A pastor in Texas has shared his story of how his Iranian father disowned him for deciding to leave Islam and follow Jesus Christ, declaring that the great cost is worth it.
“When I left Islam to follow Jesus, I didn’t know what it would cost me,” Pastor Afshin Ziafat of Providence Church in Frisco, Texas, wrote in a desiringGod.org piece on Sunday.
Ziafat was born in Houston, Texas, to a devout Muslim family and though his family moved back to Iran when he was 2 years old, the Islamic Revolution of the 1970s forced them to return to Texas.
He noted that while he was in the second grade a Christian English teacher gave him a copy of the New Testament and shard the Gospel with him, which eventually led to his decision 10 years later to convert to Christianity following other discussions and evangelistic events he attended.
After declaring his faith in Jesus at an evangelistic crusade, he admitted he was fearful of telling his Muslim father, who had been the most important person in his life.
At first he hid his faith from his family, but eventually his father saw his Bible and began asking questions.
Ziafat shared the exchange:
“’Son, what’s going on? There’s something different about you.’ I said, ‘Dad, I’m a Christian.’ He said, ‘No, you’re not, young man. You’re a Muslim and you’ll always be a Muslim.’ I said, ‘Dad, the Bible says that if I trust in Christ alone for my salvation, then I’m a Christian — and I do.’ My dad said, ‘Afshin, if you’re going to be a Christian, then you can no longer be my son.’”
Despite his urge to keep his relationship with his father, he proclaimed the words that would lead to him being disowned on the spot: “Dad, if I have to choose between you and Jesus, then I choose Jesus. And if I have to choose between my earthly father and my heavenly Father, then I choose my heavenly Father.”
He said that at the time, he had to lose his father in order to follow Christ.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov