Mosab Hassan Yousef becomes a Christian

JP: I found this encouraging and you may as well.

Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas leader, becomes a Christian

Excerpts:

Mr Yousef, who is known as Joseph by friends at the Barabbas Road church in San Diego, California, arrived in America 18 months ago but only recently made “the biggest decision of my life” to go public with his conversion to draw attention to how the Palestinian leadership is “misleading” and exploiting its people.
…..
Mr Yousef was raised as a Muslim by his politically powerful family. His father, Hassan Yousef, a highly respected sheikh born in the West Bank town of al-Ghaniya near Ramallah, is a founding member of Hamas, whose military wing has instigated dozens of suicide bombings and other attacks against Israel since it was formed in 1987.

Mr Yousef said that his doubts about Islam and Hamas crystallised when he realised not all Hamas leaders were like his father, a moderate who he describes as “open-minded, very humble and honest”.

Mr Yousef said that he was appalled by the brutality of the movement, including the suicide bombers seeking glory through jihad.

“Hamas, they are using civilians’ lives, they are using children, they are using the suffering of people every day to achieve their goals. And this is what I hate,” he said.

It was after a chance encounter nine years ago with a British missionary that Mr Yousef began exploring Christianity.

He found it “exciting”, he said, and began secretly studying the Bible, struck by the central tenet “love your enemies”.

Nevertheless he does not advocate the “collapse of Islam”, but rather for people to acknowledge that after 1,400 years “it’s not working any more”.

He said: “It’s not taking them anywhere. It’s making them look ugly.”

He hopes that Muslims will begin to question their religion and “fix it” by rejecting the parts that call for “killing others, cutting hands, cutting legs, torturing people and asking for destruction of entire civilisations”.

He said that after he converted to Christianity, he decided he had to escape and “live my life away from violence because I couldn’t coexist with that situation as a Christian.”

“I was thinking, what is my responsibility now? To see people dying every day or to stand up and say, this is wrong, this is right and be strong about this? So I had to make this move.”

He plans to write a memoir about his “transformation” that he hopes will inspire others and to found an international organisation to educate young people about Islam and preach a message of “forgiveness”, the only way he thinks “the endless circle of violence” between Israelis and Palestinians can be broken.

“I know this take a longer time, but this is the right way to do it, to build a new generation, a new generation who understand how to forgive, how to love.”

It is a vision his new church shares. In a posting on the Barabbas Road website entitled “Joseph’s story”, the most unlikely member of the congregation is described as “a miracle” who left a society steeped in “brutal and bloody warfare” and instead “turned to Jesus”.

“He is most certainly the face of things to come; an Ambassador to those oppressed by Islam. He is passionate about liberating his brothers and sisters from the darkness of a false religion, and living the truth that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Light.”

Scriptural perspective:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’ (Romans 1:16-17)

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“Is it possible to have life in Christ without love for Christ?”

JP: My response to the “World from my Window – ‘Question of the Day’“. Click to the site to see my full response including dropping the “n” from “men

Here is the “TULIPBURGER” response (the picture of which looks very unhealthy – but very tasty!):

“We love Him because He first loved us.” (I John 4:19).

To personalize it: In the life of Jim Peet, God initiated the relationship! I responded because He chose to love me! Had He not chosen to love me, I would not have loved Him.

If God loves all men in the same way, it would seem that all would love Him. That they do not seems to indicate a limited purpose of the cross.

True Christians love Him!

I Corinthians 16:22, “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!”

There may be varying degrees of love for Christ among various men. And there may be varying degrees of love in the life of a single believer. Redeemed but still fallen men will not perfectly love the Lord.

Genuine love for the Lord will manifest itself in obedience (again in varying degrees depending upon maturity and yieldedness) to the Lord (1 John 4:19-21)

For my TULIPBURGER comment see Jay Adams Reaffirms the Importance of Limited Atonement and the picture of the giant (looks like a Red Robin) burger.

A Distinction between Israel and the church

JP: Good read from the Baptist Bulletin. This view of the church and Israel will be important In our study of Romans chapters 9-11.

Why Dispensationalism Still Matters

Excerpts:

…. dispensationalists believe in a distinction between Israel and the church. This does not always mean an absolute distinction. After all, the two institutions share the same God, the coming kingdom, and the Messiah. It also does not mean that covenant theology supporters fail to see any differences between the two in history, such as a functioning nation of Israel in the Old Testament and an international church in the New Testament.

… dispensationalism sees the church as starting on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 and does not treat the word “church” as a soteriological category. Most dispensationalists, especially Baptist ones, would see the necessity of individual regeneration to be in the church. However, dispensationalists emphasize other aspects of the church’s nature and how it functions. The church has a unique relationship to Christ, something that did not exist before. Church saints are baptized into Christ or have a position of being “in Christ.” This strong identification is not true of pre-Pentecost saints.