(Nashville, Tennesee) — Today, I am at the National Religious Broadcasters convention here in Nashville where I will address the “International Luncheon.” A colleague and I met this morning with Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of the Hamas leader who has come to Christ. Later, I had the joy of introducting Mosab to the National Religious Broadcasters convention, explaining a bit of his remarkable story, and asking people to pray for Mosab. He shared for a few minutes and moved many in the room to tears.
My remarks were entitled, “Israel, The Iran Threat, and Modern Day Lessons From The Book of Esther.” I believe the Lord is building a global movement of followers of Jesus Christ who will pray and fast for the Lord to save and bless Israel, the Palestinians, Iran and all the peoples of the epicenter. And just as the Lord had strategically positioned two believers — Mordechai and Esther — close to the leader of Persia to do His will at “such a time as this,” so, too, the Lord placed Mosab right next to the leader of Hamas to serve Christ at a critical moment. I look forward to sharing part of Mosab’s remarkable story during my remarks.
Beginning in 1996, Mosab became a spy for Israel’s secret service, helping the Israelis to stop scores of terrorist attacks and arrest scores of terrorists from Hamas and other Palestinian jihadist groups. In 2005, after a long spiritual journey, Mosab renounced Islam, received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord, and was baptized in the Mediterranean sea.
The extraordinary story of how this all happened is the basis of Mosab’s must-read new book, Son of Hamas (co-written by journalist Ron Brackin), which releases nationwide on Tuesday, March 2.
Mosab and Tyndale House Publishers have put an embargo on the book until tomorrow, meaning no journalist is allowed to publish excerpts from the book until then. But they have graciously given me exclusive permission to publish excerpts first. Here are a few of the extraordinary passages:
“My name is Mosab Hassan Yousef. I am the oldest son of of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the seven founders of the Hamas organization. I was born in the West Bank village of Ramallah, and I am part of one of the most religious Islamic families in the Middle East.” (p.5)
Mosab hated the Jews. He cheered when Saddam Hussein fired 39 Scud missiles at Israel during the 1991 Gulf War, and was disappointed when Israel wasn’t destroyed. He wanted Hamas to seize back all the land of “Palestine” from the Jews. But in 1996, at the age of 18, he was arrested for buying automatic weapons to kill Jews, and was sent to an Israeli prison. There he was stunned at what he saw: Muslims torturing Muslims. “I had never heard a human being scream like that guy did. What could he have done to deserve that.” (p.97)
“Nearby, fellow Hamas members — fellow Arabs, fellow Palestinians, fellow Muslims — shoved needles under [his friend] Akel’s fingernails.” (p. 100)
“Every day there was screaming; every night, torture. Hamas was torturing its own people! As much as I wanted to, I simply could not find a way to justify that.” (p. 102)
One day after being released from Israeli prison, Mosab was walking past the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. Someone — not knowing who he was — invited him to a Bible study. Curious, he attended. They studied the New Testament, and gave him a copy to read for himself. “I began at the beginning [in the Gospel According to Matthew], and when I got to the Sermon on the Mount, I thought, Wow, this guy Jesus is really impressive! Everything He says is beautiful! I couldn’t put the book down. Every verse seemed to touch a deep wound in my life. It was a very simple message, but somehow it had the power to heal my soul and give me hope. Then I read this: ‘You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.’ (Matthew 5:43-45)….I was thunderstruck by these words. Never before had I heard anything like this, but I knew that this was the message I had been searching for all my life.” (p.122)
“For years I had struggled to know who my enemy was, and I had looked for enemies outside of Islam and Palestine. But I suddenly realized that the Israelis were not my enemies. Neither was Hamas nor my uncle Ibrahim [one of the torturers in prison] nor the kid who beat me with the butt of his M16….I understood that enemies were not defined by nationality, religion, or color. I understood that we all share the same common enemies: greed, pride, and all the bad ideas and the darkness of the devil that live inside us….Five years earlier, I would have read the words of Jesus and thought, What an idiot! and thrown the Bible away….But now, everything Jesus said on the pages of this book made perfect sense to me. Overwhelmed, I started to cry.” (p.122-123)
An amazing story….but that’s just the beginning….more to come tomorrow.
On Tuesday, Mosab is scheduled to give his first global exclusive TV interview to CNN’s Christian Amanpour.
This will be followed soon by interviews on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel, the “Today Show” on NBC and more.
Please pray for Mosab — for wisdom, discernment, courage and protection. Please pray John 12:49 (NIV) for him, that the Father would command him what to say and how to say it. And please pray that millions will hear the gospel, give their lives to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and develop a passion to pray for Israelis and Palestinians and all the people of the epicenter. Thanks so much, and stay tuned for more updates.
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