Summary: With the growing numbers of Muslims in our communities we now have the opportunity to present the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to Muslims. Though it may seem difficult, nothing is too difficult for God.
HOW CAN WE REACH A MUSLIM WITH THE GOSPEL?
Philip Roberts of Midwestern Baptist Theol. Seminary said when developing a plan for witnessing to Muslims, “Muslims rarely hear a truthful presentation of the gospel.” [They may need dozens.] With the growing numbers of Muslims in our country and community we now have the opportunity that only missionaries had a decade ago: the opportunity to present the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to Muslims. Though it may seem difficult, nothing is too difficult for God. Do you believe that?
If so, how then can we reach Muslims with the Gospel? Let me give you a plan.
1st, Become acquainted with Muslims and with Islam. [See A Survey of Islam, by Dennis Davidson.]
To influence Muslims you must reach out to them. They are people like us with happiness and sorrow, burdens and anxieties, fears and hopes, failures and sins. They are lost yet believing their religion will save them. They will never know the truth unless someone builds a connecting bridge with them.
2nd, Begin with Peace
Muslims, like all other human beings, are desperately seeking peace. Just as you don’t like to be judged by the hypocrites and the ultra-radical in the church, don’t judge all Muslims by the actions and attitudes of the radicals. Begin your conversation with: "Peace be unto you." Be a peace-maker.
3rd, Demonstrate Christ’s Love.
Christians will need to demonstrate the love of Jesus even toward Muslims. Do you have any hatred in your heart toward Muslims? Friends, followers of Islam are made in the image of God and Muslims matter to Him. To win them we must converse, not quarrel, and treat them with respect not contempt. Check out 1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
People are not convinced by knowledge, debate, or hostile action (like the pastor in Florida who burned their “holy” book). Instead it is godly living and love that makes a personal impact. One hundred years ago, the missionary Samuel Zwemer was known as the Apostle to Islam. His whole approach could be summarized with this phrase: “A ministry of friendship.” He once said that you can say anything to a Muslim provided you say it in love and with a smile.
Muslims are to show Christians affection according to 5:82. In fact, Surah 10:94-95 commands any Muslim in doubt of his mission / faith to find out more from "those who read the Scripture" who came before Islam (Christ-followers). Even amidst disagreement, Muslims are required to be respectful and gracious (16:125).
4th, Remember to use the Bible. Muslims will listen to and read the Bible. Invite Muslims to home studies. Surah 15:9. 4:136 says not to reject the books of God (includes the Law, Psalms, & the Prophets) and 5:47 points to the gospel (Which gospel? What is the gospel according to Allah?)
It’s imperative for Christians to get grounded in the Bible and in theology. We must read our Bible, study it, and know it and then encourage [give them a Bible] followers of Islam to read it for themselves. When Muslims read the Bible, they become intrigued and are especially attracted to Jesus.
Don’t argue with them about the Bible, simply share it. Martin Luther said, “The Bible when attacked should be treated like a lion in its cage. Rather than attempting to defend it, unleash it!” Since Muslims believe Jesus to be a prophet, point out that prophets have to tell the truth. You could then go back to the list of verses from the Gospel of John to show what Jesus said about Himself and the way to salvation.
By the way, when handling your Bible, be sure to use a copy that you have not written in for that would be offensive to a follower of Islam. Also be sure to not let it drop below your waist, and if you stack it with other books, make sure you put it on the top. To fail to do those things is a sign of disrespect in their eyes (www.godwardthoughts.com).
5th, Tell Muslims about Jesus.
Dear friends, don’t try to make Jesus more acceptable to people. Jesus is truth and can stand up to thorough investigation. Our job is to tell others about Him in love.
Many Muslims have a sincere affection for Jesus Christ as a kind and loving prophet. But they do not know the vastness of His love, for they refuse to believe that He loved sinners so much that He voluntarily died on the cross to save them. In wishing to honor Jesus they say that He was so great it was impossible for His enemies to overcome and kill Him. God being just would never have permitted His holy and righteous prophet Jesus to suffer the shame of the cross. It is generally believed that God performed a miracle to save Jesus. He changed one of the enemies to look like Jesus, and he was taken and crucified by mistake in the place of Jesus, whom God took alive to heaven. where He is today.