Bible, Islam, Main, News, Persecution, Teaching, z43
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Redeeming the land?


Twenty-one Christian men marching to martyrdom on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

Twenty-one Christian men marching to martyrdom on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

Dr Joseph Yousef has a ministry, Leading the Way, that broadcasts via radio and TV to over 190 countries around the world. On a recent program, Yousef interviewed Shahid (not his real name) a former Muslim from Libya.

After attending a Muslim school for 14 years, Shahid was an expert in Islamic Law and interpretation. However, he began to question his Islamic faith and when he asked sincere questions to those mentoring him, he was abruptly told the Qur’an forbids people from asking questions.

Shahid said he struggled with this doubt for four years and finally renounced Islam and decided to become an atheist.

It was during this period he heard about Christianity through Leading the Way’s 24-hour satellite channel. He ended up contacting the ministry who eventually introduced the young Muslim man to several Christians living in Jordan and Lebanon.

Shahid met secretly with a group for a few months, studying the Bible. He eventually became a Christian and was baptized.

Today, he is sharing his faith with fellow Muslims primarily in Libya and according to Leading the Way, Shahid has started 11 churches.

But perhaps the most interesting thing that happened is Shahid shared blurred photos of how he baptized new Muslim converts at the very spot along the Mediterranean coast in Syrian where last February ISIS brutally beheaded 21 Christian men because of their faith in Christ.

We know God remembered this spot because their blood marked the land.

After Caan killed his brother Abel in a jealous rage, God said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10).

When I read of this water baptism, it reminded me of a story out of Jeremiah where God called his prophet to redeem the land.

The Law stated if a man fell into poverty and was forced to sell his land, his nearest relative needed to function as a “redeemer” to “redeem” the land by buying it on behalf of his relative so it would not be owned by strangers (Leviticus 25:25).

When Jeremiah began prophesying that God was going to send Israel into captivity at the hands of Babylon, King Zedekiah threw Jeremiah in jail to prevent him from spreading fear among the Jewish people.

While in his jail, God told Jeremiah that his cousin, Hanamel, was coming to ask the prophet to redeem the land Hanamel had lost (Jeremiah 32:6-41). And though Jeremiah knew this gesture was meaningless because Israel was soon going into captivity, God told the prophet to redeem the land as a promise that one day the Jews would return.

Jeremiah turned this redemption into a public event at his jail cell where his cousin and a number of witnesses gathered. He had his servant Baruch buy the land and even sealed a copy of the deed in a clay jar as a promise that the Jews would one day return.

The prophet then took advantage of this moment and offered a prayer that turned into a prophetic word.

Jeremiah prophesied that people from the nations would pour into the land. Looking ahead to Jesus, God further promised He would make an “everlasting covenant” with Israel (Jeremiah 32:40) where all could receive redemption through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7).

Former Muslims being baptized on the very spot where Christians were brutally martyred paints a prophetic picture of this promised redemption.

“Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)

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