I find it fascinating that people don’t want to share their faith in Jesus because they feel that they might be “forcing” people to change their beliefs. They have no problem telling you how much better their baseball team is (we of course know it’s the Red Sox), why their make of car is better, why Boston/York/St Louis is better than anywhere else, etc, etc.
But when it comes to a truly life changing decision, a decision that effects a person for eternity, well… ya…. It doesn’t matter, just so long as you sincerely believe, yada, yada. Ya what a cop out. There is only one way “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me.” [Jesus] (John 14:6). Say what you will, there is a God, He is the origin of all creation, He does sustain our lives, world, universe and He has revealed Himself in the Bible. You are probably a very nice person and done wonderful things, but sin still separates you from God. Believe what you want, but that’s the way it is. God has given us a way to come to Him, to be His adopted child. His revelation, the Bible and His Son Jesus who died as the payment of the penalty that we incur in our sin. Any other way, which are either all devised by man, or by Satan have you jumping through all the hoops and then maybe, just maybe, you might have some kind of eternal existence. I’m here to tell you, if that eternity isn’t in Jesus, it’s not going to be pleasant. We can do it God’s way, which is loving, caring, compassionate and what is best for your life now and for eternity.
What prompted this, which I should be doing on a regular basis anyway, is an article in Leadership Journal (yup the new issue’s out!!). An interview by Daniel Darling with Nabeel Qureshi. Nabeel is a Christian, he was a devout Muslim who was led to Christ by a serious, devout and knowledgeable Christian he refers to as David.
“When I met my friend David, everything changed. He was able to defend his faith and as someone who was strong in his beliefs, I felt a bond with him and we became friends.” Qureshi was a very serious Muslim who based his faith on devoutly pursuing his faith. Learning, reasoning, and especially talking to Christians who really didn’t know what they were talking about and it seems, to me, that they really didn’t care. Now I don’t expect everyone to be an expert Christian evangelist/apologist. I really don’t. Having said that, they could be a lot more serious in their faith. Taking time on Sundays to attend Bible study, worship, listening to Christian radio, doing some extra reading. Not asking for a lot of heavy lifting, but taking a genuine interest in your faith, ya versus taking it for granted.
Now again, I know we are not always going to know everything we need to know, always what to say. I think I’m pretty experienced in this and I can’t say I’m always right on and right by the numbers. Having said that, is that a reason for just avoiding the fact that the Holy Spirit has put someone in front of you that He intends for you to witness to that person? Matthew 10:19 Jesus promises that we will be given the words we need when we are witnessing to others about Jesus. I’ve had that experience, it doesn’t come as a bolt of lightning, but you can often feel that the Holy Spirit is guiding you. Cut to the chase, we are called to be faithful, not always to be somehow “successful” in our terms, but to faithfully follow His leading. “The historical evidence he [David] provided for Jesus’ death and resurrection, as well as Jesus’ claim to be God, made all the difference. When I contrasted the evidence for Christianity against the evidence for Islam, I knew that intellectually there was no comparison.”
I think that Nabeel’s advice about reaching a Muslim for Christ is really on the nose and frankly can be our ordinary way to reach all others: “I think the Lord gave us the perfect instruction for evangelism in Matt 22: 37-39, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind … and love your neighbor as yourself.’ When you love the Muslims around you by treating them like family and helping those who need help, they will come to know you more and perhaps even wonder what makes you so loving.” How do too many people “love the Lord”? “how come me God?” “Gimme more God.” “I want, I want…” Maybe loving the Lord could be, going to worship, witnessing to others, serving His church, quit making excuses. “How come I’m the only one…”- you say? When you’re really not doing a whole lot.