One-on-One with a Muslim from Tanzania, Part 1

Fisherman

In order for the end to come Jesus stated, that “… the gospel must be preached into the whole world for a witness to all the nations.” In these last days, the Lord has enabled the church to fulfill the Great Commission by bringing various people groups from around the world to North America. Believers have been given the opportunity to engage these ethnic groups in one-on-one apologetic conversations. My recent encounter with an Arabic speaking Muslim from Tanzania confirms this point to be true.

‘Paul’ (not his name) agreed to meet with me so that he might be given the opportunity to dispel myths pertaining to Jihad and to find common ground among the two faiths. However, at the onset of our conversation, ‘Paul’ admitted that he was not a scholar in regards to the teachings of Islam and might have difficulties answering my questions. Though he is fluent in Arabic and is able to read the Quran in its original language he felt inadequate in his ability to interpret the Qu’ran. The purpose of Imams and clerics is to teach Muslims to overcome their weaknesses and to live in the straight-way.

In response, I emphasized that the Bible teaches that the role of the Holy Spirit is to reveal scriptural truths and to allow believers to live accordingly. Therefore, all Christians are able to read, as well as understand the Bible without the assistance of a church leader (pastor or teacher). Our conversation turned to the topic of the Qu’ran’s revelation of Allah. According to its teachings

“And they deceived and Allah deceived And Allah is the best deceiver.” (Surah 3:54)

‘Paul’s’ interpretation of this verse was in complete contradiction to the text as well as other verses that confirm this point. He stated, “The meaning is that Allah knows if a Muslim is lying…”

I interjected that multiple verses in the Qu’ran imply that Allah not only deceives but encourages his followers to emulate his example.

“Do you desire to guide those whom Allah has led astray? And whomever Allah leads astray, so you will not find for him a way.” (Sura 3:88)

“Allah will not hold you responsible for the mere utterance in your oath, but he will hold you responsible in regard to an oath taken seriously.” (Sura 4:89)

I also pointed out that all prophets of Islam do not lie. Case in point,  (according to the Qu’ran) Jesus is only a prophet and not God,  and (according to Scripture) He stated that Satan is the father of lies.

“Your father the devil…because there is no truth in him…Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature for he is a liar and the father of lies…” (John 8:44)

He along with other Muslims attempt to ascertain common ground by ignoring these truths and searching for less controversial passages that mask the teachings of Islam.

Nevertheless, the evangelist must be dogmatic about the fact the Quran contradicts the Bible.

They are complete opposites. Our discussion regarding the practice and teachings of Jihad lead to the opportunity for me to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I will address this part of our encounter in the next part of this series discussing my evangelism appointment with a Muslim from Tanzania.

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House-2-House

houses in Prague

© Peter Szucs | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Let me begin by first putting to rest the myth that door- to-door evangelism doesn’t work! If that were true then God would not have given us the command to “Go” into the entire world and preach the gospel (Matthew 10:7; 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 9:2, 60; Acts 5:20; 2 Tim 4:2). Our responsibility is to obey our Lord’s instructions leaving the end results up to the Lord. If the objective is to see immediate mass numbers of conversions, baptisms, and increased church attendance, then I would agree that it is not effective.  In reality, most bible- based outreaches do not produce results like the one we read about  at Pentecost in chapter two of the book of Acts. However, an unbiased evaluation of scripture will lead any objective reader to conclude that preaching or teaching the gospel to lost people is the message emphasized or communicated in the Bible.

“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:14-15)

These rhetorical questions asked by the apostle Paul stress the importance of believers communicating the gospel to lost people wherever a witness is needed. A clear presentation of the gospel must occur in order for unbelievers to believe in the One True God. Darrell W. Robinson writes in his book titled Total Church Life

“Each church has adequate personnel to evangelize its community. The personnel are those in the pews every Sunday. You in Acts 1:8 is plural. Jesus is speaking to the entire membership of the church. His call to every Christian is to witness. There is no choice. We have no option. Every Christian is to witness for Jesus. The only choice is to obey or disobey. A Christian may be a disobedient witness or an obedient witness. His witness may be negative or positive, but he is a witness.”

How does the church accomplish this task in a time or epoch when scripture describes men and women rejecting the truth in the last days? Believers must continue to obey the command or instructions given to them by our Commander and Chief, Jesus Christ. That is “Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” (Luke 14:23) Jesus began His ministry by commissioning and assembling men to “Go” where the lost people were! “Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come” (Luke 10:1) and to reach them with His gospel. “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). After His ascension into heaven, His apostles, empowered by and filled with the Holy Spirit, carried the “Good News” to the surrounding cities as well as to the world.

“Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven…Now when they heard this they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren what shall we do?” (Acts 2:5, 36)

  • “And every day in the temple and from house to house they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” (Acts 5:42)

  • • “And Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them.” (Acts 8:5)

  • • “…And were preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.” (Act 8:25)

  • • “Arise and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza…And Philip opened his mouth and beginning from this Scripture he reached Jesus to him.” (Acts 8:35)

  • • “But Philip found himself at Azotus; and as he passed through he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities, until he came to Caesarea.” (Acts 8:40)

  • • “…Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying He is the Son of God.” (Acts 9:19-20)

  • • “…And it became known all over Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.” (Acts 9:42)

  • • “And they said, “Cornelius a centurion, a righteous and God-fearing man well-spoken of by the entire nation of the Jews, was divinely directed a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and hear a message from you…and he shall speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household…” (Acts 10:22; 11:14)

  • • “…So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose…to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone…But thee were some of them men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also preaching the Lord Jesus…” (Acts 11:19-20

  • • …Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul…And when they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews…And when they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos…Then the proconsul believed when he saw what had happended, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord” (Acts 13:2, 4-5, 12)

  • • “…But going on from Perga, they arrived at Pisidian Antioch…And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to our fathers…And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region…” (Acts 13:32, 48)

  • • “…And it came about that in Iconium they entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a great multitude believed both of Jews and of Greeks.” (Acts 14:1)

  • • “…they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra, and Derbe, and the surrounding region; and there they continued to preach the gospel.” (Acts 14:6-7)

  • • “…And the next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe. And after they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch…” (Acts 14:20-21)

  • • “…And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia…” (Acts 14:25)

  • • “And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them…to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia…” (Acts 16:10, 12)

  • • “…they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And according to Pauls custom, he went to them and reasoned with them from the Scriptures…” (Acts 17:2)

  • • “…And the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea…for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily…”(Acts 17:10-11)

  • • “…Now those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens;…So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.” (Acts 17:15,17)

  • • “…After these things he left Athens and went to Corinth…And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks…” (Acts 18:1,4)

  • • “…And they came to Ephesus and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jew…So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing…” (Acts 18:19, 19:20)

  • • “…how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable and teaching you publicly and from house to house.” (Acts 20:20)

  • • “…Brethren and fathers, hear my defense…And they listened to him up to this statement…” (Acts 22:1,22)

  • • “…And Paul looking intently at the Council…And as he said this there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees…” (Acts 23:1, 7)

  • • “…And Agrippa said to Paul, You are permitted to speak for yourself. Then Paul stretched out his hand and proceeded to make his defense…but I utter words of sober truth…” (Acts 26:1, 25)

  • • “…and thus we came to Rome…And he stayed two full years…preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.” (Acts 28:14, 30-31)

The cities mentioned throughout the book of Acts are a reflection of God’s purposeful objective of reaching all people groups, nations, and tongues. Those who heard and believed the gospel were not only saved but added to new church plants in Jerusalem, Philippi, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Thessalonica, etc. The disciples of Christ were adamant about the gospel reaching the world and were willing to endure hardships (stoning, imprisonment, beatings, death, being shipwrecked, persecutions, ostracism, prosecutions, and more) so that the name of Jesus Christ might be heard. Not only must there be a willingness to preach the “Good News” to strangers but the message must be truthful and direct.

The goal is not to add notches to an evangelism belt or members to the church roll but to allow the Holy Spirit convict men of sin, righteousness and judgment. This is simply done through a presentation of the gospel. No tricks, gimmicks, entertainment, or strategic moves are necessary for men to be saved. Robinson states, “The Holy Spirit equips the witness to share Jesus Christ with others. Apart from Holy Spirit power, the presentation of the gospel is accompanied by a dreadfulness that kills. It is the Spirit who “makes alive.” The flow of Holy Spirit power through the life of a church and an individual is directly proportional to obedience in witness. Where witnessing is minimized, there is little evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit.”

“…but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulteration the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God… And even if our gospel is veiled it is veiled to those who are perishing…” (2 Corinthians 4:2-3)

The idea conveyed by the apostle Paul is the common business practice of dishonestly diluting wine with water. Paul was falsely accused by false teachers of perverting the teachings of Jesus and the Old Testament. Similar warnings must be issued against modern day evangelists about reducing the potency of God’s Word by adding block parties, rock music, food or clothing, and other enticements to lure people to faith in Jesus Christ. Not one of the above mentioned scriptures suggest the use of any ploys to appeal to the lost. The Lord makes it abundantly clear to the evangelist in chapter ten of the book of Romans “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Roman 10:17)

How to begin a door2door conversation? (Example)Brick Archway Number 51

Evangelist-My name is ________, and I am a member of ________ church. We are in our community today inquiring about where people will spend eternity at the moment of death. Considering all the death, murders, and killings reported in our newspapers and television broadcasts, death is not only common but often it is unexpected. (Boston Bombing)
Do you know where you will go if you were to die today, tomorrow, next week, etc.? If you have a moment I would like to explain to you from scripture important information about God and eternity. May I come in?
Begin by praying for the individuals involved (Believer and Unbeliever) and spend some time learning about their spiritual background, use the first five verses in chapter thirteen of Luke to initiate an eternal conversation.

Deuteronomy 29:…

Deuteronomy 29:29
King James Version (KJV)
29 The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.