Questions and Answers > Practices of Muslims > Christian relations

Was Yusuf Estes a reborn Christian when he became a Muslim?

a. Christian background
Yusuf Estes was born in 1944 in the U.S. in a Protestant family [1]. He was educated in Texas and became a successful marketing specialist. The father of Yusuf was a Sunday school minister and fund raiser for Christian schools. His parents and their friends had a Christian lifestyle, with for example only alcohol on very special occasions and almost no gambling games. As a young boy, Yusuf believed that the Bible is God’s Word. However, for every child with a father as pastor or youth leader in church, it is hard to realize the expectations of his father.

b. Yusuf didn’t trust Jesus Christ as his Savior
His seriousness and intent on being a true follower of Jesus Christ made him accepted by his church as a young teenager. They even wanted to say that he was “baptized’ into the Spirit” although he had no manifestations of the Holy Spirit like in the believers in the New Testament and reborn Christians today have. Then, like many teenagers, he started to have doubts about the truth of the Bible. Yusuf did not believe that Jesus Christ is God: “how could He also be the ’Son’?” Therefore he could not trust Jesus Christ as his true Savior for the forgiveness of his sin. So he was not sure about going to Paradise and said: "What will happen when we die?" Yusuf tried to find certainty in other religions: “I had tried to ’find’ God in many different ways. I checked out Buddhism, Hinduism, metaphysics, Taoism, different forms of Christianity and Judaism.” The life of Yusuf Estes is therefore an interesting story about the reality of faith practices of some people. Jesus Christ warned against false security: “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)

c. Yusuf Estes was not a true Christian
After growing up and a business career, he realized that I did not want to be minister in church as his father. Although Yusuf had no trust in Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, he had some religious awareness. After what he had seen in church and had experienced in life, he was convinced that there is a highest God: “God is Pure! God is Perfect! God is All Knowing and All Aware of all things!” Sad enough he kept his thoughts about the Bible and God inside. Therefore he was not able to discuss his theological questions about the balance between grace and responsibility. The result was that he created his own religious practices, based on the Law of Moses instead of salvation by Jesus Christ. Around the age of 50 years old, many people become much more aware that they will die. The desire grows to do something for God, before life is over. This also happened with Yusuf Estes, as he said: “I needed to ’be in the light of Christ.’” He joined Christian outreach teams outside Texas and even to Mexico and as a marketing specialist; he was even able to preach. However the doubts remained, he said: “I needed to share the message.” Yusuf did not understand the message of salvation and asked himself: “What is the message?” He had no openness to communicate his problems and was too proud. He even preached the message of salvation and accepted in an emotional way the truth of it: "The message of salvation of Jesus Christ!" - "He died for your sins!" - "He paid the price of redemption." But sad enough, his soul was not set free, because the rational doubts about the Bible remained. Then, a preacher touched his painful issue by the advice: "don’t leave your brain in the parking lot with your car." This could be a final breakthrough, as Yusuf formulates: “Then it hit me to start thinking about the very serious problems and real facts about my religion.” Now, Yusuf was able to make the right decision to talk with a reborn Christian preacher about his theological issues. However, he still could not see the majesty and perfection of the Most High, who has not only compassion with mankind, but is also perfect in righteousness. Yusuf still thought that he, as a sinner, could make a deal with the perfect Most High, without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

d. How he became a Muslim
The denial of Yusuf that Jesus Christ is the Savior changed his life, because it became an open door for the devil to penetrate his thoughts. As a business man, he met a Muslim immigrant from Egypt. Yusuf tried to invite the Muslim to his view of Christianity. However to share the Gospel with others needs faith. That was a problem for Yusuf, because he did not believe in the power of the forgiveness of sin by Jesus Christ and he was not able to make the right diagnosis about the fallen world because of sin. The Muslim attacked him on his weak point: proof of his faith, as there is a warning in the Bible: “Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people” (Matthew 24:11). Yusuf finally became a Muslim in 1991.

e. Conclusion
The life of Yusuf Estes is not over yet. He still has an opportunity to accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of his sins. May God bless him and save his soul.


Notes:

[1] Wikipedia, Yusuf Estes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yusuf_Estes