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Sunday, September 12, 2010

How Can We Evangelize the Muslims?

In an earlier post, I suggested that the Christian response to Muslim threats and extortion should be to love them by 1) giving them the gospel and discipling them in Christ, and 2) by restraining their civil evil in the civil sphere by God's law exercised by the State (civil magistrate).

It's important to emphasize that the Christians' weapons of warfare, in terms of changing hearts, are not physical or material, but spiritual in nature (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Our way as Christians is not the Muslim way of "conversion by the sword"--threats, violence, oppression, and extortion. Christians understand that a heart change, repentence and regeneration, cannot be worked or performed by outward acts of the law, by "penitentiaries," or by force, or by violence. While civil laws and the State, if they are covenantally obedient to God's law, will restrain outward evil in society, they are powerless to effect a change of heart.

One primary way to love the Muslim people, as with all other unbelievers, is to evangelize and disciple them (Psalm 40:10; Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 16:25-27. We cannot allow this evil to continue; we must evangelize every Muslim in the world, that God will call His own out of that religion of darkness into His light, and take their stony hearts from them and give them hearts of flesh, by His Spirit, through the Word (Ezek. 11:19; Ezek. 36:26; 2 Cor. 3:3; Rom. 10:17).

It's important to understand their religion/ideology, how that works out into their culture, and therefore, how to best reach them with the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. I list a few resources below that I hope will be of assistance to you.

In all the stories of Muslim conversions to Christianity that I have heard, it is done by 1) witness of the gospel in worked out in Christians' lives--the love, the high standard of Biblical morality, the warm hospitality shown to Muslims when they are invited to visit a meeting of a Biblical church or to visit the home of a godly Christian family; and 2) the word of God graciously shared.

Muslims believe that Islam is an extension of the (corrupted, they believe) revelations of the Pentateuch, the Psalms, and the gospels of Jesus. Many are very curious about Jesus and His teachings; however, never contrast Jesus favorably with Mohammad. It may be best to never mention Mohammad in your own conversation, though the Muslim may talk about Mohammad. Don't worry, the Holy Spirit will bless the Word of God, even apart from and void of our clever arguments about how true Christianity is and how false Islam is. (We Christians must be clear in our own minds, however, that Christianity is true and Islam is false.) If God works, then the Muslim's heart will be regenerated by His Word and Spirit.

"Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. [GD: The Lord has delegated His earthly vengeance in some evils to the civil authority as His representative and minister, see the very next passage, Romans 13:1-5; therefore, this instruction is to Christians who are not acting in the capacity of civil magistrate.] Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Rom. 12:17-21,see also Prov. 25:21-22)"

More Resources:
* A Christian's Evangelistic Pocket Guide to Islam by Malcolm Steer
* Books and videos from Daniel Shayesteh, http://www.escapefromdarkness.org/
* Go√ękson Cik, in Europe where the darkness is spreading, is courageously working to bring the gospel to the European Muslims. Here is an interview (for iTunes) by Gary DeMar with Cik (number 34, "Evangelism or Cannibalism").
* Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) is a Christian organization that seeks to bring relief and the gospel to persecuted Christians around the world, including Muslim persecution. They give updates on Muslim attacks on Christians throughout the world. You can help by giving to this organization.
* The Persecution Project specifically aids Christians persecuted by Muslims in the Sudan.
* As I've mentioned before, Jihad Watch gives news and updates on Muslim attacks and threats around the world. (As we know, Muslims don't only attack Christians; they also attack Hindus, Jews, humanists, and other Muslims.)
* a YouTube video of a UK documentary about the persecution of ex-Muslim Christians in the UK.
* YouTube's Muslims4Jesus Channel

If you have other resources that have assisted you in your witness and evangelization of Muslims, or that you have heard as being a blessing to other brethren as they labor in this mission field, please name the resources in a comment.

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