The past few months I have been preaching in Turkish at the local church in our city. One afternoon, while sitting in a local coffee shop preparing my sermon for that week, two friends (Nuri and Osman) came in and sat next to me. They ask what I was working on, and from there we had a two-hour conversation about the gospel. The text was from Hebrews 6 and how Christ is our anchor for the soul.
During our conversation they told me they were fasting to earn favor with God, but they weren’t sure if He would accept their work as sufficient. At that point, I stopped the conversation and made a point in saying this was the defining difference between Christianity and Islam – namely, working to gain favor from God.
I explained how Jesus has ALREADY worked on our behalf, and no matter how much I do on my own, it would never be enough. For this reason, I must accept the work that Christ did and commit my life to His teachings and his works. It’s Christ in my place. This was, of course, very foreign to Nuri and Osman, but they agreed to talk about it some more in the future. Please pray for them as the Spirit of God continues to work in their lives.