Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. – Psalm 116:15
Unfortunately, Christian apologist Nabeel Qureshi has lost his battle with Stage IV Stomach Cancer. This was confirmed by Qureshi’s longtime friend, David Wood.
According to his penultimate vlog, Qureshi had been placed in palliative care, which is a form of medicine designed to reduce the pain of the terminally ill. Physicians had given up on treating him for cancer. Qureshi, aged 34, reported that doctors believed his body was in the “final stages of life”. This news came roughly one year after Qureshi posted his first vlog, in which he informed viewers of his initial diagnosis. In that vlog, Qureshi, himself a graduate of medical school, informed viewers that his prognosis of living more than five years was 4%. Qureshi stated simply, “I need a miracle.” He did not receive one of the medical variety. Thankfully, every indication is present that Qureshi had received the miracle of regeneration and the miracle of saving faith.
It was not for lack of effort that Qureshi wasn’t healed. In November, Qureshi sought “healing prayer” at Bill Johnson’s Bethel Redding Church in California. Bill Johnson is one of the most prominent figures of the New Apostolic Reformation movement. Bethel Redding advertises its “healing rooms” on its website. Christian polemicist Gabe Hughes has labeled Bill Johnson a “lying, manipulative, charlatan” who leads an organization that manufactures fake glory clouds and other “divine” manifestations with fog machines, angel feathers, and gold dust. Hughes rightly classifies Bill Johnson as a false teacher with whom Christians should have nothing to do.
Thus it was surprising that one of Christendom’s most notable apologists would seek healing at his church. Nabeel Qureshi was not only a graduate of medical school but held graduate degrees in Apologetics and Religion from BIOLA and Duke Universities, respectively. Qureshi’s trip to Redding clearly didn’t improve his health. In fact, his health progressively got worse.
The tragic story of Nabeel Qureshi should shine a spotlight on Bill Johnson, Bethel Redding, and the greater apostolic-pentecostal movement. Whether they are demon-possessed, charlatans, or both, Johnson and his ilk take advantage of vulnerable people, often when they are at their most vulnerable. As for Qureshi, we pray that he will be remembered for what was his final vlog prayer.
“Father we come before you, trusting you even now for a miracle…God is more than able…Lord we know you are able, please heal, please come through….but if it should be your sovereign will at the end of the day (not to heal), then I trust you, and I love you anyway.
God deserves to be loved for who He is. This prayer, from a deathbed, demonstrates knowledge of that fact. Qureshi, who in his last days faced both the disastrous Houston flood and the failing of his cancer-stricken body, prayed dutifully to God. In his prayer, Qureshi recognized that God has the power to raise the dead. The Christian dead raised by God will not have bodies susceptible to the debilitating effects of cancer or any other earthly illness. On the day of judgment, God will remember believers for their faith and charlatans like Johnson for their wicked works and false teaching.
Quite frankly, Qureshi’s arduous battle with cancer has been hard to watch. Over a series of 42 vlogs (the last of which is heart-wrenching), we have watched Qureshi deteriorate from a vibrant, healthy man in his prime to a patient barely clinging to life in a hospital bed at the MD Anderson cancer center. Watching Qureshi is not merely an academic exercise in discernment, it is a witness of the hardships of this fallen world. Qureshi was a son, brother, husband, and father. Even after his battle with cancer is over, many prayers will still be needed for the loved ones he leaves behind. They need unquestionable love and support.
In the meantime, please remember that Qureshi’s faith – not in modern signs and wonders or continued prophecies – but in a crucified and risen Savior, is an admirable testimony to the power of God to redeem a sinner and make him a light in the darkness.
“…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” – 2 Timothy 4:2
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church of which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.
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