Why do we share the good news about Jesus with all peoples, including Muslims?
FRONTIERS shares with us the following reasons:
- We are followers of Jesus, called Isa al-Masih by Muslims. This means that He holds supreme importance for us. We seek to center our lives on Jesus and the good news about Him.
- What is this good news? We have experienced peace with God, the forgiveness of our sins, and the hope of eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- It is our delight to share this good news with others. It is also our duty to share the good news with all the peoples of the world, because Jesus instructed us to do so.
- Therefore, we seek to live in the world as peacemakers, inviting men and women everywhere to be reconciled to God and to one another.
- We, who come from many cultures, countries and backgrounds, offer this message of peace to all people in love, with respect and cultural sensitivity, without coercion or material inducement.
- We believe that only God can convert people. Christianity and Islam agree on this point. For many, the titles “Muslim” and “Christian” define an external, cultural identity. Instead of focusing on external labels, we invite all people, including Muslims, to an inward change through Jesus.
- We rejoice that when the gospel brings inward change to believers who embrace it, they then bring positive transformation to the communities where they live.
- As followers of Jesus, we are motivated to do good deeds. In this way we imitate Jesus, honor God, and seek to heal a hurting world.
- For us, all of life is devoted to Jesus. Therefore, wherever we live and whatever our occupation, our work is witness and we witness at work.
- Jesus and the good news about him are so precious to us that we are willing to sacrifice and suffer in order to give people an opportunity to know the good news about him.
- God loves Muslims!
Muslims are loved by God in the same way that He loves all people. Like all humans, Muslims are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Like all humans, Muslims sin and fall short of God's glory (Romans 3:23). Like all humans, God loved them so much that He sent His son, so that those who believe in Jesus will have eternal life (John 3:16).
- God calls Muslims to Himself!
God designed all of us to seek after Him. That includes Muslims. "From one man, He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth", . . . God did this so men would seek Him and perhaps reach out to Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:24-31, espec. 26,30)." Like you and I, God has placed "eternity in their hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11)."
- Muslims are our neighbors.
Whether in America or in the Middle East, the overwhelming majority of Muslims are peace-loving, hospitable people.
- Muslims are people, too!
Most Muslims are concerned about the same things as you and I. They want to raise their children well, they are concerned about rising crime and pornography, and work hard to pay their bills and survive. Like us, most Muslims decry human suffering and violence between peoples. Many Muslims yearn for peace, friendship, and a happy life. We share the same concerns and needs.
- God is at work among Muslims!
Many Muslims are sensitive to God and spiritual things. Because they fear God and are aware of spiritual reality, Muslims often speak of how God appeared to them through dreams and visions, just like He did to the God-fearer Cornelius (Acts 10:1-8). Stories abound of healings because of God's power through Jesus. An increasing number of Muslims are hungry to know about God's dramatic work through Jesus.
- Because we are spiritually related.
Many Muslims look to 'Ibrahim (Abraham) as "our forefather (Romans 4:1)." Since those who follow Jesus call Abraham "the father of all who believe (Romans 4:11)," that makes us 'cousins' ! Like us, Muslims believe in one true God, the Creator of all peoples.
- Because they value our Holy Book and Jesus.
The Qu'ran specifically commends the Torat (books of the Law, the first five books of the Bible); the Zibur (the Psalms, or wisdom literature); and the injil (the Gospels). Jesus was sent by God to earth; Jesus healed many during his ministry; and he is returning to judge the living and the dead.
- Because they have something to teach us.
Muslims take the spiritual world very seriously and generally are more open to discuss spiritual issues. They have a very high respect for God and His power. Muslims place a high value on community and loyalty. Hospitality is very important to them. These are qualities that most westerners appreciate in their Muslim friends.
- God made promises to their ancestors.
Many Muslims look to 'Ibrahim (Abraham) as their ancestor through his first son, Ishmael. God made this promise to Ibrahim: "As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and I will make him fruitful, and I will multiply him. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation (Genesis 17:20)." God fulfilled this promise, for there are over one billion Muslims in the world today!
- Because God promised that Muslims who follow Jesus will be part of the multitudes who are gathered about the Throne of God.
When God gathers all His people at the end of time, there will be representatives from every people group on the earth, "from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing before the Throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, . . . crying out in a loud voice, 'Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, . . .(Revelation 7:9,10)!"