The miraculous way God is reaching Muslims right now

December 30, 2022 by Josh Depenbrok in Persecution updates

Ali*, a believer in the Southern Philippines, shares a remarkable story 

 

He comes from a Muslim background, one which didn’t regularly cross paths with Christianity. One night, God appeared to Ali in a dream, showing him a bright light and instructing him to go to an unfamiliar church. When Ali woke up, he began searching for the building. Once he found it, he was greeted by a youth leader (also from a Muslim background) who shared the gospel with him.  

 

Today, Ali now oversees a house church with his family, leading a group of former Muslim believers and passing along the lessons about Jesus he has learned.  

Extraordinary conversion growth

Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world today. Population research indicates that by 2060, it could also be the world’s largest religion, surpassing Christianity. But the number of Muslims converting to Christianity over the last few decades is unprecedented in history.

Research by author and missionary David Garrison finds that in the first 1,400 years since Islam was founded and established, there were 15 recorded movements of Muslims becoming Christians. Garrison defines a “movement” as at least 1,000 Muslims from a particular community who not only profess their faith in Christ, but voluntarily show it through the act of baptism.  

In just the first two decades of the 21st century, there have already been 70 flourishing conversion movements.  

Conversion catalysts

Like Ali, many Muslims live in places where it is dangerous to become a Christian or where the gospel isn’t regularly shared. So how does God call His people living in these lands?  

Former Muslims have repeatedly shared how God used dreams to come to them. By some counts as many as 25% of Muslim converts have experienced a dream or vision.  

The idea of revelation through visions in modern times might seem a bit difficult to believe. But many Muslims are open to the revelatory nature of dreams due to general cultural and religious acceptance. According to a series of interviews of Christian migrants who had converted from Islam, many reported that dreams led their conversion, and enough were recorded that they could be sorted into four main categories: 

  • – Jesus speaking Scripture to them, even though they had never heard it before. 
  • -Jesus telling them to do something. 
  • -A dream that led to a feeling of being cleansed and at peace. 
  • -A physical appearance by a man in white.  

One person said he could feel God wrapping himself around him in a dream. Another said a cross appeared out of the sand. 

Dreams in ancient times

Joseph Telling his Dreams to his Parents and Brothers, by Rembrandt, 1633, Dutch oil painting. 

Joseph Telling his Dreams to his Parents and Brothers, by Rembrandt, 1633, Dutch oil painting. 

While to many of us, these dreams seem strange and maybe even hard to believe, Columbia Theological Seminary’s professor emeritus Walter Brueggemann reminds us that dreams were viewed as significant in the ancient world. 

“The ancients understood that the unbidden communication in the night opens sleepers to a world different from the one they manage during the day. The ancients dared to imagine, moreover, that this unbidden communication is one venue in which the holy purposes of God, perplexing and unreasonable as they might be, come to us.” 

In the Bible—from Genesis to Revelation—we find numerous examples of God using visions to communicate with people and show them the way to eternity. A few specific examples: 

  • -In Genesis 15, God appears to Abraham in a vision to reinforce the covenant He made with him. 
  • -In Genesis 28, Jacob dreams of a stairway bridging heaven and earth with angels ascending and descending it. God tells Jacob in the dream that He will give him and his descendants the land on which he is sleeping.  
  • -Later in Genesis, God gives Pharaoh disturbing dreams and empowers Joseph to interpret them, as well as the dreams of Joseph’s prison inmates. 
  • -In the New Testament, after visiting Jesus, the Magi are warned in a dream not to go back to King Herod but return home by another route.  
  • -In a dream, Joseph learns that Herod is after Jesus and God tells him to head to Egypt. 
  • -Peter famously dreams about clean and unclean animals, which led to the disciples expanding their witness to the Gentiles.  
  • -Through visions, God gives John the book of Revelation. 

Preparing for harvest today 

The way God talked to His people 2,000 years ago is the way He speaks now. He is using the same means to draw His creation to Himself today.  

At the conclusion of Garrison’s research of Muslim conversion movements, he wrote, “That historically unprecedented Muslim movements to Christ were taking place in our day was no longer in question.” He goes on to say that dreams were often part of former Muslims’ testimonies: “A common phrase found in many testimonies gathered from West Africa to East Asia began with the words, ‘I had a dream….’” 

Rick Love, international director of Mission Frontiers, speaks to the future as God continues to redeem and restore. Love writes: “Just as God used a vision to convert Paul, in like manner He reveals Himself to Muslims through dreams and visions. Just as God prepared Cornelius to hear the gospel through a vision, so God is preparing a multitude of Muslims to respond to His good news.” 

Today in many Muslim-majority countries, Christian converts can face dire consequences and extreme trials and suffering for following Jesus, including ostracism, prison, torture and death. Let’s stand with our brothers and sisters and pray that God continues to use dreams—and any other means He desires—to call His people to Him.  

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