I Have Placed Before You an Open Door
Many people have asked me about the effect of the recent events in France1 upon our ministry amongst the ethnic minorities. The answer is that our Muslim friends are more open than ever to the gospel. Most Muslim are embarrassed by what had happened, not only in France, but also the horrible beheading of Christians.
What is it that makes Western Christians hesitate to tell their Muslim acquaintances about Jesus? FEAR! The media has managed to inform this fear. The almost daily deluge of masked militia holding knives and automatic weapons in the hands of bearded men with head-scarves fills Christians with suspicion and fear and therefore causes them to hesitate in sharing their faith. They fear they might be talking with actual terrorists and therefore somehow end up on their ‘hit list.’ This fear blinds us to the person’s great need of the Saviour by focusing us on ourselves, our vain lust for security and safety. Not all Muslims are terrorists.
I tend to think of Islamic radicals as ‘proto-evangelists’ for the Christian faith! The first of these was the Ayatollah Khomeini. His brutal regime in Iran, whose atrocities and policies have led many Iranians to leave Iran, has also led to an exodus of Iranians out of Islam. Some Iranian believers have called the Ayatollah ‘the greatest missionary because he showed us what Islam is really like.’ ISIS or the ‘Islamic State’ is the latest in the progression of groups and states working for the absolute application of Islamic law. Their declaration of a new caliphate has alarmed the Muslim’s world. The group’s clever – and successful – propaganda films glory in violence, hostage taking, beheadings, sex-slavery, and the slaughter of Muslims and non-Muslims. The recent burning to death of a Jordanian Muslim pilot seems to have stepped well beyond even the brutality of Islamic law.
But God is Sovereign! Reports from local Christians and missionary agencies tell us that, as a result, more Muslims are coming to Christ now and still more are attending Christian meetings. ‘I have been a Muslim for forty-one years, and in all that time have never questioned Islam. But now, I have decided to leave it,’ said a Muslim student. When a Christian missionary asked her why, she related that she had been watching ISIS videos and the brutality that they justified as the ‘methods of the Prophet.’ She decided to leave Islam.
You may not be able to go to Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, etc. to share your faith, but they are not far from you. The mission-field is next door to us. To help you overcome your fear and prejudice, we encourage ‘Each One to Reach Five’ Muslim people you know and meet in various circles. This was launched as a project called 555 (Pray for 5, Give to 5, Invite 5). The idea is:
Pray. Write down the names of Muslims you know and meet in various circles (work, class, market, neighbourhood, organisation, family, etc.). You may not know the name – write a description: ‘the man who works in the shop’, etc. Circle five names God put in your heart and call out to him to prepare the hearts of these five people, to help you overcome your fear and to show you who you should go to first.
Give. Christmas is a wonderful time to give presents to your Muslim friends! Most Muslims know that Christmas is to do with Jesus. So why not give those five people you circled a nicely wrapped-up present: a bilingual New Testament, a gospel-centred booklet, and a box of chocolates (or any other present. You choose).
Invite. Invite your five Muslim friends to church services and other meetings. Kindly and repeatedly invite them. Muslims need to see the fellowship of Christians through their love for each other and their unity. In John 17:20-23, the Lord says that as people see love within the local church non-Christians (including Muslims) will understand what true discipleship looks like and will understand why Christ has come. There is a false stereotype that says that Muslims will never come to church. Don’t give in to that false idea. Of course some will refuse, but others will come.
Just imagine how many Muslims will hear the gospel if each Christian overcomes his fear and witnesses/gives to just five Muslims!
We have a leaflet available to help you take up this challenge. Please feel free to write to us should you wish to receive one.2 A two-minute video presentation of the project can be watched here.
- See the article ‘Charlie Hebdo’: How to React to the Horror.
- E-mail Word of Hope Ministries at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hicham is a pastor and author. He is also co-founder of Word of Hope Ministries and La Voix des Prophètes — English and French non-profit-making literature ministries. For more details visit www.word-of-hope.net and also (for French-speakers) www.voix-des-prophetes.org.
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