Sharing the Gospel
How to effectively share the Gospel with Muslim inquirers
By Daniel Scot Sept. 2008
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Sharing your faith is essential as a believer; it is not an optional extra. Jesus commanded his disciples to go into all the world and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). Additionally you are, along with Timothy, told to preach the Gospel in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2) and told to have "your feet shod with the Gospel of Peace" (Ephesians 6:15). There are many other passages that make it abundantly clear that you are required to share the Gospel. Of course, beyond all that, the love of Jesus compels you to share the grace of God with others.
Let us say at the outset that there is no 'saving formula' - no special rules, sayings, arguments, tracts or prayers that will guarantee that an unbeliever becomes a Christian. Secondly, people are not saved through the earnestness of your beliefs, fervor, or arguments, but as the Holy Spirit convicts them of their need for a saviour, and the righteousness of Jesus. These are not things that you can do; it is a sovereign work of God - which leads us to ponder how to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Muslims:
Pray continually. Salvation is a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit; it cannot be timed, rushed or manipulated. Overcoming decades of false teaching is an extremely difficult thing you are asking them to do; coupled with the fact that, if they convert, there is the strong possibility that their own families will reject them, and in some cases attempt to kill them. This is a monumental hurdle, something through which only the Holy Spirit can carry them. Pray that He will guide them and protect them.
As you engage with the Muslim in love, and as they learn that they can trust you completely, ask probing questions regarding salvation:
1. On what basis do you expect to go to heaven?
2. If you have sinned, how should a just and moral God deal with you?
3. What does the Qur'an teach about forgiveness?
4. Do you have assurance that God will accept you?
* Muhammad had no assurance (Sura 46:8,9);
* Abu Bakr had no assurance;
* Allah only forgives whom he wants to forgive (Sura 2:284; 3:129 etc);
* Allah sends astray whom he wants (see tracts on The Straight Path, Sin, and Truth);
* Good deeds bring no assurance (Bukhari, Vol. 7, Hadith No. 577 and Vol. 8, Hadith No. 474).
* May I tell you what the Bible says on these things?
God and Spirit
Muslims do not like to attribute any earthly characteristics to Allah. Thus, to say that Allah must act in a righteous manner is to limit Allah's sovereignty. The God of the Bible, on the other hand, says that He only acts in a righteous manner, in love, truth, holiness, and justice.
God desires to know us and wants us to call Him 'Father.' He wants fellowship and goes to great lengths to have fellowship with us because He is love. This concept is completely foreign to a Muslim.
The Christian God is Spirit, infinite, uncreated, uncaused, eternal, omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. His nature is always and completely love, justice, holiness and mercy. He cannot be seen or comprehended by sinful man.
When differences emerge
When entering topics that have potential for argument, agree on the following rules
1. Listen, without interruption, unless there is something that isn't clearly understood. Ask genuine questions related to the topic under discussion.
2. Do not criticize each other despite differences.
3. Only agree with each other when you believe the point being made is true.
Discussions of this nature are often complex, so only deal with one topic at a time - write other topics or questions down to Discussions of this nature are often complex, so only deal with one topic at a time - write other topics or questions down to discuss later.
Summarize what you have learnt from each other at the end of the discussion.
Logical: Westerners and many other parts of the world do not follow the same reasoning patterns. This is important to understand. Westerners follow logic laws: a + b = c, whereas Muslims usually follow associative laws. For example: Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country; you come from Saudi Arabia; you must be a Muslim. Or, Christianity is a Western religion; you are a Westerner; you must be a Christian.
This different way of thinking will cast many a spanner in your discussions with him, through no fault of his own. Remember to keep praying and ask that the Lord will open the eyes of his heart.
Theological: Muslims do not accept that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That is not to say they don't respect Him, but in their mind, to associate someone with Allah is blasphemy and unforgivable (Sura 4:48,116). It is
critical to gently teach your friend that no Christian believes that Jesus is the result of a physical, sexual union between God and Mary. In fact, Christians will find this abhorrent. The Sonship of Jesus refers to an eternal intimate relationship between the Father and Jesus. If your friend calls himself 'a son of the oneness of Allah,' they will have a similar idea. Thus, it is very important to understand the doctrine of the Trinity and how to explain it in such a way that it opposes the idea of belief in three (3) gods. Also, you need to understand the views on Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Muslim do believe that Jesus was sinless and that He ascended into heaven (unlike Muhammad), and will return at the end of the age. Even though they believe that Jesus was sinless, they also believe that all the prophets were sinless; gently show them that Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jonah, David, and Muhammad all sinned (Sura 2:35-37; 7:22-23; 26:82; 28:15-16; 37:142; 38:24-25; 47:19; 48:1-2; 33:36-38). The Qur'an records Jesus as being sinless (Sura 19:19), therefore do not be afraid to exalt Jesus.
Our Scriptures, Muslims believe, have been corrupted. See our tract on the Authenticity of the Bible for further insight and help. They believe that Qur'an is perfect and infallible because it was revealed letter for letter by Allah to an illiterate prophet. Thus, they believe that the Qur'an is perfect in every way, but some of the Ahadith may contain errors.
The concept of original sin and the gravity of sin are completely different in Islam. In Islam, there is no inherited sin and sin is a relatively minor thing that is easily forgiven. The idea of someone atoning for your sins is repugnant to Muslims, especially the idea of a sinless person dying in your stead.
Finally, be genuine and prayerful in your approach. It is important that Muslims see the character of Christ Jesus in you. Give them a copy of the Gospel according to Luke or John and encourage them to read it for themselves. Do not denigrate the Qur'an, Allah or Muhammad, as we would not like it if they denigrated Jesus. Above all trust that Holy Spirit will work in your friend in His timing, not yours. We hope and pray that these tracts will be useful in understanding Islam and evangelism.
Read the Holy Bible online: http://www.ibs.org/bibles
Watch the Jesus Film online: http://www.jesusfilm.org/languages
Mizan ul Haqq
Christian Debater™ P.O. Box 144441 Austin, TX 78714