Jim Tour, a Rice University chemistry professor who mentored Nabeel Qureshi after he was diagnosed with cancer last year, reflected on the tremendous faith of the late apologist - even until the very end.
Speaking at the funeral service for the 34-year-old convert from Islam who lost his battle with Stage IV stomach cancer last weekend, Tour shared how Qureshi asked him to be his mentor following his diagnosis.
"I just pushed him away and said, 'You don't want me to mentor you.' Then the next week, he said, 'I really want you to mentor me.' I said, 'You don't know what you are getting into. I am not Oxford trained ...' He said, 'I want you to do this,'" Tour recalled. "So I agreed and told him that 'I am going to speak to you some tough things.' He says, 'I am ready for it.'
Every week, the two men would meet at Tour's house. The first lesson he taught Qureshi, he said, was about repentance.
"I asked him, 'What have you been reading in the Scriptures lately?' He showed me and I said, 'What have you been getting out of it?' He said, 'I have been critiquing this and studying the relevancy of this portion and the authenticity of that portion. I said, 'What has God been saying to you?' He says, 'Well, really not a lot, I have just been critiquing it,'" Tour recalled.
"I said, 'That is your problem, Nabeel. Every word in this book is true. Every word in the book is true. God has watched over His word to perform it. I am so glad that you got your education, but remember every word in this book is true."
"You read the testimony of Billy Graham. It was not until he fell on his knees and said, 'Lord, I take every word in this book as truth,' it was only then that his ministry burst forth," Tour added. "I said, 'You have some repenting to do.' So we got down on our knees right there in the kitchen and he repented for not taking God's word as every word being true. He texted me that night and he said, 'It is just like when I got saved. The Lord is speaking to me so richly through the Scripture.'"
Later, Tour shared with Qureshi the power of the New Testament: "I said, 'Nabeel, a man or a woman can not read the New Testament, from Matthew to Revelation, ... twice without becoming a Christian,'" he said.
"[Nabeel] said, 'Has that been your experience?' I said, 'Absolutely. I have done prison ministry, I speak with professors all the time, I have spoken with big politicians - it works every time. It happened with my own mother that way,'" Tour said. "If you do not become a Christian sometime when going through the first time, then what you do is open up the New Testament and you start at Matthew 1:1 and say, 'Lord, speak to me through the Scriptures. If this is real, if this is what God has given us, then speak to me.'"
"If you read through that and get to Revelation 22, if you have not become a Christian, you start reading through it again and boom, it hits you," Tour said. "You will say, 'There is no man like Jesus Christ, the son of God."
Tour talked about the unfaltering faith of Qureshi and dismissed "internet chatter" that accused the "Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus" author of renouncing his faith on his deathbed.
"That is not true at all. I was with him almost every day for the last couple of months and he continued to stand fast. I never heard him complain with all his pain. He never even told me about his pain," Tour said. "He never asked 'Why me? Why is this happening to me?' He never asked this, such an unusual young man."
Qureshi's final words to him, he said, were "Victory. Jesus is the name of victory."