How can I best witness to Muslims?
Muslims are often very devout in their religious beliefs and offer several theological connections Christians can use to share the gospel message. In addition, certain cultural practices can be helpful when communicating the Christian faith.
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Culturally, hospitality is of notable importance to most Muslims. To effectively witness to Muslims, building a relationship through shared experiences is of great significance. Inviting a person or family for a meal in your home, participating in a school study group, or celebrating a birthday together can make a tremendous impact in opening opportunities to share your faith.
Theologically, both Muslims and Christians are monotheistic. While Allah is defined differently in the Qur'an than in the Bible, building on the idea of one Creator of all things can be helpful in communicating the gospel message to Muslims. It is important to note that the Bible teaches God is one, though expressed in three Persons—Father, Son, and Spirit. Christians do not worship three gods, as Muslims often teach.
The validity of the Bible is another point of connection when witnessing to Muslims. Though Muslims do not accept the Bible as the only inspired Word of God, the Qur'an refers to the Bible as a holy book or great book. Offering a free New Testament (especially in the person's native language) or inviting a Muslim to talk about the teachings of the Injils (Gospels) together can open the door to sharing what the Bible says about Jesus and salvation.
A key component of witnessing to Muslims is communicating that the biblical gospel message is built on grace apart from works. The Qur'an teaches that a Muslim's good deeds must outweigh his or her bad deeds in order to be in paradise (Sura 11:114). The Bible teaches eternal life comes by faith alone: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
It is also important to note that the Qur'an offers no assurance of paradise to the Muslim. In contrast, Christianity teaches that all who trust in Jesus as the Son of God can have eternal life: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). First John 5:13 adds, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life." Romans 8:37-39 makes clear nothing can separate a believer from Jesus Christ.
Focusing on what sets Jesus apart, and the differences between the Muslim teachings and Christian teachings on Jesus, is essential in witnessing to Muslims. The Qur'an mentions Jesus as one of many prophets, and includes His virgin birth and miracles. Yet in the Qur'an there is no mention of Jesus dying on the cross, meaning there is also no account of His resurrection from the dead. In contrast, the Gospels provide additional and different information about Jesus many Muslims have not heard. He is more than a prophet and claimed to be one with God (John 10:30). Jesus taught that He was divine (John 8:58) and was called God (John 1:1).
Finally, it must be noted that prayer is essential in any attempt to witness to Muslims. We are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), knowing God will work according to His perfect will to bring many to faith in Christ, including those from Muslim backgrounds to whom He leads us to communicate the gospel message.
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Truth about Religion