In case you were wondering if God keeps his promises, keep reading. Jesus sharing with the disciples on the Mount of Olives said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matt 24:14). Interesting that Jesus said “the whole world” when we consider that today many parts of the world are closed to normal missionary work. Did you know that in these countries there is a great harvest taking place? “From 1960 to 2010, the number of Muslims that have converted to faith in Jesus Christ has grown from fewer than 200,000 to some 10 million people” (Joel Rosenberg).
Below are excerpts from a Q&A by Tabletalk Magazine with Rev. Abdul Saleeb who is co-author of The Dark Side of Islam. He pastors a Muslim-convert fellowship in the United States and is intimately involved with churches in the Middle East.
Tabletalk: Tell us how the Lord led you out of Islam to Christianity?
Abdul Saleeb: My first encounter with the gospel and the Christian faith was through the ministry of a group of American missionaries in Europe. When I discovered that Christians did not believe that Jesus was simply a prophet but God incarnate who had died on the cross for our sins, my first reactions were: 1) Christians are insane. 2) How can anyone believe such blasphemies? Through many months of attending church, reading the Bible and comparing it with the Qur’an, and debating with my Christian friends, the Spirit of God finally opened my eyes to see the truth and beauty of Christ. The two truths that touched me the most to convince me of the truth of the gospel were the Old Testament prophecies about Christ and especially His deity (for example, Isa 9:6), and the emphasis on grace and love in the New Testament.
TT: Many Muslims claim to have seen Jesus in their dreams, and, as a result, some have professed faith in Christ. What are your thoughts on these widespread reports of Muslims seeing Jesus in their dreams?
Abdul Saleeb: It is simply a fact that dreams are an important element in the testimonies of many Muslims who have come to faith in Christ. I believe dreams are an important part of many of the cultures around the world, and God is using dreams as a bridge to draw people to Christ. However, the impact of most dreams is to encourage the individual Muslim to become more open to hear about Jesus from Christians, visit a church, or read the Bible for the first time. Usually dreams in themselves do not have a full-fledged gospel presentation, and they do not replace the need for a human witness or the Scriptures.
TT: When witnessing to a Muslim, what are the major points that Christians should seek to engage?
Abdul Saleeb: The deity of Christ and the cross of Christ are the two most fundamental truths of the Christian faith that the Qur’an denies. Although the Qur’an gives some lofty titles to Jesus (the “Spirit of God” and a “Word from God”) and acknowledges His virgin birth and miraculous life, Jesus was merely a prophet and not the Son of God or in any sense divine. The Qur’an also denies that Jesus was ever killed or crucified. According to Muslim belief, He was taken up to heaven and someone else was mistakenly put on the cross in His place. Obviously, there is no good news if Jesus never died for our sins and is not Himself God in the flesh, with the authority to forgive our sins.
Preparing for Sunday
Matthew 9:35 – 10:42
For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people,saying: “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.”Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples.
I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.
Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.
Sunday Evening Service
Missionary Report, Reception, & Offering
Matt & Stephanie Van Gorden
Sunday, May 14 is Baby Dedication Sunday
If you would like to have your infant/child dedicated on Mother’s Day, please sign up here.
April 30 – Matt & Stephanie Van Gorden Report, Reception & Offering
May 14 – Mother’s Day/Baby Dedication
May 27 – Youth Hiking
May 28 – Missionary Presentation, Huffmeir Report
June 25 – Church Wide Fellowship Meal and Concert
2017 Elder/Deacon Assignments
Do you have a green thumb?
If so, we sure could use your help in caring for the mulched beds around the church. We don’t expect you to do them all, but you can adopt one of the beds yourself, as a family, Sunday School class or Soma group. The church will buy the plants, you can submit a plan of what to plant and then care for the plants during the summer and fall. Maybe you have plants in your yard that you can separate and donate to the church. If you are interested please contact Paul Dreiling, at email@example.com
Whenever we gather as a church our security teams provide oversight in the parking lots and areas around our church. If you are looking for a ministry, please consider joining our Security Team on a Sunday morning & evening and Wednesday night. If you are interested please contact Travis Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org. A special thanks to all of you guys who are already serving our church on the security team.