This article was originally posted at The Speak:Truth Project.
By Justin Edwards
Every Thursday night, Crucial (aka Matt Slyman, who you will meet soon on the Meet the Team page), and I go to UNC-Charlotte to witness to folks on campus. However, last night we found out the hard way that the school was closed for spring break. So I wanted to check out a local pedestrian-friendly shopping center as a potential fishing hole.
After praying for strength and fertile hearts, we got out of the truck and proceeded to the sidewalk. We made one trip down, across the boardwalk, only to hand out a couple tracts for lack of people. Because it was so cold and windy, we contemplated on whether to leave. But we decided to give it one more shot and walked back down to the center of the restaurants and see what would happen.
Trillion-dollar tracts because we “spent” them all last Saturday at Project #2. But what we did have was the Good Person tracts, and this made for an interesting night of tract distribution. Not many conversations, but we did get to hand out 25-30 tracts to the patrons of the Boardwalk Billy’s restaurant and bar. After about an hour, we finally got to have our first real conversation – with Youseff.
Youseff and his family was entering the Asian restaurant when Matt handed the last woman in the group of four a tract. Youseff, who was dressed in Muslim garments, stopped and asked what it was. He hung out with us while his family got their to-go orders.
It was a very interesting conversation and my first in-person witnessing opportunity with a Muslim. The conversation went something like this:
Youseff: So what is this about?
Us: It’s got the Good Person test on it
Youseff: How does it work?
Us: Well, there’s a few questions to ask people, the first of which is “are you a good person?”
Us: Well, that’s a great start.
Now, seeing that he did not consider himself to be a good person, I needed to figure another way to take him through the Law to be sure he understood sin. So I continued:
Me: Well, typically most people say they are a good person, then we ask them if they are good enough to go to heaven. We then take them through the Law of God, the 10 Commandments, and ask them things like -
“How many lies have you told”
Youseff:- oh yeah, lots.
Me: Yeah, me too. So what do you call someone who tells lies.
Youseff: a transgressor.
Me: Well, yeah, but more specifically, a liar, right?
I continued with theft, blasphemy, murder, and lust. Youseff admitted to all of these sins and said he lusts often, every day. He understood God knows our every thought and will hold us accountable.
When asked if he would be innocent or guilty and whether that would be heaven or hell, he said guilty and hell. But he said more or less said that he did not know for sure if he would go to heaven or hell, and no Muslim could know that.
He said it depended upon whether or not he was submissive and obedient to various things, so I asked him if he prayed perfectly 5 times a day. He said he did not. I then asked him how his sins are forgiven, and he didn’t have an answer to my recollection. In hearing how he can never have assurance of salvation, I told him what a fearful way to live, knowing that at any moment you could be sent to hell based on the things you have or have not done.
I then cut to the chase with Youseff. I explained to him that God commanded the Prophet Moses to have the people bring an unblemished animal to the tabernacle, and that the animal’s shed blood sprinkled on the altar would atone for the sins of the people and the high priest, but this was only temporary and needed to be done every year. With his Christian family background and study of the Torah, Youseff knew all about this and recognized that Christ was the perfect sacrifice once and for all (according to Christianity at least).
I then told him, “Youseff, the point is, without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins.” I proceeded to which he agreed, “if God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and if truth is reality and does not change, then how could it be possible for God to once establish that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin, but change his mind that it was no longer necessary?” We also talked about how the Quran considers the Torah to be genuine Scriptures of God, and if God cannot lie and does not change, neither do His decrees change and what is required to go to heaven by coming under the blood of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, his family was ready to leave so we had to wrap up the conversation. I gave him my contact information and told him I would love to get together sometime. Youseff was very friendly and pleasant to speak with. I believe we gave him something to consider and pray the Lord would use our conversation to plant a seed that will grow in his heart.
I wanted to share this with you because, obviously, we did not expect to have a conversation with Youseff or any Muslim last night. But knowing a couple things about Islam and how to witness to a Muslim in a manner that would not be confrontational proved to be fruitful. So with that, I’d like to share a couple of resources with you:
How to Witness to Muslims – The Evidence Bible
Witnessing to Muslims
Cults and World Religions
The first two links are brief articles to read through to help you first gain common ground with the Muslim, which should give you a foundation from which to present the Law and Gospel. The third link is to my page on airō, which is rich in resources on Islam and other world religions and cults.
Most importantly, in all your witnessing encounters, pray beforehand that God would give you compassion, evident compassion, for all who come across your path. These are divine appointments and we must
Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person. – Colossians 4:5-6
We must love all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion. Take every opportunity to show them love and grace, with the hope they would recognize how far they fall short of the glory of God, that they might turn to the Lord Jesus Christ in repentant faith.
Do you have any experience with witnessing to Muslims? We’d love to hear all about it in the comment section below!