly was so moved to hear the interpretation and see the verse of her dream mentioned in the Bible, that she soon came became a Christian.
QUESTION: Is there a chance that if you are a Christian you will see God perform clear miracles?
ANSWER: Yes! God can and does perform miracles everywhere, every day.
- If you keep your eyes open you will see healings, miraculous provisions, and the desired unexpected, at frequencies much greater than chance alone.
- This is especially true the closer you walk with God, trying to do his will, and praying that he will intercede in situations and for people.
Invisible miracles are interventions of God in a special way into our everyday lives that because of their usual-seeming nature go unrecognized: the car crash that you nearly had, a cooking knife missing your finger, a child recovering overnight, getting the right job, finding a home, money arriving in time to pay a bill.
Many things like this happen every day. We usually don’t see anything remarkable about them. It is true that remarkable coincidences do occur. On the other hand, perhaps an angel has stepped in many times, whether you are a believer or not, in order to preserve your life and set you on the path to either discover God, or to serve him better.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11
Time and Chance
I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Ecclesiastes 9:11
The Bible also tells us that it doesn’t always make sense why things happen, because time and chance happen to us all. The way the world works things just happen. We age. The earth is active: it moves, has earthquakes and floods. Diseases infest the air. We eat or do things that harm us.
In a way the time and chance factors are good news. They explain much of why there is suffering in the world. Sometimes we can get depressed when something bad happens to us, thinking that God doesn’t care about us anymore.
But actually, it may just be time and chance mechanism of how the world works. God may decide to miraculously step in to stop time and chance. But he may not.
(Note: See also the study guides and lessons on Fear, Persecution, and Spiritual Warfare, and Suffering and Thanksgiving.)
Evil into Good
Happily, if God does not stop the bad event, the Bible also tells us that God can turn them into good. For example, in the Old Testament Joseph told his treacherous brothers,
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul encouraged the believers this way,
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. Romans 8:28
If you keep your eyes open for invisible miracles, God’s intervention, time and chance, and bad into good you will be much encouraged in your everyday life.
America as a Miracle
A number of years ago, an American returned from a mission trip overseas and told Dr. C about the miracles there. She then went on to criticize America because it was not having the same kind of miracles. She said it was due to the lack of faith of Americans.
Dr. C disagreed. She explained that America has very many sincere believers – possibly more than any other country. There are large numbers of individuals and teams of intercessors in America dedicated to praying every day for the country, its people, its problems, and the world.
“The miracles of America are different,” she said. “The main miracle of America is America.”
Because of America’s freedoms and success, stemming from its Christian heritage, people come here from all over the world. Here they not only experience the blessings of God in terms of opportunities, freedom and finances, they have an opportunity to hear the gospel from Christians. Even in the corrupted culture around them, they can see testimonies of the gospel – churches, memorials, and quotes in many forms of writing.
Acts 17:26, 27 says,
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.
This passage tells us that God puts people in places where they can have experiences which will lead them closer to him. We see this happening now with the obvious migration of people groups from restricted nations into the West, where they have greater opportunities to hear the gospel. Let’s be part of it!
Example – an Observation of Acts 17 in Action:
Keith is a teacher and Bible teacher who volunteers with us on outreach. Keith is also a great prayer partner. Dr. C shared with him the case of Muslim # 1 above. She explained that the Muslim now believed in Christianity with her head, but would not pass over to become a Christian without a miracle.
Keith had met this student. He knew that she had come to America partly to learn about Christianity. He knew that she met Dr. C 10 days after arriving, and the “coincidence” of how they had met. In response to the situation Keith said,
“What is she thinking? She met you 10 days after arriving? You are her miracle!”
Both this sort of “natural” intervention of God, as well as more glamorous supernatural manifestations, are all “miracles” through which God draws us to himself.
Let us take advantage of God’s moving people from these faiths to locations near us. Remember how the Native Americans finally resolved to share the healing waters between tribes and with the white settlers? Let us likewise not fail to share with immigrants and refugees the healing gift of Jesus’ living water.
Is God Obligated to Perform Miracles for Us?
Prayer for healing is certainly one of the most common prayers. There are verses in the Bible that encourage us to pray for miracles and have faith that they will happen. But we are also told to pray in accordance with God’s will. Let us look at two models of faith, and their approach to prayers for miracles, like healing:
The “Transaction Model” of Faith
A transaction is a form of business. Pagan and other religions are based on the idea that if one does certain ceremonies or acts of honor, or makes certain sacrifices in the right way, the god is then obligated to perform on behalf of the person requesting favor. In English we would say, “tit for tat.”
However, there are also Christians, and even churches, that act as if this were the way to practice Christianity: that God is obligated to do whatever we ask if our faith is strong enough. Many times God does honor this faith. He has certainly told us that,
- Ask and you will receive Matthew 7:7
- You have not because you ask not James 4:2
You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.
You do not have because you do not ask God.
But the Transaction Model puts demands on God that he might not want to fulfill. If we believe that it is the power of faith that heals rather than God’s power and will, negative consequences can result, such as:
- discouragement and loss of faith
- condemnation of people whose prayers are not answered, accusing them of too little faith
- delay in proven medical treatment while awaiting a miracle
- mistreatment of a friend of family member who brings practical advice
Examples of the first two consequences are commonly heard of or seen on the internet. Atheists often cite such examples of unanswered prayers from their childhood.
Examples of Transaction Model Delaying Treatment:
One year, Dr. C had three Christian friends with cancer who fell into the third consequence: they delayed their medical treatment for cancer while awaiting a miracle. Their faith was misplaced to the point that they that they did not do the wise thing of getting recommended help. All died sooner because of it.
Jerry’s Story. Dr. C had been regularly visiting Jerry, one of these three, bringing flowers and meals. One day when in addition to food, with respectful concern she brought papers with medical recommendations, Dr. C was thrown out of Jerry’s house. The family angrily said that considering treatment options would hurt their faith. They must not let in a shadow of doubt if mom was to be healed.
Indeed, before she passed away Jerry said to Dr. C, “I never doubted for a moment that I would be healed.” You see, the faith was displaced away from wisdom and the will of God into a game of mind control in order to impress God and gain the desired healing.
Jerry knew some of Dr. C’s Muslim students, and they wanted to see her. Dr. C had been hoping for a demonstration of a beautiful faith from Jerry that although she desired healing, she accepted God’s will, and also longed to see Jesus in heaven. This would encourage the students toward Christian faith.
Unknown to Jerry’s family, Dr. C had had a powerful dream that Jerry was going to die. Because of Jerry’s insistence on a miracle, Dr. C could not bring the Muslim students to see her before she died. She knew Jerry’s obsession with healing would be a stumbling block to them when she did not recover.
Deathbed witness. It can be a powerful thing to see a Christian testify of their faith in Jesus, the resurrection and the life, shortly before joining him eternally. If you are close to a Christian who shines in this regard, you might consider having them share with friends of yours who could be encouraged by it. That would be a great way to bring good from a bad situation.
- May we all provide such a witness to our friends and family before we die.
The “Relationship Model” of Faith
In contrast to the Transaction Model, is what we call the “Relationship Model” of faith. In this way of practicing the faith, we see the faith walk as a relationship with God. As in other relationships, we can make our requests known. But we can not demand that we always get our way.
For example, children routinely ask for things that parents know are not good for them. How much higher is God’s knowledge than ours! James told us that we pray and might not receive because our motives are wrong (James 4:3).
Although believers may follow the Transaction Model, we prefer the Relationship Model. Here is how it would work in Christian cancer patients:
- Dr. Cynthia’s advice for CHRISTIAN CANCER PATIENTS
Being a medical doctor who has diagnosed cancer and been on cancer committees, plus having experienced attitudes and behaviors in Christians like those above, Dr. C advises, even pleads with cancer patients these things:
Dr. Cynthia’s Advice if You have Cancer
- REALIZE: Wherever you are in your faith walk, God is now calling you to be closer to him.
- to be healed
- but also pray for grace to be content and to shine in whatever circumstance comes your way
- Either option above is a wonderful testimony. As Paul says,
- I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11
- REMEMBER, you are HUMAN too!
- Do not think that you better than other human beings and will get special favors from God.
- Regardless of how close you are to God: do not think that because you are a Christian that you do not need medical treatment.
- SEEK Medical TREATMENT!
- If God has provided a medical treatment for a disease, and you have access to it, GET IT!
- Do not tempt the Lord your God by expecting a miracle when he has already provided a way for you.
- Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Matthew 4:7
- BRING GLORY!
- Your healing may indeed bring glory to him if he does heal you. Declare it AFTER it happens.
- Blindly insisting in advance that you will be healed, if you are not will likely bring dishonor to God. Dr. C has seen how it hardens medical workers against faith in God.
- The better path is to be assured that either way, God’s way is best, whether or not we know why. Daniel and his friends knew this when awaiting a miraculous deliverance from the fiery furnace,
The God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us … But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. Daniel 3:17,18
So, pray, and have faith that God will heal you, if it is his will, and only wanting his will. But follow the principle of Nehemiah who wisely posted a guard as well as prayed to God when under threat. (Nehemiah 4:9)
Do not be like the drowning man in the silly story, who was waiting for God to save him and so refused to take the life boat.
Doesn’t the Bible Teach that if we have Faith God Will Answer?
Part of good Bible interpretation is paying attention to whom the verses we are reading were written. After we answer that we can better discover how to apply the verse to us today. For example, we need to remember that not everything the prophets preached, or Jesus said to his 12 disciples is necessarily spoken to us.
You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it. John 14:14
This lovely promise above was directly given to Jesus’ elite group of disciples before he died. We can not necessarily apply it to ourselves. Well, you might point out that a few verses earlier Jesus said,
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12
That verse does specify “whoever” and so very likely includes us. If we believe in him we will share his words and care for the sick and needy.
However, what is the idea of “greater things?” Perhaps you are thinking it is flashy miracles? Could it not be that persisting in serving Jesus throughout a long life, bearing fruit, and bringing others to salvation is more likely what was greater from Jesus’ perspective?
Example of Misunderstanding “Possible”:
Dr. C was helping disciple an Indian, who asked her about Mark 9:23,
“Everything is possible for one who believes.”
The new and struggling believer was frustrated because he had prayed believing that Jesus would come through in his favor in a legal judgment. Dr. C told him that believing was not a guarantee that we would get what we want.
Notice the beginning of the verse, “‘If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’”
Our faith is important. It makes everything possible. It does not guarantee the result we want.
God’s Will – The Essential Part
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him. I John 5:14, 15
This passage was written in a letter by the Apostle John to believers in Christ, so it applies to us today.
Notice that the guarantee is that we will receive what we ask if it is in accordance with his will. Even Jesus prayed this way in the Garden of Gethsemane before he went to the cross. As we know, it was not the Father’s will to release him from that agony (Luke 22:42).
Three Important Things to Remember About Healing
Many people have become discouraged and even left the faith because they prayed for a healing or other miracle that did not happen. On the other hand, many people have become Christians because God miraculously healed someone in their family. How can we view these opposite situations?
- Ultimately it is God’s decision who gets healed and who does not. His ways are not our ways. Many wonderful things have come through not only healing, but the testimony of someone who is not healed.
- We will all die sooner or later. We will not always be healed on earth. It is good to accept that there is a time for us to go to the home of our Heavenly Father.
- All Christians will be fully healed eventually – if not on earth, in heaven. That is a great encouragement to us when we or those we love suffer.
We must pray believing that God will act through our prayers for good. If it is not according to our will, we must accept his decision and way – whether it is Yes, No, or Wait.
(Note: We also talk about this in the Prayer section of the study guide on The Christian Life.)
Example of God Doing Good through NOT Healing
Evelyn, a Christian volunteer with us that died of cancer had been praying for years that her husband Tony would yield his life to God. It was not until after Evelyn died that he started taking life seriously and yielded it to God.
In fact, Tony went beyond accepting fulfilling an absolute dream of Evelyn: in his retirement, he trained and became a missionary! He lived his life serving God until he passed away suddenly, joining her in heaven several years later.
If Evelyn had known what would happen would she willing have gone to heaven earlier? Yes, we are certain of it! But there was no way she could have realized this before she passed away.
Should We Pray for Muslims to have Dreams and Miracles?
QUESTION: So, should we pray for miracles for Muslims? and if so, how?
ANSWER: Yes! We should pray for Muslims to have dreams and miracles. Here are suggested ways how:
- That the Lord will confirm the Word of God that you have shared with Muslims you know with a dream, miracle, or special conviction.
- That the Lord will do something similar for Muslims who have received God’s word from other people and sources.
- That dreams, visions, and miracles would come to people trapped deep in Islam, who have no access to his Word.
- This especially includes those who have little contact with the outside world, the illiterate, women in purdah (secluded), villagers, and those with strict families.
- We pray Lord, that in all of these situations miracles will overcome the obstacles that keep them trapped in Islam.
Follow-up of the Three Miracle Seekers
Some of you might be interested in what happened to the three Muslim miracle-seekers. Since this video lesson was filmed God has been working in their lives.
MUSLIM #1 About two years after concluding a year of Bible Study with Dr. C, she had a dream of Jesus. The voice of a man dressed in white, surrounded by light said to her,
Look up these words, “I have put my trust in you.”
The voice was loud and compelling, almost forceful. She obeyed it. She googled the words and was amazed to find them in the Bible. In Psalm 143:8,
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
After finding these words in the Bible, she called Dr. C and prayed with her on the telephone to receive Jesus as her Savior.
MUSLIM #2 The second Muslim did not have a dream or miracle. But a mutual Muslim friend of hers and Dr. C became a Christian. Then she also became a Christian shortly before leaving America. In her final days here she said,
Cynthia, I can’t leave the country without telling you – I have become a Christian.
The new believer returned to a very restrictive Muslim country, without the opportunity for discipleship. She is now there as a secret believer.
MUSLIM #3 Received but rejected: The third had a request for a specific miracle answered, and a powerful dream – both of which were answered as requested. This Muslim still resists becoming a Christian, and is attracted to the Eastern and New Age concepts of god in us.
- All three of these are still very much in need of prayer to assist them in their spiritual walk.
Nabeel Qureshi’s Testimony of Becoming Christian from Muslim
Nabeel closes the video lesson by sharing with us his spiritual journey, and decision to follow Jesus. In Nabeel’s case both miracle and the truth of scripture testified to him that Jesus is the crucified and risen Savior. Together they gave him the courage to step forward in assured faith to Christ.
Nabeel came from a very loving and spiritual family. His parents came to America as missionaries to bring what they believed was the truth of Islam to Americans. Nabeel was 100% sure Islam was correct.
But during Nabeel’s university years a good friend began to challenge him about the truth of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. He also pointed out to Nabeel unpleasant details about Islamic history and laws.
As Nabeel grew closer to the truth, the cost of believing it began to dawn on him. If he crossed over to Christianity from Islam, he would deeply hurt his precious family and risk losing everything in his life.
Then Nabeel read in Matthew 10:37-39, where Jesus said that whoever loves his family more than Jesus is not worthy of him. The Bible says that to truly follow Jesus we lose our life for his sake – but we will end up finding it.
“To be willing to follow Jesus we are willing to lay down our lives for the sake of God and the truth,” says Nabeel.
He goes on to tell us that with our eyes on Jesus we will have the strength to pour ourselves out for others in service to God because we know that he is taking care of us. We will be with him forever.
To those like these three miracle-seeking Muslims Nabeel advises,
“Keep your eyes on Jesus. Read the scriptures. Note what he says… There is something about him that is captivating.”
Again, as he closes Nabeel reminds us, “Keep your eyes on Jesus. Will you take his hand?” Nabeel asks. “Will you follow him?”
That is what Nabeel did. He had dreams, a vision, and clear conviction of the truth of God’s word. He kept his eyes on Jesus and he followed him. Nabeel served God to the full, preaching and defending the gospel, and challenging Islam.
Nevertheless, Nabeel got cancer. Despite the prayers of thousands of admiring Christians, including Dr. C, he did not receive the miracle of healing. He died of cancer at the young age of 34 in 2017, leaving a wife and young daughter, and fruitful ministry.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8
This is a major example of how we cannot always understand the way of God with miracles and answers to prayer. Considering the options we discussed in this lesson, perhaps it was time and chance. Or perhaps there was some better plan that God had in mind which required this heartbreaking loss.
The Apostle Paul also tells us that God did not answer his prayer to remove a “thorn in the flesh.”
In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. II Corinthians 12:7-9
Comfort in Rejection
We can take heart from the fact that not even prayers for the healing of Nabeel and the Apostle Paul were answered. Therefore, when our own most heartfelt prayers are not answered, it does not mean that we have failed in our faith, or God does not love us. Perhaps he wants to shine through us with contentment in suffering. Or perhaps he wants to fulfill, earlier than we had hoped, his own desire to have us with him and see his glory.
As Jesus prayed shortly before he was crucified,
Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. John 17:24
- II Corinthians 5:17
- Psalm 103:2-4
- John 5:31-47 & 4:48
- II Corinthians 12:12
- Matthew 16:1-4 & 24:24
- Luke 16:31 & 3:22
- Psalm 91:11
- Ecclesiastes 9:11
- Genesis 50:20
- Romans 8:28
- James 1:7 & 4:2, 3
- Acts 2:17 & 5:12 & 17:26, 27
- Philippians 4:11
- Matthew 4:7 & 7:7
- Daniel 13:17, 18
- Nehemiah 4:9
- John 14:12, 14
- I John 5:14, 15
- Luke 22:42
- Psalm 143:8
- Matthew 10:37-39
- Matthew 5-6
- Isaiah 55:8
- II Corinthians 12:7-9
- John 17:24
You can read more of Nabeel’s testimony in his books Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and No God but One: Allah or Jesus.
Names: The examples given are true. The names have been changed for safety.
- Examples: Outside of the cases presented in this episode, have you, or members of the study group, heard of any particular case of God using dreams, visions, and miracles to bring Muslims to Christ?
- Why do you think God uses these vehicles for revealing himself to Muslims?
- Could it be cultural?
- Could it be because there is limited access to him through books and teaching in these lands?
- Do Muslims tend to have more revelations of Christ than Christians do because they love him more than Christians do, are better people, or pray more?
- Nabeel Qureshi told us how dreams played an important role in his deciding to become a Christian.
- Why does he think this was so?
- Does he say all Muslims should have a dream or miracle?
- Bob Siegel came to Christ from a Jewish background.
- What kind of supernatural experience did he have?
- Does he say all Jews should have a dream or miracle?
- What risk in Muslims has George Houssney seen for who come to Christ seeking a miracle?
- At times judgmental Christians accuse American Christians of not having as many miracles as those in more primitive areas because they do not have enough faith.
- How does Dr. C answer that?
- Do you agree or disagree?
- Consider the “transaction model” of faith:
- How was it described in the study guide?
- Can you think of any religion that especially practices this?
- Have you ever found yourself approaching God and prayer with this attitude?
- Hot Springs South Dakota has been considered a place of natural healing for centuries. For hundreds of years the Native Americans argued and even battled over it.
- What did the tribes eventually decide to do with Hot Springs?
- We can understand the desire of some tribes to reserve this wonderful place for themselves. Can you think of some resource that:
- a particular group has but does not want to share?
- you have but are reluctant to share?
- Is there a way in which the hot springs of Hot Springs could serve as an analogy, simile or parable? (Note: If needed see the study guide and Lesson on Jesus’ Parables.)
- Throughout history, people have sought healing through both natural and supernatural methods.
- As time allows, recall, share, and praise God for times he has healed members of the group (or you as an individual) through both “natural” and “supernatural” means.
- Regarding Muslims requiring a miracle before believing in Christ:
- Does the lesson support this?
- What does it suggest is the place of miracles in conversion?
- What do you think should be the place of miracles in conversion?
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