A Moslem Imam lay dying of tuberculosis in a hospital in Indonesia. He was very weak, and near to death, so much so that in fact when a Chinese Christian appeared at his bedside, he had no strength to order him away. In that part of the world Moslems hate Chinese, and they also hate Christians, and so this man was a most unwelcome visitor to the Imam’s bedside.
The Chinese spoke about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was a very clear message, spoken in urgent tones. After praying for the dying man, he went his way. Shortly afterwards the Imam died. But that is not the end of the story. Two days later, as they were carrying the man’s body out to be buried, the dead man suddenly sat up, having come to life. He threw up his hands in the air and gave loud praise to the Lord Jesus, to the fear and utter astonishment of the company present.
Later, this man told his tale. After death he had wandered about in the spirit in the next world searching for Mohammed, but was unable to find him. After a while he came face to face with Jesus, who showed him the marks of His passion. It was a moment of sudden and drastic realisation, of agonising re-adjustment , as his mind did a U-turn. Bowing before the Son of God, he accepted Him as his Saviour and Master, his Lord and his God. Jesus then told him it was His will for him to return, to give testimony to many of his own people, that they might also believe. It was at that moment that he sat bolt upright on the bier. Since then he has been sharing this experience throughout that region of South East Asia.
This story was communicated to me personally in 1986 by David Noakes, on the editorial team of the Prophecy Todaymagazine. The editor in chief, Rev Dr Clifford Hill, had been out in Djarkata at the time when this happened, and knew the circumstances first hand. The Imam’s posthumous theophany begs many questions. Can we any longer believe that “only in this life do we have a chance to accept Christ,” as evangelicals affirm? And “all Christ-haters are bound for the lake of fire.” Are they? It would seem that God, rather than dealing in “chances” prefers to deal in “opportunities”, at any time, in any place, and has no desire to fulfil evangelical theology. The Moslem Imam knows that. Are we prepared to accept his evidence?