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Salvation of the Egyptian People
Rev. Fr. Abraam Sleman
Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
The word “salvation” in the Christian view holds many more meanings beyond what we know. Salvation includes the meaning of healing from illnesses, deliverance from tribulations, living in peace and prosperity, freedom from servitude to evil and error, God’s forgiveness for man’s evils and crimes, enlightenment of man’s inner understanding and perception of matters with a new perspective. Salvation also includes the meaning of a new life with God that continues eternally and is not defeated by death. This is what we call eternal life … These matters and others are what we seek and hope from God to give to the all the people of Egypt.
With no intention of disrespect to anyone, allow me to offer you the truth about the salvation which we seek for the people of Egypt … As I previously mentioned in the sermon of “Egypt for Christ” and in the article of “Saul and the Massacre of Maspiro” which are published online – that there is no salvation without the Person of Jesus Christ. For “nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). We must highlight this truth now following the development of events to worst levels of savagery due to the lack of salvation through Christ within the consciousness of the majority of the Egyptians. If you accept this statement, I congratulate you for you have placed yourself on the right way to salvation.
There have been many comments regarding the sermon of “Egypt for Christ”, and the article of “Saul and the Massacre of Maspiro” … Some of these comments show strong faith in the mighty power of God to reveal the glory of Jesus Christ to all Egyptians, and that all of them “may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:31), and that He is “the Christ, the Savior of the world” (John 4:42). Some see that as a kind of a dream or imagination … One of the best comments which I heard was a prayer for my sake and request of longevity till I witness the realization of this matter. Then I asked: Why will this become reality after many years and not today? My dear reader, maybe you can inform me which team are you siding with?
God promised that “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Allow me to present you some of the reasons which make me view this matter positively.
God’s Ability to Change the People of Egypt
God is capable of proclaiming the glory of Christ to every Egyptian person, and of changing every Egyptian to become a chosen vessel carrying the name of Christ, to witness Him before the entire world, and to suffer for the sake of His name!!
I previously mentioned that God changed Saul of Tarsus from a person who was persecuting Christ and the Christians to a person who believes in Christ and preach His name. Thus after his baptism, “immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.” Then all who heard were amazed, and said, ‘Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?’” (Acts 9:20-21). “So he was with them [the Disciples of Christ] at Jerusalem, coming in and going out, and he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him.” (Acts 9:28-29).
Also, I previously pointed out to the story of how Saul changed into Paul since it is a great example of the work of God’s grace, and this was proclaimed by St. Paul the Apostle after his transformation: “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:9-10). “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:12-15).
And due to our faith in the richness of God’s grace, we do not just ask from God for our rights as Egyptian citizens, but we furthermore ask that all the people of Egypt see God’s salvation in the Person of Christ and accept the faith in Him … and we pray that there wouldn’t be anyone among the people of Egypt who would persecute God’s people, but that every person amongst them become a believer in God through the Person of Christ and preacher of His name … Let us mention in detail that which confirms and strengthen our faith in “the salvation of the people of Egypt”.
The Will of God for the Salvation of the People of Egypt
Along with the capability of God to change the people of Egypt, there is also his Divine Will to save the entire world especially the people of Egypt. St. Paul the Apostle clearly announced this fact that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4). God says in the book of Ezekiel: “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23).
And if we find many examples in the Old Testament regarding God’s care for the salvation of His people, we also find powerful examples about His care for the salvation of the nations. The story of the salvation of Nineveh mentioned in the book of Jonah is a great example of God’s care for the salvation of the nations. For God said to Jonah: “Should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand person who cannot discern between their right hand and their left, and also much livestock?” (Jonah 4:11), and together with the Lord God, I also ask: Should God not pity Egypt also, in which are millions of Egyptians who cannot discern between their right hand and their left?
And among other examples of God’s care about Egypt’s salvation, is the story of saving it from the famine of seven years during the days of Joseph the righteous. For God had sent Joseph into Egypt through extraordinary circumstances, and anointed him with the spirit of wisdom, and used him to save Egypt from the famine. And after Joseph revealed to pharaoh his dreams, pharaoh said to his servants: “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God”… Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” (Genesis 41:38-41).
And because of God’s special care for the salvation of the people of Egypt, He spoke about it in the Book of Isaiah. God said: “Behold, the Lord rides on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt; the idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, and the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst.” (Isaiah 19:1). He also spoke regarding Egypt by Isaiah the Prophet: “In that day there will be an alter to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt and a pillar to the Lord at its border.” (Isaiah 19:19). “Then the Lord will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes they will make a vow to the Lord and perform it.” (Isaiah 19:21). The churches and alters in the midst of the land of Egypt is a grace from God for the salvation of the people of Egypt, but unfortunately some rise up to demolish them being ignorant that churches are the arks of survival from the midst of the evils of the world and the salvation from God’s anger into eternal life.
The people of Egypt hold a special place in the story of the life of Jesus Christ on earth. God favored Egypt with the visit of Jesus Christ during His flight from Herod. “And was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, ‘Out of Egypt I called My Son.’” (Matthew 2:15), and thus the prophecy of Hosea the Prophet was fulfilled: “And out of Egypt I called My Son.” (Hosea 11:1).
I absolutely cannot imagine the destruction of Egypt after the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Family treaded its soil, for Egypt is for Christ according to God’s promise: “every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the River Euphrates, even to the western Sea (countries of the Mediterranean Sea including Egypt), shall be your territory.” (Deuteronomy 11:24).
God also promised that the people of Egypt shall be blessed in Jesus Christ, for the Lord God said in the Book of Isaiah the Prophet: “Blessed is Egypt My people” (Isaiah 19:25). This blessing to the entire people of Egypt is through the faith in Jesus Christ: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law … that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:13-14).
Therefore, when we ask God for the salvation of the people of Egypt – through their faith in Christ – we are asking what is consistent with His eternal and holy will regarding the salvation of all Egyptians.
God’s Plan for the Salvation of the People of Egypt
Because of God’s holy will for the salvation of the entire world, He sent His Son Jesus Christ to be light to the Gentiles including Egypt, and not just for those who accept Him from the Jews. God said in the Book of Isaiah the Prophet addressing His Son Jesus Christ: “I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles.” (Isaiah 42:6), “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6). It is too small a thing in the eyes of God to limit the message of the Lord Christ to the tribes of Israel, but He sent Him to be light and salvation of all nations to the ends of the earth. Also, this is how St. Paul the Apostle understood God’s words that are spoken by Isaiah the Prophet and referred to it in the Book of Acts (Acts 13:44-48).
St. Luke the Evangelist recorded the testimony of Simeon the Elder who carried the Lord Jesus Christ as a baby. Simeon spoke to God regarding the Lord Christ that He is: “a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:25-32). It is important that we view the Lord Christ as God’s salvation to all the nations, and the light of God’s revelation to all nations including the people of Egypt.
Above all that has been mentioned through the prophecies of Isaiah, the vision of Simeon the Elder, the words of St. Paul and others, is God’s witness to His Son Jesus Christ more than once. By the Jordan River a voice came from the heaven saying: “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17), and at Transfiguration mountain, a voice came out of the cloud saying: “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him.” (Mark 9:6). St. Peter the Apostle witnessed to that saying: “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’. And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” (2 Peter 1:16-18).
We ask from God to shout with His Holy Spirit within the heart of every Egyptian to witness to Jesus Christ: “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17), “This is My beloved Son, Hear Him” (Mark 9:6) until every Egyptian sees God’s salvation and enjoys His divine light.
Throughout the ages, the world is aware of the blood of the martyrs of the Coptic Church from history books, but in our present day, the world witnessed and saw with their own eyes the blood of the martyrs shed in Maspiro, and upon the doorsteps of the churches. The primary request that will please those martyrs is for all the people of Egypt to accept the salvation which God offers by the blood of His Son, “the Mediator of the new covenant”, that “speaks better things than that of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:24), and this is the blood which makes atonement for the entire world’s evils including those of the people of Egypt.
The blood of the martyrs of the Coptic Church in Maspiro and on the soil of Egypt is a preaching ministry to all the people of Egypt about the love of God who gave up His Son on the cross for the salvation of the entire world, including every Egyptian. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18).
What would you think if I told you that the people of Egypt have a special share in God’s salvation in Jesus Christ which has been fulfilled upon the Holy Cross? But what would I say if this was God’s wonderful plan for the people of Egypt? For in the Old Testament it was the blood of the Passover lamb – which symbolizes the blood of Christ – on the doorposts of Jewish homes in Egypt (Exodus 12). Today, God offers the blood of Christ Himself to be on the doorsteps of every Egyptian home for his redemption and salvation from evils and errors that he lived throughout long centuries, and his salvation from the wrath of God!! Wouldn’t every Egyptian accept that? This is what we ask out of the richness of God’s grace. In the Book of Revelation, there is a symbolic sign on the special share of the Egyptians in the Cross of Jesus Christ, for “the great city – where Jesus Christ was crucified – which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” (Revelation 11:8).
God’s Plan for the History of the World
You might share with me the belief that God is the Master of history, for He is the Blessed God “For wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings.” (Daniel 2:19-21).
God promised in the book of Daniel that the holy kingdom of Christ will crush all the kingdoms of the world (kingdoms of evil) and will fill the entire earth including Egypt: “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44). “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14).
In the Book of Revelation, there is a reference to the fulfillment of God’s plan concerning the kingdoms of the world which includes Egypt as well: “Then the seventh angel sounded: and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15).
God promised the church that it will be light to the world that includes Egypt as well: “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” (Isaiah 60:1-3).
How great is God’s comforting to the church, for in the Book of Isaiah, God talks to the church of the New Testament: “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your habitations; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited.” (Isaiah 54:2-3).
I hope that you will share with me the faith and the prayer for the sake of all the people of Egypt, so that they may accept the faith in Christ the Lord and accept God’s salvation with His blood.
We must hold on to the promises of our Lord the Christ: “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And all things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing you will receive.” (Matthew 21:20-22).
For the hour of delivery of a new world for Egypt is getting nearer based upon the promise of the Lord Christ: “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she will no longer remember the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:20-24).
Let us all pray to our Heavenly Father: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth [including Egypt] as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10), and “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23).
“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of the darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Corinthians 4:6), and He is the One who shines in the hearts of every Egyptian heart for the enlightenment of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ, “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:11). Amen.