In case you didn't know, it's Ramadan right now.
If you asked ten Americans their opinion of Islam, depending on who you talk to, you may get two or three formulaic responses.
If you asked 10 Americans their opinion of Muslim people, you might get 10 different answers.
Islam is one of the most talked-about religions in media right now. Reports of genuine spiritual revival are springing out of the Middle East, but meanwhile Western nations are wholesale incorporating little-understood aspects of Islam into culture.
And then there's us Christians. Other than the talking points we may have memorized from watching the news, what do we truly know about the Muslims who live around us? Are we afraid to try to understand them? Are we angry at them because of what we associate them with? Are we even remotely prepared to give sound Gospel witness to them?
Normally I would say "I'm no missionary," but in all honesty, I believe every Christian is supposed to be a missionary in their context, so I'll say this instead: I'm a terrible missionary. But by God's grace, I can testify that the Holy Spirit has overwhelmed my heart over the last few years with a conviction to share the Gospel, and a particular desire to speak with Muslims.
There are endless reasons we should take the Good News to our Muslim friends, neighbors, coworkers and fellow grocery market shoppers. Here are five that I've picked up along the way.
Reason No. 1: Jesus
It bothers me that there are about 1.5 billion people in the world who believe there was a man named Jesus (whom they call Isa), believe he was a prophet, believe he was virgin-born, believe he was the Messiah (al Massih) and believe he had some form of something called the "gospel" (a book called the Injil), yet deny the most critical points of the gospel: Jesus' sin-atoning death and resurrection, His deity and His total lordship.
It saddens me that 2,000 years after the Apostle Paul warned the Galatians not to depart from these facts about Jesus' life, "even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you" (1:8), that these same billion-and-a-half people believe that very thing happened—an angel came from heaven preaching, among other things, a new "gospel."
It offends me that 600 years after Jesus specifically said "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him" (Matthew 11:27), the writer of the Qur'an shoved these words in Jesus's mouth: "You [God] know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within yourself" (Surat 5:116).
Now, Paul wrote regarding the Jews in Romans 9:1-5:
I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever.
If Paul burned in such a way for the people who had God's truth—Jesus Christ in the flesh, walking among them—and knowingly rejected it, how much more should we burn for those who only have a distorted version of the truth?
For the glory and fame of our Lord Jesus Christ, should we not lovingly correct the lies told to Muslims about the Savior?
- Continue reading >>
Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!