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Father Zakaria Botros Addresses Frontiers, Part 1

October 1, 2010

Frontiers hosted Father Zakaria Botros on May 1, 2009. Probably more than any other Christian in the world, Father Z has applied his mind and heart to study Islam and especially the Qur’an and the Hadith in order to answer the questions that Muslims and Christians are asking. Father Z has cleared away the confusion to let Islam speak for itself and to let the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ speak to Muslims. Many Muslims have come to faith because Father Z tells the truth, and God makes people hungry for the truth. Visit Father Z’s website: www.fatherzakaria.net.  

Father Zakaria Botros—his early life and ministry 

Welcome, all of you. I’m very happy to be with you today and to speak to you about God’s glory and work in the Arab countries, now Muslim countries. Praise the Lord for that. 

I want to share with you, as you asked me, my story with Christ first and then my story with Islam. 

I was born in Egypt in 1934 (I’m a very old man). I grew up in a Christian religious family. I graduated in Faculty of Arts 1956. I became a priest in 1959 in the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt. I have four children and nine grandchildren. 

My personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ

I tried to please God through fasting, prayers, then good works, through my personal effort. But when I fell into sin, doubts and tears would tear me apart. I was struggling to please God but that was the only way I knew then – good deeds. In reading the Bible I always managed to discard verses that talked about salvation by faith; I labeled them as “Protestant” verses. 

Through a series of events I was able to miraculously get the series of the early church fathers’ writings, which is called The Ante-Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, all thirty-eight volumes. To my surprise, that through the writings of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem in the 4th Century, I came to realize that salvation is indeed by faith in Christ through grace. First of all, I was able to understand and comprehend the proper place of discipline and good works in the Christian life. 

Bob Blincoe is proud to count "Father Z" among his fellow laborers in bringing the truth of Jesus Christ to the Muslim world.

I knelt in my office and invited our Lord Jesus Christ to come into my life as my personal savior and redeemer. I was now saved, but I longed for the power of the Holy Spirit just like the apostles experienced in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost. To be able to administer effectively, I fasted and prayed faithfully for God to fill me with the Holy Spirit. 

One day, as I was praying alone in my study right before a sermon, at the beginning of a week of a spiritual revival in my church in Egypt, I found myself occupied with the desire to be used by God and that God’s hand would clearly be upon me. The Lord put his finger on my self-centered motive and my prayer took a new direction. Suddenly the Lord overwhelmed me with His Presence. Glory to Him. My utmost concern became love for the lost!  I begged the Lord for these multitudes that were heading to hell. It was a vision. I did not care whether I was used or not; that was not the point. But what really mattered was that these people would be saved. 

Next: Ministry to Muslims

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