Evangelical Focus recently shared the testimony of a young Muslim man who became a Christian because of what he read in the Quran — Islam’s version of the Bible.
Markus was raised in a strict Sudanese Muslim family in Western Java, Indonesia. His father, a high ranking Muslim leader, led the Muslim University that Markus eventually attended.
As part of an Islamic youth group, Markus actively shared Islam with non believers. It was the result of one encounter with a Chinese Christian man who led Markus to leave Islam and become a Christian.
As he shared his Islamic views with the man, he responded stating he was confident that he was going to His Father in heaven. For Muslims, heaven is a such a sacred place, they rarely talk about it.
Markus was also puzzled over how this man referred to God as his father as Muslims consider themselves slaves of Allah.
When Markus challenged the Christian on who his God was, the man answered simply Jesus.
This answer began to haunt Markus.
According to Muslim belief, the archangel Gabriel gave the Quran to the prophet Mohammad over a 23-year period between 609AD and 632AD. It includes a number of Biblical stories many that have been added to, altered and often reinterpreted.
As a Muslim, Markus knew the Quran talked about Isa or Jesus who it considered a prophet of Allah, but not divine. The Quran also says that Jesus did not die on the cross, that the disciples only mistakenly though He had.
But it does add, unlike Mohammad, Jesus actually never died and instead was taken to heaven. Because of this, Jesus will return during the end times. At that time, He will judge all people, kill satan and kill pigs — that some Muslims believe refers to sins.
But what confused Markus is that the Quran also states only Allah can judge people, so why is Jesus judging people?
Then the Quran says that Mohammad is the last prophet of Allah, but since the Quran also considers Jesus a prophet if He is returning, wouldn’t He be the last prophet?
When he brought these questions to his father and an Islamic teacher, they both told Markus this was true, but insisted he quit this line of questioning.
Because of these questions about Jesus, Markus eventually bought his own Bible and began comparing it with the Quran – this eventually led him to become a Christian.
Markus’s father became very angry when he found about his son’s decision to leave Islam. In his defense, Markus insisted he was still a Muslim, but believed Isa was the “true Word of God.” In fact, the Quran refers to Jesus as the “word of God” (Surah 4:171).
Unconvinced, his father beat Markus and drove him out of the family home.
Markus eventually ended up going to a Bible study at a pastor’s home in Indonesia for a few months and then attended a Bible school in Singapore, where he eventually became a pastor.
But Markus felt God calling him to return to Indonesia to preach the Gospel. He set up a mission in a Muslim village in Western Java where he helped in community development.
After about a year, the village leader asked Markus what religion he was.
For the first time, Markus shared his Christian faith and though the village chief did not respond, Markus noticed that as he prayed for the leader, there were tears in his eyes. What happened that day obviously impacted the man, because the next week 49 members of the village showed up wanting to become Christians.
Since then, Markus has developed a network of underground house churches throughout Indonesia where about 8,000 people attend mostly former Muslims. At times he has been forced to leave Western Java temporarily because of death threats from Muslim extremists, but he always returns to fulfill God’s call to the Sudanese.
Former Muslim Imam Mario Joseph says that the Quran speaks of Jesus more than Mohammad, mentioning Jesus 25 times, and Mohammad only four.
It also records Jesus performing a number of miracles and healings — many Muslims refer to Jesus as the ‘healing prophet.” But the Quran does not cite one miracle that Mohammad did. Muslims counter this by arguing writing the Quran was a miracle.
Mario says the Quran also encourages Muslims to study the Old Testament and the Gospels if they are having doubts about Islam (10:194):
“So if you (O Muhammad SAW) are in doubt concerning that which We have revealed unto you, [i.e. that your name is written in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] then ask those who are reading the Book [the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] before you. Verily, the truth has come to you from your Lord. So be not of those who doubt (it).”
It was this verse that led Mario to study the Bible and become a Christian.
- Markus and the question that changed everything: Evangelical Focus