10 Guidelines For Reaching Muslims
Speaker: Bonnie Sala | Series: Guidelines For Living | All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. John 6:37-39
Nearly two billion people, or approximately 24% of the world’s population, worship under the crescent and the star, for they are Muslim; yet very few Christians understand what Muslims believe or how to communicate their faith in Jesus Christ to them. They simply know that they are different. But loving someone, as Jesus calls the Christian to do, and knowing how to best communicate the hope of the Gospel requires that you understand someone’s worldview.
While Muslims may be just as guilty as Christians of being ignorant of what the other believes, the Christ-follower has a responsibility to share the hope of the Gospel. To share our faith effectively, we need to understand some of what the hindrances are and what areas of agreement and disagreement exist between the two groups. First, realize that both Christians and Muslims accept the Books of Moses (the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy), the Psalms, and the Gospels. Muslims also accept the Qur’an, a series of revelations said to have been given to Muhammad prior to his death in 632 A.D.
The Qur’an sounds somewhat similar to the words of Scripture, but of course its basic premise is that man must worship one God‑‑Allah, to the Muslim‑‑and that he must live in harmony with Islamic teaching. Fred Acord, was a virtually unknown missionary in the Middle East beginning in the 19502 and he formulated Ten Commandments for sharing the Gospel with your Muslim neighbor that are still great wisdom today. They are:
Use the Word. Muslims respect the sacred books: The Law of Moses, Psalms, Gospels, and the Qur’an. Let the Word of God speak for itself. The Gospels are the best portions to start with, particularly Matthew and Luke.
Be constant in prayer. It is the Holy Spirit who wins men and women to Christ. Seek His guidance and power as you present the Word.
Be a genuine friend. Saying “hello” is not enough. If you really care, show it by inviting them to your home, sharing your time and a meal, and helping with their problems.
Ask thought-provoking questions. “Do you expect to go to heaven? Do you have the assurance that God will accept you? What does the Qur’an teach about forgiveness? May I show you what the Bible teaches?” Questions like these show that you have an interest in the important things of life.
Listen attentively. When you ask a question, courtesy requires that you listen to the answer no matter how long it takes. You will be surprised at how much you will learn.
Present your beliefs openly. State what you believe, clearly and without apology, showing Scripture passages that support those teachings. Thus, you place the responsibility for doctrine where it belongs‑‑on the Word of God.
Reason but never argue. Argument may win a point but lose a hearing. There are some points on which you can argue forever without achieving a thing, except closing a mind against you.
Never denigrate Mohammed or the Qur’an. This is as offensive to them as speaking disrespectfully about Christ or the Bible is to us.
Respect their customs and sensitivities. Do not offend by putting your Bible (a holy book) on the floor, or appearing too free with the opposite sex, or refusing hospitality, or making jokes about sacred topics such as fasting, prayer, or God. Men witness to men and women to women.
Persevere. Muslims have a lot of re‑thinking to do when they are confronted with the Gospel. Those who work in ministry to Muslims believe that the Gospel must be presented seven times to allow for such a mindset shift. But rest assured that the Word of God will do its work, in His good time.
Resource reading: John 5:19-24