I haven’t yet finished reading his book, No God but One: Allah or Jesus? Ordered this last year, directly from Amazon.com, because it was not available in Indian store at that time. One of my friends borrowed it to read, and now it is with another friend. Today, I was shocked to hear the sad demise of our dear brother Nabeel Qureshi.
Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family
Now the book has become even more valuable, not only to me, but to the entire world.
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. Click here to read more
Why did God not heal Nabeel?
This could be the question arising in the minds of millions. Anyway this post is not to discuss that question, but there are few things which we can learn from this brother.
1. Nabeel is not dead, he is just sleeping
Sounds weird? Yes, but that’s the truth.
There is a story in the Bible.
One day Jairus, a ruler of a synagogue, fell at the Savior’s feet. Jairus said that his 12-year-old daughter was very ill. He begged Jesus to come and bless her. He believed that Jesus could make her better. Jesus started to follow Jairus home, but He stopped to heal a woman.
As He was talking to her, someone came to tell Jairus that it was too late—his daughter was dead. Jesus heard what was said. He told Jairus not to be afraid but to believe in Him. Then Jesus went with Jairus to Jairus’s house. The house was filled with people who were crying because of the little girl’s death. Jesus told them the girl was not dead but was sleeping. The people laughed at Him. They were sure the girl was dead.
The Savior had everyone leave the house except His disciples, Jairus, and Jairus’s wife. They went to the room where the little girl was lying. Jesus took the girl by the hand. He told her to get up. She stood up and walked. Her parents were amazed. Jesus told them not to tell anyone what had happened. Then He told her parents to give the girl something to eat.
Look at what Jesus said
The child is not dead, but asleep.” Mark 5: 39
When we look from Jesus’ point of view, physical death is just like sleeping. Jesus can raise people back from death, because He is God.
Christians believe that, when Christ returns, those who are dead in Christ will come back to life. (I Thess 4: 16)
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
So when I say, Nabeel is sleeping, I mean he is physically dead now, but he will physically resurrect back to life, when Christ returns.
2. Nabeel was always cheerful
On 30 August 2016, Qureshi announced that he was in the advanced stages of stomach cancer.
This is an announcement that I never expected to make, but God in His infinite and sovereign wisdom has chosen me for this refining, and I pray He will be glorified through my body and my spirit. My family and I have received the news that I have advanced stomach cancer, and the clinical prognosis is quite grim. Nonetheless, we are going to pursue healing aggressively, both medical and miraculous, relying on God and the fact that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.
Even though, he was fighting with the last stage of cancer, he was always cheerful. His vlogs clearly portrays how joyful he was till the end.
Click here to watch his vlogs in his YouTube channel
It is written about Jesus
Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Heb 12: 2
Nabeel must have derived his joy from Jesus, who was awaiting Him at God’s throne. Cancer could not steal his joy. This is indeed a great encouragement to millions who are suffering from such diseases. One who believes in Jesus need not fear death, because Jesus said.
I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die John 11: 25
3. Nabeel gave his young age for Jesus
Jesus lived for 33.5 years. John the Baptist was 32 or 33 years old when he was martyred. Nabeel dies at the age of 34. I could find some similarity between them. They gave their peak age for God.
Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them” Ecc 12: 1
They served God while they were young. What a privilege!
Many of us desire to enjoy our life in a worldly way and make the best use of it in our peak age, but here are few who chose to sacrifice their lives for the sake of God, and for the sake of millions of people in this world. What a powerful example. They have not wasted their time or life, they had done a good investment, for an eternal life.
4. Nabeel completed his assignment on earth
I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. John 17: 4
In the last video before his death, Nabeel said he hoped he leaves behind a legacy of love.
“As you consider my ministry, I hope it leaves a message of love, of peace, of truth, of caring for one another,” he says. “Our God is a God of love.
Point to ponder: If we die today, what are we going to leave behind for the world? What have we done for the Lord? What will the next generation receive from us? What are they going to learn from us? These are some of the important questions we need to ask ourselves.
Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last. C T Studd
5. Nabeel was getting prepared while he was alive
He knew that his time left on earth was very less, so he decided to get really prepared to meet God. Many times, death comes when people are least expecting it. They are left with no time to get prepared. But this man got enough time to prepare himself. What a great privilege!
We have a great lesson to learn from him. Let us be prepared all the time for this life, and the life after death. Tomorrow may not be yours. So while you have still breath left in you, be prepared.
Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. 2 Cor 6: 2
Tomorrow is not yours. Meet your Creator while you are still alive. How can you get prepared?
- Is there anyone to whom you need ask for forgiveness?
- Is there anyone to whom you have wronged and yet not reconciled?
- What else you would wish to do, if you know that you have only few days left to live?
This is not for us to be scared, but it is always wise to be prepared.
To his fellow itinerants Nabeel came to say, “Thank you. I love you all and if I have hurt anyone, I ask for forgiveness. Most important, my faith is stronger than ever in my Savior and whatever lies ahead, I will take it as God’s will.” Then he said, “You will probably not see me speaking in public anymore and I bid you all goodbye.” RZIM
And there is only way to reach God. Bible is very clear on this
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14: 6
Therefore, it is wise to get in touch with Jesus Christ, so that you can make sure you spend your eternity with Jesus, because He is the only way to Heaven.
Nabeel found the truth.
6. Nabeel’s death glorified God
When I heard of this shocking news, this is the portion which came to my mind (Jesus tells Peter about how he will die)
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
Note the word, the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God
Yes, the death of a saint is pleasing to God
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.
Nabeel died of cancer. Can’t God heal him? Why did God allow him to die? Doesn’t God know that if his life was extended, he could have done more?
Those are the questions which comes to our mind. But our logical understanding is different from God’s! He has His own way of doing things.
The question which matters is this – Is our life glorifying God?
I believe Nabeel’s life and death was pleasing to God.
7. Nabeel did his best to reach out
Even as he was suffering with cancer, he found time to encourage others who are suffering. He did 43 video blogs in his YouTube channel. What a great example!
He used the media in the best way possible. He didn’t waste time elsewhere. He used his precious time to record speech, because he knew very well that he could do this only while he is alive
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 2 Cor 5: 10
We have something important to remember here: We all need to stand before the God one day, to receive the reward for what we have done on this earth.
Let us use the media effectively, not to criticize or bring harm to others, but to build, encourage and edify someone who is really in need. Let us not waste time scrolling the Facebook timeline, but do something that is useful and effective.
8. Nabeel did not deny God till death
Most importantly, he didn’t deny God, until the last point of death. He was very strong in his faith in God.
Here is probably his last video blog
He was a muslim convert. There were a lot of critics for him. Some even said, “Cancer was a punishment from God”
But still he stood for the faith and held on to God Almighty. He trusted God so much. He was willing to suffer.
For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. I Peter 3: 17
Nothing can really separate you from the love of Christ. Paul says
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 8: 38, 39
9. Nabeel received a good farewell like Paul
He received a very blessed farewell from Ravi Zacharias the fellow brothers and sisters from RZIM.
It brought to mind the farewell address to the Ephesian elders from Paul, one of the greatest evangelist/apologists the world has ever known.
Acts 20:36-38 tells us that after Paul finished speaking to the elders, “he knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.”
Read Ravi Zacharias’ farewell message to Nabeel.
My dearest Nabeel, I love you, dear friend, and my heart aches to see you leaving this world so soon. But if it is of any comfort, you have so far lived the same number of years as our Lord and Redeemer. What is more, the world is a mess. We are still trapped by the fears of living in a world immersed in hate and living for matter, greed, pride, and violence. You will be freed to the joy of life where there are no more fears, no more tears, no more hate, no more bloodshed, because you will be with the One who has already shed his blood for you, where love is supreme, grace abounds, and the consummate joy is of the soul. The smile of God awaits you: “Well done.”
“Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for them that love him,” 1 Corinthians 2:9 promises.
Your eyes will now see and your hands will now touch that which is the only Real estate.
My heart goes to a hymn I heard at my grandmother’s funeral; I was only nine years old then.
Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.When other helpers fail and comforts flee,Help of the helpless, O abide with me.Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away.Change and decay in all around I see.O Lord who changes not, abide with me.I need your presence every passing hour.What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power?Who like yourself my guide and strength can be?Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.I fear no foe with you at hand to bless,though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness.Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory?I triumph still, if you abide with me.Hold now your Word before my closing eyes.Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee;in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Farewell my dear Nabeel. If we don’t see you in the near future, we will see you in the eternal pasture.
With our love,
Ravi and the entire RZIM team
If you have lived a good life on this earth, people will remember you. Even if not, God will!
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold Prov 22: 1
May God comfort the sorrowing family, and his dear wife and daughter. May the Lord be with this family. Surely we will meet Nabeel on that shore.