High Stakes in the Case of Nabeel Qureshi

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Nabeel Qureshi is a 34-year-old medical doctor, seminary student, author, and a former devout Muslim who converted to Christianity and who became a powerful apologist for the faith, especially in the Muslim community. A year ago he received the devastating diagnosis of stage IV gastric cancer with a potential cure rate of less than 4%. He underwent the best possible medical treatment to set him up for a potential curative surgery, however he just learned that his treatment failed and there will be no surgical attempt to resect the cancer. From a modern medical standpoint his chance to beat this monster is 0%.

What makes this case unique? What makes his terminal diagnosis a high stakes affair?

Besides potentially leaving behind a young family, the highest stakes in Nabeel’s case have to do with the gospel and with the fame of our LORD among the nations.  It is no secret that Nabeel’s family and Muslim community he grew up in were unhappy with his infidelity to Islam. He writes about it in his books. But now they will use this terminal diagnosis to claim that Allah is punishing Nabeel for turning his back on his former faith. They will use this as a deterrent for other potential Muslims who hear the gospel and wish to come to Christ. Nabeel has been evangelizing the Muslim community in his activity with the Ravi Zacharias Ministry, has participated in debates in front of Muslims (which he won decisively), and has been reaching out to them in his books.

Just imagine the implications of him passing from this illness in terms of the reproach cast on the Christian faith, on Christ and on the Church by his Muslim critics. Now imagine the implications of a miraculous healing from gastric cancer in a Christian convert among the same Muslim critics. It would be a tremendous boost to the gospel and a testimony for the glory of God. That is why we must all unite in prayer for his healing. God will receive glory either way, but the gospel of the New Testament is a gospel that is accompanied by miracles so that unbelievers may see and believe.

There is another secondary spiritual issue going on here, and it is among our Christians. Nabeel has not hidden his charismatic beliefs in that he correctly believes that the supernatural spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14 are still active today to strengthen believers and the cause of the gospel. He has received numerous prophecies that God will heal his illness, despite his medical prognosis being extremely poor. If he succumbs to the illness there will be those who will use this to mock the gifts of knowledge and prophecy, and the biblical practice of prayer and anointing for physical healing. I am not defending extreme and unbiblical charismatic practices (in fact I sanction them), but the biblical practice of spiritual gifts is an important part of the church.

Nabeel is the subject of life-and-death high stakes for the gospel among Muslims, and for the validity of supernatural spiritual gifts among Christians.

His chance of beating the cancer is zero. That is why this is God’s time to make His gospel shine for His fame and His glory. That is why it is critical that believers unite in prayer for his healing.

Watch the heartbreaking video below.


Strange Fire Was… Strange

Strange Fire

The Strange Fire conference led by John MacArthur at Grace Community Church has concluded.

And it was a bit strange.

Pentecostal and Charismatic indictment was in order.  Any manifestation of the miraculous spiritual gifts (even biblical) was put in the same category as mysticism.  That’s too bad.

The conference had its lighter moments too, especially when neo-Calvinist charismatic and controversial pastor Mark Driscoll showed up and set up shop on campus with a bunch of his new books.  He was kicked (ahem, gently asked) out.  Todd Friel of Wretched also had a great line in one of the sessions: “This conference is called Strange Fire, maybe next year’s conference will be called Strange Water, about that infant baptism stuff…” 🙂 That was a jab at MacArthur who was joined by the cessationist infant baptizing crowd in this endeavor.

On a more serious note, the conference did nothing but drive a wider wedge between people who love the Lord. Initially, MacArthur asked the “faithful Pentecostals” to join him and denounce Word of Faith, Toronto Blessing, New Apostolic Reformation and Bill Johnson type of charismatism, but then he turned around and slammed anyone who is not a cessationist with respect to spiritual gifts and miracles in the strongest possible terms.

So the conference failed on that front. Instead of winning over on his side those of us who continue to believe in the miraculous gifts as described in 1 Corinthians 14 and practiced biblically, MacArthur slammed us as demonic and mystic. Typical cessationist approach.

Well balanced and well-respected pastors and theologians like John Piper and Sam Storms were criticized from the pulpit. Again, for something that is black on white in the Bible.

There was however, a bright spot in the conference: Conrad Mbewe, the so-called Spurgeon of Africa. He is a reformed preacher used by God in a mighty way in Africa to denounce the prosperity gospel and charismatic abuses. He was the only speaker who actually differentiated between those involved in charismatic abuses and continuationists who are grounded in Scripture. He made the point that the latter are fewer and fewer in Africa.  He used to have university colleagues in Pentecostal circles, and they would exchange doctrinal points and Bible study experience.

That’s right, Bible study among Pentecostals and Charismatics.  It is sad that such a concept is rare now-a-days.

That is where the baby is found in the murky bath water.  There are still those of us who study the Word of God and are committed to its prescriptions, and continue to believe in the gifts of tongues and prophecy.

The Body of Christ should not be divided over secondary issues like continuation of spiritual gifts.  We should denounce heretical theology and manifestations found in some charismatic circles, but accept those believers who are grounded in the Bible and have experienced the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit.

photo: the Christian Post