Samer's Testimony

Rejecting Islam and Trusting Christ

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The first "encounter" I can remember related to Jesus was when I was
singing in the fifth-grade all-city choir: I felt offended because
some of the songs mentioned Jesus's name, so I decided to drop out.
This mentality toward the things of God continued for some time, and I
remember being handed a New Testament by a member of the Gideons while
walking into school one morning. I took the gift of love, and instead
of opening it and reading the gospel, I threw it into the nearest
trash can and went on my way.

As far as hearing the gospel, even in these last days, I don't think
it's possible to grow up in America without hearing "Jesus loves you"
or "Jesus died for your sins." But I was raised a Muslim, and I
believed in a fairy-tale god who would allow anybody into heaven as
long as he believed in one god (yet that god, Allah, is not the God of
the Bible). Another common teaching of Islam is weighing one's good
works over bad works to get into Heaven. As such, I had no concept of
sin as exceeding sinful, and I figured I was "better than most
people." In high school, I became interested in weird, paranormal
stuff by listening to Art Bell's radio show. Although it is not a show
for a Christian to be listening to, God was able to use those evil
things to lead me to Himself. My interest in Nostradamus and Edgar
Cayce soon led me to the Bible. While the
prophecies of Nostradamus and Cayce almost always fail (and one
failure renders one a false prophet worthy of death by Deuteronomy
18:20-22), I realized that the Bible was right time after time, and
its prophecies were much more straightforward than the ambiguous
prophecies of Nostradamus. I was especially intrigued by the very real
fulfillment of biblical end-times prophecies, which I realized would
culminate in the events of the book of Revelation.

When nobody was watching me (out of shame), I continued to look into
websites discussing Revelation and Bible prophecy. Suffice it to say,
I got really, really spooked. At the same time, I also found out about
some really amazing prophecies of the Messiah, including His virgin
birth (Isaiah 7:14), crucifixion (Psalms 22, Isaiah 53), and
resurrection (Psalm 16:8-11). (For the record, the Koran contains no
legitimate prophecies.) All of this and I was still not saved yet! It
is sad that I had that intellectual knowledge and remained stubborn,
because knowing about Jesus means nothing on the day of judgment
(James 2:19), but God was working.

With my intellect more than satisfied about the Bible, I still had to
repent of Islam and its teachings (e.g., "Allah can have no son").
Revelation was perhaps the best book to be in, as I knew Christ would
soon return, and I was unprepared. Anybody who is convinced of the
Bible's truth, and starts reading that part of Scripture is going to
come to a place like Revelation 21:8 and realize there's a decision to
be made. God used my own conscience (con = with; science = knowledge)
to bear witness against me in agreement with the Scriptures, and with
my sin abounding, the grace of Jesus became amazing. No longer did I
have to wonder why Jesus had to die on some cross 2,000 years ago or
else I'd go to Hell, as I realized my own sins against God personally
put Him there.

Eventually, I rejected Islam and put my complete trust in Jesus
Christ, and was saved, to God's glory. While Jesus changed my life and
overall attitude, my new Christian life would lay stagnant for almost
two years, having no church and no Bible. In time, the Holy Spirit
moved me in the right direction, eventually leading me, after moving
to Lawrence, to Heritage Baptist Church, where I was baptized. He has
continued working in my life since, and although I have dishonored my
Savior far too often since then, He always takes me back—Jeremiah 3:1
is truly an amazing, convicting invitation. It is my hope that I will
continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ,
and decrease that He may increase.