by Carter Cox
I’ll admit, the day Jeff commissioned us out to own our identity, God’s mission, and be used by Him to obey what we learned, I was scared to death.
Accompanying me was a 14 y/o boy named CJ. His childlike faith and obedience was inspiring. “So what do we do first, where do we begin?” CJ asked. I replied, “We pray Psalm 67 and expect God to do big things for His name and glory.” Though I was bold in my response, I was little in faith. After praying, we began to walk around the complex.
Not one minute after we had begun to walk we saw an Ice-cream truck driving toward us.
This was very interesting because I had never seen this truck before. I was thinking and praying, “Could this be the person of peace Jesus described in Luke 10?” So, in obedience to the Holy Spirit’s prompting, I flagged down the truck and approached the window. An older middle-eastern man greeted us from the truck, “Hi my friends, what can I get you today?”
I replied, “I have no money to buy any ice-cream, but what I do have is a question. If God could do any miracle in your life today what would it be?”
He replied, “God like Allah?”
I said, “No sir, Jesus Christ.” With a very serious look on His face he said, “This is a very important question, I will pull my truck over into the shade and talk with you.”
As he pulled the truck over I just began to pray, “God please, please God, reveal yourself and your salvation to this man.”
Getting out of the truck he asked, “Do you mind if I smoke while we talk.”
“No, I don’t mind at all.”
After lighting a cigarette He said, “So this is very a important question to me. You see I am from Egypt and have only been here in the United States for four months. I am also a Muslim and I know my Quran very well. I have questions about this Jesus that maybe you can answer. There is a story that all Muslims believe. It is not in the Quran, but it is something Muhammad said and was passed down. This story has lead me to wonder about Jesus. The story is this: One day Jesus will come back riding on a white horse into battle. He will be assisted by another whose name means ‘lead you in the right way,’ but I believe there is not two men, there is only one. The one who leads us in the right way must logically be Jesus. Behind Jesus are all the people who will go to Heaven. In front of Him is the fake-Jesus and the Devil. Also, behind the Devil are all the people who will go to Hell. They will fight and Jesus will win.”
“When I hear this story I ask my muslim brothers, ‘If we are supposed to follow Jesus on this day, then why do we not follow Him today? What if I die before Jesus comes back and then never choose to follow Him? Then I will be on the side of the Devil and I will go to Hell.’ But my brothers do not give me an answer that satisfies me. Do you have an answer to my question?And I must tell you, I am a man that only tells the truth. I do not lie. So do not lie to me, only tell me the truth.”
“Yes I do!” I replied, “I promise to tell you the truth. I have studied the Bible and I believe the story you speak of is actually found two places! There is a prophecy of this in Psalm 2 and its fulfillment in Revelation 19. These passages in the Bible say almost exactly what you described! Jesus does win and those who follow Him will go to Heaven, while those who follow the Devil will be cast into Hell. But let me ask you Tom (we will call the Islamic man “Tom” for his protection), this is what Jesus will do, but have you heard about what Jesus has already done? Do you know who He is?”
“It speaks of other things about Jesus in the Quran,” He said, “But what else do you know?”
I began to share with Tom the truth about who Jesus was and what Jesus has done. I showed Him using the simple bridge diagram how God created man, but because man is sinful he is separated from God. God being Holy must punish us for our sin, and He will do this with death and hell. But God also loves mankind very much. He loves us so much that God sent His only son, Jesus, to live the perfect life and die on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for man’s sin. Then on the third day, Jesus rose and is risen forever.”
“After His resurrection,” I told Tom, “Jesus now has all authority. And with this authority He commands all His followers to go and tell this Gospel story to all the world. He then ascended back into Heaven as the king of all creation, and promised He would return to take all those who believe in Him as the way the truth and the life to be in Heaven with
“Do you believe this Tom? Because Jesus said that upon hearing this story of truth we must choose to believe and follow Him, or reject Him. If we believe on Him we will follow Him into battle against the Devil, Jesus will win, and we will go to Heaven. This is the truth Tom, do you believe this, is it your desire to begin following Jesus right now?”
I began to see tears in Tom’s eyes. What a mysterious miracle I beheld as God began to
replace Tom’s old heart of stone with a new one of Spirit filled flesh (Ezekiel 36). It was as if the Holy Spirit had moved so mightily in His heart that He was speechless. What marvelous power the Gospel truly has!
Finally, he uttered, “Yes I believe this, I want to follow Jesus.”
We then all prayed together. And as one who was asleep, Tom was then awakened, raised from the dead, for the light of Christ had shined on Him.
“Tom,” I said, “Jesus says after we make this decision we must obey Him and be baptized.” I then took him through the story of the ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 to show this to be true. And then after explaining that baptism was like a wedding ring symbolically proclaiming his identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
Tom said, “Yes I want to be baptized, when can I be baptized?” I responded, “We have a pool here at the apartment, you can be baptized right now!”
“Tom,” I asked as we were standing in the water, “Who is the way, the truth, and the life, who saves you?”
“Jesus!” He proclaimed.
“Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose from the grave?”
“And do you commit to follow and obey Jesus by leading people to trust and follow Him for the rest of your life?”
“Yes, Yes!” He said, “I want to tell everybody!”
As I immersed him, chills ran down my spine as I thought about the Father’s heart, “This is His heart! I said to myself!” As Tom came up from the water. he turned to me, with his hands in His face. He wept. I embraced Him in my arms. “It’s okay buddy, I am so happy for you.”
After we got out of the apartment pool, I again taught Tom how to share the same simple gospel that Jeff showed us. I used the bridge method and had him teach it back to me several times in order that he would be both confident and competent in sharing his new found faith in Jesus.
“So Tom,” I asked, “what are you doing for the rest of the day? It seems prime time to
sell some ice-cream.”
“No,” He insisted, “I want to go with you and tell people about Jesus!”
With a smile on my face, and amazement by his answer, I said, “okay buddy! let's do it, you can come with us to tell more people about Jesus.”
Having left the apartments we prayer walked and shared the Gospel with many others
that day until it was evening. I have never in my life seen a man be so changed by God in a moment. The difference in Him was night and day. And having been a muslim for over 40 years, God alone must receive all the glory. This is truly a miracle. Tom was a person of peace.
Later that day Tom said, “Carter, yesterday I asked God, like it says in the Elvis Presley song, to send me an angel. I was not supposed to sell ice-cream in those apartments, in fact, I was lost and didn’t know where I was going when you found me. But God knew where I was going. He was sending me to an angel, He sent me to you. And you told me about Jesus. I will never be the same.”
In the months that followed, other Muslims came to believe in Jesus there in Dallas. So we began meeting together in a home and doing church once a week. Over and over the Father brought me back to His heart in all scripture for all people in all places. “This is my heart Carter, what you are witnessing me do are the greater the that had yet to come. There are more still. Will you follow me and be used by me until there is #NoPlaceLeft?”
Up Next: What Changes Do You Need To Make?
Sentergy: When Jesus, People, Practice and Theology Collide
Chapter 1: The Glory of God
Chapter 2: The Glory of God in Jesus
Chapter 3: The Glory of God in the Gospel
Chapter 4: The Glory of God in Disciple Making
Chapter 5: If You Love Me You Will Obey What I Command
Chapter 6: Monday Morning Disciple Making
Chapter 7: Monday Morning Disciple Making Part 2
Interlude: The Father's Heart
Chapter 9: The Lump In Your Throat