Sunday, November 13, 2011

He who endures to the end will be saved

Mohammed Saeed was twenty-seven when he began searching for something spiritual outside of his family’s Islamic faith. In that search, he attended an evangelistic healing festival with a sick friend in the nearby village of Bail Ahata, in his homeland of Pakistan.

Mohammed has never experienced anything like the Christian festival. He was amazed at the joyful spirit and the incredible healings that he saw taking place. The evangelists there prayed for Mohammed’s friend. Days later, the friend was pronounced cancer free, and Mohammed was convinced he needed to discover more about this Jesus who had healed his friend. Soon he accepted Christ, was baptized, and started attending church regularly. He had finally found the joy and contentment he had never found in Islam.

Mohammed’s faith grew and he became more vocal and aggressive in sharing Christ with others. In his neighbourhood, he would knock on doors and pray with those he met. But his bold witness drew hostile reactions from some family, friends, neighbours, and even some church members who feared for his safety. He was now viewed by the Islamic community as an infidel, and co-workers and customers at the restaurant where Mohammed worked refused to eat food he had cooked or even touched. His parents and relatives wouldn’t give him food or allow him to touch kitchen utensils. He lost his job, and his wife took their two sons and moved in with her parents.

In June 2002, four years after his conversion, a Muslim relative asked Mohammed to stop by his shop, saying he wanted to learn more about Jesus. Mohammed arrived at the shop carrying his nine-month-old son in his arms. The relative closed the door and urged Mohammed to return to Islam or he would be killed immediately. Mohammed stood firm, insisting he would not renounce Christianity. If necessary, he was prepared to die for Jesus. The relative pulled out a knife, stabbed Mohammed in the stomach, and slit his throat, lips and tongue. Later, Mohammed’s infant son was discovered sitting in a pool of blood beside his martyred father’s body.

Jesus said, “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on Earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided, three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Luke 12: 51-53). Mohammed Saeed experienced these words in a most horrific manner. But he also experienced another of Jesus’ promises: “He who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).

Excerpted from Foxe: Voices of the Martyrs. You can order a copy of this book from our online resource catalogue.

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