10 Reasons Why Reaching Muslims for Christ Should Be a Priority for Every American Christian
Church history shows us that in key periods of time, God gives specific assignments to His followers. In times past, when God’s church has been at its most prayerful, courageous, unified and culturally engaged, the Lord has used His people to:
• Fight slavery
• End segregation
• Fight human trafficking
• Fight child labor
• Promote literacy
• Oppose gladiatorial combat / death games (in ancient Rome)
• Fight infanticide (throughout history)
• Oppose child marriage (in 3rd world countries)
• End temple prostitution (Rome)
• Stand against child sexual abuse and child prostitution
• Fight the view that wives are mere “property”
• Fight for fair treatment of prisoners
• Promote the equality of mankind
• Build hospitals, create relief agencies, and invest for the betterment of the human condition …etc., etc.
Clearly, when followers of Jesus link arms for cultural engagement, the trajectory of history is changed. As Christians we must ask, “What may I do in my lifetime that will count for eternity? How may my life and abilities be invested in Christ’s Great Commission?”
For the following ten reasons, the conversion of Muslims must be a top priority for Christians in America.
I also want to share with you HOW to win a Muslim to Christ. Reaching them with Jesus’ love is the only way to truly change the world.
1. Love of Truth
Christians are called to love what is true (Philippians 4:8).
The truth is:
• Mohammed was not a true prophet, because he taught things that contradict Scripture;
• Allah is a false god, because there is only one true God, the father of Jesus Christ;
• The Quran is not a holy book, as Scripture clearly warns against adding anything to God’s Holy Word;
• The message of Islam does not correspond to reality, as its ‘truth claims’ or doctrine are false. These include its interpretation of history, its views of the Jewish people, and its murderous perspective of non-Muslims.
Christians must oppose Islam because it is demonstrably false. Because we are called to love what is true, as Christians, we should want to see Muslims come to know the truth as well.
2. Devotion to Jesus Christ
One of the biggest differences between Islam and Christianity is the view on the nature and mission of Jesus.
Muslims often show respect for faithful followers of Isa (Jesus). And in some places, Islam affirms Christ, called “Messiah,” the Word of God, Spirit of God, “born of the virgin Mary.” Muslims are to honor prophets, and Jesus is called a prophet, and the Koran even says that Jesus performed miracles, and raised someone from the dead.
The prophet Mohammed is given none of these accolades in the Koran.
However, no Christian can affirm Islam because of its clear denials and distortions about Jesus.
• The deity of Jesus
• The incarnation of Jesus
• The Trinitarian understanding of Jesus
• The crucifixion of Jesus
• The atonement for sin by Jesus
• Jesus’ physical resurrection from the grave
Scripture provides a clear way to test whether a prophet is true or false. A true prophet will not deny the deity of Jesus Christ (Col. 2:8-9), and a true prophet will not deny the humanity of Jesus Christ (1 John 4:1-2). Because Islam denies Jesus’ deity, a Christian cannot consider Islam a true religion.
3. Commitment to Scripture
2 Timothy 3:16 clearly teaches that all Scripture is God-breathed, inspired by God, and as Christians, we are called to be not only hearers of the Word of God but also doers, lest we deceive ourselves (James 1:22).
Adherence to God’s Word in its entirety is not optional for true believers in Christ. As a result, ‘watering down’ the truths proclaimed in Scripture and acceding that all religions are equal is clear disobedience to God’s Word.
4. Compassion for Lost Souls
One of the most important reasons we must pray and work for the conversion of Muslims is that we should be heartbroken that 1.6 billion souls are lost and without hope. There is no other name but the name of Jesus by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12).
5. Respect for Human Rights
The abuse of women and children in Islamic culture is well-documented, as is the persecution of so-called ‘infidels.’ Forced marriage of young girls and the overt repression of woman is often not only accepted but welcomed. Islam upholds no intrinsic value of human life as created in the image of God, but values only those lives that bring ‘honor’ to the Prophet. There is supposed ‘honor,’ however, in killing those who dishonor him.
In The Clash of Civilizations, Harvard University Professor and former Carter Administration cabinet member Samuel P. Huntington wrote:
“Wherever one looks along the perimeter of Islam, Muslims have problems living peaceably with their neighbors. Muslims make up about one-fifth of the world’s population, but in the 1990’s, they have been far more involved in inter group violence than the people of any other civilization. The evidence is overwhelming…There were, in short, three times as many intercivilizational conflicts involving Muslims as there were conflicts between all non-Muslim civilizations. (Huntington, Samuel. The Clash of Civilizations. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1996. p. 256-258.)
As Christians, we are called to esteem others more highly than ourselves (Philippians 2:3); therefore, we should be dedicated to urging Muslims to turn away from a belief system that abuses human rights.
6. Belief in God-Given Liberty
Because America is the land of the free, our nation has been able to send missionaries worldwide to share the love of Jesus Christ, and here at home, we have been able to minister to the poor, help the downtrodden, and practice our faith freely. As Christians, if we believe in this God-given liberty and freedom of conscience, we must work to convert Muslims to faith in Jesus, or else, we stand to lose our liberty.
Consider that there are 2.4 million Muslims in US today. Two-thirds of these are immigrants, having come here from 68 countries. According to a USA Today article from May 23, 2007, “The USA’s 2.4 million Muslims hold more moderate political views than Muslims elsewhere in the world.” However, “pockets of sympathy for Islamic extremism (exist in the US), especially among younger people.” Additionally, “47 percent of Muslims consider themselves Muslims first and Americans second.”
Huntington also wrote: “It is hard to find statements by any Muslims, whether politicians, officials, academics, businesspersons, or journalists, praising Western values and institutions.” (Huntington. The Clash of Civilizations. p. 213.)
7. Patriotism toward America
Our primary allegiance as Christians must always be to Christ alone; yet, as we have been given the blessing to live in a free nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles, we also have the responsibility to defend our freedoms, as they provide the best opportunity for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
When Christopher Columbus wrote in his journal about his life purpose as well as his understanding of God’s hand in his actions, his words read that he was “devoted to the holy Christian faith and propagators thereof, and enemies of the sect of Mahomet (Mohammed) and of idolatries and heresies” and that his purpose in traveling to parts of India was “to see those princes and peoples and land and the character of them and of all else, and the manner which should be used to bring about their conversion to our holy faith…”
Columbus also frequently quoted Matthew 28:19-20 (The Great Commission) and Acts 1:8 (“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” NIV) in relation to himself, and he believed God had a divine plan for the North American continent and that he was a part of it. And central to this plan was sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Contrast this with the belief of Islam regarding America. Listen to the words of extremist leaders:
• “The real matter is the extinction of America, and God willing, it will fall to the ground.” Mullah Mohammed Omar, January, 2002
• “The White house will turn black with God’s help, and America, England, and Israel should be destroyed.” Jerusalem Mufti (the highest Islamic religious teacher in Jerusalem)
• “Jihad is our path, let us damn America, let us damn Israel.” Sami Al-Arian, Kuwaiti native and University of South Florida professor
• “Have no mercy on the Jews, where ever you are, kill those Jews and the Americans who are like them.” Sheik Ahmed Abu Halabiya, in a sermon broadcast on Palestinian Authority television
Consider this: An October 2001 survey of over 500,000 people from so-called “Moderate” Islamic nations yielded more than one-half million responses affirming that Osama Bin Laden—the mastermind behind the 9/11 terror attacks on America— is viewed as “a folk hero, and a righteous Muslim.”
If we love our nation, Christians must pray for the conversion of Muslims.
8. Concern for our Descendants
Recent billboards in Cairo, Egypt read: “The Muslims are coming! We are going to change the face of the world by Islam, and rule by the Koran!”
Dave Phillips is a campus minister to international students, and he works with many Muslim youth, both American and immigrant. In his words:
“Muslim parents tend to pass down the good, and bypass the darker stories of the past. They never mention the Christian youths persecuted by Muslims and forced to convert and become the Janissaries, during the Ottoman Empire. They never mention the hundreds of thousands of Armenians killed in Turkey in 1915. Even today, they ignore the Sudanese government which imposes Sharia law on Christian black tribes… through starvation and military attacks.” (Taber. Muslims Next Door. p. 60.)
The bloody legacy of Islam has already impacted our generation:
• Pan Am Flight 103
• World Trade Center bombing, 1993
• US Military bombings, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia
• American Embassy bombing, Africa
• USS Cole bombing
• World Trade Center Towers, 9-11-01
• Jihad killings of 3,000,000 in Sudan (at one point, 800,000 Christians were killed in under 90 days)
Unless the advance of Islam is halted, this is the future our children will face.
9. Quest for Self-Preservation
“It [Islam] is the only religion that was started in conscious opposition to Christianity.” (Hume, R.E. The World’s Living Religions. New York, New York: Charles Scribner & Sons. p. 213.)
In his book, The World’s Living Religions, R.E. Hume, Ph.D. writes, “Mohammed was a domineering, warring, autocrat. He prescribed war, and advocated violence toward all non-Muslims.” (Hume 218). And perhaps even more sobering is Hume’s observation: “Nowhere in the world is there a notably successful self-governing national administration which has been started by Muslims.”
Yet, today, we see Muslims not only refusing to assimilate into Western culture in terms of accepting Western law but also attempting to infiltrate Western culture with Sharia law. Islam has one goal: dominance. Yet, such dominance can exist only when self-government is obliterated.
10. Worship of God
In all of this, our highest motive for wanting to see the conversion of Muslims is not so the world will be less violent. It’s not even so 1.6 billion people will avoid hell. For the Christian, our desire to see the conversion of Muslims is also motivated by our desire for there to be more worshippers of the living God!
John Piper said that “…missions and evangelism exists, because worship of the true God does not currently exist among all peoples.”
A great spiritual battle is taking place in our nation, and it’s one that will not resolve on its own. We would do well to remember the worlds of Benjamin Franklin, spoken to the delegates working through a period of crisis during the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia:
“We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord Build the House they labor in vain that build it.’ (Psalm 127:1). I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages.”(Farrand, Max, ed. The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Volume I. p. 451-452.)
How Do We as Christians Respond to Islam?
Certainly, there is a theological response to Islam. For example:
• Jesus’ claims about salvation were confirmed by an unparalleled degree of proof. Christ physically rose from death, confirming who He was and what He taught. Mohammad’s teachings were not accompanied by supernatural confirmation, and the Muslim prophet himself said he did no miracles.
• Compelling data affirm the trustworthiness of the Bible. Muslims believe the New Testament is not trustworthy because the original documents allegedly have been altered over the years. However, no one can point out the alleged “changes” or when they were supposedly made. The corruptions simply aren’t there.
• John 3:16’s literal meaning matters. Whether a Bible translation reads that Jesus is God’s “only begotten Son” or “one and only Son,” this verse does not imply that God had physical relations with Mary, as Muslims believe. The original language asserts that Jesus is, literally, “of the same nature” or “essence” as the Father.
• Christianity is unique in that Jesus is a loving and sinless Savior. The Koran’s suras 40:55 and 48:1-2 teach that Muhammad was a sinner. Because Jesus possessed both full divinity and sinless humanity, He was qualified to die sacrificially and capable of rising by His own power.
• Christians have an intimate personal relationships with Jesus and great joy knowing they are secure in Christ (John 10:28-29). Where one stands with God is the most important issue of life—more important than culture, family background or social customs.
There is also a practical response:
• Pray! Prayer is indispensable. Indeed, Scripture teaches that God the Father is the One Who draws people to Jesus.
• Be very kind to Muslims.
• Be very humble, and avoid an air of superiority or cockiness at all costs.
• Be patient, and be ready to re-explain certain things several times.
• Quote the Bible freely. Muslims have a degree of reverence for the Bible.
• Focus on Jesus Christ.
• Emphasize that Christians have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (John 15:1-8, 1 John 1:3; 1 John 5:11-13; Revelation 3:20).
• Emphasize that Christianity is unique among the world’s religions.
• Share that Christians have great joy in knowing that they are SECURE in Christ.
• Point out that where one stands with God is the most important issue of life.
Oh – and did I mention, pray.
“…That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.” Romans 10:9-10