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In Loving Memory Of Nabeel Qureshi

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Nabeel Qureshi

NABEEL QURESHI

By Dr. Frank Turek 

How does a man facing his own premature death exude an uplifting combination of grace, love and truth? My friend Nabeel Qureshi, who has done that for more than a year, died at age 34 on Saturday. In case you don’t know, Nabeel was a former devout Muslim who became a powerful defender of Christianity after a seven-year process of evaluating the evidence for Christianity with his friend David Wood. His first book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is an international best seller.
Since being diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer last year, Nabeel has shared his thoughts, concerns and prayers through 43 video blogs on his YouTube channel. His last video, recorded from his hospital bed just seven days before his death, is a request for us to use his work and example to love others to the truth.
As you will see in his videos, Nabeel exhibited the love of Christ to the end. He never wavered in his confidence that God could heal him, but recognized that He might not. Nabeel understood that we live in a fallen world, and that God doesn’t promise any of us a long, trouble-free life. In fact, Jesus promised more of the opposite. He said that “In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b).
Nevertheless, while it seems insensitive to ask this while we grieve, people are wondering why didn’t God heal Nabeel. After all, he was a brilliant and charismatic young man taken away from his wife, Michelle, and daughter, Ayah, and the rest of us, far too early. Nabeel had so much more to give to his family and the kingdom of God that his death seems completely senseless.
So why didn’t God heal Nabeel?
Is it because an evil, such as a premature death, proves that there is no God? No, because evil wouldn’t exist unless good existed, and good wouldn’t exist unless God existed. Evil doesn’t exist on its own. It only exists as a lack in a good thing. Cancer can’t exist on its own. It can only exist as a lack in a good body. So when we complain about evil, we are actually presupposing good. But an objective standard of good is a standard that is beyond mere human opinion. That can only be God’s nature. So evil may prove there’s a devil out there, but it can’t disprove God. Instead, evil boomerangs back to show that God actually does exist.
Is it because Allah is the true God, and He punished Nabeel for leaving Him. No, there’s excellent evidence the Christian God, not Allah, is the true God (see Nabeel’s book No God but One). Moreover, Muslims who suggest this should be asked, “Why did Allah wait until Nabeel had written three best-selling books, made hundreds of hours of videos and helped bring hundreds of Muslims to Christ? Is Allah’s timing off?” Not only that, Nabeel’s work will continue to bring people to Christ, probably in an accelerated manner after his passing.
Some might suggest that people like Nabeel, who experience tragedy, must be worse sinners than others. Jesus refuted that kind of shallow speculation directly in Luke 13, when he said, “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”  Indeed, we are all sinners who will perish and we need to repent before it’s too late.

Is it because Nabeel didn’t have enough “faith”?  People who claim such nonsense don’t know Nabeel or correct theology. Nabeel’s trust in Christ was deep and unwavering. But the larger point is that faith doesn’t guarantee good health and wealth as “Word of Faith” preachers assert. In fact, their self-serving theology can be refuted by one simple observation:  Jesus and the apostles weren’t healthy and wealthy. In fact, they suffered and died for their beliefs. Don’t tell me they didn’t have enough faith!
So why didn’t God heal Nabeel?  What purpose could God have for allowing Nabeel to die? In answering that question, we need to admit that there can be no ultimate purpose to Nabeel’s death (or any event) if there is no purpose to life. But since God does exist, and the purpose of life is to be reconciled with Him though His son, Jesus, then even tragedies can help achieve that purpose. Perhaps more people will come to know Christ because of Nabeel’s death. It’s impossible for us to know the extent of that right now, but it’s not impossible for God.

We can’t see it completely because every event, good and bad, ripples forward into the future to impact innumerable other events and people. I call this the ripple effect. But it’s also known as the butterfly effect because it recognizes that a butterfly flapping its wings in South Africa, for example, can start a ripple effect that ultimately brings rain to a drought-stricken portion of the United States. We don’t have the capacity to trace all of those ripples, but an all-powerful being who is outside of time can. In fact, there have been billions of events in history, both good and bad, that helped make you who you are and helped put you where you are.

So we don’t know why God didn’t heal Nabeel, but we know why we don’t know why.  We’re finite and God is infinite. The good news is God’s character and power guarantees that He will bring good from evil “to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28b). That may happen later in this life, and it certainly will spill over into eternal life.

The ripple effect led Jacques Marie Louis Monsabré, a former pastor at Notre Dame in Paris, to trust God even when he couldn’t see any good coming evil. He said: “If God would concede me His omnipotence for 24 hours, you would see how many changes I would make in the world. But if He gave me His wisdom too, I would leave things as they are.”

Indeed, God will redeem Nabeel’s death for good like he redeemed Nabeel himself. But while Nabeel is now with the Lord, Michele and Ayah remain with us. As Nabeel asked in one of his final videos, please pray for them as well as Nabeel’s loving parents. And If you can help Michele and Ayah financially, would you please do so here?  

While we grieve, let us be thankful for Nabeel’s eternally significant life. He did more for the kingdom of God in 34 years than 10,000 people do in 80. And the ripples he created—waves really—will help carry people into heaven for generations. Blessings to you, brother. See you on the other side.

Freely give!

HOME ALONE WITH GOD

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alone
Quiet Time

alone HOME ALONE WITH GOD
Quiet Time

 ALONE WITH GOD

All relationships take time, a relationship with God, while unlike other relationships in many ways, still follows the rules of other relationships. The Bible is filled with comparisons to help us conceptualize our relationship with God. For example, Christ is depicted as the bridegroom, and the Church is depicted as the bride. Marriage is two joining their lives as one (Genesis 2:24). Such intimacy involves time spent alone with one another. Another relationship is that of father and child. Close parental relationships are those in which children and parents have special “alone time” together. Spending time alone with a loved one provides the opportunity to truly come to know that person. Spending time alone with God is no different. When we’re alone with God, we draw closer to Him and get to know Him in a different way than we do in group settings.

private-everglow-300x156 HOME ALONE WITH GOD
God desires “alone time” with us. He wants a personal relationship with us. He created us as individuals, “knitting” us in the womb (Psalm 139:13). God knows the intimate details of our lives, such as the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7). He knows the sparrows individually, and “you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29, 31). He invites us to come to Him and know Him (Isaiah 1:18; Revelation 22:17; Song of Solomon 4:8). When we desire to know God intimately, we will seek Him early (Psalm 63:1) and spend time with Him. We will be like Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to His voice (Luke 10:39). We will hunger and thirst for righteousness, and we will be filled (Matthew 5:6).

Perhaps the best reason for us to spend time alone with God is to follow biblical examples. In the Old Testament, we see God call prophets to come to Him alone. Moses met with God alone at the burning bush and then on Mt. Sinai. David, whose many psalms reflect a confident familiarity with God, communed with Him while on the run from Saul (Psalm 57). God’s presence passed by as Elijah was in the cave. In the New Testament, Jesus spent time alone with God (Matthew 14:13; Mark 1:35; Mark 6:45-46; Mark 14:32-34; Luke 4:42; Luke 5:16; Luke 6:12; Luke 9:18; John 6:15). Jesus actually instructed us to pray to God alone at times: “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen” (Matthew 6:6a).
quite-time HOME ALONE WITH GOD
To rely on Jesus as our vine (John 15:1-8), we will need to be directly, intimatelyconnected to Him. Just as a branch is linked directly to the vine and, through the vine, connected to other branches, so we are linked directly to Christ and therefore share in a community. We spend time alone with God and in corporate worship for the best nourishment. Without time alone with God, we will find needs unmet; we will not truly know the abundant life He gives.

Spending time alone with God rids our minds of distraction so that we can focus on Him and hear His Word. Abiding in Him, we enjoy the intimacy to which He calls us and come to truly know Him.

Freely give!

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