The Lord’s command to His disciples before He ascended to heaven is very clear: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Mt. 28:19 NKJV), and “you will be witnesses to Me ... to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). This command applies to us as well. And the word “all” refers even to those most opposed to the gospel, such as Moslems who make up about one fourth of the world’s population. How can we approach the Muslim with the good news of salvation? I will answer this question under three sub-headings. 1. Things You Must Know You must be convinced of the following biblical truths, not only intellectually, but with all your heart: that we are all sinners; that there is only one way of salvation; that God wants to save all, including the Muslims.
First, we are all sinners: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). A nominal (in name only) Christian is just as lost as any pagan, even if he attends church. Second, there is only one way to salvation. It is through faith in Jesus Christ who died for us and thus paid the penalty for our sins. “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). You yourself must be convinced of this. You must be convinced that all other claims are false. No matter how nice and religious a person may be, without Christ he is perishing, even if he speaks reverently of God. To believe in Christ is to receive Him in one’s heart (Jn. 1:12). Any view that contradicts this, no matter how appealing, is a satanic deception. Third, you must believe that God wants to save the Muslims. The Bible tells us that God desires “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). It also tells us that God is “longsuffering toward us, not desiring that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). Some people have the wrong idea that Muslims always resist the gospel. This is not true. I have personally met and had wonderful fellowship with many Muslims who have received Christ as their Lord and Savior. 2. Things You Must Do First, you must desire the salvation of the Muslim with a deep passion, and you must pray for him with that same passion. Remember that God loves the Muslim and Christ died for him. You need to pray for him and persevere in your prayers. Do not give up because of his initial reaction, which may suggest that he totally refuses to believe what you tell him. Even the most irreligious Muslim who does not practice his religion has been taught one thing to which he tenaciously clings – namely that he must never change his religion. You are actually working against the powers of darkness, against the stronghold of Satan. But remember that God is more powerful than all the power of Satan (1 Jn. 4:4). It is God’s work, not yours. Second, when talking to a Muslim, stay on the main subject. Have the right goal before you continuously – not to win an argument but to win a soul. Do not get distracted by secondary issues. Always bring the discussion back to the main subject: that we are all sinners, that we cannot save ourselves, that God loves us very much, and that Christ came to save us. He died for us so that we can have complete forgiveness and eternal life. Third, quote freely from the Word of God, especially passages that tell us about Christ and His love for man. Be sure to include Matthew 20:28 – “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Also quote Romans 5:8 – “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Speak of Christ’s attitude towards repenting sinners, such as the woman who washed His feet with her tears (Lk. 7:36-50), and the woman caught in adultery (Jn. 8:1-11). Tell the parable of the prodigal son (Lk. 15:11-32). Quote Christ’s words to the Pharisees: “Those who are well do not need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Lk. 5:31-32). Do this with love and compassion. Fourth, be a true friend. Show genuine care for the person, help him when you can, and go the second mile for him. Be like your Master who went about doing good to all. Many have been drawn to the Lord through the kindness of one who witnessed to them: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mt. 5:16). 3. Things You Must Not Do First, you must never speak in a derogatory manner of Islam, its teachings, its holy book, or its prophet. Second, do not get involved in political issues, such as the conflict between Palestinians and Jews. If they arise, your goal should always be to make clear that God is the ultimate ruler, and that the whole earth belongs to Him. He loves all people and will accomplish His purposes. Make it clear that you feel sorry for all who suffer regardless of their religion or race. Third, whenever you discuss spiritual matters always do so in a respectful, thoughtful and serious manner. Women who are present should be attired conservatively, and should not dominate the discussion. It is generally preferable that women witness to women, but this is not an absolute rule in the Western world. Fourth, do not get angry nor discouraged because of anything the Muslim may say. Do not give up; it has often taken a Muslim more than a year or two to declare His faith in Christ. Very often after boycotting the discussions the Muslim himself will restart the contact. When you cannot talk to him, talk to God about him. Resources While knowledge of Islam is not an absolute necessity for witnessing, it can be helpful. For this I recommend the booklet, Kinsmen of Abraham,obtainable from the publisher of this magazine. For help in answering the Muslim’s main questions I recommend the booklet, To My Muslim Friends,obtainable from Overcomer Press, P.O. Box 248, Owosso, MI 48867, USA. By Rafique With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org