Some people think that since I’m an apologist, I always lead with an apologetic point when talking to a person who doesn’t share my faith. That’s not true. I don’t believe apologetics is an end in itself. Rather, it’s a means to an end. The end is the Gospel and that’s the first thing I present to someone when I share my faith. Sometimes, though, people don’t accept the Gospel for various reasons. Only when they reject it do I try to discover the reason or cause. I start asking questions to try to find out, as Francis Schaeffer said, “what is troubling their heart and mind.”
When I talk to Muslims, then, I don’t begin by presenting apologetic arguments, reasons, or defenses. Instead, I try to clearly communicate God’s message. That’s why I often say you only need three things to reach Muslims: the Bible (the message of God), the Holy Spirit (the power of God), and a meaningful relationship (requiring you to be the ambassador of God).
- You need the Bible to reach Muslims. I don’t mean you need an actual Bible in hand. I’m simply saying you need to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ that’s found in Scripture. Sure, having a Bible on hand is great, but the key is to clearly explain the pardon that God offers to all people for committing crimes against Him.
- You need the Holy Spirit to reach Muslims. We are in a spiritual battle (2 Corinthians 10:3–5), and no one comes to faith in Jesus apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. That’s why prayer is essential before, during, and after talking with non-Christians.
- You need a meaningful relationship to reach Muslims. Certainly Muslims can come to Christ without a relationship with a believer (and they do quite often, in fact). God can bring people into His kingdom in all kinds of ways. Relationships, though, are the bridge by which we can show love, communicate the truth, and share the Gospel. Muslims are typically very relational people, and your ability to have an influence in the life of a Muslim will likely be a function of your relationship with them.
God typically uses an ambassador of Christ—you—to bring people to Himself. It’s not only your identity to be His representative, but it’s also your mission to proclaim His message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18–20). That means any believer who knows the Gospel can be used by God to bring Muslims to the Truth.