It is often said Christians need to reach out in love and compassion to our Muslim friends and neighbors. What does this mean? Does it only mean being willing to share the gospel with Muslims? Paul understood that in order to reach others, a believer must be willing to be all things to all people (see 1 Cor. 9:22). This may be the most favorable moment to model the vast difference that exists between adherence to a religion and the acceptance of a vital relationship with Jesus as Savior.
• Pray for the opportunity to witness to people of the Muslim religion. Consider doing a prayer walk in your neighborhood to identify Muslim homes, and begin praying about how God might open an opportunity to meet and befriend them. Make a commitment to nurture long-term relationships with anyone you might meet.
• Think deeply about the nature of the gospel and prepare to share the message in a way that is not unnecessarily associated with your cultural baggage. Be ready and willing to criticize other cultures when it is in violation of clear biblical teaching.
• Read materials that present a balanced assessment of Muslims around the world . Read about the different subgroups in Islam. Understand the differences between them and show that you are not ignorant to the differences.
• Consider contextualized missiological principles when reaching out to people of any world religion.
• Read about Islam and how its doctrines differ from historic biblical Christianity. At some point, your Muslim friend is apt to ask why Christians believe in the Trinity, the virgin birth, and Jesus as God’s son, etc. Reaching out to Muslims demands that we take our understanding and defense of biblical doctrine to a heightened level.
• When presenting the gospel, do not be combative or argumentative. Be clear about who Jesus is and what He offers through faith in Him alone. Your personal testimony can be a powerful piece of the presentation. It allows the hearer to understand that God’s greatest ground of conquest is the human heart.
• Most importantly, live your faith in practical ways. Show your Muslim friends that your faith in Jesus Christ is an integral facet of your daily life.
The Liberating Message of Christ
Without question, Islam is a religion with a rich cultural heritage. For most Muslims, turning away from Islam means rejecting their culture-which is unthinkable. Yet, many Muslims know, even if they don’t acknowledge it openly, that Islam has been largely overtaken by radical Islamic fundamentalism. Whatever things of beauty Islam offers to the world, these have been eclipsed by the overwhelming negative images and rhetoric of hatred, oppression, and fanatical violence.
Many Muslims are deeply disturbed by these developments and question the validity of such a religion. Nonie Darwish, a former Muslim of Middle Eastern origin talks of her escape from Islam. “Islam,” she says, “is rotting out from its core.”2 She notes that the Islam of today calls on the devout to submit, not to Allah, but to the brutal fanatical interpretations of fundamentalist clerics.
Unlike the oppressive system that has countless Muslims in its grip, people of the Islamic religion must see full Christian integration in life and thought. When they begin to see how Christianity redeems people and releases them to express the fruit of the Spirit willingly, they may begin to see the shortcomings inherent in all human religion.
Today there are countless people of the Islamic religion in virtually every part of the world and each one of us is having a vision and a call. Do believers have the discernment to understand His call to reach out with the message of Christ’s love? God has called us to move forward in confidence that many will come to a saving faith in Jesus our Lord.